Wheels came off - switching to ‘Train Now’

So after taking an extra week ‘recovery’ following a combination of bigger volume / harder weeks plus some off the bike stress that tipped me over a little, I settled back in with a slightly upped FTP following a ramp test.

All was good for about a week to 10 days then I picked up a pesky virus from my granddaughter.

It’s been pretty bad and prolonged (longer than 6 days qualifies as such in my book) and I’ve hardly ridden any miles at all in the last fortnight- last workout was a threshold session last Wednesday that ought to have been easy but felt tough.

My plan in planbuilder is now shot to pieces and I’m supposed to be starting speciality now.

Between now and my goal event I have a number of B events predominantly at weekends over the course of the next few weeks.

My goal event is an all-out effort on a single climb (steady higher effort for circa 55 mins to 1 hour) when on vacation at end of April.

Some commentary on the most recent AAC podcast referenced Train-Now and how it adapts to you using the AT approach but just not in a plan.

So I’m gonna give it a shot for the 6 weeks ‘work’ remaining (+one week recovery before the vacation) and see how that pans out.

I will be selecting 2 workouts a week of intervals and look to make progress up the progression levels along the way.

Weekends will either be a third workout (bad weather contingency), or one of the aforementioned events; or a fast group ride of around 2 hours.

Let’s see what AT can do via Train Now to ger me back on track :smiley:

I’m curious to know whether anyone else has seen success over a relatively short period with this approach?

This seems reasonable to me.

A great thing about AT is that it will continue to adapt your plan based on what you are actually doing. And it won’t get frustrated with you.

So you can deviate as much as you want and it will update to tell you what models best for you.

You could also look at modifying your plan if you want to focus on different things. Or pick alternates. It’s really wide open with what you’d like to do.

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why would this be better then AT combined with your plan?
just train now looks at your levels and your history, but not at your goals/events… AT on a plan looks at all factors. Missing a block, part of a block , … doesn’t mean you should throw your plan overboard. your not getting the expected 100% towards your A event, but you will get the most under the circumstances.

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This is a valid point and the pivot of my decision around which I’ve been wrestling with.

I guess I settled on Train Now over sticking with the remainder of what is left of the speciality part of my plan for a few reasons:

  • start of the plan has been messed up badly so only a few weeks left (including a scheduled rest week midway)
  • I have so many B events in late March / Early April at weekends that I was already questioning the impact that was going to have
  • the description of how Train Now works on the recent podcast was a lightbulb moment for me
  • the extra VO2 work in the speciality phase (climbing road race) of the plan I selected was somewhat of a compromise decision anyway - so using TN allows me to select more Threshold and Sweetspot sessions instead and extend the duration, to better match the goal event effort I will be aiming for

Overall I can see the validity of the thinking that would tell me to stick with the plan; however I feel like the TN option will better give me the flexibility I need and it’s also a bit of an ‘experiment’ which I am looking forward to trialling for a few weeks.

None of us really know the insights of AT, but in theory:

  • AT provides the flexibility
  • A plan works to your goals
    Best of both worlds, even if you follow the plan partly, I guess there would be some sort of minimum threshold for a plan to be effective, but it seems like your problems are behind you, so if your up to some structure in your training, just follow the plan, I really cannot find a reason why Train Now would be better besides things like motivation or being scared of the calendar
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So what’s your plan for Train Now? Two VO2 workouts and easy elsewhere? Just whatever is ‘recommended’?

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I’ve got the guts of 6 and a half weeks to go, so will do a TN workout on Tuesday and Thursday and then one of my B events at the weekend.

Tuesday will be threshold (1hr) Thursday will be sweetspot (1hr 15 or 1hr 30 depending on how I feel)

The events are a mix of short circuit Crits so spiky power surges then easier drafting.

On the weekends I have no event I will throw in another workout (probably VO2 but depends on how I feel)

One weekend is a TT and I also have another TT on one Tuesday - both 10 mile rolling courses. So l will count them instead of the Threshold workout that week.

I’m expecting that I ought to be able to bump up through the difficulty PL on both threshold and sweetspot a little over the course of the 6 weeks but have plenty of wiggle room.

I will see what gets recommended and use that as a steer to modify my thinking (the threshold / sweetspot framework is just somewhere to begin)

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Honestly, this is my current plan as well. I have a trip as my “A event” planned but it’s not a race - just something to plateau towards. I was able to do sweet spot base LV 1 and 2 with no issues. Then I got COVID during the recovery week of SSBLV2 and needed two weeks off. Then had to work myself back in to training. Tried to restart SSBLV2 and got gastroentiritis from my kids one week in completely crushing that plan as well. It is also difficult to do one outdoor ride around here only Z2 and when I ride with others you are somewhat beholden to the group’s pace and if it’s super intense it needs to replace either the Vo2 or threshold in all honesty.

