Conflited about dificulty

So i’m gonna start the 32 week training plan next week.
I was looking at TP and i was wondering if i should get the intermediate plan instead of the basci one…
Here’s the deal. I’m starting pretty much from scratch. Meaning i have close to 0 experience with training. Did some interval training with Trainerroad last year for about 3 months, then just got on the bike on the weekends to ride with my wife.
Gave up smoking about a month ago (and i already feel different regarding efforts. Amazing difference.) and been riding Z2/Z3/SS during the week for about a month and a half now.
I have time during the week to do up to 2h workouts. (some day i could do more i think, if needed.) and all the time in the world during the weekend.
So time isn’t a concern. My only concern is if i’m able to cope with the effort needed to go through an intermediate plan. Won’t i risk overtraining by jumping right into the intermediate plan?
I’m afraid of the higher TSS in the intermediate plan and risking overtraining in the long run…
On the one hand i feel that if i can train an extra 30mins everyday, why shouldn’t i? You know what i mean?

So Fascat coaches, given my history, and where i’m starting, and since time isn’t an issue, what do you think? Basic? Or intermediate?

A tough question because you are talking about such a long plan. You might consider, at some extra cost, of buying a smaller section of the 32 week plan at a basic level, then assessing where you are to buy, say, the second half of that plan.

I am 13 weeks into the SS123 basic plan and started out like you - with maybe a month of 3 times a week rides that started with zero fitness. The basic plan was plenty for me for the SS1 section, and I started adding some zone 2 extra time maybe halfway through the SS2 section. Just did week one of SS3 adding in an extra 1/2 hour of zone 2 on T/W/Th/Sat, and I was smoked going in to the Sunday workout and had to take it relatively easy.

So if you were looking at SS123 I would say get the basic and ramp up extra zone 2 time when you could, which is presumably mentally easier than cutting time out of the intermediate. But since you are starting the 32 week program, you might choose the intermediate and actively cut out a bit each day, especially since would also start up lifting weights.

Starting from zero like we are, you also have to keep an eye on things like your knees, which may adapt more slowly to the workload than your cardiovascular system and leave you struggling with tendinitis or other issues.

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@theodore.powers Thx for the answer. You’ve pretty much summed up what i’m torned about…
Add more time to each day at stick with the basic plan? Or Just jump straight up to the intermediate plan and risk bitting off more than i can chew in the long run…
I think i’m gonna wait till one of the Fascat coaches chimes in since they prolly had this experience with someone before and maybe they have a better understanding of what’s ideal for someone on my situation.

Start basic and focus on quality not quantity. How many hours have you trained in the past, how old are you, what is your life situation (careers/work, kids, etc…)

Also what are you training for, most importantly and when is it?!

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Hey Frank, thank you for the reply.
Cycling training it’s pretty much what i said above. 3 months last year about 4 times a week. Then just a sunday ride with the wife till about a month and a half ago where i started riding 2 or 3 times a week by myself.
I’m 39 years old now, my work is pretty forgiving, and i work sitting at my desk so work won’t influence on recovery time/etc. No kids. So i can pretty much do whatever i want every morning regarding training.
No specific events in mind, but will be focusing in taking part on Mini Fondos/Grand Fondos next year.
So atm, just training to get fitter, faster and raise FTP.

I do want to take cycling seriously, and i am seriously invested in this. Long term goal is to at least reach 4w/kg, and i know that ain’t easy to do.
My plan is to complete the 32 week plan, than the SS4 training plan, and after all that, sign up for a Fascat Coach so we can work on my goals and take cycling to the next level…

So with all that into consideration Frank, what you think? Basic or Intermediate?

First just want to say HECK Yeah to your goals and your drive to reach them. We love seeing that in athletes. Also congrats on giving up smoking. I am sure that has not been easy but can promise you giving that up will undoubtably help you get faster!

Given everything that you explained, I would advise starting with the basic plan and then tacking on some extra time in zone 2 when/if you can handle the extra time in the saddle. If for some reason in the future you feel that the intermediate plan is a better choice for you, I am happy to bump you up to the next level :slight_smile:


@Lacey_Rivette Thx for the compliment on my goal setting.
And yeah, wasn’t easy to quit smoking, especially after smoking for about 25 years. But i’m already feeling the benefits of quitting so that alone makes this worthwile.

Regarding my original question that led me to open up this topic, then i guess i’ll follow your advice. Stick with the basic for now, and if needed change to the intermediate later on.
Thank you very much for the help.