TrainerRoad Cracked Me!



After completing Traditional MV 1, 2, and 3 I had previously scheduled SPB MV on the calendar. A few weeks out I looked at the workouts in SPB and said “oh hell no”, I need something different! Started General Build instead and one week in I’m glad I did.


If you expect to reach elite level of competence and ability in any area, doesn’t matter if it’s cycling, piano or mathematics, expect a lot of monotonous training and practice. It’s just logical.
To me, it sounds like you want to reach an elite level but don’t have the prerequisites to do so and/or don’t want to make the sacrifices needed.


This would stand true except for the fact that the monotonous training and practice to reach elite level of competence and ability in any area does not focus on such a narrowly defined discipline. Pianists don’t practice only major scales, mathematicians don’t practice only quadratic equations, etc. One does not become an elite level cyclist by spending time in only the sweet spot zone.

As the quote goes, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.


But you won’t be doing the same thing again and again because your ftp will change. Add in at no point are you expected to just use sweet spot.

It seems to me that you are angry because you are using the programmes wrong.


My FTP has zero bearing on the composition of the workouts. Doing 4x12min @SS is the same structure regardless of FTP.

SSBHV is 100% just sweet spot workouts. Are you suggesting I modify the plan?! :scream:

I am following the program which was twice recommended to me by the TR staff. Should I not trust them on their own product? :man_shrugging:


But it’s not the same workout. If I run 6 Miles at 10 minute miles it’s not having the same effect as running them at 8 minute Miles.

I’ve listened to lots of the podcasts I’ve never heard anyone regularly suggest the set up you have been suggested. As they continually say they are set up to go base, build speciality and then for you to have a rest your ftp lowers and then you have a bigger base to have a higher peak.


That’s a little unfair, you’ve already been playing around with the plans to your hearts content and specialising them. You were also told by others that HV plans were mostly SS and you’d get more variation by picking a MV plan. You were also told that the amount of work you were taking on would lead to mental or physical burnout.

I doubt you gave masses of detail to the TR staff, and just told them you had an A race ‘x’ months away and what would they recommend.

This is literally the first thing you read when you click on SSBHV2

Just to move this on a bit, what modifications have you made since starting this topic?


You need to remember we do all this for fun… if you’re sick of doing sweet spot workouts just choose one of the many plans with some VO2 Max intervals in, crack on & get your mojo back :muscle: doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that :wink:


You have already received a bunch of advice regarding what plan to follow but with regards to the bordem of solid, long blocks of sweet spot, if it looks too boring then modify them for some variety so instead of 3x30’ at 94% then make a workout where you bounce around close to 94 and maybe a couple sprints for 30’ . I find that it helps. Also, eat some doughnuts :doughnut: and cinnamon rolls. Those definitely help.

Keep on trucking, champ.


It is the same if your fitness (ie: FTP) has improved and you are training in the same zone. If your zone 3 run allows 10 min miles today, then 3 months from now as your fitness (FTP) increases, your zone 3 becomes 8 minute miles. The workouts haven’t changed, you have. “It never gets easier, you just get faster.”


Hi @Captain_Doughnutman! First of all, great job in completing the previous training blocks! Lots of hard work and gains under your belt.

There is lots of good advice on this thread so far, so it’s hard to add anything new. What I find helps for me is running Zwift concurrently (with TrainerRoad driving the resistance), so at least I have a course to follow and a virtual bike to peddle. Sometimes, I swap a Zwift event/race for a TR workout, particularly when the TR workout is a threshold or over-under workout. Of course, this may be undesirable if it leads to a high-level of fatigue which then impacts the next scheduled workout. Also, I realize, for some adding a second monthly subscription is not appealing.

Also, for the longer weekend ride with solid chunks of Sweet Spot work, I head outside (if the weather is decent) and head to open road and try to put in similar work as the workout. This helps to break up the long streak of inside workouts and is more appealing then spending 2 hours on the trainer (even with Zwift).

Keep focused on your goals and the next interval/workout at hand and the training plans will help you get faster!


Exactly what I was thinking.
In one podcast Coach Chad approved the use of Pettit +1 as a recovery ride – an endurance session containing sprints. If 180% sprints aren’t going to alter the effects of a “recovery” ride, I’m seeing no reason why I couldn’t sprinkle a few 30sec sprint (or even mild VO2!) efforts across 1-2 hours of SS work.

Thus far I did a 1x60min @90% instead of Hunter -1 (6x10min/3x20min @90%).
This weekend I have Tallac +3 (5x15min @91%) but will probably do 2x45min @91% instead.

Is it the same workout?
Nope, but getting really good at 10-15min SS intervals is not my goal.
Doing the same workouts again and again will make me very adept at doing those workouts.
Even doing a different length of interval provides enough mental novelty, even though it’s still “that same narrow, specific range of power output”.
(If anyone can provide evidence that 5x15 will serve me better than 2x45, please post!)

Isn’t change in stimulus the key to pushing adaptations?
(And isn’t ‘do the +/- version’ advice all over this forum?)

Herein lies the limitations of TR programmes. It’s an off-the-rack suit, and that’s completely understandable.
It’s also my responsibility as a TR consumer to not follow blindly, and as an athlete to be observant of my own person, and adjust accordingly. Also why my top feature recommendation is to develop a two tier platform – a more individualized and responsive ‘Performance’ plan, and the current cookie cutter ‘Fitness/Enthusiast’ plan.