So I’m also planning on deleting my plans and just doing Train Now with whatever outside rides I want to do. I’m not the type to stay inside if its nice out to do structure if I could potentially ride outside instead (and don’t live in a place I could do the outside workouts).

I figure I ride because I love it and for fitness - I don’t race, and sometimes being beholden to the plans with two kids under 5 is too stressful (especially in the winter with all the daycare illnesses…)

Good luck!


I am doing something similar this year. Unpredictability of what races are happening (and what races that were cancelled in 2020 are… never coming back :cry: ), what races I can travel to, and just general life stress have led me to decide that any structured workout is better than feeling bad about not executing the plan as stated. So far, I am seeing a nice return to fitness this year along with flat-out enjoying being on a bike more. It may not be the perfect training plan, but it makes me feel much more flexible while still seeing steady progress, which at the end of the year is probably going to be better.

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I’m also switching to Train Now. The only thing I’ve noticed is that since it gives you a few choices of what workout to do, I have to keep a bit more conviction in doing the workout that may benefit me more, as opposed to the workout I desire to do most. That is, I have an easier time with Vo2 and Anaerobic workouts than with Threshold (hated seeing Threshold workouts in my plan)… so I have to fight the urge to just on choosing those Vo2/Anarerobics and force myself to do the Thresholds, as that is where my weakness is and the type of work that I need more of. Prior the TN, there was no such option, just had to do what was given.

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I’ve had a coach for a few years now. Not because I’m an elite athlete but because she does a great job of juggling multiple events, adjusting workouts around life, and making sure I get enough recovery.

Once I go back to self coached I’ll likely just use TrainNow for 2-3 workouts during the week, then weekends do my outside rides. Just to stay fit enough to still do some races.


Not sure if you listened to last weeks podcast but I am a little confused. I guess I put myself in the category of people that Jonathan mentioned who primarily ride but train when they get time with no specific goal in mind other than to be fit and fast and maybe do an occasional race here and there. He mentioned that TrainNow is a great tool that looks at the work that you have done over the past days (including outdoor rides) and recommends a workout based on those past workouts. I took away from the discussion with Amber that TrainNow actually does look at unstructured rides and I think Jonathan mentioned that whilst is in its infancy it would be built up with more smarts in future. So, up until now I was doing a low volume plan, where I would swap out a Sat or Thur workout for a groupride and add a TrainNow whenever I wanted to train between the scheduled workouts of the LV plan. Based on what was discussed in the podcast, if TrainNow is looking at my unstructured rides outside as well as the TR workouts and bases its recommendations off those, then why would I use anything other than TrainNow acknowledging that the TR plans would be more applicable if I had a specific goal in mind.
Am I right in that thinking?

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I used train now in-season last year and it worked great for me. I wasn’t using a TR plan, but had specific ideas of what kind of workouts I wanted to do, and train now made it very easy to just grab a 60 minute threshold workout or whatever that was reasonably progressed from what I was doing.

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I may have heard wrong but I thought they said that is a top priority to get in there. I don’t think it is there now. I could be wrong

Could well be right, I was doing VO2 intervals when I was trying to listen to it. :smiley: Just had a quick re-listen and a few things:

  • At 58:55 Jonathan talks about TN looking at “outside rides”
  • At 1:06:00 They talk about TN to “top off” training during race seasons, so if you race on the weekend then you can use the recommended workouts from TN.

I guess what I assumed, especially from the second point above (being that races definitely aren’t structured workouts :smiley: ) is that TN must be looking at these races in order to determine what TrainNow workout to prescribe. ie. Lets say you were doing a taper week and did no structured training all week then had 3 races or stages Friday, Sat, Sun. Surely TrainNow would prescribe Endurance on Monday? Conversely, if it ignored outside rides or in this case races, it would be theoretically be a week off training and TN would again, theoretically, prescribe an attacking workout which would not be appropriate given that you would be blown from a 3 day stage race.

Does that make sense or am I totally overthinking this?? :smiley:

I was using a LV plan exactly as you did. I changed to TN as your description is how I view it’s utility as well.

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I think you’re correct but confess I’m not entirely certain, probably due to my lack of knowledge :thinking:

Since there is some confusion…

TrainNow DOES look at ALL rides (inside, outside, structured, unstructured, etc.) and makes its the “Recommended” suggestions based upon ALL of that the recent work. That is why Jon and others make the suggestion that it is a good option for those that are more “Ride Focused” without a particular goal event or progression in mind.

Adaptive Training DOES NOT look at “unstructured” rides at present. It only leverages the TR Inside or Outside workouts when setting the Progression Levels and pending adaptations. This shortcoming is the thing that is being discussed as a pending fix with the “Levels 2.0” that has been mentioned on the cast and forum.


The TrainNow suggestion could have been made for other reasons.

Thanks @mcneese.chad …. This provides the clarity I was looking for. Switching to TrainNow from here on in, seems like the perfect tool for my needs. Ie. Train some days, group rides others and a race here and there! :clap:t2:

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