Why isn't this working? I'm getting...slower using TrainerRoad? How do I get this turned around?

I do intervals outside, although from my house its a short warmup before hitting long uninterrupted stretches of road. Not everyone is so lucky, from having commuted by bike I know that traffic lights are a total buzz kill when doing intervals.

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This is a really good thread and I am working my way through myself.

I am really down in the dumps at the moment weight-wise after having the last 6 months off.

Looking for this Matt Fitzgerald book, I found he also has written a 4-8 week one too. Have you ever looked into that one?

In Racing Weight, is it more long-term or does it allow you to drop weight fast?

My problem is I do not think I eat enough because I am afraid of putting weight on!!!

I believe Matt touches on this pitfall in both of his books (Racing Weight & The Endurance Diet). To start off I would encourage you to view his methodologies as a lifestyle rather than a quick fix. What really helped me in the beginning was to look at it as building a solid foundation, by unlearning bad habits and creating new & better ones instead. That being said I feel that his 4-8 week plan is a great place to start. I personally did not take the 4-8 week route outlined in his book, but I have heard good things about it.

I can totally relate. I started pursuing better fitness in April of 2018 and the Endurance Diet was a big part of that. Now one plus year later I am 30 pounds lighter but more importantly my endurance has skyrocketed. Last year I could not ride more than 90 minutes or about 20km before I was wrecked. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I completed my first imperial century (100km) in about 4.5 hours (a mixture of gravel and pavement). At the end I felt like I could have kept going too, but my wife was blowing up my Wahoo Bolt with “get your butt home” texts :laughing:

I am not trying to toot my own horn but rather illustrate that Matt’s diet advice did not make me the rider I wanted to be overnight (or even in a few months). Rather it took over a year and I am still not there yet. I needed to build a solid foundation first before I could focus on building anything else. Some folks foundation is easier and quicker to build. In my case it took roughly a year. You might take longer or you might not. There is no way to tell until you start down the road, which is why I think it is imperative to view the endurance diet as a lifestyle instead of a fast way to get where you want to be…

So, that was a long winded way of saying “Go for it!” :smiley: and if you are so inclined let us know how it is going for you.

I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it is in the valleys I grow.

It may be somewhat of a corny quote but nevertheless it accurately summarizes my approach/mentality during the last 13+ months. :blush:


Thanks for the prompt response.

I’m left wondering where @Grasschopper is currently. It would be good to hear how he is getting on.

It really appears to be a great forum with lots of positivity.

As for me, I’m a frustrated Time Triallist this year.

I started cycling in 2015 after 28 years lay-off. I wanted to beat my old TT records from when I was a teenager. I took it steady from the start in June until December that year.

2016 came and went. I cannot remember how many miles I did. I had an operation in Jan or Feb which laid me off the bike for around 8 weeks.

2017 saw me cover 6000 miles to the mile. Again, it started with an operation in January, again spending around 8 weeks off the bike. The last week of 2017 I covered 60 miles a day for 7 days to reach the target 6000 and had done a 131 mile Audax in the early December. I was riding strong. I had dropped from 96kg (2015) to 78 kg (Dec 2017). In Sept 2017, I broke my 25 mile TT record by 15 seconds reducing it to 1:02:28 seconds on the same bike I competed on in 1987! I did this primarily because I could not justify the cost of upgrading a bike to ‘buy’ time and speed. It was therefore a target worthy of chasing.

2018 saw me considerably reduce mileage with the hope that I would focus. I joined TR and got Strava Premium. I rode fairly strong in my terms up until I came off in the National VTTA 25 mile TT Championships. I would have broken the hour that day but only just. The rest of the year went pretty well once I had recovered from a stiff shoulder and I felt I ended the season on a high.

A friend then challenged me to run a 5km course. In my mind, I targetted beating 30 minutes as I had not run for 11 years. I didn’t break the target but got 30:44 on a hilly course. I was over the moon until my legs became unusable for about 4 days after. I think I probably damaged some tendons with that stupid effort.