My big take away from this week has been a matter of reframing and refocusing. I was simply wandering unquestioningly into each workout, and that’s mostly why I hit a wall (that, and being pretty far from both my last race and next race – fuzzy references). As with the workout notes, I’m now approaching each workout with a stated goal before I even pull on the bibs, e.g. What am I trying to achieve or build by doing this workout? I’m also refocusing my whole training plan with the same kind of approach, e.g. Why am I doing this particular type of training? Basically rediscovering my Why. :thinking:

Enjoy your weekend! :grin:

(As a side note: the thing which I find most odd is the wholesale reluctance and near-vilification of breaking the TR mold. Considering that during my Build Monster Month, I only deviated from the TR prescribed TSS by a mere 5%/hr…in conjunction with 25% more sleep… Would the same wrath have occurred if I did an extra 2 hours of Recovery per week? I have theories…but mostly of the conspiracy kind. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )


I haven’t seen any of that. I think that qualified and reasoned modifications usually don’t create near-vilification… :wink:



I burn out at least once per week! Mentally and/or physically! HTFU! :laughing:


Variety is the spice of life, I’d not choose a HV program to start with, but one with very similar sessions six days a week? I’m not surprised. Check our the other plans, other volumes and cross train. I was rubbing you about triathlon but even if it’s just the plan variety you’re getting it.

Best value is completing every session in a plan, but optimal value is a plan you execute - so if that means changing it up at the gym or outside, so be it. It’s not as dogmatic as you’re hinting at :smiling_imp:

Anyway, I’ve skipped two bike sessions this week already, I’m off to the garage for 0° type 2 fun. :+1:


You must’ve been reading the polarized thread :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Just to mess with you, but I’m on my 7th iteration of ssb2. Htfu!

Admittedly though i think this will be the last time i do it without customizing. Don’t forget that they hardly suggest hv plans, that’s a lot of indoor time. At least as a triathlete only 50% of my time is spent on the trainer sl the is a lot of variety.


I modified the SSBHV plan by having 3 sweetspot workouts and 2 endurance rides. A gradual buildup in TSS (slower than the prescribed plan)


Speaking of which…some guy named Frank suggests an amateur cyclist could do 1-2 hours of SS/day (that’s actual time-in-zone, not total workout time). He even says “When athletes are building a hemi-powered pre-season aerobic engine (raising their chronic training load or “CTL”), the more sweet spot the better.”

In a lot of other literature I’ve read, the recommendation as the rider advances through training, is to extend not only the quantity but also duration of intervals (SS or otherwise). TR does this but only somewhat…and only some times (why so many 10-15min jobs?!). I’m taking it upon myself to apply those types of “qualified and reasoned modifications”.

Not only for further adaptations but also, as the TR crew mention (and it finally clicked), train for how you want to race. For example, in my A race, there are 3 turn-around points. The over-all winner last year took about 20 seconds to go from top speed to break/turn and back to top speed. As well as practicing my turning points out on the open road, I’ll also have to develop my shorter power if I don’t want to give away valuable seconds. There are ~2km flat sections on either end of the course (where I lose the most time) with a bunch of up-down in the middle. The discipline demands that I develop high sustainable power, but the undulating course demands that I also have that high powered over-drive (i.e. VO2max…which is what I think carried my performance last year).

The fuzzy plan going forward:
Base – do much longer SS intervals, with the occasional sprint/VO2 effort (Clark is a good example);
Build – sub in more and longer over-under sessions;
Spec – sub in more VO2max sessions.

On that note…

Ha! Just had a look at the 2018 TT results…you know, just to refresh my fires.

The dude with the fastest time is a Rally pro :face_with_raised_eyebrow: (those boys and girls in orange are strong!). My time placed me near the bottom of the P1/2s with Mr. Rally going 17% faster than I did, but I matched his power/time on the climbs. Now for a few caveats:

  1. he’s a full-time pro; I did 3 months of bird box training…2 of those on a non-PM single speed…
  2. he’s 25 years younger than me,
  3. he had an aero suit, aero wheels, aero bike, aero helmet, aero handlebars, aero aero…I had clip-ons,
  4. he’s a pro…did I mention that?
  5. 384w vs 300w.

My AG winner only went 10% faster than I did…and he was loaded with MAMIL aero gear.
If I keep at it, my chances of a ‘W’ are looking up!
(unless Svein Tuft, now a Rally rider, decides to enter the race…)

I read 80% of it…understood 20% of it… :neutral_face:

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. :face_vomiting:

Off to do 2x45min SS! :call_me_hand:


You must be pretty aero already if you’re that far below his power with your huge gear disadvantage (clip-ons vs aero bike, etc).

Of course, you’ve gotta keep in mind that the reason TT specialists focus so much on gear and CdA is that higher power doesn’t give you linear gains, particularly as you approach and exceed 30 MPH - that resistance curve gets really nasty up there and going from 29 MPH to 30 MPH takes a huge bump in power compared with going from 24 to 25


Some context… Frank also recommends only 5/days on the bike each week and typically two days SS back to back Tues-Wed where you ride SS until you fatigue, then tempo, then finish in Z2. He also recommends a rest week every four weeks. His logic is no athlete will truly overtrain if they shut it down every 4th week. I tend to agree. This goes for highly trained high volume athletes as well.

FasCat plans are even more periodized than TR and base is base. Very little anaerobic or VO2 until nearing racing and more rest days as well. FWIW he’s also very “anti-indoor cycling” and believes it leads to mental burnout.

I’m not pointing this out as criticism but because I’m diverging quite a bit from the “standard” TR program myself. I’ve seen good gains but can’t help but feel I’m working a very narrow range of overall fitness. Still on the fence myself…