Plan Improvements: Short, General, and Sustained Build!

plans

#1

Last week we mentioned that we’re using data from millions of rides to help improve our training plans.

We’ve already updated Sweet Spot Base I/II Mid and Low Volumes . Today we’re making changes to our build plans.

How do I update a plan on the calendar to reflect these changes?
There are two types of changes: In place changes and workout changes. You don’t have to do anything for in place workout changes, they are automatically reflected on your calendar.

If you see something like this, Junction —> Junction -1 then that’s a workout change. To update those you have two choices:

  1. Remove the plan from your calendar and re-add it
  2. Find the specific workouts we changed and update those manually

Here’s what’s changed and why.

General Build Low Volume

Week 1 - Saturday - Spanish Needle —> Spanish Needle -3

Old - Spanish Needle

New - Spanish Needle -3


Change: The work intervals were reduced from 150% FTP to 140% FTP.

Reason: This is one of the highest failed workouts in our entire library. On top of that, it is scheduled during the same week as a ramp test. Even if riders could gut their way through it, it would impact their performance later in the plan. We can still get the desired adaptions with this workout and keep the whole plan/athlete in mind.

Week 5 - Saturday - Mount Goode +1 —> Mount Goode

Old - Mount Goode +1

New - Mount Goode


Change: The recovery periods went from 5 minutes at 60% to 8 minutes at 40%.

Reason: 5 minutes at 60% was not low/long enough for athletes to recover after a rigorous 15 minutes at near threshold. Having less rest did not increase the productivity of the workout.

Week 6 - Tuesday - Ansel Adams -1 —> Ansel Adams -2

Old - Ansel Adams -1

New - Ansel Adams -2


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 40 seconds to 50 seconds. The workout was split into multiple sets with less rest between sets.

Reason: 40 seconds rest between sets was too short after hitting 130% for 50 seconds. By breaking it up into multiple sets with less rest between sets, we’ll keep the productivity and form high and keep you “revved” for longer during the workout.

Week 7 - Tuesday - San Joaquin +4 —> San Joaquin +3

Old - San Joaquin +4

New - San Joaquin +3


Change: Total time at 130% was reduced from 30 minutes to 27 minutes. Sets were broken into smaller chunks with less rest between sets.

Reason: We still get close to the same amount of work time and give athletes more rest to keep form and productivity high.

Week 7 - Thursday - Kaiser +2

Change: We decreased the rest between sets from 6 minutes to 5 minutes and increased the rest between intervals from 3 minutes to 4 minutes.

Reason: We found that the classic “you only need equal rest between VO2 Max intervals” not to hold true. By looking at other workouts, we found that increasing the rest between intervals greatly increased the complaint rate.

That doesn’t change the nature of this workout or even the TSS. These intervals are supposed to be done while fully recovered. We broke them into sets before to make it a bit more interesting. And while there are still sets, the rest between those sets are just a little less.

General Build Mid Volume

Week 1 - Saturday - Spanish Needle —> Spanish Needle -3

Old - Spanish Needle

New - Spanish Needle -3


Change: The work intervals were reduced from 150% FTP to 140% FTP.

Reason: This is one of the highest failed workouts in our entire library. On top of that, it is scheduled during the same week as a ramp test. Even if riders could gut their way through it, it would impact their performance later in the plan. We can still get the desired adaptions with this workout and keep the whole plan/athlete in mind.

Week 3 - Saturday - Junction —> Junction -1

Old - Junction

New - Junction -1


Change: The final micro busts were broken into smaller sets with less rest between sets.

Reason: By adding a bit of rest we can let a bit more recovery happen and keep the intervals productive. Before these final intervals were a bit much to ask for after the race winner intervals at the beginning of the workout.

General Build High Volume

Week 5 - Saturday - Spanish Needle +3 --> Spanish Needle +2

Old - Spanish Needle +3


New - Spanish Needle +2

Change: Rest between sets was reduced and sets were increased.

