Coach Jack "Beta" - Custom Plan Creator

Two things. We are currently including sweet spot progressions in our plans which are not the same as sweet spot intervals popularized by TR. We are creating progressions that build to sweet spot intensities as our “main work” but secondary work is still lower than sweet spot and generally the main work gets longer and longer progressions but overall much easier than TR’s type of sustained sweet spot. But you also found a bug that this sweet spot progressions is missing in this plan.

Our belief is their is a re-education process currently going on including Dr Seiler’s Polarized and Dylan Johnson’s youtube videos and a general long history of training fundamentals that TSS as the primary goal is not the best practice.

All that being said, we are open to others beliefs and don’t belive the TSS focus is 100% wrong for all people (just most) and feel that in order to represent what many people likely want due to the plan ecosystem that Coggan/TR and others have created we will need to add some more “traditional” sweet spot interval workout progression plans. Those will be coming soon.

We base our plans on long standing fundamentals and science proven training. HIIT has been been science proven effictive for time crunched individuals. Lower TSS (polarized for example) has also been proven more effective. High TSS plans have not been scientifically proven so we have not included them. I know lots of people say it works for them but that is not science or does it show that it is more effective then more tradtional plans. Sorry this stuff gets me excited… :slight_smile:

I fixed it. So you either get a long ride or a second HIIT now. See below

You can see as the plan gets longer you do have a main work progression that gets longer so more time at sweet spot but still not like TR.

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Thanks Alex for the explanations. I have to say that indeed I am probably biased by TR and the 3y+ I’ve spent with them as a customer. While for me TR sweetspot helped me o progress, I could not keep up mentally (and physically) more than 12 weeks of training in a row. It was getting so hard that I eventually gave up. To always come back once fresh.

Regarding TSS, that’s not my primary focus (although I keep an eye on it). I am first looking at variation, progression and periodization.

Thanks for adding the sweetspot sessions to the plan! I see them now. The description says they are at 84% and will progressively become harder during the the last weeks of the plan. I see that they are getting longer but are they getting harder (in terms of intensity) ? I can’t really tell when I am in the plan builder.

Actually that’s a remark I wanted to add: it would be nice to be able to click on the workouts from the plan builder of coach Jack and having them open in another tab to be able to check the details before transferring them to “My plan”. I found myself clicking many time on those workouts without effect ofc. :smiley:

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Yes 100% we need visibility into the workouts in the planner. It’s comming should be in the next month. Sorry that text is wrong it stays at 84%.

Soon, I will share how you will be able to design your own “plan types” by picking your own 3 core workouts using Jack. In this case we will offer more sequence types (as examples it might be traditional sweet spot, sweet spot high intensity, sweet spot intensity build…) but still follow our primary plan creation fundamentals.

So this is still in beta, we are going to put more of focus on TSS optimization over the next few months and also allow users to decide if they would like to prioritize intensity over time for our volume manipulation but warn them if they put too much of a focus on intensity. Just like Dr Seiler (and unlike TR) we don’t believe intensity can be fully substitued for duration.

The part I think that is great about TR is that is simple and effictive for those that can tollerate and/or appreciate the extra hard work. I just wanted to build a platform that presents the alternative to this super hard work in a simple format. Meaning you can work a little less hard but by following progressive overload, proper volume manipulation and recovery you can get as good or better results with less pain :slight_smile: Science has proven this. Top coaches support this.

I have a lot of respect for Coach Chad, not so sure about his credentials but what he says is right on in many cases. My belief is he is not in full control over their plans or adaptive training, I may be totally wrong but when I listen to him his message seems different than what the platform seems to recommend.

So you will see lots of enhancements coming to Jack over the next couple months and longer.

Please let me know how it goes. We are especially fond of the Serious Italian Plan. That SFR workout in there is fun and you can really feel it doing something right away but without all the stress.

I just played around with Coach Jack and I must say that it’s very impressive what you’ve achieved in this beta. I really like the fitness cyclist option.

What I’d like to see is, that I can set a minimum/maximum time per day. So let’s say I want rides on tuesdays (min. 60 minutes / max. 75 minutes), thursdays (min. 60 minutes / max. 75 minutes) and saturdays (min. 90 minutes / max. 120 minutes).

Also it would be great to include some (3 or 4) 30 second high cadence spin-ups in the warm-up to wake up mind and muscles :slight_smile: I know, that I could add these in a separate warm-up workout before the planned workout, but then I’d end up with two warm-ups. Maybe an option to exclude warm-up and cool down and use my own routines could be a solution.

This is a very promising feature. Keep up the good work!

