Training Plan Selection

Hi Everyone!

New user but not new to riding or training… well… this is take two and the last time I did it was 10 years ago.

I’ve recently started the ‘All Purpose Road’ plan but overall I found the plan descriptions to be a bit lacking. When I look through plans, I want to learn a bit more about the reason they were crafted as they were. Is the goal of the all purpose road to increase MAP to pull up FTP (so more MAP stress than FTP) or is it something different?

Going into things, I picked this one because it just felt more general and I feel that I’d benefit from everything as someone returning to the sport. That said, it’s winter right now and I’d rather work on building the blade than sharpening the knife at this point so to speak, so it may have been better to look for some of the pure FTP builder plans.

So I guess this is my long winded way of asking the following questions:

  1. Is there a plan to have more information behind the thought process behind each plan? I understand my 4DP was used to tailor each particular workout as I can see things have been modified.
  2. Is there any plan to use a questionnaire that users answers regarding their goals which the system uses to help generate or suggest plans?

Overall, I guess I just find the descriptions and information regarding plan rationale to be lacking. Maybe that’s just a me thing, but I think it could be cool to see!

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Most programs are centered around a goal event. General road plan will probably help you become well rounded. They just added the building blocks program where you can focus exclusively on base, tempo, ftp, map, nc and ac.

I have an map weakness as well so I did a time trial program last year and it helped. Mostly improved my ftp lol! So I would say find an event or style of riding you want to get better at or go for the building blocks!

I think the blocks are going to be too specific for many users. I ended up picking the general plan because I’m coming back to riding after a long time away and I’ve already got some miles under me so I think I should be okay with tolerating some of the intensity. And like you said, it’s the only one that reads like it’s not tailored to an event. But I’m still not sure what the driving logic/theory is for the plan and that would be great to know. They’ve clearly put a lot of work and thought into developing the workouts and schedule!

But at the same time, I feel like this time of year it may be better to just do a push type plan focused on SST and steady longer efforts with the occasional MAP/AC workout thrown in 1-2x a week to keep those developing as well.

I was a lot younger when I last trained, but I feel like I did a bunch of FTP/SST work in the colder months and then my AC/MAP started rising with early season crits and training crits and as I started to focus my effort more on that style of effort.

Just a thought is all!

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Following.

I’m coming off a 5 year break. I started with the fitness kick starter and I’m struggling to find my next steps. I’d love a winter base sweet spot program if the minions are listening.

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Honestly for stuff like what we’re looking for it might just be best to use the training block feature. Ie may be best to do a 3 week tempo block into the FTP blocks so you can ease into threshold work. I looked at the plans and they have decent variation and it’s not just “do ftp intervals everyday” which is nice.

In an ideal world it would be amazing if you could go through a year and mark off goals on a month by month basis.

For instance, if someone is in season and racing:
-mark off events and tag as A/B/C events
-plan manager plans a build up to the events and does a mini taper of sorts going into the A events.

This would require the software to be able to handle uploaded data, analyze it, and adjust workouts accordingly based on new info (TSS, new power records from outside workouts, etc). Machine learning algorithms are badasssss.

Come to think of it maybe that’s that xert is trying to do. I’ve only ever read about it.

The program would have to be able to track fitness, fatigue, etc ie CTL, ATL, etc.

Okay, that’s enough from me for now.

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Hmm, I would say the SUF was created around the thought that you actually do not need that base training.

PS. Please, consider that I could be very wrong because I’m not part of the SUF team :slight_smile:

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I guess some of it is semantics. When I’m talking about ‘base’ I mean it more in the sense of overall lower intensity relative to FTP, i.e. slightly less heavy on MAP and AC. So something that’s SST heavy, i.e. not traditional LSD. I’ve got a day job… I’m not planning on putting in 20hr weeks on the bike anytime soon!

SST training, as mb207 was referring to, isn’t LSD in the traditional sense. You’re still working pretty close to your FTP so you’re not going to be doing a ton of volume. You’re basically redefining base to be SST work. ‘The Way Out’ is one SST heavy workout on SUF, but you’re correct that they don’t really seem to do that much. SST is usually defined as 84-97% of your SST. The FTP plan on SUF has one doing FTP work at 101% of your tested FTP for shorter durations.

So now instead of doing 5x6 min intervals at 101% intervals, do 3x10 or 2x15 at 95%. The slightly longer intervals also help with pacing. To make things even harder, you can do the interval at 95% and ‘recover’ at tempo (80%) which simulates the cat and mouse that often happens as breaks are forming…but more so they make ya suffer. 2x20 or 3x20 make for a pretty rough trainer session.

Like you, @alexwtan, I’m no exercise physiology expert. I do have to admit that my bias in this is likely due to my physiology. I skew pretty anaerobic so I don’t have to really focus on that in the same way I need to focus on FTP work. I’d get most of the anaerobic stuff from tooling around and doing hill repeats once in a while. Having a great sprint doesn’t matter if you’re dropped and the race is up the road. I was also in college when I last raced and trained… so I could get away with doing all sorts of dumb crap. I’m going to have to be much smarter about how I do things moving forward.