Reason: We getgot the same amount of work at 150% FTP but broken out into more sets. This keeps the productivity/form high without changing the nature of the workout.

Week 5 - Thursday - Thimble +5 —> Thimble +4

Old - Thimble +5

New - Thimble +4


Change: Intervals subtly decrease to 121% over the course of each set

Reason: We can still keep aerobic uptake very high and increase the likelihood that you’ll complete the entire set. One minute on and 40 seconds rest is still very demanding.

Week 7 - Monday - South Twin +6


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 3 minutes to 5 minutes. Rest between sets was reduced from 8 minutes to 5 minutes. Endurance was reduced from 30 minutes to 25 minutes.

Reason: 3 minutes was not enough rests between intervals to keep the next interval productive.

Sustained Power Build Low Volume

No Changes :tada:

Sustained Power Build Mid Volume

Week 3 - Tuesday - Bashful +6


Change: Intervals were reduced to from 125% to 122%. Rest between sets was increased to 8 minutes.

Reason: A slight reduction in intensity makes this workout more productive. Extra rest between sets makes sure you’re recovered before the next set.

Week 6 - Tuesday - Monadnock +4


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 3 to 5 minutes, and rest between sets was decreased from 8 to 6 minutes. The endurance section was reduced from 30 minutes to 25 minutes.

Reason: 3 minutes wasn’t enough recovery time between intervals on this workout. The goal is to be very fresh for the next set. This change makes that happen.

Week 7 - Tuesday - Shortoff +4


Change: Warmup was changed to be more specific to this workout.

Reason: Rest between intervals was increased from 3 to 4 minutes, and rest between sets was decreased from 10 to 8 minutes. Three minutes wasn’t enough recovery time between intervals on this workout. The goal is to be very fresh for the next set. This change makes that happen.

Sustained Power Build High Volume

Week 2 - Thursday - Kosciuszko +4


Change: Rest between intervals increased from 3 minutes to 5 minutes. Endurance decreased from 30 minutes to 20 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 1 - Thursday - Wilhelm +5


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 3 minutes to 5 minutes. Endurance was decreased from 40 minutes to 30 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 3 - Tuesday - Dade +5


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 2.5 minutes to 4 minutes. Endurance was decreased from 25 minutes to 15 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 3 - Thursday - Elephants +5


Change: Rest between intervals increased from 4 minutes to 7 minutes. Endurance reduced from 35 minutes to 20 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these VERY demanding intervals.

Week 5 - Thursday - Mt Hale +6


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 7 minutes to 10 minutes. Endurance was decreased from 45 minutes to 40 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 6 - Tuesday - Mist +2


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 3 minutes to 5 minutes. Rest between sets was increased from 6 minutes to 8 minutes. The endurance section was removed.

Reason: Once again…we want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 6 - Thursday - Dicks +5


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 6 minutes to 8 minutes. Endurance was decreased from 30 minutes to 25 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 7 - Tuesday - Monadnock +5


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 4 minutes to 5 minutes. Endurance was decreased from 25 minutes to 15 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 7 - Saturday - Fish


Change: Recovery valleys were reduced in intensity to 40%. Rest between intervals was increased from 8 to 10 minutes.

Reason: The previous, higher level recovery intensity was too high. We also want you to be fresh for the demanding threshold intervals.

Short Power Build Low Volume

Week 1 - Thursday - Pierce


Change: Rest between sets increased from 4 minutes to 6 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 2 - Tuesday - Joe Devel +1


Change: Rest between sets increased from 7 minutes to 10 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 3 - Tuesday - Whiteface


Change: Rest between sets increased from 4 minutes to 6 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 3 - Thursday - Bashful +2


Change: Sets were previously all at 125%, now you grow from 121% to 125%.

Reason: 125% was a lot to ask for with that minimal amount of rest between intervals.

Week 3 - Saturday - Junction —> Junction -1

Old - Junction

New - Junction -1


Change: The final micro busts were broken into smaller sets with less rest between sets.

