Who's over 60 y/o and using TR?

You could choose the LV plan and add another workout day of your own choosing. Sort of LV+ if you were.

If you look at the plans as a grid then there’s a definite pattern. For example in SSBLV2 each row has a VO2max day and two threshold days. Go down the columns and each workout gets a little harder, either by more intervals or shorter rest between intervals. Add a day that stresses whatever you think your weak point(s) is/are and do similar - Look in workouts and filter accordingly and order by TSS or IF and add them to your personal plan.

So you might want a longer workout, say 2hrs, and target zone is tempo. Using those criteria gives you 21 workouts to play with.


Interesting reading and the insights of us experienced riders. I’m 63 and currently 151lbs after getting I’ll around Christmas and missed 3 weeks and worse, 3 counting events for the North West Cyclo Cross league. I’ve been using TR for just on a year and maintaining an ftp of 225, 3.3w/kg, but I the summer I was at 3.5.
I use the low volume plans for the quality workouts and supplement with road rides and cx rides in the Autumn.
I also like to get out with the young riders i coach, you can pass on so much more riding alongside someone, especially with skills and tactics.
I run a cx coaching session once a week from September and had one of my “lads” pick up a National title in the U14s race.
I find the ramp test to intense and prefer the 20min test even though I can handle VO2 workouts ok.
Presently just starting LVSS1, then Power mv build and this year Rolling road low volume to build into a few crits and short road races. Then build another base before the cx season.
I use the Polar Flow Orthostatic tests and try and stay within the balanced zone for training, though races do push into the strained zone. I advocate the use of HRV monitoring for my athletes as well.
The other topic not mentioned is the custom workouts. I use the Workout Creator tool to reduce the peaks in workouts I find too challenging, and increase the recovery to simulate real world riding. It’s easy to use and can be so much more effective than suffering unduly on a workout designed for a younger rider.


TrainerRoad has the knob for modifying intensity during the ride, but wouldn’t it be great if there was some “age-scaling” setting(s) that would automatically clip the top off the VO2Max level, and insert more recovery time between intervals. Maybe that would be enough so that 99% of the canned workouts, when age-scaled, would be usable as is.

I’m probably oversimplifying the problem, but it sure seems like only a few extra settings would make this possible.

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That’s a good idea and tool. I’ve used the Elite HRV app in the past with my Wahoo Tickr first thing in the morning. I will restart that practice as I ramp up my training. For those who may not be aware, HRV gives you a morning readiness reading based on the variability between your heartbeats. https://help.elitehrv.com/article/67-what-are-r-r-intervals

We’ve got a few things cooking that will help with this. Now that we have plan builder we have a ton more flexibility. Amber’s working on something pretty sweet at the moment, then once that’s out and stable we’re going to work on different work:recovery ratios.

I can’t promise any timelines at the moment though.


This is really good to hear Nate thanks. The sooner the better :+1:


Thanks, Nate. Great to hear that your team is working on this. I actually just posted a question on the podcast based on this thread, FWIW. One of the suggestions I saw in comments on this article, https://blog.trainerroad.com/how-aging-athletes-can-get-faster/ is to stretch a 7 day plan into 9. That seems like a sound approach, and one I may try in moving to the SSBMV plan next week. Doing 90/90 minutes or 90/120 back-to-back days in the MV plan probably does not permit enough recovery for most over 60 cyclists. An option in PB to spread the week’s plan over 9 days hopefully would be a relatively easy tweak.


The thread @DavidWms started and now this post from @Nate_Pearson is a big tonic to this geezer. I remember early TR blogs on “older rider,” which was used synonymously with “Masters,” of which @Chad on the podcast was the example, with continuing podcast jokes about poor old Methuselah. Yeah, right. I was 75 then (nearly 79 now), and doddering old Chad was almost 10 years younger than my son! I remember my ears perking up when on another podcast Nate briefly mentioned putting his 70-year-old mom on the trainer, and I thought “Hey, I really am in the club, and I’ll bet she gives him an earful of things to thing about!” :wink:

Personally, I’d have set the geezer age at 65 for a number of reasons — e.g. average retirement age, which frees up time — but won’t quibble as long as it’s recognized that we really old people have goals just as passionately felt but different from young crit-racers or downhillers, or even “Masters” Chad’s age. I’m also heartened that Amber may be helping on this, so we don’t have to start the letter-writing campaign to Nate’s mom. She consistently mines out the potential in apparently daunting situations (e.g. rain or a loony physiology) so I trust her to treat advanced age as cheerfully.

The wish list has already started. I won’t add to it until after I find time to post my list of specific reasons why I feel so deeply indebted to the TR team, despite being such an outlier in the demographic, and maybe irrelevant to TR’s mission of getting me ever faster. :rofl: For now just an observation about the demographics. Sure, there are a fair number of us older people here in the forum and/or subscribing to TR. But beyond that, age is a different kind of outlying than some other parts of one’s profile — like height, weight, disabilities, genes, etc. Although only a handful of current TR users are close to 80 today, absolutely 100% of them will be someday, unless they die first. So they too have a stake in this topic, and are welcome.

I don’t know if @scotscyclist65 meant it that way but I just love the black humor of:

The sooner the better :+1:


Thanks for the prompt and very encouraging reply.


@Nate_Pearson this is awesome. Can’t wait to see what you guys are cooking up.