I then did an Audax in late September and got some pulls on my right adductor and hamstring. Not going well. I ended the year with another Audax in November where my right tendon? or muscle behind my left knee became badly aggravated. This put paid to any more mileage in 2018.

So, in 2019, I managed 30 miles in February and then straight into the racing season in March.

I managed two personal worsts of 1:13:02 for our 20 mile hilly Circuit TT and 33:42 for our hilly 10 mile TT but I did both of those races on a Dawes Galaxy steel touring bike as I figured the extra weight would help with getting me fitter quicker.

Am now down to 57:18 and 26:45 respectively with last Circuit TT being tomorrow. I was hoping to get near my PB of 54 but I very much doubt that will be a possibility as I’m just not putting enough time in.

I’ve read this whole thread with great interest and I need to get fuelling, as well as training, in hand. I am back up at 88kg having been up to 91kg in the last few weeks.

I started with the Ramp Test last Sunday afternoon after having done the Circuit TT in the morning. It showed I had lost 10% power since the full 20 min FTP I did last May. Bear in mind, that I would have got a fair bit stronger last season by September and then NOTHING!

So rather frustratingly I am now yet again less powerful than I was years ago!!

I decided to use SSBMV last week but after reading this post switched to LV midweek after I simply didn’t have the mojo to complete one session.

One thing I do struggle with is working in Club Time Trial on Tuesday. I think I’ll just have to play it by ear.

Next weekend I have my first 25 mile TT all being well so I will substitute the TT with Antelope as that is 5 x 10 minute at 94% anyway. I am watching my Fatigue in Strava very closely.

I am not sure if it is possible but I am aiming to finally break the hour in September of this year. I think next week, I will be over the moon if I can manage below 1:06:00 for the 25 miles.

Last night’s Baxter session was just about bearable for me. It felt real ugly around 50 - 65 minutes. It was the longest session I’ve ever done on a turbo trainer.

I apologise if this turns out to be an epic post when I click Submit…

Well Grasschopper is still left wondering if TrainerRoad is right for him. And in all honesty I think it isn’t but that’s no fault of TrainerRoad it has more to do with what I need to make ME a faster cyclist…and that’s weight loss more so than an increase in FTP. And there are a lot of factors as well. I had lost 50+ pounds and was feeling great before jumping into training with TR…but that had caused me to back off my diet and get a bit lazy with my food choices. Then I added in TR and the volume was lower what I had been doing and at the same time I kept having people here tell me I needed to fuel properly for the workouts as I had struggled a bit. So I ate more.

So that left me riding less and eating more…which has been a recipe for weight gain. Yes I get it that means I’m eating too much and of not the right things. In the last few weeks I’ve refocused my diet quite a bit…it’s been over a week since I’ve had a donut for instance…yeah it was bad. I’m starting to run and my partner seems to have convinced me that I should sign up for a triathlon. Down a couple of pounds this week after 3-4 weeks of just maintaining. We just finished up the Century specialty plan and leave on Wednesday for CA to go to the Yosemite Cycling Camp hosted by The Vegan Cyclist. At this point that will be the true test of how well the TR plan has prepared me.

Where will I go from there? Honestly not sure. I love the TR Ask a Cycling Coach podcast and learn so much almost every week. I do believe that the plans are laid out in a very intelligent way and IF I was a racer and training for some specific event I’m sure they are great. But I’m just a middle aged, overweight , dude who loves riding bikes and quite frankly junk miles help keep my weight down. No I don’t get as strong as fast as I would, but I enjoy the countryside and stay healthy. I just don’t have the time to do everything I need to do to get the same out of TrainerRoad. Or the desire to do it all inside. I am excited by the new outdoor features and am going to try it…but just going out for a ride gets in the way of my training…and training gets in the way of going out for a ride many times.

