What are your top tips for newbies/new TR users?

I have successfully convinced my dad to try the free month with TR. He’s in his sixties, is relatively fit but new to cycling, and enjoys the structure and general nerdery we all share. And he might be reading this forum. (If you are, Salut, Papa!)

What are your top tips for making the most of the trial period? Are there any blog posts, forum threads, or podcasts that you find particularly helpful? Do you know how to make drop handlebars less scary?

Thanks in advance! Also, please don’t interpret the “salut papa” to mean we are native French speakers. That’s just something I adopted in high school or college. :slight_smile:


Here are some decent resources to start with:


My top tip is for you and not your father.

Let him decide if TR is fun or not for him. Be ok if TR is not for him. It’s not for everyone. That’s alright.


This is almost certainly in the great links that @mcneese.chad has shared but, encourage your father to start with the Low Volume Plan(s). Even if he is in great shape, structured, indoor training is a different beast and it can take a while for the body to adjust.

I would also encourage him to ask questions on this forum and when possible, listen/watch the Podcast. He will get some great tips which are applicable to cycling in general.


My top tip for TR: dont read the Dylan Johnson thread… :slight_smile:


+1 for listening podcast!

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not if you want time to train…you could move to HV with that time commitment and it might also be less exhausting! :laughing:

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Read the weekly tips
And start with a ramp test otherwise the workouts will be too difficult or too easy
It’s a bike on a trainer so get it set up to be comfy.

:thinking: Not sure if these are mentioned above and let him decide as said above.

I’m 55 and follow the LV plan so I can ride outside too if I get time but the LV plan does have quite a bit of mounting cumulative fatigue.

Everyone has to start somewhere so chapeau to him for giving it a try… :+1:t2:


The warm ups always feel hard. Don’t let it get in your head.

Don’t be afraid to adjust the intensity. It’s better to complete a workout at 95% than fail 1/2 way through @ 100%


Make sure he’s having fun. Enjoyment is a key to longevity in this sport.

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If he uses the ramp test to estimate his ftp, subtract 10-15% from the result. I’d Rather have my workouts be too easy. Especially starting off.


I’d make him try out all the main apps out there, and figure out which one(s) fit him best.

Minimal effective dose. Start with a low volume plan and grow from there.


My advice:

Try the ramp test but don’t be afraid of confirming ftp with a longer test at some point.

If 85-90% sweet spot feels super hard or soul crushing then FTP is too high. Do a 20 minute test. A short 5-10 minute SS effort should always be pretty easy.

Start with an LV plan and do two of the workouts with intensity and sub out the weekend workout for an endurance workout as per the optional instructions. Preferably, ride endurance pace outside 2-3 days per week plus the two interval sessions on the trainer.

TR base gives blocks of 5 weeks long. He should never hesitate to insert an easy week after 2 or 3 weeks if he’s feeling fatigued. A new ride might even do well on a 1 week hard, 1 week easy schedule. They might have slower development but it will be sustainable over the long haul.


Tomorrow I will have wrapped up my first week with TR and my first few weeks with indoor cycling.

  • Have him spend some time reading up on what ERG is and how to do it. My introduction to indoor cycling was through The Sufferfest and for some reason my brain didn’t understand that I didn’t have to do anything except keep pedaling. I thought I had to get in the ballpark of the power target, and that basically resulted in me knocking/spinning out.
  • Have him set up the app, pair his equipment, etc a few days ahead of starting a plan. Getting everything ready on the first day only to find problems or realize you don’t know what you’re doing is going to be frustrating.
  • The desktop app does an ok good job of walking you through understanding it. He will benefit from doing the five minute ride that tours the UI. I still had to figure out the keyboard shortcuts myself, though.
  • Even with the above, I found it helpful to do a really easy ride like The Dans before the training plan began, just to get a better feel for what to expect.
  • On the day he does his ramp test, his diet should consist of more than just ice cream. That was…not wise.

Be patient and supportive of your dad. Assure him that there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Let him know that you’re there to help and support him as best you can, and encourage him to ask questions rather than blunder on in ignorance.

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