Novice or intermediate

Hi all,

Have just joined up with SUF after an extended period off of the bike due to loss of motivation and no mental staying power to continue cycling.
I’ve gotten fat and lazy and it’s time to get back on the horse.
I had spent the last few years with a coach when I was cycling, not to train for anything in particular, just for fun and when I was training, it was 6 to 12 hours of riding a week.
My idea of fun then was suffering and suffering alone on long rides.

I do Fly in, Fly out so my time at work to cycle is slightly restrictive but my time home, I can ride whenever and how ever long I want to.
I’ve got a kickr in my room at work and one at home.

I have recently completed the 4D test and looking at completing the All Purpose training plan but not sure on whether to do the intermediate or novice plan.
I am not sure which to choose.
Do I choose the plan with the hours that I am prepared to do or do I take the plan with the hours that I have done for the past 2 months, which is zero?
It wouldn’t bother me if it was the same load as I used to do but not sure if the different plans are a difference of duration only or a difference in difficulty as I have experienced with a different training platform in the past.

Thanks in advance and sorry if this question has been asked before.
I tried to go through the forums but didn’t have much luck with finding the answer that I was seeking.


I’d start with the novice plan - it might seem a bit (too) easy at first, but you have a chance of burning yourself later on, if you start with the intermediate.

Even if, throughout the whole plan, you feel you might be able to do more, stick to it. You have no reason to take the risk of over-training/under-resting.

Just my two cents.


Thanks Cyclopaat.
Changed and locked in now.

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Another vote for what @Cyclopaat said as a plan. The additional benefits are quite varied.

  • you’ll get used to the way things work this way a little bit easier
  • you get a mental boost from being able to ‘complete’ things, which depending on how our minds work, can sometimes be a good thing. You can always push it further once you get a sense for how much time is taken up
  • the difference between novice/intermediate/advanced plans is the number of hours of training basically so you were spot on there.
  • it gives you a chance to explore the yoga/Strength/mental training aspects as well possibly

Then you will be ina great place to pick and choose the next one. When of course you will probably/possibly have done another 4DP test … and often that first plan gives things a boost - partly because we get used to what ‘hard’ means again after as while (happens to me every year), and simply your legs/lungs/heart etc will likely be conditioned again if you’ve had time off.

Have a great plan … and pls ask away if any questions throughout it


And welcome to the community of SUF @kennyv11 Ken !

(you do know you can never leave right?)

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Sound advice here, I would also recommend novice as you have come from little to no training and it is important to establish a solid base, not only for your cycle fitness but also in regards to fitting training back into your schedule.
You mentioned a previous lull in motivation so it will be much better to do the novice plan and feel on top of it than go for intermediate and feel like you are battling.
Another plan to consider is the 10 week Fitness Kick-Starter

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Thanks Sir_Martin.
Looking forward to SUF and hopefully can find the love again for cycling.

I’m looking forward to the mental strength and yoga training as it wasn’t something done in the past with my training.
I think I only took care of the mental side once things started going awry, i was already done a hole and it was too late.

Not afraid of pain and looking forward to some gains.

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