Now I think it is great for my partner, she REALLY likes the workouts and is building her FTP up and preparing for some upcoming races. She is also much happier than I am to just sit inside on the trainer. So long term see her maintaining a subscription…while I see myself not renewing after my year is up at this point.

Now if TR had a weight loss focused plan. Set of 30 min to one hour workouts set up 4-5 times a week? That would be up my alley. And I know I can sift around through the workouts and find ones that fit, but I can do that on Zwift too and not pay the additional subscription. To me the benefit of TR is the thought put into the plans and it seeming like you have a coach.

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”New cyclists as well as those who are focused on weight loss may wish to repeat this phase back-to-back thereby extending it to twice its length for a total of 8 weeks.”

Traditional base mid volume: Log In to TrainerRoad

Maybe toss in one vo2max session per week.

Personally I need about 7-10 hours a week to burn enough to lose weight.

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Here’s the issue…THAT plan would make me quit TR faster than anything. Those intensities and durations are mind numbing for me…just looking at it makes me not want to start. That said given my other post on VO2 max etc I also feel strongly that doing that would benefit me. It’s just when do I do it?

I just saw a study that said the average person (in the study) needed to burn 3000 cal per week through exercise for fat loss. People in the study that burned 1500 calories a week in exercise simply maintained.

So back to what would help ME (and I know that isn’t for everyone) lose weight and stick with TR it would be workouts less than an hour 4-5 times a week. Looking at HIIT workouts not base. When I have my kids (50/50 custody with ex wife) my training time is crunched, plus just cut out 8-5 M-F because of work. So I’m NOT getting up at 4:30a to do 2 hours of base and after work, make dinner for kids, eat dinner, looking at 7:00p-9:00p for a 2 hour endurance ride? Just don’t have that in me either, especially after a hard day at the office. But 30-60 min before work…or at lunch…plus longer rides on the weekends. THAT I can do.

Again this all goes into why I’m not sure TR is right for me. I’m actually thinking that taking up running is really going to help. I can go out at lunch and do 30-40 min…or get it in before the kids get up in the morning. Just have to keep an eye on the fatigue and make sure I don’t burn my legs up too much.

Then it seems like the Time Crunch 30 (Mid Vol) or Time Crunch 45 (Mid Vol) might be more like what you are discussing?

Sweet spot work has been my go to for burning a metric crap ton of calories in a reasonable amount of time. For me it’s a guarantee to lose weight with nothing more than watching portion sizes. We all have to find what works, I gave my 2 cents and hope you find your solution!


I actually have something that I’m going to try after the camp this week, I’m going to do the specialty plan HIT Maintenance Mid Vol 1. That gies me 2 60 min workouts during the week…then longer rides on the weekends. I plan to do 2 weeks on and then a recovery week which will take the 8 week part 1 of this plan and make it 11 weeks. It also happens to land a recovery week on a week I had planned for a family vacation which works out great.

We will see how that gets me through the summer. Some rides will be skipped for sure as I opt for outdoors stuff. Again for me this is just about being better for my outdoor rides not for any super specific race…though I do want to ride well in my father’s charity event in October which is a 5 mile hill climb TT. So for that weight loss REALLY is the limiting factor for my performance.

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I agree, a lot of people have talked about that, but the key is finding what works for you. If I were to eat what a lot of people did, I would be 20 lbs heavier. As a woman, I also need to be careful about fasted rides. I know there are huge proponents of fasted riding here, but women’s bodies don’t respond the same way as most men’s bodies do. My body responds well to vo2max work to lose weight, and I just eat about a half cup of plain greek yogurt with local honey right before. But my body also needs sweet spot and sprinty work for other training aspects.

Everyone is different, and it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for YOU.


^ this.

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I’m trying to imagine what my life would be like if I consistently and unfailingly completed those workouts week after week. So much intensity for so little time on the bike! Thanks for bringing these to my attention, I didn’t know these two plans existed.

