Alternative to Trainer Road

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Lina
Posts: 426
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:09 pm

by Lina

LiKuid wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:52 pm
If you take your time to read TR before starting a plan, most probably you ll end up selecting a base plan. If you try the plan builder tool, and dont give it a race date anytime soon, you ll definitely be given a 10-12 week base plan before doing any hard interval work. I understand that a lot of people may start hot expecting qiuck results, but each time TR directs you to start with base work.
Have you actually looked at TRs training plans? Their "base" isn't base, it's sweet spot. And it's massive amounts of sweet spot. And if you use the plan builder it gives you speet spot base in different volumes depending on your input into the builder. And if you go to the base plans the "traditional base" is the lowest one and this is what they tell you on the description
Traditional Base has three consecutive four-week blocks: I, II and III. Time permitting, complete each block in order.

As its name implies, the Traditional block takes the old-fashioned approach to base training. It requires a large time commitment to give you significant gains. Unless you have at least 10 hours/week to train, we do not recommend the long, low-intensity Traditional approach. Workouts include fair shares of form work, pedaling drills, power sprints, force intervals and hill simulations.

This block is primarily geared toward Grand Tour athletes or those recovering from an injury who want to avoid high-intensity intervals.
Not only are they telling you to not do it, only the first block of those plans is what you could call traditional base. Blocks 2 and 3 have tons of tempo and sweet spot showed into them.

Btw first one on the base phase list is the sweet spot plans which tells you this. You can't tell me TR isn't trying to direct everyone into sweet spot.
Sweet Spot Base has two consecutive six-week blocks: I and II. Time permitting, complete each block in order.

The Sweet-Spot block is the most efficient form of base training for the majority of cyclists — it’s what we recommend. You’ll train in the Sweet-Spot, Threshold and VO2max power zones for a blend of interval training that makes you stronger, faster. Aside from the significant fitness gains and increases in FTP, you’ll enhance your form work and pedaling mechanics.

If you have the time and prefer the traditional style but would like to complete this block, the high-volume block incorporates aspects of both Sweet-Spot and Traditional base training.

by Weenie


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Lozaen
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:44 pm
Location: Switzerland

by Lozaen

But isn't that the hole point of the new "Ai/ML/Vodoo" Approach?
To chose for the customer or at least recommend to the customer what he is actually capable of and adapting accordingly?
Interested in buying Carbonsport Lightweight wheels with broken spokes.

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cheapvega
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

It's not of much use if the recommendations are no good, or the choices aren't made with all the available data in a useful way. If the algorithm has to wait for me to do an FTP test to change my trajectory or adjust my intensity it doesn't seem very useful to me.

Lozaen
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:44 pm
Location: Switzerland

by Lozaen

But it doesn't
They clearly state, that the algorithm will adapt after every single ride and your power profile will be updated accordingly.
Interested in buying Carbonsport Lightweight wheels with broken spokes.

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cheapvega
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

Your "Performance Levels" will be updated but you still have to do ramp tests to change your FTP. I'm not seeing anywhere that suggests FTP changes from riding data automatically

Andrew69
Posts: 462
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:52 am
Location: ɹǝpunuʍop

by Andrew69

WKO5 will "estimate" your FTP as well as other metrics from ride data automatically.
Obviously, its only as good as the data you feed it so if you spend the next 6 months riding at nothing but Z2, then the estimate will be next to useless

bikeboy1tr
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

I was just looking at different cycling programs and have a premium subscrip to Strava but its just not and hasnt done much in the way I would like for training analysis. I found this thread and was wondering what everyone thought on the latest programs out there. TR doesnt interest me much from what I have read so far and I would have to agree that for the monthly subscrip its not happening for me. I do like what I have seen on WKO but havent done the free trial just yet. I have a good grasp on how to train myself having grown up with Joe Friels manuals and through experience for what works for me but would like a better program for the graphs and such. I did use Cycling Analytics which was okay but I thought still kind of limiting for the graphs. I dont mind doing the FTP tests every so often but like a number of ppl here I think they are limited with the way they are carried out. I even modified the way I performed the tests to make it more realistic for me if I was to do a one hour TT. It would be nice if the software did adjust to hard rides that you have done within the last 3 weeks so that an FTP wouldnt be as critical to base the numbers you need to hit for intervals.
I see its been awhile since anyone has revisited this subject here.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=154188
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bikeboy1tr
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

