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TrainingPeaks Premium: Worth the Cost?

Old 12-07-20, 09:18 AM
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Cycletography
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TrainingPeaks Premium: Worth the Cost?

I've been using Strava as my primary app to track rides and capture data. It's served its purpose and I've been quite happy with it. However, as I am now getting more serious about my riding and wanting to implement a structured training schedule I'm looking at TrainingPeaks. I ride about 300 miles per week, 90% tarmac, a mix of group paceline rides and solo rides, 100% outside on actual roads (no indoor trainer).

My primary goal for 2021 is to gain strength and speed, but still maintain a focus on endurance (as I love riding centuries). This past weekend I rode in my first 100-mile event since getting back on the bike in 2019. I rode my Surly Ogre, which weighs about 40 lb., but is extremely comfortable. The other reason for riding the Ogre is that I do not (yet) own a road bike. My goal was to break 7 hrs., which I accompished. I finished the 100-mile course in 6 hr. 58 min. and am very proud of how I did. However, I was dropped by the majority of the field by mile #7 and it ended up being a lonely 100-mile ride (still fun and enjoyable, just lonely). The front group crossed the finish line in 4 hr. 26 min., and by the time I made it to the finish everyone had already packed up and gone home - LOL! To be honest, it was pretty funny and I had to laugh when I realized how far behind I really was.

Rather than feeling defeated, this experience is serving as motivation. As already stated, I'm proud of how I did and I accomplished my goal. However, I'd like to improive my time next year by as much as is realistically possible. To do this I know I will need to implement a structured training plan. So.... For those familiar with TrainingPeaks premium are the features worth the $119/year? Is TrainingPeaks a good tool for me and my goals? Thanks in advance for the feedback!
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Old 12-07-20, 09:30 PM
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In my opinion, to make the most out of TP you need to understand the numbers (ATL, CTL, TSB), now they relate to each other, and how this affects your Performance Management Chart. You need this knowledge in order to make your own training plans... and then after that, you still need the focus and discipline to follow the plans that you've made. Is that worth the cost of annual subscription? I can't answer for you, but you can always sign up for the free trial and try it yourself.
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Old 12-08-20, 01:51 AM
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I assume you don’t have a power meter? That makes Trainingpeaks less useful as you will not be capturing the data to use with all the analytics.

For structured training you will need at least a heart rate strap. I think you might be better off learning where your heart rate zones are and then follow a program like e.g. this one: https://www.cyclingweekly.com/fitnes...eginner-153317

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Old 12-08-20, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
In my opinion, to make the most out of TP you need to understand the numbers (ATL, CTL, TSB), now they relate to each other, and how this affects your Performance Management Chart. You need this knowledge in order to make your own training plans... and then after that, you still need the focus and discipline to follow the plans that you've made. Is that worth the cost of annual subscription? I can't answer for you, but you can always sign up for the free trial and try it yourself.
I'm still learning about the various training metrics and how they relate to one another, but I'm getting a handle on it and things are starting to make sense. I suppose the free trial is a pretty safe way to get a flavor for TP.

Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
I assume you donít have a power meter? That makes Trainingpeaks less useful as you will not be capturing the data to use with all the analytics.

For structured training you will need at least a heart rate strap. I think you might be better off learning where your heart rate zones are and then follow a program like e.g. this one: https://www.cyclingweekly.com/fitnes...eginner-153317
I do not have a power meter on the Ogre, but my new road bike will have a power meter. The new power meter and my desire to make measurable improvements in 2021 is what's prompting my consideration of TP. To date I've primarily used heart data to drive my zone training, and it's worked vwry well, but that method has limitations. The power meter opens up new options for more targeted and reliable zone training.
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Old 12-08-20, 07:45 AM
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From what I know of TP, it provides tools to analyse your data and lets others, like your coach, also access your data. Next to getting the membership you also need to buy training programs.

Have you looked at other tools like Trainerroad? Here there is only one subscription and there is a program builder that will setup an entire schedule for you depending on your needs. You can then do these workouts either on a trainer or transfer them to your bike computer to do them outside.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
From what I know of TP, it provides tools to analyse your data and lets others, like your coach, also access your data. Next to getting the membership you also need to buy training programs.