That said, I’m intrigued by 4DP and at some point, you have to trust the process. I’m going to go through this general road plan and see what happens. There’s another full frontal test waiting for me on the other side of it in 3 months!

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Hey, Welcome to SUF! I hope you’re enjoying our content so far.

The all purpose road plan is a great place to start following on from having worked out your 4DP numbers. The majority of the plans you see displayed are actually customised to your rider type and will work a little more on your weakness (icon in top right corner of the training plans tab). So the all purpose road will be focusing on all aspects of your riding and building the blad for you and making sure your weaker areas don’t get left behind.

As for your second question, we do offer customised plans as a more tailored service where you get a call with your coach to discuss your goals and then your coach will put together the most appropriate plan for you from there:

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Hi Coach Rupert!

Enjoying the content a lot so far, though sometimes confused as to why I’m doing what I’m doing. Trust the process though, yeah? Glad the plan is relevant so to speak.

I did the see the custom plan, but I feel like there are some things that can be done to a base level app re: adjusting targets etc. Right now, the plan assumes that everything you do is within the confines of the app and that’s not really realistic. I picked a plan solely within the constraints that I felt I could fit all the workouts into the workweek (and do some yoga) and still have some wiggle room for long rides or other workouts over the weekend. Not all TSS is created equal, but I’ve run TSS up to 2x what this plan will throw at me in the recent past so it should be okay.

I do think that being able to import and analyze outdoor rides or even zwift rides etc and having the plan adapt based on those inputs is going to be integral in making SUF something like a comprehensive training program vs just a workout program.

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It would be killer feature surely!
Though sounds to me as pretty challenging task to automate.

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ridethecliche Welcome to the group. Are you suggesting that plans could be periodised so you can have a different plan when you are in base, building, intense, peaking , racing or recovery?.This way you would chose the plan in accordance to where you are in your season.
The plans I have tried have had some intensity all the way through. You can take recovery between plans, or specialise with something like speed demon or volcano climbing.

So now they have the option for block building, but yeah, doing it the way you suggested would allow the ratio of SST:VO2 work to change based on the time of the year. Like, I’d rather do more SST this time of year to push up FTP, but it’s also really important to do some VO2 and lactate buffering style stuff.

I guess part of my issue is that with an older kickr, some of the rapid switching workouts are incredibly frustrating on erg mode so I’d rather have intervals that last atleast 30-60 seconds.

I think some recovery is built into every plan. I just wish there was some way to tailor the plans based on goals without paying extra for the coaching. Like I said, I wasn’t aware that this was a feature on TR when I suggested it, but a friend showed me how he was doing his plan coming into this next season and it was pretty cool.

Unfortunately this entire discussion, while being helpful, was rendered a bit moot because of some resurfacing knee issues. While I’m ironing those out I might cherry pick workouts from the plan and skip low cadence work or just swap to one of the tempo blocks while that’s ongoing so I can get some hours in while still keeping intensity down.

Womp.

I started with SUF, and I selected the Fitness Kickstarter (10w). Now second week, after one week 4DP test prep. I do not find workouts really hard. Last one I increased overall goals by 5%. Is that wise to do this maybe more often if I feel strong enough? Or will I regret, e.g. is it normal that a training program builds up the intensity, and I am just in the progress of starting?

Hey @jacobsj,
Welcome to the forum and the Fitness Kickstarter Plan!
The plans do build up intensity so just suggest you keep things as prescribed for now. If the key workouts in the plan continue to be too easy, you can always add in a Half Monty test to update your FTP, MAP, and LTHR, preferably at the end of a recovery week.
Let us know how you progress!
Cheers,
Spencer

Quick question :
Is the only difference between the novice, intermediate, and advanced plans related to the volume?

Ie, if i want to do a plan but also want the flexibility of riding outside at times and doing things on zwift etc, then should I be picking the novice plans even though I regularly do 400-600 TSS a week?

@ridethecliche
Spot on! Also keep in mind that the novice and intermediate plans are 2 weeks on/1 week recovery format

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I should be okay keeping the volume about consistent or down a bit on the recovery week because I’d rather supplement the lighter bike days with some yoga or the like.

I also feel like more dedicated intervals are a good practice for how my body responds so doing a day every week or two of zwift based 4x10 tempo or SST intervals tends to do well for me.

I’m also kind of nursing a knee issue so I tend to back off pretty hard if I feel like things are getting aggravated or such. I’ll keep an eye on the plan and see what I decide to do. At this point, I’m doing the intermediate all road plan and have been cherry picking workouts. I don’t really care for super low cadence work (knee issues) and high cadence drills (sprints are my strength), so lets see how it goes.