TOS Prep Plan Too Easy?

Hopefully a coach will drop by and give the SUFscience view regarding the ToS training plan in general being too easy (bearing in mind that SUF plans are not primarily/solely driven by the “raise your CTL” model or old school rules of thumb). For your specific situation it may be that the goals of prep + ToS aren’t aligned with where you want to be so making changes are OK… although that might also mean changes to how you approach ToS. Anyways, not my place to say. (p.s. GSS is meant for something different. ASS, however…)

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Agreed. And my Training Peaks adjustments include longer rides on the weekends and more intensity mid-week! That’s why I’m asking for advice on ramping it up. The issue is that I’m also time-crunched, so doing indoor rides on the weekend that last longer than two hours isn’t consistently feasible.

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They don’t match. The home screen is 32 and my chart is showing 37 today, but I think the difference is the PMC assumes I’ve completed today’s workouts, which I’ll be doing this evening.

Week four is at the bottom of the adjusted calendar. It’s an unmodified taper week. TOS starts on Sunday Feb14th, so that week is not shown.

That’s what I’m suspecting as well. Just doesn’t align with my goals, which was to build up through February to hit my spring training and events without a laughable CTL. Besides as far as hitting TOS both fitter and unfatigued, surely a single taper week is sufficient to drop my fatigue. I just don’t see the necessity of doing the scheduled three week holding pattern. Not that I’m complaining so much as trying to understand the logic of an easy advanced prep plan. It is not making sense to me.

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For this reason, I am keeping my current plan, interrupting it three days before the tour to do Taper Efforts, then Primers the day before the tour.

Depending on how I feel afterwards, I will do some days of recovery, and then resume my plan.

I am probably going to do the “easy” version of the Tour since I do not want to interfere with my longer term goal that my plan is aimed at. Since it is new, however, I am tempted to do Norway at 100%.


Thank you, I nearly got it right

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I was doing tos prep plan at intermediate level. After a week and a half , I realised I was not being worked hard enough and switched to ftp trying block

I noticed, as well, that these last 3 or 4 weeks seem to be at a lower intensity level than I expected. I have been planning to add in a couple extra shot workouts, or possibly replace one or two of the easier workouts each week. However, I took a lot of time off over the holidays and I’m starting to feel the detraining effect, so I’m using the plan to help ease me back into shape and doubt now that will do much modification of the plan unless I am really feeling fresh (which I haven’t been).

Usually, at night I think about all the great workouts I could use to really flog myself tomorrow, but then when I wake up early in the morning and it’s time to actually ride, I go with whatever inspiration video is in the plan. lol

But then again, I thought today’s no-vid high cadence workout was going to be pretty easy. But those 12 minutes of 110+ RPMs were about all I could take.

This thread has many good observations about training load and the ToS prep. BUT…I took some time to compare my prep plan for the 2020 ToS and the 2021 ToS.

TL;DR: 2021 ToS prep is significantly less intense than the equivalent 2020 prep.

In both 2020 and 2021, I compared ‘intermediate’ + yoga beginner and mental toughness. There are some differences that complicate the comparison a little (2020 was a 7 week plan that I fouled up a bit over the first few days, for example, and 2021 is a 6 week plan). I used my current FTP to compare TSS for 2020 and 2021 (although my FTP is pretty similar, anyway). I started my comparison at Primers, the day before 4DP FF for both years and ran until the end of the prep plan (41 days in 2020 and 40 in 2021).

This could be a long(er) post, but here is the top level analysis…2021 has 30% fewer activities (workouts) than 2020 b/c 2021 had a number of 2 workouts/day. The total TSS from Primers (the day before 4DP FF) to the start of the ToS is 100% less in 2021 vs. 2020. Predictably, intensity is also down in 2021: 34% less TSS/min, 55% less TSS/activity and 16% less minutes/activity all vs. the 2020 prep plan.


I started an advanced all purpose road at the beginning of the month and it feels a bit light, too. Almost like they’re foisting the inspiration viddies upon us

I think foisting is a bit too harsh. There was a real need for more recovery videos. Besides nothing prevents you from adding more suffering to your plan.


Basically, the sheer number of inspiration videos you see is only an indication of how many reduced intensity workouts that previously were incorporated into all the plans. Thus the need for a wide variety of new recovery videos, hence the new inspiration videos.


Inspired by @Sir_Brian_M I did Blender yesterday instead of Alla Vita, so that was a 100 TSS extra in the bank. Will also attempt Cobbler today, helping prepare me for what is coming during ToS.

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I think I misunderstood which calendar you were asking to see. Here is my TOS Prep Plan up to the start of TOS.

@Magnito Yes - same for me. I went to the Tool Shed today. I started the TOS prep plan a week late so felt like it was the appropriate move for me and wow that 9th hammer is still tough even in the mash-up! I struggled to avoid the death spiral.

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Something else to consider is substituting an Inspiration video instead of taking a day off. I’m planning on riding Alla Vita tomorrow morning. I might dial the intensity back just a bit, to keep CTL flat.


Well, seeing Silke climbing mountains on a hand cycle, there was no way I could dial mine back. Such an inspiration! Magnifique! Très Bon!!


Totally. Very humbling and inspiring to watch. My favourite is the Inspiration videos so far.

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There is a “Too Long Didn’t Read” summary at the bottom of this message.

All of you are correct that this year ToS prep plans are dialed back compared to last years and that you won’t be digging as deep of a hole this Jan/Feb, even after the ToS (unless you did some stages reduced last year, and do all at 100%. this year).

This was a deliberate decision to dial back Volume (the intensity is still in there). TSS and CTL are driven mainly by Volume, which explains most of the difference.

Our typical training plans are designed to push you right up towards your limit multiple times throughout the full duration (12 weeks for the most part). With these plans being 6 weeks and the ToS itself being a really massive load, the same progression we use for a 12-week plan can’t be followed.

The options become keeping you in a hole for too long or not digging you into as deep a hole, which means feeling like you’re not even in a hole for larger chunks of time.

The reason behind all of this is the same as the rationale for the All-In plans we launched last April. Moderate amounts of exercise boost your immune system. Following a standard training plan repeatedly pushes you very close to the edge. You’ll get faster with adequate recovery between blocks, but your immune system ends up taking a hit. In fact, your immune system will be weaker compared to someone who doesn’t exercise at all.

We enjoy helping users get fitter and faster. However, our first priority will always be ensuring the health of our users comes first.
With Covid still possing a legitimate health threat to people across the planet, this January and February is not the time to have a sub-par immune system.
The ToS is an event we put on for an excellent cause, and we wanted to ensure that no one willingly completing it is put into harm’s way (well, as little harm as possible, it’s still the ToS after all). That is one of the reasons this year’s Stage count dropped from 9 to 7.
Thanks to vaccines, this risk vs. reward of hard training and immune response will go back to “normal.” For now, we are choosing optimizing health over maximizing performance.

TLDR: Hard training impairs your immunity. CoVid is still a threat. The ToS supports a great cause. We want to ensure the health and safety of all of those willing to complete it by prioritizing a robust immune system vs. maximizing performance gains.