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They are jam packed with work. I haven’t done those specifically, but I’ve done other similar short HIIT plans like the Low Volume one. It can help over most other stuff when you are short on time and training days. Gotta make the most of what you have.

I’m late to this discussion, but hopefully you’ve continued with TR. You will NEVER outwork a poor diet. It is not the bike, trainer, TrainerRoad or any specific fitness plan that will be your savior. Working out hard and consistent does not then allow you to let your diet slip. You shouldn’t workout so you can eat poorly, but rather eat healthy so you can workout effectively. The “eat more” advice refers to the on bike nutrition, meaning fueling your rides/workouts. Pounds are however lost in the kitchen and exercise resulting in calories burned supplements that.

What has worked for me (dropping 20 lbs) was to learn to stop eating when I am no longer hungry, instead of when I’m full or stuffed. I got so used to that full feeling or needing to finish my plate that I was always over eating. Now I just eat healthy when I’m hungry but stop well before I’m full. If I’m truly hungry an hour later I eat a little more, but I’m no longer afraid to stop eating and leave half my plate full. It was also really easy for me to overeat as I tend to eat fast and still feel hungry in the moment. I learned that my body takes 10-15 minutes after eating to signal to my head that I’m satisfied.

I’m late to respond to this, but you can just stir in some eggwhites to your oatmeal once it’s cooked (not when it’s still on the heat or else they’ll scramble).

A couple quick questions…

I’ve sort of thrown in the towel on dropping weight during this season. I’m in the second round of ssb → short power build, and decided the training was just too demanding to drop real weight (I’m down like 2-3 pounds).

My new plan was to get serious about weight loss after cross season and a brief rest after, when I would start the next season with traditional base (probably mid volume), losing weight during thr traditional base, then maintaining weight while going through ssb - build - CX spec.

Would you recommend SSB for cutting weight over traditional? Say…maybe do SSB1 twice while cutting weight before moving on?

I should note…I’m looking to drop ~10 pounds…maybe 15 at the absolute most if it seems feasible as I get into it.

Hrmm. Just looked over ssb1 again…not sure I’m excited at tge prospect of over unders while cutting weight.

BUT…alternating days of say carson with lazy mountain 6 days a week might be a good way to keep decent fitness while losing weight?

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Things I would consider if weighing a decision between Traditional Base and SSB:

  • achievable calorie burn
  • integrating weight lifting into schedule
  • integrating two-a-days into schedule
  • differences between workouts in Trad Base (aerobic endurance) and SSB. For example maybe I’ve been doing too much intensity and it would be a good change to do aerobic endurance. Or perhaps I don’t realize my ftp is too high, and SSB is more like threshold work, and I’d benefit from a block of aerobic endurance. While you may respond to traditional base mid volume, in general the long slow distance approach requires ramping volume from say 12-20 hours in order to get full benefit.

so not an easy question to answer…

the calories for week 2 (for an ftp of 222W):

  • 3664 for traditional base 1 mid volume
  • 3337 for SSB1 mid volume

Gonna just swag it and say calories burned are roughly comparable between SSB and Trad Base, however I didn’t look at calories beyond week2. Looking back at past periods when weight came off easy, I was burning around 4500-6500 calories a week from cycling. At that level it starts to become a struggle to eat enough, and eat enough carbs/protein…

You’ll have to answer other considerations yourself.

I’m currently coming back from months of very low cycling activity (injury, work travel, long vacation). That was a primary reason I picked traditional base (mid volume), along with a desire to integrate strength training and restart doing two-a-days. Looking to drop 20 pounds over 5 months. Just finished week 1 of traditional base 1 and skipped ramp test and logged 6.5 hours and roughly 3000 calories burned. Had to travel two days mid-week and restarting training plus travel left me pretty tired and somewhat cranky, so I’m thankful for 3-day weekend and getting more sleep (although I got up at 5:30am to do an outside ride on Sunday).