Reason: By adding a bit of rest we can let a bit more recovery happen and keep the intervals productive. Before these final intervals were a bit much to ask for after the race winner intervals at the beginning of the workout.

Week 5 - Thursday - Dade +1


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 2.5 minutes to 4 minutes. Rest between sets was decreased from 8 minutes to 6 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week5 - Saturday - Thor —> Thor -1

Old - Thor

New - Thor -1


Change: The threshold intervals were reduced from 105 to 102%.

Reason: 105% was a bit too much after those hard sprints. 102% is stil lchallenge but should let the rider complete all intervals.

Week 6 - Thursday - Matthes +1


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 3 minutes to 4 minutes. Rest between sets was decreased from 6 minutes to 4 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 6 - Tuesday - Williamson


Change: Rest between sets increased from 3 minutes to 4 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 7 - Thursday - Ansel Adams -1 -> Ansel Adams -2

Old - Ansel Adams -1

New - Ansel Adams -2


Change: Rest between sets is decreased and three intervals were removed.

Reason: It’s extremely hard to do all reps in one set (-1 has a .97 IF). This change keeps your aerobic update higher for the entire workout and makes it more liekly that you’re inish. This is still extremly hard at a .95 IF.

Week 7 - Thursday - Kaiser +2

Change: We decreased the rest between sets from 6 minutes to 5 minutes and increased the rest between intervals from 3 minutes to 4 minutes.

Reason: We found that the classic “you only need equal rest between VO2 Max intervals” not to hold. By looking at other workouts, we found that increasing the rest between intervals greatly increased the complaint rate.

That doesn’t change the nature of this workout or even the TSS. These intervals are supposed to be done while fully recovered. We broke them into sets before to make it a bit more interesting. And while there are still sets, the rest between those sets are just a little less.

Week 7 - Saturday - Tom +2 —> Tom +1

Old - Tom +2

New - Tom +1


Change: The threshold intervals were reduced from 110 to 105%. The sprints were reduced from 220% to 180%.

Reason: 110% was a bit too much after those hard sprints. 105% is stil lchallenge but should let the rider complete all intervals.

Short Power Build Mid Volume

Week 1 - Thursday - Pierce


Change: Rest between sets increased from 4 minutes to 6 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 3 - Tuesday - Bashful +6


Change: Intervals were reduced to from 125% to 122%. Rest between sets was increased to 8 minutes.

Reason: A slight reduction in intensity makes this workout more productive. Extra rest between sets makes sure you’re recovered before the next set.

Week 5 - Thursday - Dade +1


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 2.5 minutes to 4 minutes. Rest between sets was decreased from 8 minutes to 6 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 6 - Thursday - Matthes +1


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 3 minutes to 4 minutes. Rest between sets was decreased from 6 minutes to 4 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Short Power Build High Volume

Week 3 - Tuesday - Thimble +5 -> Thimble +4

Old - Thimble +5

New - Thimble +4


Change: Repeats changed from 127% to a ramp down from 127-121%.

Reason: We can keep the productivity/form high while also keeping uptake high if we slightly reduce the intensity of each interval.

Week 3 - Thursday - Hawk’s Bill +5


Change: Rest between intervals was increased from 4.5 minutes to 6 minutes. The endurance section was reduced from 30 minutes to 20 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Week 5 - Saturday - Broken Finger +1


Change: Increased rest between intervals from 3 minutes to 5 minutes during the second half and from 2 minutes to 4 minutes for the second half. The endurance section was reduced from 25 minutes @ 60% to 15 minutes @65%.

Reason: This is getting old to type, but we want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals!!

Week 6 - Tuesday - English +4


Change: Increased rest between intervals from 8 minutes to 10 minutes. Reduced intensity from 124 to 120.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for the next set. 124% FTP was too demanding.

Week 7 - Tuesday - English +5


Change: Increased rest between intervals from 8 minutes to 10 minutes. Reduced intensity from 124 to 120.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for the next set. 124% FTP was too demanding.