Have you looked at other tools like Trainerroad? Here there is only one subscription and there is a program builder that will setup an entire schedule for you depending on your needs. You can then do these workouts either on a trainer or transfer them to your bike computer to do them outside.
I'm not familiar with Trainerroad. Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
I do not have a power meter on the Ogre, but my new road bike will have a power meter. The new power meter and my desire to make measurable improvements in 2021 is what's prompting my consideration of TP. To date I've primarily used heart data to drive my zone training, and it's worked vwry well, but that method has limitations. The power meter opens up new options for more targeted and reliable zone training.
I'll just drop the hot take and my 2 cents and take my lumps... Training by HR is unreliable and at best gives only a moderate chance of improvement. Too many variables go into your HR that are not the work you are performing (illness, dehydration, heat, cold, hangover, emotional state...), whereas a PM measures ONLY your actual power output and doesn't care what your HR is or what your PE is. A watt is a watt, whether you felt strong or you felt like you were pedaling through wet cement.

I'm 47 years old, and I am fitter than I ever was back when I raced crits in the late 80s/early 90s, for a variety of reasons, including that I now ride year around, where I most definitely did not do that growing up in western Michigan. The reason why I am fitter, IMHO, was adding a PM to my road bike in 2016, and by 2017 I had one on my gravel rig and 2018 on my MTB. Every ride (commutes too) is a training opportunity. Wait, you say, doesn't that take all the enjoyment out of it? Not at all, I now ride with purpose, while I still get to "learn the contours of the land," and now I actually get to be faster even if "it never gets easier" (except for the recovery rides). I always ride with a PM so that I don't over-train, and I can also evaluate if I undershot my targets. My training program is structured so that I do shorter interval work during the week (maximizing my commutes one way, with a short recovery ride the other), and longer endurance focused rides on the weekends. I still do junk miles with my kids to the local MTB tracks, and I give myself "free days" to go crush gravel. I get to do all the rides I want, but they all have meaning and purpose toward my bigger goals.

Okay so TP premium...don't do a trial until you have the PM and you've ridden with it for a while. It will waste the two weeks. When you first get a PM you're going to see your power go all over the place, it'll be confusing, it won't make sense...for a few weeks, then it will start to make sense as you get a better feel for what different power numbers feel like, and you also get smoother on the crank. If you don't have one, you may want to consider a Garmin Edge that has FirstBeat metrics incorporated to the software (Edge 530, 820 Plus, 1030/1030 Plus). With those devices, and the settings arranged so, a ride of sufficient duration will return estimated FTP and VO2Max values, they can also be used to perform a structured FTP test and return a more accurate value also. A smoother pedal stroke, and some sense of your actual power thresholds will then allow you to get the most out of a balanced, structured training program with the goals you desire, and the analytics in TrainingPeaks will allow you maximize your efforts. Having a coach is helpful, but not required, there are several great books that you can get to help you understand the physiological

Apologies for the length. Bottomline: TrainingPeaks can be a great tool, with a little forethought and preparation, you can really get a lot out of it, in my opinion. I also am not an expert or a coach, but I've been training with power for over 4 years now, so I have some layman's experience.

Last edited by Badger6; 12-08-20 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:56 AM
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Yeah you definitely need a power meter otherwise it's just a guess, kinda like Strava estimating your power...not accurate.
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Old 12-08-20, 09:04 AM
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TrainingPeaks is worth it....IF you are actually trying to fitness train, and not just riding your bike. A powermeter is an amazing tool and a great thing to have for training. If you actually use a power meter to train, it will change how you ride and train...otherwise it is just a number.

Even a 'cheap' left-arm-only meter is enough. Most people don't have enough leg imbalance to matter really...although as fatigue sets in your FTP drops, and leg imbalance is generally found to increase.
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Old 12-08-20, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I'll just drop the hot take and my 2 cents and take my lumps... Training by HR is unreliable and at best gives only a moderate chance of improvement. Too many variables go into your HR that are not the work you are performing (illness, dehydration, heat, cold, hangover, emotional state...), whereas a PM measures ONLY your actual power output and doesn't care what your HR is or what your PE is. A watt is a watt, whether you felt strong or you felt like you were pedaling through wet cement.

