Coach Jack Plan Stating Point (for Triathlete)

Do Coach Jack Plans take in to account your starting fitness level (I’m coming from using TrainerRoad)? How do I know what “level” to start at when creating a plan?

Sort of…
You enter hours per week in the recent past and the app has your FTP.

Yes as MedTech said “sort of.” The problem is trying to evaluate an athlete “mid-season” is very complicated. Each athlete has a limited period of time they can sustain intensity usually 4-6 months depending on many factors.

Most riders coming off of TrainerRoad are closer to the end of that period. Many get fast gains on TR but if they don’t properly inject quality periodization can get “stuck,” grinding intensity without progress and in worst case burning out.

In general it’s safer for us to “restart” periodization from the beginning at some level. Even though in the short term you risk going a little backwards, the long term is this will establish better training patterns that lead to more predictable, repeatable, seasonal improvements. Not saying we are going to be better than TR for all athletes, I am just saying we take a more extreme view on periodization. We wouldn’t recommend “sweet spot base” for example. Not saying it can’t work, it’s just too risky for long term progress.

Jack can be tweaked to match your exact needs but requires some additional discussion. You are more than welcome to specify your goals, time line, a bit of history, age, health, favorite type of training and intensity… and I can make suggestions on how to change the settings.

1 Like

If you are a traditional northern hemisphere cyclist then we are now getting close to the time for some “real base training.” And start your build period some time in January depending on your goals. I know many athletes prefer to train hard all year long, it’s just that that is not how most elites train or how most good coaches recommend training (some adapt their story to match an athletes preferences).

Using the easy/hard mindset. That could be 0% hard or up to 5% hard in the fall/early winter building to 15-20% hard right before your desired peak. This is using time in zone.

@Alex @MedTechCD
Thanks for the responses! I actually haven’t followed a TrainerRoad plan in a while. As a triathlete, they have too much intensity for me. I generally do 3 bikes, 3 runs, 3 swims, and 2 strength sessions a week. With TrainerRoad, almost all were prescribed as moderate-to-hard. I have had experience with MAF/low intensity training in the past. I actually won my age group without doing any running intensity for 2-3 months leading into that race and set a PR in a 70.3 without really ever going over LT1 in training (except for swimming).

I am trying to figure out how TrainerDay handles progression in training plans when I have maxed my time available (1 hr Mon, 1 hr Wed, and 2 hrs Sat). I have been playing around with different Coach Jack options. Looking forward to trying them out this winter.

So you are the master!!! You can teach us :slight_smile: or at least provide some ideas on how to improve it for your (and other similar triathlets needs).

It sounds like you found the daily hour limits in CJ but since we don’t believe in substituting intensity for time you limit some of the stress management if you put too many time constraints on it. While I don’t think strict TSS management makes sense obviously you can’t ramp up too quickly with your workload. We probably need another option of how to have different hour limit constraints. Setting staring hours and ramp rate and getting something close and then setting small limits could help.

The day and time constraints are very helpful! I decided to move through the VO2max progression in the polarized plan and do heart rate-based endurance on my other two biking days. That should leave some room for me to add one day of run intervals and one hard swim day in my week. I understand that limiting my time will limit my overall progression. But since this is my hobby and I’m not a professional I can live with that.

That sounds like a perfect plan to me :slight_smile:

1 Like