Is the all-purpose road plan easier than it used to be?

I have been “suffering” for 4+ years now. I have done gravel 100 mile plans and “advanced” road plans in the past. I went back to the road plan this year since I had the impression it was slightly more biased toward high-intensity (compared with the gravel plans) and I was lacking HIIT more most of 2020. Now I am ~ halfway through. I just did the half monty and it did seem that I have gained back 60-80% of my typical summer/fall loss in FTP and MAP. However, I just haven’t had any weeks that seemed really rough like I used to expect. So much recovery :laughing:
Is it me, or is it easier than it used to be? Or, is it easier than the gravel plans? Any ideas? Maybe the algorithm adjusted for my aging???
(I’m well aware it is about to get significantly harder with my target adjustment but just wondering)… Thanks

I think there is no adjustment for age, the only being the level you select. Here at home we have two accounts 41 and 51 years old and the workout list is the same, provided the weakness is the same.

I ended a full century plan in advanced level with strength, a couple of weeks ago and I had the feeling of not pushing that hard especially for the second half of the plan.

I have sought for a new plan, looking into the several combinations of all-purpose (strength, indoor only, outdoor), full century, mountainous/hilly grand fondo, volcano climb, speed demon, FTP and MAP build blocks.
I ended up deciding to personalize my and my wife’s training with a mix of indoor Suf training plus outdoor workouts; and only one maintenance strength workout per week.
I created a list of metadata with TSS, IF, length, purpose etc, for more than 100 SUF workouts so that I can pick the most appropriate one to build the week cycles. It has been working nicely for 2 weeks and it is just a bit more time consuming after you decided how to setup the periodization.

2 Likes

I don’t know if it is easier than it used to be, but this plan has changed quite recently with the introduction of “inspiration” videos and I noticed some of the regular workouts had also changed at the same time. I got the impression it could have been slightly easier, but I didn’t look back in detail.

I previously commented a lot on other subjects but didn’t answer if I saw changes.
@Peteski, you are right, they added inspiration but also changed the structure of the plan.
I compared an All-Purpose Advanced Indoor only with strength that I started August 31 2020, with the current version (same weakness) and I could notice several changes.
I didn’t calculate volume, TSS, or compared IF, etc for all the weeks but it seems the new version is a bit easier for some workouts during weekdays and weekends, at least in some weeks of the plan.
For example, the first weekend used to have ISLAGIATT and Who Dares + Extra Shot. Now it is Chasing Legends and Butter + GAWI; the weekdays were equal.
The second week had Angels and Team Scream (weekdays) plus Defender, Hell Hath No Fury, and Blender for the weekend; now it is Fight Club and Angels with The Best Thing in the World (reduced intensity) and Blender for the weekend.

The first week used to accumulate a 407 TSS in 5h48min on the bike; now it is 351 TSS in 5h29min.
The second used to be 586 TSS in 8 h; now TSS 440 (considering TBTITW at regular intensity) in 6h22min.

I think a change from 351 to 586 was quite a lot (before), but now a TSS of less than 440 (second week) I think is less than I expected for an advanced plan.

2 Likes

If you’ve done FF since your first time, then even the standard workouts could be different based on your updated rider profile and different strengths and weaknesses.

The selection of workouts in some plans is based on one’s weakness, according to FF result. For others like speed demon, volcano climber etc the FF result has no influence.
I was aware of that and compared plans with the same weakness so that the result of FF would not affect what I compared.

1 Like

Thanks @Alvaro_Santos_Neto , this fits what I thought I remembered.

Any ideas why?

I think that only a SUF coach involved with the plans can answer that properly.

I also checked another plan I started in November, in that plan I had the second week with AVDP, Angels, and Defender (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday); the current version of that has “only” Attacker and Defender as high-intensity workouts for the same week.
After that second week, I restarted the plan to include the “Inspiration” videos and probably the new plan I followed had that new reduced load.

Indeed, after the 12-weeks, in FF, I improved only a bit my MAP and had my FTP reduced. Surprisingly, NM and AC improved a bit after several FF, probably as a result of a more dedicated period on strength training.

Somehow, before this discussion here, I got the feeling that the current plans were not attending us (my wife and I) anymore. Actually, to try to pick the new plan I had inspected all the variations of All-Purpose, Hilly Grand Fondo, Full Century, Build FTP, Build MAP, Speed Demon, and Volcano Climb.
I ended up deciding to build our own plans.

I set now a plan with 13 weeks, ending with tapering and FF preparation weeks (12th and 13th). It has a build periodization of 3 by 1 including HM in the 8th week.
I put a recovery spin on Monday, high-intensity SUF workouts on Tuesday and Thursday, a variable workout on Wednesday, depending on the planned TSS for that week, Strength maintenance and a Cadence Build on Friday, a longer outdoor ride with some structure or group ride with some intensity on Saturday and a long Endurance ride on Sunday.
The plan is to follow an incremental TSS between 500 to 750, trying to achieve a CTL of about 85 by the end of this period. Both of us came from 2 in a row 12-weeks advanced plans and it is OK for us to have 10-13 hours/week on the bike.

I am pretty much happy with this plan and after the first week, I am feeling really good doing the most important workouts with a good form. By the third week of the (3 by 1) periodization, I intend to put more intense rides in a row to build that needed capacity to repeat hard workouts with no enough rest.
For the selection of the SUF sessions, I am based on my current weakness (sustained) and my wife’s one (VO2max), looking into the most common videos that the regular SUF plans include for those purposes (workouts with higher 4DP focus on FTP and MAP).

For me, that’s it. Just a final disclaim, I have no formal training to be a coach. What I am doing is based on the experience I acquired over the last years together with some basic knowledge of pieces of training I had in biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, etc, plus readings of Friel’s and Coggan et al books and a couple of scientific papers and related discussion in forums, podcasts, blogs, and other communities.