Your thoughts....TR needs some abbreviated/shorter plans

Im just wrapping up my base/build/specialty mid volume plan…24 weeks/6 months ( I did a hybrid ss base plan of 8 weeks)…honestly I don’t even want to ride my bike or even look at my trainer at this point…this happened to me two years ago after doing the entire 28 week plan…I just got burned out. Last year I did SS base 2 then a 12 week Sufferfest plan that totalled 18 weeks and honestly I was much more eager to ride and felt fresher through the season. To each his own and everybody is different…I am 51 and been racing since 2011 but have been a life long rider…I race CAT 1 MTB and used to race road until I had two bad crashes…but I still ride road primarily for training. I think a shorter base/build/specialty plan of 16-20 weeks would just add to TR’s arsenal and also allow more time crunched riders to participate without having to hack up the current plans. 28 weeks is a huge commitment for all but the most dedicated riders, I for one need something shorter.


Chop off half of build and half of specialty next time if you want.

Half of Build
Half of Speciality

20 weeks.


Agree with @stevemz. I wouldn’t skimp on base. Hell, I’d extend it if I had more time.


What % of your rides were outdoors during the 24 weeks?

I’m doing the MV plans and have been riding outside on Sunday’s. I find its a great mental shift to keep me motivated on the trainer, without disrupting the key sessions of the week.

Maybe even consider a full week of outdoor riding in between plans to mix things up and come back mentally refreshed.

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Which half would be better to do, first or last?

First half of both.


Agreed…would not skip base but would be nice to have a coach design a 8 week build/specialty plan so I know it was designed correctly. I live in Reno and am not much for riding in cold or foul weather so I have ridden outside twice this year as our weather has been horrible.

Forgive me if this moves the thread in another direction, but I’d love to see a TR “summer weight” plan that gives me two high intensity indoor rides a week, knowing that I will get the rest of my work outdoors. I am approximating that now by dropping my weekly endurance ride off the LV plans.

I do Trainer Road so I can ride outdoors with more power and speed. Training indoors will never be, for me, an end unto itself. So when it comes to blending the two, it’s TR that needs to fit in and not the other way around.


I know this is TR, but please check out FasCatCoaching. Frank and his team have some of these shorter plans you are seeking.

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I like this idea of the “summer weight” only I’ve been calling it the “minimal maintenance plan”.

I’m taking a year off any racing and so have no specific goals other than to not totally tank. I just went through SSBLV1&2 just in time to take advantage of nicer outdoor weather on the east coast.

After searching around some I’ve settled on the Olympic Tri low volume build plan. Two rides a week seem like something that should keep me where I am.

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This is really best addressed by adding the Low Volume plan of your choice and either ignoring or manually deleting the Saturday rides. It is that simple and I think the best way to handle these special cases.

We need to use the plans as a foundation and add the control via the freedom we have to adjust the plans after they are added to our calendar. Otherwise, we could have dozens of the versions because not everyone will want the same modifications. I just don’t see it as practical to offer and maintain.


If you’re feeling burned out on the mid-volume plan, perhaps try the low volume plan.

I agree that hitting all of the workouts on the mid-volumes can be mentally draining. However, I seem to experience zero burnout if I do the low volume plan mixed with a mountain bike ride on Wednesday and Sunday of every week.

Based on some of the other threads, the Individualized Artificial Intelligence training plan might soon be on the way. Concept 2 has a fully periodized interactive indoor rowing training plan that is generated from user inputs. That would be nice to have for cyclists, as most users are not that familiar with designing periodized training plans themselves, that’s why we are here.

I don’t see the harm of TR adding a few shorter duration plans to their current library or at least give some direction on what weeks to delete or changes to make to get as much as possible out of the shorter plans…if we start making changes ourselves on the calender we are losing the benefit of having a coach design the plans.

I will often (2 or 3 times a month) skip a TrainerRoad workout at the weekend and go on a group ride with friends or my local club. It isn’t as intense as a TR workout, but it makes up for that a little as it is usually for longer.