Dirk I am going to start a thread in the beta group regarding V1 (non-beta), but I fully agree on the daily minute controls and have a design already for this.

Interesting thought on the warmups, this might fit into another goal I have but I will have to think about this one.

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Great new function/interface/… etc. I’ve used/using TR/TP/AI/Etc… and my key measures for programs online coaching programs:

1/ Balance inside and outside training, noting differences in FTP for both and effort (inside is 15-20% harder for myself).

2/ Provide option for simple/complex workouts structures. I personally don’t care if I perform the same VO2 workout once a week over 12 weeks. If it’s too complex, I loose track and end up doing my own thing.

3/ Create/Refine workouts according to local routes and matching the effort/zone levels. i.e. A local rolling route for which you can plan Z4 on the ascents and Z2 on the descents, and repeat 6 times over the route.

4/ Not specifically for Trainer Day, however training score matched to the workout intent. i.e. not just 100TS = green. The workout prescribes 30sec x Z4 x z6 or 2hrs x Z2.

Looking forward to using the platform.

Wow Bob you have hit on some great stuff here and I have personally thought about or considered most of these issues/ideas but have never heard any one talk about more than one of them and you nailed a lot. Some or all of these things I would love to address as we grow. I really would be happy to discuss this in more detail. I could move this to a new thread or we can talk 1:1 if you prefer and are interested.

Alex, 1:1 discussion would be great.

We can do it here or you can email me at I am support too… We are small and I do it all. :slight_smile: Well actually the team does all the hard work… :slight_smile:

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Alex - congratulations on Coach Jack. It’s got my attention enough to renew my premium membership so I can try it out :slight_smile:
One question: is it possible to change the start date of a CJ plan? I couldn’t see how to specify one when creating the plan, nor how to edit the plan once it’s created. Thanks in advance and congratulations again on taking TrainerDay further forward.

Super cool Adrian, glad to hear. Yes when you push your plan to TrainerDay you can change the start date if you are pushing it to another platform. If you are using our app, we don’t have start dates or end dates, a plan is just a sequence of workouts, so once you complete one it moves to the next one.

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I should say if you want to use calendar functionality with our app either TrainingPeaks or Intervals ICU is a good choice and you can use use the Workout of the day feature from our apps which shows workouts from those platforms.


That’s super helpful Alex. I do use and like so will push the plan to that. And point noted about the app not constraining the plan to particular dates - which is cool.

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Hi Alex,

I am a bit playing around with Coach Jack and trying to figure out how to organize the next months of training. The challenge is that the temperatures here (Belgium) are really dropping and it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to get out every Sunday’s.

I’ve noticed that you don’t select any time for the long ride when in Coach Jack, it modifies the entire plan accordingly and not only the long ride. Which is great!

However what will likely happen is that the week workouts are done on the HT, here comes the weekend and the weather is shit. The long ride unfortunately transforms into an HT workout.

The plan has been transferred to “My plan” so I can’t change much there and spending >2h on the HT is not really an option.

In that kind of use case, what would be your suggested workflow?

(TD is interfaced with intervals and Garmin)

Best regards,

I will respond to this tonight but I believe the new feature we are launching later in the week will totally solve this.

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Oh I was reading quickly when I saw this and thought you were saying something slightly different than exactly what we are addressing this week but hopefully this answer helps you.

Let’s talk very generally. Our “hard” plans build slowly starting at level 1, so you can start them in December and let them go for 16 weeks for a spring peak. 16-20 weeks is about the maximum people can keep increasing before burnout.

So a common rule of thumb in training is getting different types of training stress. So having an SFR(low rpm)+Threshold+Long ride gives you some very nice variation with totally different targets and benefits. Having 3 different types of workouts in a week can be considered a decent plan for moving you forward. Variation + increased stress + recovery will cause adaptions if done right. So instead a long ride you can substitute another good sequence (soon see below). So I would create a 3 workout sequence with 3 different focuses and then on the nice days just substitute one of those other three workouts with a long ride a long ride does not require strict intensity progressions or following it on a computer, focus on having fun.

So it depends on the plan you want but with the Italian I would create SFR+Threshold+HIIT (or VO2Max) sequences and just do long rides instead of the other workout when it’s nice.

So you can’t really create the plan today I am discussing, so that is what is planned for later this week is below. You can pick your own 3 sequences but all the sequences are professionally designed for natural and gradual increases.

Let me know if this makes sense. I tried to keep it simple and detailed at the same time :slight_smile:

PS We are working on a way to 100% completely solve the problem you have here. Indoor vs outdoor is a big problem.