I'm 47 years old, and I am fitter than I ever was back when I raced crits in the late 80s/early 90s, for a variety of reasons, including that I now ride year around, where I most definitely did not do that growing up in western Michigan. The reason why I am fitter, IMHO, was adding a PM to my road bike in 2016, and by 2017 I had one on my gravel rig and 2018 on my MTB. Every ride (commutes too) is a training opportunity. Wait, you say, doesn't that take all the enjoyment out of it? Not at all, I now ride with purpose, while I still get to "learn the contours of the land," and now I actually get to be faster even if "it never gets easier" (except for the recovery rides). I always ride with a PM so that I don't over-train, and I can also evaluate if I undershot my targets. My training program is structured so that I do shorter interval work during the week (maximizing my commutes one way, with a short recovery ride the other), and longer endurance focused rides on the weekends. I still do junk miles with my kids to the local MTB tracks, and I give myself "free days" to go crush gravel. I get to do all the rides I want, but they all have meaning and purpose toward my bigger goals.

Okay so TP premium...don't do a trial until you have the PM and you've ridden with it for a while. It will waste the two weeks. When you first get a PM you're going to see your power go all over the place, it'll be confusing, it won't make sense...for a few weeks, then it will start to make sense as you get a better feel for what different power numbers feel like, and you also get smoother on the crank. If you don't have one, you may want to consider a Garmin Edge that has FirstBeat metrics incorporated to the software (Edge 530, 820 Plus, 1030/1030 Plus). With those devices, and the settings arranged so, a ride of sufficient duration will return estimated FTP and VO2Max values, they can also be used to perform a structured FTP test and return a more accurate value also. A smoother pedal stroke, and some sense of your actual power thresholds will then allow you to get the most out of a balanced, structured training program with the goals you desire, and the analytics in TrainingPeaks will allow you maximize your efforts. Having a coach is helpful, but not required, there are several great books that you can get to help you understand the physiological

Apologies for the length. Bottomline: TrainingPeaks can be a great tool, with a little forethought and preparation, you can really get a lot out of it, in my opinion. I also am not an expert or a coach, but I've been training with power for over 4 years now, so I have some layman's experience.
Thanks for the thorough response. I'll definitely wait until I get the new bike with power meter to sign up for TP. I didn't expect a learning curve for understanding the power data, but thanks for pointing that out. It's probably wise to allow myself to adjust to it and get familiar with it before starting to train with it. Like you, I expect it'll add to the fun rather than making my rides feel like work.
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Old 12-08-20, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
Thanks for the thorough response. I'll definitely wait until I get the new bike with power meter to sign up for TP. I didn't expect a learning curve for understanding the power data, but thanks for pointing that out. It's probably wise to allow myself to adjust to it and get familiar with it before starting to train with it. Like you, I expect it'll add to the fun rather than making my rides feel like work.
OTOH, I trained only with a HRM on Premium for years. Worked well. PM works better, but it's a good idea to be able to associate HR with power levels and body sensations. Then when training with power and you see your HR go up or down more than it always did before, you'll know something's up, either food or hydration.

IME, doing long rides at an optimal pace is more a matter of HR than of power. For those rides, one looks at physical stress levels, which are better reflected in HR than power. That said, once one knows how long one can hold a particular power without getting one's HR above one's comfort level, one can mostly pace by power instead of HR. Having done it both ways, I find that it's easier to screw up trying to hold a particular power than a particular HR. When I switched to power, I was able to easily find my preferred power for various things by matching power to HR. It was also perhaps easier to build my workouts using power because I knew about what TSS I wanted from each workout. I also had current CTL, ATL, and TSB to build on. I started with Premium in May 2012, added a PM in July 2019. Starting with TP Premium, it took me a while to get a feel for what the Performance Manager numbers represented in terms of how my body felt. I'd been using a HRM since 1997.

IME the sooner one has these digital tools to use in training, the better.
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Old 12-09-20, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
OTOH, I trained only with a HRM on Premium for years. Worked well. PM works better, but it's a good idea to be able to associate HR with power levels and body sensations. Then when training with power and you see your HR go up or down more than it always did before, you'll know something's up, either food or hydration.

IME, doing long rides at an optimal pace is more a matter of HR than of power.
Point 1, absolutely. Decoupling is a thing. It happens...without a PM, your Perceived Exertion will be climbing, and you'll think you're working hard, but you aren't. It's just abnormal HR response, which is a clue that the session will likely not be very constructive, because your PE for a given power number will be completely out of whack for your normal range. I stand by my point to the HR as a sole metric being effective, it is not ineffective, but it is certainly not very effective. If it was, the pro peleton would have been just fine tracking HR and wouldn't have adopted the power based approach (in fact, many don't even track HR, they just use power and PE).