A buddy of mine has a coach that has been recommending this training site that uploads from strava and other sites and its free with some limitations as to how much loads up from other sites but I liked it enough to give it a try for a year which opens up the number of files you can upload to it. Its only $48 US for a year which is less money than a premium membership for Strava and offers so much more.
intervals.icu
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=154188
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AJS914
Posts: 4920
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I really doubt there is some conspiracy at TR such that they will train you sub-optimally on purpose. TrainerRoad is a tool and unfortunately regulating training load tends to be nuanced. TR is trying to deliver this to the masses and the middle of the bell curve will do fine. The edge case people will fall off the cliff. Let's also remember that TR originally started off as an indoor training platform but has beening trying to expand into a comprehensive indoor/outdoor training service so they don't lose customers for the 8 months of summer riding.

The low volume TR plans are only 3-4 hours per week. Most people will do just fine on this. It's ok if it's sweet spot. TR's "problem" is people and their notions. Like, many people think more is better. 'If 3 hours of sweet spot are good, 5 or 6 must be better.' 'If sweet spot is good, then threshold is even better.' People will go on and on with their more is better, harder is better thinking.

TR has had a testing problem. Again the problem is people because they don't want to test. A 20 minute test is too hard and it's difficult to pace until you've done it many times. A 2x8min test properly executed is also hard. TR came up with the ramp test which works for the average but under-tests for very aerobic diesel types (probably just fine to have an under-estimated FTP). People with a good anaerobic contribution will over-test. These people will fall off the cliff. Their sweet spot plan is, in reality, a threshold plan and they will eventually burn out.

The flip side of the testing problem is the FTP number problem. People are loath to lower their FTP. If they test at 293, they'll round to 300 so they can tell their friends. Then, they train at 300 and get too much anerobic contribution.

This is all the nuance stuff that is hard to communicate to riders. TR has invented AI/ML 'adaptive training' to combat the edge cases so they don't fall off that cliff. It seems like a complicated way to combat the issue but maybe it sounds sexy and is easier to market?

I'd grant that it wouldn't serve TR to get real with customers. Like, 'if you only want to ride 4 hours per week, you just aren't going to get that good'. Or, 'if you really want to get fast go outside and ride 8 hours of Z2 on top of your 4 hour TR plan.'

Yes, indoor workouts are overly complicated for engagement reasons. That is not a bad thing though. It's not going to hurt. The only problem is people thinking that the complication is doing something extraordinary.

I think one can use a product like TR sucessfully if they self-coach themselves around the nuance. Get the endurance miles in. Don't do extra HIIT workouts on the platform. Don't fall into the FTP number trap - test more frequently and lower the FTP when a solid, longer, test shows it's lower. Insert extra easy weeks as needed and probably more frequently that TR suggests. It's a lot of work to making training science one's hobby and a lot of people just want to be told what to do.

