Worst Cinnamon Roll Recipe Ever. 0/5. I substituted anchovies for the cinnamon, and.... What changes are OK, and what mess w your plan?

This post is a serious question, meant to foster good discussion. The joke is a side dish.

I’m brand new to TR but have already seen many posts or comments along the lines of the titular joke. I have a chuckled and moved on. Obvi you can’t swap all your Z2 for VO2 max @ 110% and complain you got burnt out.

Then last night I’m having fun and feeling great on Galena-2 Sweet Spot, so around 75% mark bumped it up to 105%, and then around 80% mark bumped it up to 110%.

I felt great after! Think it was a good call. I think…

But did I just take my first step onto the dark side, and if I keep going on this path, in a few months I’ll wake up one day and find myself a certified dork, posting a comment like the titular joke, complaining that I don’t like anchovies in my cinnamon rolls, and who thought up this garbage recipe in the first place?!?! :laughing:

Seriously: Can some TR deity or coach direct us to a list of “OK to adjust or change” and “DO NOT adjust or change” ?

Like can you mess w your intensity %, or no, don’t? Or like yeah, fine, but NEVER more than 120% ? Is it actually OK to straight up swap workouts, like if you just feel like a VO2 instead of an endurance, that’s just fine?

I know this question is a bit sloppy. To try to tighten it up:

There are so many options and changes and adjustments we can make, that it’s a bit intimidating.

As a brand new TR user, with at bright, new, shiny, intelligently designed, and as yet unadulterated plan, what adjustments should I feel free to mess around with to keep it interesting without damaging the plan, and what should I really keep my hands off?


The guideline that I use is based on “removing the fence” logic:
If you can’t explain why the fence is there and what it does, you can’t tear it down. Once you fully understand why it’s there, then you can decide whether to keep it or not.

If you can explain the logic behind why the workout is planned the way that it is, in the part of the plan it currently is, and you have a valid reason to change it, go for it.

Obviously this logic immediately begs the question: do you know why you’re on the plan you’re on?

(Not intended at the OP, just as a general question).


It all depends, but a 110% SS workout strongly implies that your FTP is too low. Galena -2 at 110% puts me above threshold. Two 20 min reps above FTP is extremely, extremely difficult, and it is no longer a SS workout.

Theoretically, adaptive training should be making the necessary changes for you. For example if you do a threshold workout, lets say Eisenhower -2, and its “easy,” adaptive training will make the next threshold workout much harder.

IMO its better to be patient than making dramatic changes to the plans. It might feel like the workouts are “too easy,” but that is by far the exception with trainerroad users once you have more experience with the platform. Once you are in the build phase with an accurate FTP, i 100% guarantee you will not complain the workouts are too easy.


Personal opinion.

  • Adding Z1-2 volume is fine
  • Swapping out hard workouts for alternate workouts of same type and similar PL but shorter/longer duration is fine if your available time changes
  • Swapping a scheduled hard workout for a race or hard group ride isn’t ideal but probably a reality for a lot of us, just try not to do it every week
  • Turning an easy day into a day off is fine, if the plan says something like Pettit and your body is telling you you need to rest that’s OK
  • Adding in volume >Z2 should be avoided, at some point the extra fatigue is going to impact your ability to do your scheduled hard workouts
  • Increasing the difficulty of scheduled workouts by either bumping up the intensity or picking a Stretch workout instead of a Productive one generally isn’t a good idea but I think is OK in certain circumstances. E.g. if TR doesn’t have much good data to work with, either because you’re just getting back into training after a break, or are new to TR, or have been doing a lot of unstructured but productive training, meaning your AI FTP and/or PLs might not be that accurate, then jumping ahead a bit might be OK. But once you’re into consistent training and TR has good data to work with I think it’s generally best to stick to what’s advised.

If you increase intensities, you start to move into other energy systems that the workout isn’t designed to work. Sure, you could do Petit at 150%, but then it isn’t Petit anymore.

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Galena -2 is 2x20-min sweet spot with 5-min rest between, right?

Back to the fence analogy:

Major assumption

  • you have an accurate FTP.

In general the programming pattern for sweet spot workouts is to progress time.

For example over the course of a month or two, a more experienced cyclist, or someone with naturally good muscular endurance, might start with 2x20 and work up to a single 90-120 minute interval. Because they are targeting a PR on a major climb, or similar goal.

However… there are a lot of “it depends” and gotchas.

For example if you are targeting an hour or 90 minute climb, you can get really good at longer efforts by simply doing shorter mid-week sweet spot and over-under workouts, plus a longer 50-90 minutes of sweet spot on Saturday, and a total of 9-10 hours/week on the bike with most of that endurance riding.

Someone else can discuss what TR recommends, I just wanted to start with helping you understand one part of “the fence” without bringing the entire fence into the discussion.

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I like baking and analogies, so here’s my expansion;

  • “I used more/less filling to taste”= I added some extra endurance rides to my preference. Cool cool. There’s a dough ratio for everybody.

  • “I made this without cinnamon and now it’s bread, because I don’t like cinnamon rolls” = I swapped out all the sessions with long endurance rides. Bread is also good, but it sort of begs the question of why you didn’t just say you were making bread.

  • “I added more cinnamon” = more intensity. This might kill some people, but if it works for you I won’t tell you what to do.

  • “more cinnamon should be better, so I just ate the whole bag” = I did vo2 every day for the gainz. You are going to have a bad time.

  • “I added raisins” = I adjusted this for my weekly race/ group ride. Some people will say this has ruined the cinnamon roll. Others will say that there’s no point to a cinnamon roll without raisins. You do you. Don’t force your raisin preferences on everyone else.

  • “I made five of these for my diabetic grandson and they made him sick” = I followed the plan to a T while ignoring all my body’s signs of fatigue and now I’m burnt out.

  • “I made this keto using an equivalent amount of coconut flour and pure stevia and it was terrible” = I tried this in a massive calorie deficit/ outdoors in rush hour traffic/wildly outside of general TR recommendations. Look, maybe it’s not made entirely explicit, but a bit of prior research can be the difference between enjoying a pretty good cinnamon roll that doesn’t derail your other life goals and a brick. Sometimes if you want cinnamon rolls that taste exactly like grandma’s you have to listen to her though.

  • “I added anchovies” = I used the crit plan for my ironman and I couldn’t swim. Maybe you were looking for a pizza roll recipe?

  • “This didn’t work and I don’t know why” = sorry man, sometimes it just doesn’t work for you. Yeast is weird. Bodies are weird. Maybe grab one on the cafe ride and try something else?


“I baked it at 400 instead of 350 and they burnt” = I did high volume despite not having interval training experience and being advised not to and now I am burnt out.

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Typically, my rule of thumb is that I add intensity on the last week before a rest week. Usually it is only the very last workout of the week.

If my workouts are WAY too easy, I might choose a workout with a higher progression level to help speed it along, but I don’t up the intensity.

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