Train to Train plan - Repetitiveness?

I’m in the second week of my 2 week trial and had some questions about the “train to train” plan as I consider whether to continue on or not.

When I look at my plan, I notice that it’s very repetitive for week to week, with three main types of workouts:

  1. Low Cadence sustained efforts (85% or higher of FTP at 40-60 rpm)
  2. HIIT (default is always 30/30)
  3. L2

Questions that come as I look at this:

  1. Why are all the sustained efforts at greater than 85% FTP at low cadence? Should there be some cadence variation for these kinds of efforts?

  2. I understand the HIIT standard is 30 seconds, but why no longer efforts (even 1 minute type efforts)?

  3. There seems to be a lack of variation across the “train to train” program? It seems the offering is just the same 3 workouts (with minor variation) for the full 10 weeks?

I know that I selected the “train to train” but since we do designate a race we would be training for, I would have expected some workouts to be more related to that race than nothing at all.

What am I missing?

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Hi Matt,
These are great questions and right on the money. I’ll try to help from a coaching perspective.
You’re starting essentially a base preparation phase. You have a lot of aerobic development work (endurance zone 1 and 2), one or two days a week of high-intensity (30/30s), and one day of bigger gear work. The program will adjust your volume, but keep the workouts consistent because that’s what works.

The 30/30s are great intervals for keeping your fast-twitch muscle fibers firing and developing. You’ll do longer and different efforts in the specific race preparation phase of the program.

The low-cadence efforts are designed to stress different muscle fiber groups to improve your fatigue resistance.

All of the workouts, regardless which plan you choose, are designed to take your current fitness and improve it to the best possible level by the date of your race, or, in the case of training to train, gradually improving your fitness week by week.

Athletica is based on a lot of scientific research which shows that simple is better when it comes to training program. That’s the best way to improve your fitness. Other training programs like Zwift and Garmin and Training Peaks have a lot of complicated workouts that miss the point that your body simply doesn’t know the difference between all the stressors. It’s far better to focus on training one thing at a time. In your case, you’re building a base of great fitness.

What other questions do you have?


Hi @MattS06 ,
I’ll chime in as well.

  1. Select your workout wizard for any of those sessions for good variety but the same stimulus. The purpose of the 40-60 rpm is to target the larger fibers to make them more fatigue resistant (convert FT2x to FT2a). Have a listen to Dajo Sanders on TSP here.
  2. Again, please check the workout wizard for alternates. Nevertheless, 30/30s often show better results according to the research which is why they are the priority selection for you.
  3. Unless there is a bug in your program and you are not seeing Workout Wizard, there is infinite variety to be had.
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In my workout wizard I always get the 30/30 suggested unless there already is planned a HiiT session. For example, is the suggested alternative to a Recovery ride or Aerobic Development always 30/30. Is that a common thing or just my plan, and is there a way to scroll through multiple alternatives?

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Hi Tore, thanks for the question. Generally, Workout Wizard provides an alternative that is roughly equivalent to the load your schedule workout would be. So if the load of one ride is 70, the Wizard will suggest different workouts that are about 70 as well. HIIT sessions like 40/20s or 30/30s are often an alternative, simply because they work!

However, if you’re injured or need an off day, then click the tab for “Injury” and the Wizard will give you a series of options as well.

I hope that helps. This is a good question that several of my athletes have had in learning how to use the program. Thanks!


Follow up question/comment about workout scheduling.

Because I messed around with the program volume, the system had me redo week 1 (would be good to have an option to skip a week in cases like this).

However, I decided to use this opportunity to try out the Workout Wizard. So I selected alternative workouts.

For tomorrow, I had a planned run I found in the Workout Wizard. I happen to check it a bit ago and my workout was reverted back to the original one and the one selected was gone from the Workout Wizard.

I can understand the system updating workouts based on feedback, etc…I just found it odd for the system to remove a selected workout and then not give you the option to revert back to it.

Hey @MattS06
Thanks for reporting on that one. Certainly there’s no intent on reverting back to the old session and that is somehow a bug. When you select a workout it should stay there. This is one of those very hard bugs to squash but we’ll try. If you have any opportunity to document this with a screenshot please do so and DM me with the evidence.
Thanks for you patience.

@Prof thanks for the response.

I’m not sure I can send anything because I’m not able to see prior workouts for that day.

As I’m looking at it, the load did slightly change (57->54/55), so maybe that load change caused the workout itself to be deemed out of range and so it reverted to the old workout (or one close enough to the old workout).

I wonder if it wouldn’t be better, intra-week to have an alert that load has “materially” changed (material in quotes because I’m not sure the sensitivity level that would cause the workout change) with a suggested replacement workout?

Does that make sense?

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