Tracking and Building Yearly Training Plan

So maybe this is not a “basic tip” but i struggled to figure out where to put it, so guys, feel free to move it to wherever, but:

I just read the Houshang Amiri article How to Develop a Yearly Training Plan and I notice that he also seems to use a spreadsheet (or anyway, what appeared to be an Excel spreadsheet was the main image for the article).

I have also been using a spreadsheet, but what resources and formats do you guys use to design and manage an ATP? Are there any apps or programs that facilitate this better than Microsoft Excel?

I have tried to use TrainingPeaks, but I have found that it is difficult to get the right level of view. For example, their ATP builder is a combination of too high-level (e.g., you can’t look at planned progression of weight lifting, core, flexibility, skills and training all next to each other) and also, somehow, too granular (e.g. you have to pick the amount of TSS that you plan to be doing seven months in the future, which feels absurd).

TrainingPeaks is great for planning a week and/or designing individual workouts but for the ATP functionality, i just don’t feel that it fills the bill.

any other ideas?

edited to correct terrible misspelling in this poor man’s name, apologies


@BikerBocker, this is a great question! I’ve used TrainingPeaks ATP and a number of other platforms. Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything (yet!) that offers the same level of customization and ease of use.

The thing I like about Excel is that you can easily cut, paste, color code cells, etc. and it’s just a very time-efficient way to line up your year. I’ve even used the excel doc approach to plan a quadrennial cycle for a Paralympic athlete in the past and that’s where it gets really cool because you can basically start with a template like the one that Houshang uses and customize it to meet your needs.

My main concern when doing one of those is making sure that it’s simple enough to understand with a quick look, complex enough to allow me to add whatever I need (e.g., adding lifting, flexibility, skills, etc.), and not have to spend hours within a piece of software learning how to use it. Plus, you can send, export, print, or make stickers and photo magnets out of it! So it’s a versatile piece of software that I keep gravitating toward for things like this.

Having gone through many years of working in the excel ATP structure, I still do use the TrainingPeaks ATP pretty frequently. Once you do enough excel documents, you’ll figure out what you need and what’s meaningful. For me, currently, the TP ATP is pretty solid for what I need at this time. But if it came down to planning a lot of complex and interlocking pieces, I would likely gravitate toward an excel document.

Coach Ryan


I am an amateur (aged 55) and when it comes to training plans I like to keep it simple.

I have a Word document that contains details on training. It describes the periods of training roughly how long these should be and the sequence you’d normally do them in. Then for each period I list what I think is the workout priority and what kind of volume I should be aiming at for each type.

Here’s an example of what I’ve put in my Word document based on books I’ve read.

I then have an Excel spreadsheet that outlines my high level plan towards my events for the year. Below is my plan for Paris Brest Paris (1230km) in 2019

I did have a high level plan for the Wild Atlantic Way Audax (2100km) for 2020 but the pandemic hit that in March 2020.

That worked well for those events as far as they went. I wasn’t however that good with the progressive overload. I was good at being consistent with the workout type but not good as progressing the length, intensity or number of intervals during a particular workout.

For 2022 I am putting together a weekly workout breakdown spreadsheet which as much as anything reminds me to progress the workout I am doing. I am not precious about the day I do my high intensity on. I only do a max of two high intensity a week and try and keep two days between each.

Here’s the one I created today and I am still working on. I doesn’t need to have the next 6 months planned out yet. Just something showing for next few weeks is fine then I can add the following weeks as they approach and I see how I’m progressing or not as the weeks go by. I’ve put some callouts to explain what you’re looking at. I don’t use power outside I use just heart rate. I tend to do intensity on turbo (which does have power and cadence as well as HR) leaving my outdoor rides for the long low intensity variety. The way I prefer it.

Finally I created this to remind me of the mistakes I may repeat during my training. @stephen.seiler Will recognise the below from a tweet I did a few months back.

I like to keep my plans simple my tips are

  1. Work from the date of the event you are most excited about and want to do well in. I do ultra distance brevets which aren’t races. I am most excited about my 1,000km + events. These are the ones I’ll be really upset about if I don’t finish them.
  2. Based on that date work out how many weeks you have to prepare for that event
  3. Based on where you are at the moment decide what phase of training you need to start with.
  4. Plot an outline of the high level training periods, plus your build up events leading to the big one. This is what I do with my first spreadsheet waterfall chart.
  5. Decide what the key focus will be within each of your high level training periods.
  6. Look in your training notes and convert the key focus to key workouts for each period
  7. During a 4 week period just stick to one high intensity interval type . Keep it simple just progressing intensity, duration, or number of intervals. Don’t progress all three. This way if you miss a session you don’t have to think about about what to do for the next session.
  8. Build out a progressive overload for the next training period coming up
  9. Add what I call rest and retest period at the end of each block. I generally retest once every 4 weeks or a month.
  10. Track what you actually did against your plan but don’t get bogged down in nitty gritty as an amateur. Just honestly assess what type of workout it ended up being and how well it went.

I’d welcome comments on my approach where I try and keep it simple as I’m the one managing it not a coach.


this is pretty cool!

Thank you.