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Decode / Demystify / Mix-And-Match Training Plans
I analyze training plans for a hobby. The first thing I do when analyzing an interval-based training plan is represent it thusly...



...so I can more easily what it's doing. For example, plans A, C and D above involve progressing on combined interval duration up to a practical limit (often based on available training time) followed by increases in intensity. You might also notice that plans A and D are similar with plan A requiring more substitution of intensity for time and with only a light dusting of 40/20 vs a dedicated day for this lactate clearing workout. Plan C is not altogether different but does have a more conservative ramp rate. Plan B is more about easing into threshold ==> VO2 to raise ceiling ==> longer threshold work.

Generalizing these plans somewhat allows one to play around a bit with alternatives / mix and match. For example, you might see a resemblance between Plan A above and the Advanced plan below...



For me, what this shows is that these plans really are simple enough to replace with a more responsive approach based more on load monitoring and adjustment while still following the general idea. For me this makes things such as interruptions easier to deal with especially when you understand things like how long before you need to revert your training based on energy system shelf life, etc. but I digress...

The most interesting thing to me about the above is how one can mix and match the various aspects of these plans to suit one's circumstances. For example, the 1x120 workouts in the middle two plans can be replaced with two 1x90 workouts from the Slow Recovery plan and so on. Additionally, you can see variations between the middle two plans with respect to hold vs restart progression on combined interval duration and that all plans share the same first column and so on...

So what's my point? I guess training plans just aren't that difficult to understand if they're based on something and if they aren't difficult to understand then perhaps some folks might become more comfortable making changes to them and monitoring load and making adjustments and learn more. One argument is that new cyclists will improve no matter what they do so I say that if they are going to improve anyway then why not start with something they understand so maybe they begin to start the process of learning earlier I dunno.

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Last edited by: fstrnu: Dec 7, 18 13:34

Edit Log:

  • Post edited by fstrnu (Cloudburst Summit) on Dec 7, 18 12:57
  • Post edited by fstrnu (Cloudburst Summit) on Dec 7, 18 12:58
  • Post edited by fstrnu (Cloudburst Summit) on Dec 7, 18 12:59
  • Post edited by fstrnu (Cloudburst Summit) on Dec 7, 18 13:24
  • Post edited by fstrnu (Cloudburst Summit) on Dec 7, 18 13:34