Long term training questions

Could someone advise as to how TD supposed to be used. I’m following a 5 week base++ CJ plan - what do I do when I finish, what plan am I supposed to select next if I’m not training for a specific event, how long should that next plan be, should I take a break period?

If I’m understanding correctly there isn’t adaptability component to TD? When I finish one plan am I supposed to re-take the ftp test and start another plan?

What if I’m in the middle of the plan and find it too hard/too easy? Once the CJ plan is in place it’s not being modified afaik? There is no analysis as to how well I’m completing the plan (a la Intervals?) which has an impact on the rest of the plan?


Hi, welcome. I would set an event date for 4-6 months from now even if you don’t have one. They it will give you a three phase plan. Base>Build>Peak. This answers most of your questions. Starting the plan, generally CJ plans feel easy but they are very progressive so by the end they won’t be. Maybe not deathly hard but not super easy. Most platforms start hard and go to a little harder or crazy hard. But if you start and it is on your calendar you can directly click edit plan at the top and it will re-open your plan and let you turn up starting intensity or ride feel, or even change plans to make it harder. Let me know if I missed anything.

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I sort of has the same question regarding the FTP. Should we be taking the test monthly or at the end of the plan or never as the app will auto adjust as we progress? How do we even know how we are progressing when / if there is no feedback from the software?


I’m currently doing the Sweet Spot training plan and this program is tough but manageable enough that I don’t feel like I need to take an ftp test monthly as I would be wasting energy when I could be recovering instead.

As the weeks go by, it becomes harder and time spent in the same zone becomes longer as well.

I started off at 4 x 6min @ 84% and the final workout will be 2 x 22min @ 90%. From that alone, I can tell my ftp will be going up once I finish this training plan.

You can also tell by your HR, if you have one. Mine was pretty elevated when I started this plan and now I can ride at higher watts with lower HR.

@Alex , what would be the natural progression from here after I’ve completed SS ? vo2 training? Keep grinding at SS after an ftp test? I don’t really have a specific goals for the summer aside from increasing my FTP (currently 214 @ 69kg).

You need a vacation? Hawaii sounds good… I will respond tomorrow :slight_smile:

And if you could expend on whether to somehow continue with the plans for outdoor riding as outdoor season is slowly here in Canada? Or just take a pause and resume late in the fall?
Ultimately I would love to continue the plan through the year and reap the benefits, if any, but I know this will not be easy especially the intervals outdoors and let’s face it, outdoor rides > indoor rides any day!!! :wink:

Sorry so slow Jeff, I will respond soon.

Outdoor is way better than indoor for most of us. Outdoor intervals are not easy for most. Unless you are a serious racer then I would say try to integrate some of the fundamentals of the plan without strictly following it. Meaning,

  1. if you can slowly continue to build your volume do it
  2. Take recovery days and weeks through the season, let your body recover and get stronger
  3. Sleep as good as you can
  4. Get a long ride in 1 time each week, ideally with some hills
  5. As you get closer to any event that you want top performance add add intensity for 4 weeks or so
  6. If you are riding 3 or more days a week try to make some of them very easy.
  7. Just try to throw in some variety to your riding outdoor MTB for example can give some big variety for a road cyclist. Or just do some short sprints or sustained periods at threshold or close.

If you follow all those fundamentals you should continue to see some gains although most people just stop seeing progress after some point in the season and won’t make any more gains until next season. This is fine and expected.

Hope that helps.

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Jeff, so I realized it’s really hard for me to recommend an optimum plan for you. Over all it seems like you are unlikely to add much to your FTP at this point after doing so much FTP work. You could add some anaerobic work capacity which can make a ramp test look better but not actually do much for your true 40-60 minute power. It’s more likely you will add more to your FTP after another season or period of base+build+peak. You are at risk over over training for this season, depending on many factors so you have to monitor things very closely. Setting up a good PMC chart and HRV monitoring can help but make sure you are getting lots of high quality foods, sleep and days and weeks off.

That said, if your body can handle it doing one of our peak blocks like the one with dynamic force, could help your top end performance and you will feel much stronger. You might want to start at level 5 or something. Again when an athlete is training hard like you are then it requires more of a great coach evaluation to help you proceed. If you were doing more of our traditional recommendation you would be much farther from the edge. So you have the potential now for a great season or a season of feeling a bit burned out. You need to really be on top of self evaluation to know where you are at as most of us are not good at this. We feel really great until all of a sudden we don’t. I am not saying you did anything wrong. I am just saying it’s harder to evaluate and give you the perfect recommendation as you are closer to the edge.

If you need any clearer explanation of any of this let me know. You can see with TrainerRoad lots of people end up burned out on their typical plans but what I believe is the minority say, oh my I had the best season ever. Tons of TR cyclist’s stop following the main recommendations and learn to do their own thing or create a hybrid plan that works for them. Again, if you make the right choices at this point you can have a really great season.

If you are starting to get to the point of not being able to sleep as well that is a common indicator of too much stress.

I hope this helped. Probably not exactly the answer you were looking for.

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Jeff, so I have a good friend that I highly respect as a cycling coach. Coach Robert has a strong health focused approach to performance cycling just like Andrea and I. Robert has offered to help me with more detailed/complex training question problems like this.


Thanks for the intro and the kind words, Alex. And hello Jeff.

Good to see that you want to be a better cyclist. I think Alex has already gave you a lot of good advice. So maybe this will be kind of a recap. You can use it as a simple plan and steps to folllow.

First I agree with Alex about your goal. FTP is not really a goal, it is more a means towards a goal. Like kg is never a goal when dropping weight. You don’t want to be less kg. You either want to perform better or be healthier and that is why you measure the kg.

So, ftp is not the goal. The is to perform better and have more fun riding your bike. So, set yourself a thrilling goal. It can be a Zwift race, badge colletion on Zwift, a Gran Fondo, riding to every city in 100 km’s from your home…whatever.

Second, check if you are rested. HR and HRV in particular can help with that. If you have been training for years and know how your body feels than it is fine too.

Finally, if you have no specific goal consistancy is the most important thing you can do for better performance, thus improving ftp.
So there are multiple program you can use to improve.

It is also the mindset. It is a marathon and not a sprint. What you did lately will benefit you not just for now, but for years to come. So keep training and resting and you will reap the benefits in the years to come.

And do forget to have fun while doing so.

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hi Robert and Alex! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to get back to me ! :slight_smile:

Yes, I certainly do no want to burn my matches this early in the season. I have about 3 weeks left in the Sweet Spot training plan. I certainly have made some great progress over the last few weeks as my HR has gone down during the intense workouts but I’m never quite fully rested. Additionally, I started playing badminton on Sundays after the sunday ride (I swapped Saturday and Sunday so Sunday would be the shorter ride) so I may need to reduce the intensity for my weekend workouts.

I will also be doing track cycling next winter so it sounds like zone 2 will be the way to go indoor to avoid burning out.

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