bobones
Posts: 514
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:19 am

by bobones

bikeboy1tr wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:08 am
I was just looking at different cycling programs and have a premium subscrip to Strava but its just not and hasnt done much in the way I would like for training analysis. I found this thread and was wondering what everyone thought on the latest programs out there. TR doesnt interest me much from what I have read so far and I would have to agree that for the monthly subscrip its not happening for me. I do like what I have seen on WKO but havent done the free trial just yet. I have a good grasp on how to train myself having grown up with Joe Friels manuals and through experience for what works for me but would like a better program for the graphs and such. I did use Cycling Analytics which was okay but I thought still kind of limiting for the graphs. I dont mind doing the FTP tests every so often but like a number of ppl here I think they are limited with the way they are carried out. I even modified the way I performed the tests to make it more realistic for me if I was to do a one hour TT. It would be nice if the software did adjust to hard rides that you have done within the last 3 weeks so that an FTP wouldnt be as critical to base the numbers you need to hit for intervals.
I see its been awhile since anyone has revisited this subject here.
I think you'd like Xert. I have been using it for 2.5 years (Edit: correction 3.5 years), and really believe their system and model works well.

First of all, no FTP tests are required. Xert will automatically update your FTP (actually a 3 parameter fitness signature that includes TP) based on any "maximal" effort you do whether that's out on the road, on a trainer, doing a long climb, a short sharp sprint or an accumlation of efforts over a period of time. That in itself is a game changer but there's a lot more to it than that.

IMO, the whole concept of Xert is very intuitive and obvious, but it's better to read the offical docs and videos than get poor explanations from me. The fundamental takeaway for me is: the more you ride, the fitter you get, and Xert helps you measure and manage that whole process based on the areas of your cycling fitness you want to improve and the time you have available to train.
Last edited by bobones on Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mcdeez
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:40 pm

by Mcdeez

Im with TR right now and i really like it

Simple and easy, specially now it adapts to ajust your TSS

Im doing high volume plan and going strong.Theres some easy weeks and hard weeks, it a very nice plat form, to what ever your goals are.



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bikeboy1tr
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

bobones wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:59 pm
bikeboy1tr wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:08 am
I was just looking at different cycling programs and have a premium subscrip to Strava but its just not and hasnt done much in the way I would like for training analysis. I found this thread and was wondering what everyone thought on the latest programs out there. TR doesnt interest me much from what I have read so far and I would have to agree that for the monthly subscrip its not happening for me. I do like what I have seen on WKO but havent done the free trial just yet. I have a good grasp on how to train myself having grown up with Joe Friels manuals and through experience for what works for me but would like a better program for the graphs and such. I did use Cycling Analytics which was okay but I thought still kind of limiting for the graphs. I dont mind doing the FTP tests every so often but like a number of ppl here I think they are limited with the way they are carried out. I even modified the way I performed the tests to make it more realistic for me if I was to do a one hour TT. It would be nice if the software did adjust to hard rides that you have done within the last 3 weeks so that an FTP wouldnt be as critical to base the numbers you need to hit for intervals.
I see its been awhile since anyone has revisited this subject here.
I think you'd like Xert. I have been using it for 2.5 years, and really believe their system and model works well.

First of all, no FTP tests are required. Xert will automatically update your FTP (actually a 3 parameter fitness signature that includes TP) based on any "maximal" effort you do whether that's out on the road, on a trainer, doing a long climb, a short sharp sprint or an accumlation of efforts over a period of time. That in itself is a game changer but there's a lot more to it than that.

IMO, the whole concept of Xert is very intuitive and obvious, but it's better to read the offical docs and videos than get poor explanations from me. The fundamental takeaway for me is: the more you ride, the fitter you get, and Xert helps you measure and manage that whole process based on the areas of your cycling fitness you want to improve and the time you have available to train.
Actually I already signed up for a one year with Intervals but when I was looking at it I thought their was a lot of similarities to Xert where it does a eFTP calculation for over a 42day period which is good for those that dont want to do the testing for FTP but I normally do the testing and also it has the decoupling of HR on one of the graphs which is also something I test for but now I dont have to do the calculations. WKO was also another consideration as I did a Velocious tour in Majorca with Tim Cusack who helped develope the coaching end of it and I thought he was a pretty good coach but I prefer having access to the programs online rather than as a standalone on a PC. And yes I know it works in conjunction with TR but TR doenst interest me. I think Xert will be my next stop if Intervals isnt cutting it for me.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=154188
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jlok
Posts: 1925
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:30 am

