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Training Plan User Guide

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Training Plan User Guide

TrainingPeaks is an online and mobile software platform that helps you prepare for your goals, regardless of whether you're a new cyclist looking for a training plan, an experienced racer working with a coach, or even if you want to plan and analyze your own training.

Please review the below steps to walk you through the basics of your new training plan. 

Step 1: How to navigate TrainingPeaks
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1.  Workout and Plan folders

You can access any stored training plans or workouts from the lefthand navigation bar.

2.  View Selection

You can change your screen view from the top navigation bar by toggling through the options of Home, Calendar, Dashboard, and ATP.

3.  Account Settings

You can edit your account profile, settings, and training zones from here.

The two areas you'll spend the most time in are the Calendar and the Dashboard, each pictured below.



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Step 2: How to review your new training plan
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1.  Select Calendar as your view

This will allow you to view the training plan in calendar view.  You can scroll through the plan (up or down) using your mouse wheel or the scroll bar located on the far right of the screen.

2.  Notes: Plan information

In your training plan, we have added Notes to help guide you through the system and give special tips. Notes tiles feature the note icon and a dark top bar.

3.  Workouts: Viewing Summaries

Your training plan calendar view allows you to see a workout summary tile featuring the title, workout description, and structured workout view.

4.  Weekly Summary:  Your week

You can view your weekly summary totals at the right hand side of each week. This summary total will show both planned and actual information. 

Step 3: Selecting workouts for viewing 
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1.  Select a workout to view

Select the workout you wish to view by clicking on the workout tile.

2.  Workout description interface

The selection of a workout will open the workout viewer, where you can see the description and more details.

Selecting workouts
Step 4: How to read your workouts

Each workout contains several phases: a warmup, at least one main set (MS), and a cooldown. You’ll be guided through each phase with its description, duration, target (power, heart rate, or perceived exertion), and, where appropriate, terrain. It's a great idea to get familiar with the workout layout before you start training.

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What are all those terms and abbreviations? Check out the TrainingPeaks glossary here and click here for our own abbreviations.

Reading workouts
Step 5: Testing your thresholds

Your workouts are based on your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) if you train with power data or your Threshold Heart Rate (tHR) if you train with heart rate data. Your threshold is typically established with a standard max-effort test workout with a 20-minute testing protocol.


Please note: Testing should never be completed in ERG mode. If you are testing on Zwift, we highly recommend completing the Zwift FTP test.

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Once your testing is completed, you will need to enter your new functional threshold Power (FTP) and/or heart rate threshold (tHR) into your TrainingPeaks account. To do this, you'll first need to interpret the results of your test.

Power Test Results

Your FTP is estimated as 95% of your peak 20-minute power output for the test (you can find the peak 20-minute power number in the “Power” screen of your workout). For example, if your 20-minute peak power for the test workout is 200 watts, 95% of 200 watts is 190 watts, so your new FTP is 190 watts. 

Heart Rate Test Results

Your tHR is estimated as your average heart rate for the last 15 minutes of the 20-minute test effort. For example, if your average heart rate for the last 15 minutes of the test is 152 bpm, your tHR is 152 bpm. 

Step 6: Setting your thresholds
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1.  Open account info

Click on your name/image to access the dropdown menu.

2.  Select settings to open the account settings

Click on Settings to open the account settings interface.

3.  Select Zones

On the left side of the interface, select ZONES to access the zone panel. 

4.  Select your zone format

Select power or heart rate zones (you should complete both).

5.  Edit your threshold/FTP

Enter your testing results number. Remember, we use 95% of your peak 20-minute power from your test.  Heart rate users should enter your average heart rate for the last 15 minutes of your 20-minute test.

6.  Select threshold power or heart rate format

The BaseCamp zone system uses threshold power and threshold heart rate as the basis for workout targets.

7.  Select the Coggan Zone system

The BaseCamp training plans are built to use the Coggan Zones system. 

8.  Calculate

Calculate your new numbers.

9.  Save 

Save your new zones. Your new zone targets will be automatically populated throughout your TrainingPeaks account, but you must manually update them in Zwift. 

Setting thresholds
BaseCamp Support: TrainingPeaks FAQs
How to convert power zones to heart rate or RPE
How to set your thresholds in TrainingPeaks
Support Videos
How to read your workout in TrainingPeaks
How to edit your training schedule
How to add or remove time from a structured workout
How to find your TrainingPeaks workout on Zwift



Q. I'm 46 years old. How do I determine if I should choose a standard plan or a masters plan?

A. The masters plans are built with more recovery time and less intervals during intensity workouts. Forty-five is the general age at which athletes switch to masters training, but this also depends on how many years you've been training. If you're a well-seasoned cyclist with years of training, you can probably use a standard plan into your 50s, while if you're a beginner, you might want to choose a masters plan at or beyond the age of 45.