Point 2. HR is a function of power, along with the kinds of variables I pointed out above. I'm happy to provide a detailed example, but without humble bragging, I will reiterate a watt is a watt, whether you are fresh or you are fatigued. HR changes with all the factors I listed above and more, to include fatigue. If HR is your sole guide on hard you should be going for a long endurance kind of ride, you will have to lower your power output (and by extension, pace) as your long rides progress through the hours.

I didn't quote it, but I fully agree with your last statement. 100%. If one thinks they want to tackle epic rides, and just experience cool things with a bike, a PM and knowing how to use it is a must for preparing the motor for the feats of endurance to do those things (at least for sure on road and gravel).

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Old 12-09-20, 07:41 AM
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Endurance riding is primarily what I do, so the HR monitor has served me well in that respect. Now that I'm significantly healthier and stronger than I was 12 months ago, and also doing regular group and paceline rides, I'd like to start working on other aspects of my riding so I can be more competitive with the faster riders.

TP premium seems to be a good option. I did check out TrainerRoad, per the recommendation of mr_pedro, but my initial takeaway is that TrainerRoad is more geared towards indoor training. Not sure if that's an accurate assessment, but that's how it looked to me. TP does employ a business model that pushes a lot of add-ons in the form of paid training plans and coaching. However, if I'm comfortable building my own plan (which I am, at least initially) it looks like I can do that with TP at no additional cost. Besides, if I do want outside assistance from a coach I have a local resource who is excellent.
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Old 12-09-20, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
[...]
TP premium seems to be a good option. I did check out TrainerRoad, per the recommendation of mr_pedro, but my initial takeaway is that TrainerRoad is more geared towards indoor training. Not sure if that's an accurate assessment, but that's how it looked to me. [...]
Just regarding outside training with TR. In the TR calendar you can indicate you want to do the workout outside. The next time you turn on your Garmin or Wahoo bike computer the workout will be on there ready to use. I have not done an actual workout outside, but did do some testing to see how it works. They have done it such that at the end of each rest period you need to press the lap button in order to proceed to the work interval. This gives you the ability to wait until you are at an appropriate place to start the work interval.
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Old 12-09-20, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
Just regarding outside training with TR. In the TR calendar you can indicate you want to do the workout outside. The next time you turn on your Garmin or Wahoo bike computer the workout will be on there ready to use. I have not done an actual workout outside, but did do some testing to see how it works. They have done it such that at the end of each rest period you need to press the lap button in order to proceed to the work interval. This gives you the ability to wait until you are at an appropriate place to start the work interval.
^ Makes sense. I did see on the TR site you can change the settings from indoor to outdoor. But TR does seem to base its workout structure on indoor training in which you can replicate varrying types of terrain through the trainer. If you plan to do all training outside and you are nowhere near hills (I'm in Florda) then it looks like this is where TR falls short. Can you adjust the structure of the recommended workouts based on your local terrain or are you simply forced to eliminate certain recommended workouts on TR? It looks like TP may provide more customization of the training plan based on local terrain (assuming you're comfortable building your own plan).

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Old 12-09-20, 09:03 AM
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I've been using it for 6 months and really like it. I plan my workouts, so the calendar interface is great. The biggest benefit for me is the fatigue score and the form score. I can train for long stretches without rest days, but then with no warning, I will hit a wall. After a few months of data, I now know the fatigue and form scores associated with that wall. It allows me to plan my rest days rather than wait for my muscles to quit on me mid-ride.
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Old 12-09-20, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
^ Makes sense. I did see on the TR site you can change the settings from indoor to outdoor. But TR does seem to base its workout structure on indoor training in which you can replicate varrying types of terrain through the trainer. If you plan to do all training outside and you are nowhere near hills (I'm in Florda) then it looks like this is where TR falls short. Can you adjust the structure of the recommended workouts based on your local terrain or are you simply forced to eliminate certain recommended workouts on TR? It looks like TP may provide more customization of the training plan based on local terrain (assuming you're comfortable building your own plan).
I remember reading that when you switch a workout to outside it is adjusted in some way to make it better workable with outside, but I don't know how exactly. In the end the workouts are just telling you what power to ride for how long. If you don't put in any goals related to climbing hills you will probably also not get any hill climbing in your schedule.
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Old 12-09-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
I remember reading that when you switch a workout to outside it is adjusted in some way to make it better workable with outside, but I don't know how exactly. In the end the workouts are just telling you what power to ride for how long. If you don't put in any goals related to climbing hills you will probably also not get any hill climbing in your schedule.
Awesome! That's a very helpful tip.
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Old 12-10-20, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
From what I know of TP, it provides tools to analyse your data and lets others, like your coach, also access your data. Next to getting the membership you also need to buy training programs.

