Is this training plan right for me

The inevitable questions from a newbie

I have just joined SYSTM and have signed up to the 12 week general fitness all purpose plan (moderate time)with some strength training. Already after doing just 3 days I am wondering/worried whether, if I stick to this, for the 12 weeks I will in fact become less fit than I am at present?
I am new to modern on line training and have previously for the last year or so been doing my own thing and more in the past 6 months been doing my own devised “structured training”
Basically concentrating on endurance ( 3 days of 2 hours each split between 60-70% MHR and 70-80% MHR in 15 -30 minute sections to make up the two hours) plus 1 day of 4 sets 10 x 30/30s or 4 x 10 mins @ 85-90% MHR + or some 10 sec sprints. Then sunday club ride for about 2-3 hours making a total fo aroun 9 10 hours and still having two days of complete rest. I have got quite fit doing this (I am 68 years old now)

Whilst the plan I am on at the moment has some good intervals in it (which is good as it will force me to do them) the other Zone 1/2 rides seem too short to do much and I am concerned that after 12 weeks I will loose much of my endurance base I have worked hard to get. Also, I want to add on a club ride each week on a Sunday but this will give me no time off so can/should I combine some of those shorter Zone1/2 rides into one day(or just choose one of the longer ones in the plan) to give me a rest day. Obviously the plans have been designed to get you as fit as quickly as possible so should I trust this and go with the flow? and will the extra high intensity workouts in this plan make up for the lack of longer endurance rides that I am used to doing. Has has anyone else had this concern when joined this program from what you did before? Many thanks

This won’t address many of your questions, but this post (and much of the thread, too) may be of some help to explain some of the thinking behind how the plans are designed. Comparison of Methodologies - #4 by Coach.Jeff.H


Hi @ozmadman

One of the coaches may come in here but some thoughts from me:

If looking for more volume choose either the All Purpose High volume or one of the Event Prep plans - Mountainous Fondo (moderate or high) or Gravel 100 mile (moderate or high). Both of these are well regarded plans.

I’m currently doing the Gravel 100 mile Moderate volume - weekend one was a 2 hour workout on each of Saturday and Sunday, the second is 2.5 hours on each day. So quite a bit more volume, especially endurance/ zone 2. Saturday is usually my club ride of 3-5 hours so I’ll do that and then a shorter ride on the Sunday to make up what volume remains. Or if poor weather I’ll stick to the trainer. Monday and Fridays are cycling rest days. Generally it’s the workouts during the week that are higher intensity and shorter in duration to fit in with work commitments (those of us that have them!).

Finally, don’t be afraid to move workouts around if/ as needed - as long as you’re sticking with the general theme of the plan it will make you fitter and stronger!


Improved fitness doesn’t happen while exercising hard; it happens during the time between hard exercise. That’s what Z1/Z2 rides are for. They keep the blood flowing while mostly letting you recover and improve.


Perhaps a “Call with a coach” might be worthwhile in this case.

Thanks… had a look at that topic, some interesting points made their. I had researched Stephen Seiler quite a bit and had used the 80/20 session time (in reality approx 90/10 in actual training minutes time) principles in my own training plan that up until now had resulted in me doing 90% of my time in the level 1/2 range and only around 10% or even less about 90%MHR. This has given me good results for my age so hence the question about whether I would actually loose some fitness by drastically dropping the quantity of low level training. What I get from that thread is that the less time you have the more HIIT you do and as you increase your time the endurance stuff can increase with it… cheers Paul