Q. I don’t have 12 hours a week to train. Can I change the plan to reduce the training hours without disturbing the progression?

A. Yes! Sunday is almost always an endurance day, so as long as you reduce every Sunday by the same number of minutes, you'll keep the plan’s progressive build moving upward. For example, if you take away one endurance hour every Sunday, the plan will now require 7-11 hours of training a week. Take away two hours every Sunday, and the plan will require 6-10 hours a week. 


Q. Does the plan take into account when I perform the workout? In other words, if I do one day's workout in the evening and the next day's work out in the morning, does that change my training dynamics?

A. Good question! Our plans are not affected by what time of day you train, but during the last eight weeks of training for an event, Coach Tim prefers to have his athletes train at the same time of day as their upcoming event, if possible, to better prepare the body for the effort. For example, if your race is in the morning, do you workouts in the morning when you can.


Q. Do the plans come with workout files that I can import into Zwift, RGT, etc.?

A. Yes! Choose any of our Coggan Classic plans, as these include structured workouts that can be loaded right to your device. Our iLevels plans are individualized and use your unique power-duration curve, so these plans cannot be structured or loaded to a device.


Q. Can the iLevels plans be loaded to my Garmin or smart trainer like the Coggan Classic plans? 

A. Unfortunately no. Because iLevels plans are individualized to your numbers and your unique power-duration curve. These numbers change daily/weekly and are not just based on your FTP like the Coggan Classic levels. If you want to structure them daily in Training Peaks yourself using your numbers you can. 


Q. I usually do my longer workouts on Friday. The sample schedule has rides every day except Monday, and the active recovery ride is on Friday. Is there an easy way to shift the plan one day to the left?

A. Yes! You can move the weekday workouts (in other words, the shorter workouts) to Monday through Wednesday, move active recovery to Thursdays, and move your longer rides to Friday and Saturday, making Sunday your day off. The simplest way to accomplish this is to apply the plan to your TrainingPeaks account starting on a Sunday instead of a Monday.


Q. My A goals are 100-mile gran fondos. Am I better off with the full-season road plan or the full-season time trial plan?

A. The full-season road plan is designed to give you all-around fitness and performance for road cycling and racing. It includes more short- to medium-interval training, which is typically required for group riding or road racing. The time trial plan features more steady-state and threshold workouts, and this would be an excellent choice if you want to focus on 100-mile gran fondo goals.


Q. Do the full season plans include a prep period before the base period, or does it start right at the beginning of the base? 

A. The first two weeks of the full-season plans are prep weeks; week one eases back into training, and week two is testing. 


Q. During which month are the full-season plans typically scheduled to start? September, October, November? Are they meant to begin 26 weeks out from my first race?

A. You can start the plan whenever you like, but if you have a spring A race or event, you can count 26-27 weeks prior to the event and start the plan then. If you've been racing and riding hard all summer and fall, Coach Cusick recommends that you take several weeks off the bike to give your body a rest, then start the plan.


Q. Does Coach Cusick have a race-period training plan I can purchase that would take me to the very end of the season?

A. The race season is very difficult to build a general plan for, as every cyclist has different race goals, styles of events, specialties, strengths and weaknesses, etc. A coach is the best place to get your racing plan. However, Tim has developed a set of plans called Save your Season that are designed to take you through the last eight weeks before your event or race. We've got Save Your Season plans for road racing, gravel racing, mountain bike racing, and TTs. These plans assume you've been training throughout the season and are focused on performance. Tim also has in-season time trial plans, as well as cyclocross plans for the July and August time period.


Q. I have a basic TrainingPeaks account. Will I be able to view the training plan with a basic account, or will I need to upgrade to a premium account?

A. A basic TrainingPeaks account is all you need to see the plan. If you would like to see your PMC (performance manager chart) and other analysis tools, you'll need to upgrade to premium or purchase WKO5.


Q. Are the workouts in the plan meant to be used strictly outside, or do they translate to the indoor trainer as well?

A. The workouts can certainly be done on the indoor trainer. In fact, our weekday workouts are typically 1:45:00 or less, making them great for indoor training. 


Q. What should I do in early fall? The race season is over, but it’s too early to start my spring build. 

A. Building back your functional strength, working on cadence and form, and trying some yoga or other exercise are terrific ways of balancing out your body after a long season of cycling. Our transition plan is a 4- to 8-week plan that includes everything you need to get back in balance, and it's only $29.00!


Q. I loaded my plan to start on the wrong date. How do I change it?

It's simple to unapply and reapply your training plan on your TrainingPeaks calendar! Click here for instructions.

Exchanging planned workouts
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