by jlok

What Xert really excel at is that it can predict your maximal power and time to exhaust in real time on your Garmin Edge unit (or smart phone if you don't have an Edge). It's a very good "cheating" tool in ITT or anytime you want to push your limit.
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bobones
Posts: 514
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:19 am

by bobones

jlok wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 2:04 am
What Xert really excel at is that it can predict your maximal power and time to exhaust in real time on your Garmin Edge unit (or smart phone if you don't have an Edge). It's a very good "cheating" tool in ITT or anytime you want to push your limit.
I also like being able to do some of the Xert workouts out on the road using the Edge, but the best thing for me is that you don't need to do the workouts at all: you can just go out riding and Xert will credit you accordingly. As long you keep up with the training pacer (and suggested focus), you will improve at your desired rate (in the areas you wish to specialize in).

The segment hunter CIQ app is also great for pacing for breakthroughs or Strava records.

cheapvega
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

AJS914 wrote:
Sun Jan 23, 2022 3:51 pm
I really doubt there is some conspiracy at TR such that they will train you sub-optimally on purpose. TrainerRoad is a tool and unfortunately regulating training load tends to be nuanced. TR is trying to deliver this to the masses and the middle of the bell curve will do fine. The edge case people will fall off the cliff. Let's also remember that TR originally started off as an indoor training platform but has beening trying to expand into a comprehensive indoor/outdoor training service so they don't lose customers for the 8 months of summer riding.

The low volume TR plans are only 3-4 hours per week. Most people will do just fine on this. It's ok if it's sweet spot. TR's "problem" is people and their notions. Like, many people think more is better. 'If 3 hours of sweet spot are good, 5 or 6 must be better.' 'If sweet spot is good, then threshold is even better.' People will go on and on with their more is better, harder is better thinking.

TR has had a testing problem. Again the problem is people because they don't want to test. A 20 minute test is too hard and it's difficult to pace until you've done it many times. A 2x8min test properly executed is also hard. TR came up with the ramp test which works for the average but under-tests for very aerobic diesel types (probably just fine to have an under-estimated FTP). People with a good anaerobic contribution will over-test. These people will fall off the cliff. Their sweet spot plan is, in reality, a threshold plan and they will eventually burn out.

The flip side of the testing problem is the FTP number problem. People are loath to lower their FTP. If they test at 293, they'll round to 300 so they can tell their friends. Then, they train at 300 and get too much anerobic contribution.

This is all the nuance stuff that is hard to communicate to riders. TR has invented AI/ML 'adaptive training' to combat the edge cases so they don't fall off that cliff. It seems like a complicated way to combat the issue but maybe it sounds sexy and is easier to market?

I'd grant that it wouldn't serve TR to get real with customers. Like, 'if you only want to ride 4 hours per week, you just aren't going to get that good'. Or, 'if you really want to get fast go outside and ride 8 hours of Z2 on top of your 4 hour TR plan.'

Yes, indoor workouts are overly complicated for engagement reasons. That is not a bad thing though. It's not going to hurt. The only problem is people thinking that the complication is doing something extraordinary.

I think one can use a product like TR sucessfully if they self-coach themselves around the nuance. Get the endurance miles in. Don't do extra HIIT workouts on the platform. Don't fall into the FTP number trap - test more frequently and lower the FTP when a solid, longer, test shows it's lower. Insert extra easy weeks as needed and probably more frequently that TR suggests. It's a lot of work to making training science one's hobby and a lot of people just want to be told what to do.
Great post

I am no bike science expert... but TR seems like a great entry course into structured training, though I feel like in the long run people have to make their programs more individual and either know or have someone who knows how to do that

TR kind of follows the trend of selling people on complicated hacks over the simple, effective but boring and difficult strategy of just putting in a lot of hours

by Weenie


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