Week 7 - Saturday - Corcoran +1


Change: Increased rest between intervals from 3 minutes to 6 minutes during the second half and from 4 minutes to 8 minutes for the second half. The endurance section was reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes.

Reason: We want you to be fresh for these demanding intervals.

Summary

That’s a lot of changes! Most of these are very small tweaks. The most common change is making the rest more uniform throughout the workout. We only do these for workouts where we want you to be fresh for the next set. There are other “short/short” workouts where we want high aerobic uptake for the entire set. We didn’t touch the rest during those sets (unless it was an extreme case) so that we didn’t change the nature of the workout.

We think that these changes will make you a faster cyclist.

Next up: Coach Chad is reviewing our Climbing and Rolling Road Race plans.


First failed workout (Spanish Needles)
Catch 22 on VO2 work
Our Training Plans are Improving
#2


#3

Looks like a pretty extensive update to the Sustained Build High Volume plan, great timing as thats the next one on my list :slight_smile: Its great to see these incremental improvements showing up all the time, love that you put the reasoning there as well for the changes!


#4

How will I get faster by riding slower?! :grimacing::rofl::shushing_face:


#5

Thanks for the detailed change log here @Nate. Pumped about the continued improvements & the General Build in particular since that’s the next one I have on the docket.

Particularly intrigued about the Junction update in GB. The last two times I’ve completed that workout I’ve gotten sick in the 3 days following. Of course could just be coincidence with just two data points, but I think the update is right in line with what I would have been trying anyway!


#6

You bring up a good point. You have to think of the overall plan and not just each individual workout. Sure, you may be able to finish a workout but if you can’t train for a few days or you fail your next one that’s not a good thing.

And if you’re doing each and every workout on the old plan and feeling fresh I suggest going to a higher volume plan.

Heck, do that on any of the plans. You should feel mortal and a bit tired before the recovery weeks.


#7

Way to use Big Data from little riders! Well done!


#8

@Nate and the TR team, you have certainly been busy!

Just one comment. Having recently completed a fair few of the Short Power Build sessions, I’m pleased to see how the rest of the block has been tweaked. Just one bit of feedback regarding Joe Devel +1.

I felt that the rest periods between intervals was too long at 7 minutes. Not only had I recovered but I was beginning to cool down and that made the initial efforts more taxing than those at the end of the set.

I’m not saying that you’re wrong or that I’m ‘special’, just that my own experience would suggest that 10 minutes rest could actually make the intervals more challenging.


#9

I just added general build to my calendar and realized that I now am doubled up. That means I can skip twice as many workouts, bonus!


#10

Really pleased with the HV Sustained Power changes. Nice ones guys :sunny:


#11

Your Sustained Power Build MV changes are all right on the money, IMO. All three of those workouts ate my lunch during my last build phase.


#12

I don’t have a comment on the changes, but I appreciate the level of detail provided by @Nate. This is what I like about TR they really make you feel they are in there with you, want you to improve and will explain each change from Calendar to workouts.

Happy Christmas everyone at TR.


#13

@Nate Maybe this was intentional, but I think something happened with Sustained Power Build Low Vol and Short Power Build low vol when you made these changes. The two plans look nearly identical now.


#14

@Nate Junction was changed to Junction -1 in week 3 of Short Power Build LV and General Build MV but not in General Build LV. Was this a conscious decision or maybe an oversight?


#15

Oh, thanks for pointing that out. It’s now fixed.


#16

Yes, I just updated it in the plan.


#17

Strangely, I think I’ll miss the old Shortoff +4.

Like Holmes after the death of Moriarty, I’ll feel incomplete without my nemesis.


#18

I agree with @bazcurtis. Great job TR team!


#19

lolol.

We should build in a mode where Shortoff +4 magically repears in the middle of your easy days with a laughing Coach Chad in the background. :smiling_imp:


#20

Kudos for the plan improvements.
I also like the fact we’ll have bragging rights over our successors… “You don’t know you’re born lad, I remember Spanish Needle when it was 150% FTP, back when men were men”.