That’s just the way it is and I enjoy it that way.

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I second some shorter and special case plans to round things out.

At this point, TR really has one plan - the standard base, build specialty progression of 26 weeks give or take. Then there are fairly subtle variations on the mix of workouts to come up with the roster of plans. TR has a thousand workouts and dozens of plans but things are actually pretty one dimensional.

Why not additions like a 6 week improve your sprint plan? or a 10 week “I screwed up, got hurt, some other excuse and I need to get in the best shape I can in 10 weeks” plan? There has from time to time been some talk of things like masters plans or shorter training camp plans but nothing rolled out.

Also there needs to be some more express acknowledgment that a huge chunk of TR users ride outside a lot at some point in the year and some structure for that.

I’d like to see TR put more emphasis on the coaching service aspect of its business model. But they seem laser focused on being a software company and that appears to be where all the resources go. And that has only increased of late. Lots of postings about hiring software engineers and new app features but no mention of getting Coach Chad some help.

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You could maybe try the Enthusiast plans?
They are under the specialty plans section and have maintenance and time crunched plans all lasting 8 weeks?

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With my reply, I was addressing the specific comments from Bthoffma about chopping down weeks. It was not directed at your idea for shorter plans. I see them as 2 very different goals, and should be addressed separately.

To your plan, I think a guide is practical as an appropriate start.

  1. It is faster to implement for one thing. A simple idea is often not easy to implement, Cutting plans is a good example of this as the right place to nip and tuck may not be obvious, and may well differ based on specific goals.
  2. Steve got it right, IMHO, and the only change I would make is to steal Week 8 from the Specialty and replace the Week 4 in that phase, so you get at least more of a taper.

This all gets messy when you realize the number of affected plans when it includes Base, Build, & Specialty. Then add in the 3 Volume options for each one. And then we have to consider if this is “bike-only” or if the Tri plans get similar treatment.

My point is that it is very possible, but no small task to undertake. There is no “harm” other than the time spent to make them in the beginning, and then the consistent maintenance that is also relevant to them (as we see in the existing plans every couple of years). That is a huge chunk of time to allocate and I question the payback by sub-dividing an already large number of plans to an even finer degree.


I get a strong feeling that most of your points are likely to be addressed with the pending product release(s).

  • Plan mods to suit individual needs is hinted at in various ways. Some seem to even point to machine learning and possible feedback given by the rider.

  • Outside stuff already became tracked via the calendar (ride imports), and the option to try and loosely follow workouts outside. This seems likely to expand and improve via the outside workouts shown in a couple of Nate’s recent outside rides on Strava. Some way to more directly learn and follow a structured workout outside, possibly via bike head unit or otherwise.

  • The training camps were mentioned, and then dropped, and then re-hinted. I like the concept and expect we will see some form of them in the future. Not sure if it will be part of these new tools or it’s own setup down the line? I am all for them in general and see them as easier to maintain than the “short plan” options requested above.

I disagree that they are just being a software company.

  • The emphasis and growth via the podcast in particular, but the forum, blog and Help Center articles are pointing to them offering a HUGE amount of info and guidance well beyond just the training app. They are clearly spending a lot of time (and money) to offer background on their choices, how to best use the app workouts and plans, and make people more knowledgeable riders.

  • It’s quite something when you consider that they are only making money on the single app aspect of all I mentioned above. Essentially, they are doing a TON of stuff that is free to any user, not just payed TR users.

  • In those cases and the potential machine learning (AI) side of the app, TR gives me the impression that they are planning to lead in the overall training area and are making strides in many directions, not just software.


Listen to the recent Velonews podcast with the founder of Xert. TR is already behind on this. Plus, they don’t give the impression they have the physiology/scientific horsepower in house or tied up through outside relationships to really score a home run in this area. Using AI to create truly customized and individualized plans is not just a software issue.