Given the communication expectations they set, and what you received, I’d be ready fire that coach. At the level I’m paying for, my coach does one call a block (either every 3 or 4 weeks, depending on block length).
Regarding performance, my belief is that you achieve something together. A rough analogy is that you are the puppet, and the coach is the puppeteer. Or as someone on the forum once said “I’m just the monkey on the bike” I prefer to think of each block, or even just a single week, as an experiment and the coach is looking for a response. I’ve had a lot of life happens moments and my coach changes workouts to accommodate and attempt to keep me on track for the goals of the block. As a result, my coach has me sustainably doing 8-10 hours/week, about 400-600 TSS/week, and that despite turning sixty this year we have improved my durability, and raised both (estimated) vo2max and power curve to nearly all-time highs from 5 years ago.
My workouts are easy, nothing like TR plans. We do 1 formal FTP test a year, and a I do at least one threshold pacing effort every 3 months. I’ve listed some of the reasons in another thread, but bottom line more frequent testing hasn’t been necessary and hasn’t influenced results. I’ve embraced heart rate zones six and half years ago, before getting a power meter. We actively use both. Ran across this quote from Matt Fitzgerald recently:
“Also note that if you are an intermediate- or advanced-level cyclist and you use heart rate as your primary intensity metric, you probably don’t need to update your zones very often. This is because LTHR doesn’t change a lot with changes in fitness once you’re past the beginner (or starting-over) phase. What you will find as you gain fitness is that you produce more power at the same heart rates. Indeed, one simple way to update your pace or power zones is to do a test where you ride at your current known LTHR and identify the corresponding power, then plug this number into the appropriate calculator. For example, if you know that your LTHR is consistently stable at 160 BPM but you notice that you’re producing more watts at any given HR lately, do a ride where you lock into a heart rate of 160 BPM and note the corresponding power. Say your power is 250 watts at this HR. This, then, is your approximate FTP. It’s best to do this particular test within the context of a scheduled ride that targets Zone 3.”
I’m not using heart rate as a primary metric, but I’ve been using that method since buying a power meter almost six years ago. Works great for me, and FWIW I also have a really good sense of pacing longer 30-60 minute efforts at threshold. My Garmin also does a great job at estimating FTP using machine learning on HRV, HR, and power, provided I use a small fudge factor and do a moving average to cut out the noise.
Hope that helps.