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Question to all the older athletes here.

Would you rather have more time between intense workouts?


Recovery weeks more often (2:1 probably).

Or, a mix of both!


I am 57 and nearing my first year of indoor training and TR after too many of doing nothing. Sometime in 2018 I woke up to the realization that I wanted to retire with all the health to enjoy the freedom for a long time, and so I dropped 40lbs and started the Work (hovering around 190 FTP these days, 2.5 W/kg).

Never having had a coach, I am in serious debt to coach @chad or all the things he taught me, and yet after reaching SSBMV2 last fall I just had to stop because those all-too frequent VO2 spikes where killing me. Probably, from what I read around this forum I just needed a stronger aerobic base, and for now I found the best way to go via Today’s Plan, and due to a “simple” feature: I could have their plan adapt to the amount of time I have on each day. If TR had this (so as not to be saddle with long workouts before certain workdays), I would jump back (of course I kept my subscription!). More “target options” for the plan builder would be good, too, in addition to those focused on races, breaking down the large endurance segment in a few parts.

I am one of those who wish for a middle way between Traditional and something like SSBMV2.

As others have said, I have also found that working on Xert was better adapted to my older/inexperienced legs by not necessarily saddling me with Spanish Needles (offering me options: it would be great if one day TR could also offer a few options as Xert does, so that on any day we could choose depending on how we feel, and yet satisfy training needs).

Otherwise, @Nate_Pearson, I suspect that smoothing out the intensity spikes would be best for someone like me, and not just put the emphasis on “more recovery,” because I doubt that any amount of recovery would make me feel ready for Spanish Needles :slight_smile:

I would rather have more time between intense workouts.


I manage my issue myself. I need more time between tough intervals, and I can do that myself. If there is a 4 minute valley between rough spots, I mentally commit to riding out 3 minutes of them, just to convince myself “that last one didn’t kill you, yet, but you’re not ready for the next one.” Then, with 1 minute before the next one, before the instructions start again, I get off, go get a glass of water, drink two, then start up the workout again. I guess this isn’t back pedaling, but back piddling.

I’m 67 and so far, I keep progressing a bit, 20 watts up from last year, doing the same plan I can compare.


Of course, I’d like to have both options. But if I had to choose, I’d opt for more time between intense workouts. The SSB LV of 3 workouts per week is (at least so far) not challenging enough, but the SSB MV of 5 workouts with 2 back-to-back weekend sessions seems too intense for most older cyclists. And since older cyclists eventually retire (not there yet!), their schedules are not wedded to a strict 7-day schedule around a 5-day work week. Stretching those challenging weeks for more recovery time in between seems to make the most sense.

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both. This is my take:

  • recovery weeks for me vary, I can handle 3:1 and have even done well with 5:1 during base, but come build and the higher intensity work pushes me to 2:1
  • 2 intense workouts a week during build/specialty is likely all I can handle with adequate recovery to go hard a 2nd time (during base I can handle more sweet spot work). I’ve bombed out on build (reasons below) and just started doing one or two weekly focused workouts on the trainer and turned my attention outside.
  • there needs to be a persistent setting to customize vo2 interval workouts in terms of the # sets/intervals -simply put there are times (e.g. newer riders, long break from vo2 work) when the number of sets appropriate for a 20-40 yr olds is the wrong starting point for 50-70 yr olds
  • there needs to be a persistent setting to customize vo2 workouts with the appropriate %ftp for individual physiology, although this rqmt transcends age
  • in the past you’ve described modifying plans to be fatigue dependent but plan builder doesn’t allow for custom blocks, and I can’t find any plans with that type of weekly structure. And going with low volume and adding lower-intensity volume doesn’t feel compatible with plan builder, especially when combined with needing to insert extra recovery weeks from time to time

My 2 cents. I’m not 60, yet, have managed to do SSB1-HV (not recently) but without the right tools or self-coaching fundamentals have managed to get annihilated by build and turned my attention to outside riding. Hope that helps.


Goodness, you’re fast, Nate! And good question.

Fast answer is: Both of course. if it doesn’t break anything, including the bank.

Better answer, for me, is neither yet. TR is already amazingly flexible and even an old coot like me can figure out how to tweak this and that and concoct pretty much anything he wants, even a monster.

First I’d like to know way better than I do – maybe a segment on a podcast – what a geezer in particular should hasten to tweak in a TR plan or workout and what should be left well enough alone. Is there any science-based best practice that could guide answers to the questions you’re asking? If you just give me what I think I want I may turn into Dr Frankenstein.

I realize it’s reversing my joking endorsement of “the sooner the better”, but I’d rather see a deep dive before a quick fix unless it’s something really easy.

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Both would be preferable. I have to admit I’m currently looking at how best to structure my training. As a triathlete I have three sports to juggle. I’m leaning towards a 2:1 schedule. Thanks again for the prompt reaction.

I would like to have the ability to space my weekly workouts out over say a 9 day cycle as opposed to the default 7 day cycle.

I’d also like to be able to choose whether I want a 3:1, or a 2:1, or even a 1:1 hard:easy cycles and be able to adjust this for each of the three phases (Base, Build, Speciality).

I would also like to have the ability to choose “Tradional Base” instead of the “Sweetspot Bases” whilst using the “Plan Builder”.