Struggling to choose a first time training plan

Hi. I’m relatively new to Sufferfest, having joined in July 2021. I did FF at the outset and was given a rider typw of Attacker, and my weakness was Sustained Efforts. I followed this up with the 4 week FTP building block which ends this week. I am absolutely loving SUF so far.

I am planning to do the FF plan next week before starting a new plan.

I am really struggling to choose a suitable plan.

My main goal is to keep up with the local group rides on Sundays - a hilly 60-70 mile ride at around a 19mph average. I currently ride that distance at around 18 mph.

My current FTP is 2.9W/kg. I work Mon-Fri and can train between 5-7 hours a week. I want the option of being able to ride outdoors at the weekends and to incorporate strength training and yoga (two parts of SUF that I have realy found beneficial).

I am struggling to choose the right plan at the right level. All Purpose Road (intermediate) and Time Trial (novice) both seem to be good options.

Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated.

To me it sounds like you are describing the all purpose road-plan (indoor & outdoor) with yoga, and an applicable strength training plan in addition. The TT plan will most likely work too, but unless you target TTs I would go with all purpose.

Happy suffering!


Hey @djones632 ,
You might look at the Novice Metric Century plan with strength and add yoga. Just replace the event with FF at the end of the plan. You are on the right track by looking at plans that fit your training availability. That’s the key. If our stock plans don’t meet your needs, consider a customized plan from one of our coaches or a chat with a coach to dial in a plan focusing on your individual needs. We’ve had a lot of success stories from our members who go that route. Let us know how it goes.


Thanks @Coach.Spencer.R I’ve had a look at the novice Metric Century and it looks great and seems to fit my availability and needs. Would you there is any benefit in doing that program over, say, the intermediate All Purpose Road (indoor and outdoor) with added Strength training stacked on top? Cheers.

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Hey @djones632 ,
Availability and goals/needs are the main considerations for choosing any plan. If you choose the All Purpose Road Plan indoor/outdoor rides, you’d just have to do a bit more juggling/switching workouts to accommodate the strength training. It can be done but you may want to get a bit more experience with the plans before trying to mix and match workouts. Does that make sense? Whatever you choose, we’re here to help and I’m sure others will chime in on their experience. Hope that helps.


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Thanks @Coach.Spencer.R , much appreciated! With regards adding strength to the APR plan, do the strength workouts not just automatically fall on Tuesdays and Fridays, so they are done on those days?

@djones632 The strength sessions do fall on T and F and match up fine with the APR indoor only w/strength. But on the indoor/outdoor plan some workouts will have to be adjusted.

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I have a question Sir Spencer: Why not the Hilly Gran Fondo plan? More likely to match the type of ride and effort.

@jmckenzieKOS it’s because he only has 5-7hrs/week to train.

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Just a bit too much volume for me to commit to the GF plan. I can’t confidently say I would be able to complete all the workouts. It looks like a cracking plan though!

@Coach.Spencer.R Got it! I hadn’t realised the indoor workouts change when you add strength. I don’t fancy having to look at each week to pair the strength training with certain workouts myself - that’s what I want a plan for in the first place.

Looking at the Metric Century plan, it looks quite good in terms of all-round road riding. I am planning on entering some events next year - crits and sportives - and the MC plan looks like it could give me a good foundation to build upon over winter. Does that make sense?


Remember the 80% rule. If you can complete 80% of the workouts in a given time period, you should be on the way to success. If you can’t, then you are right in picking a different plan as Sir Spencer said in his reply to me.

Same here. I already subs Suf for 5 months and done few special blocks. But now I want to invest more time into SUF as I can feel the benefit and already used to back and forth put my bike on the trainer direct drive.

Here is my set up for next week, all purpose road intermediate indoor only with strength. But I also plan occasionally ride outside with friends on the weekend, just 1 or max 2 hours on Saturday.

Is it ok as to do this as long as I can follow the indoor plan on the weekend?

Thank you.

Hey @dhiku ,
You can do that just make sure to ride outdoors easier on your recovery weeks .
Let us know how it goes.


Well noted coach, thanks for reminder.

My worry is what if I missed the workout plan on Saturday? here is my thought if that happen,

  1. If my Saturday ride load is similar in terms of duration and intensity to the training plan, the I can just skipped it i.e Holyweek is quite easy to replicate outdoor since the interval is minimal

  2. But if my saturday ride is different than the plan, then I need to add 10-15 mins session to next session until 80% of missed ride time. So if my next session is moon rider, than I just add 15 mins again of moon rider by rewind the last part before cooldown. And also to the next following plan. Is it correct?

Or if I still have energy can I just do the saturday workout in the afternoon? or maybe on Sunday morning then continue to do the Sunday plan?

Need advise. thank you

@dhiku Don’t make it too complicated. Responding to your thoughts:

  1. Correct…it’s basically taking the indoor ride and doing it outdoors. You don’t have to be exact, just the basic spirit of the ride.

  2. No. You don’t need to add or subtract from the sessions. A few minutes here or there is not going to make a significant difference.

Adding extra volume may cause more harm than good. More is not always better…
If you opt for a customized plan, the coaches do all this for you. Another option is a chat with a coach to get a better understanding of how to organize and structure your training on your own. Either one is highly beneficial. Hope this helps.


Got it, I learned a lot by reading your respond, thank you

Yeah when I wrote that, it sound complicated, but I refer to this article, Skip a workout? Don't despair! – The Sufferfest

Yeah I think I should get chat with coach to get better at program my routine. Problem is , my Saturday ride usually quite random, sometimes I ride high intense loop, or group ride mid intense or long ride with friends.

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