Have you looked at other tools like Trainerroad? Here there is only one subscription and there is a program builder that will setup an entire schedule for you depending on your needs. You can then do these workouts either on a trainer or transfer them to your bike computer to do them outside.
mr_pedro : Digging deeper into the TR website I'm now thinking that TR might be the better option for me compared to TP. Following the training plans via outside rides and no indoor trainer doesn't seem to be as problematic as I assumed. In fact, it may not be an issue at all. Plus, I really like that the plan builder is part of the subscription cost. I didn't think that would be a big deal for me personally, but I now think it will be a significant benefit. TR is a little more cost up-front, but everything seems to be included in the annnual fee.

I now need to compare the analytics of the two platforms, as it is my understanding that TP is the more powerful analytical tool. However, I may find that TR has what I need. I'm not looking for anything too complicated. I primarily want to set realistic goals and easily track my progress over time.
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Old 12-10-20, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
mr_pedro : Digging deeper into the TR website I'm now thinking that TR might be the better option for me compared to TP. Following the training plans via outside rides and no indoor trainer doesn't seem to be as problematic as I assumed. In fact, it may not be an issue at all. Plus, I really like that the plan builder is part of the subscription cost. I didn't think that would be a big deal for me personally, but I now think it will be a significant benefit. TR is a little more cost up-front, but everything seems to be included in the annnual fee.

I now need to compare the analytics of the two platforms, as it is my understanding that TP is the more powerful analytical tool. However, I may find that TR has what I need. I'm not looking for anything too complicated. I primarily want to set realistic goals and easily track my progress over time.
Do you know what analytics you are looking for? There is also freeware called Golden Cheetah that provides tools to analyze your ride data. A lot of these tools are interesting for people training to compete in specific events where you know exactly the required power you need for specific amounts of time and need to adjust your training for that. Also it becomes more relevant if you are already close to your limit, these tools can help you to find the spots where there is still room for improvement.

TR provides a basic power graph and allows you to compare one ride to past seasons, a bit like you can also do in Strava premium.

I think in your case a general goal of increasing FTP should be sufficient for now. That means all you need is to do a ramp test to determine FTP and then follow the program with intervals relative to your FTP. Then periodically do the ramp test to adjust FTP such that the intervals remain challenging and you keep growing.

edit: Actually, I see that ramp tests are limited to inside. So you would need to do FTP tests using more traditional 20 min intervals.

Last edited by mr_pedro; 12-10-20 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 12-10-20, 12:19 PM
  #21  
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TrainerRoad is an extremely compelling option for those that cannot afford TP + a qualified coach, and you can do the workouts outside /w a power meter.
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Old 12-10-20, 09:41 PM
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I've been using the paid version of Training Peaks for about 6 months. I appreciate it. I've been training with a smart trainer but no power meter on my bike; I do most of my workouts on the erg, and do a long road ride on the weekend. I haven't bought a coach's training plan--I've rolled my own, which might not be ideal, but seems to work. Note: rolling your own training plan is tedious enough that it's probably a decent time/money tradeoff to just buy a canned plan that works for you. I'm just ornery.

I do find myself chasing numbers to some extent. I "cheated" today and took a rest day when I had an erg ride scheduled because my knee is kind of jacked up. In the back of my mind I was thinking about the hit that my CTL would take as a result.

Having power data is super helpful, and has really changed my whole conceptual foundation for cycling and fitness.

Golden Cheetah is worth looking at, but is confusing as hell, and uses slightly different vocabulary and calculations from TP. Also, unless I am missing something (quite possible), you can't use it to map out a training plan.
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Old 12-11-20, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
Do you know what analytics you are looking for? There is also freeware called Golden Cheetah that provides tools to analyze your ride data. A lot of these tools are interesting for people training to compete in specific events where you know exactly the required power you need for specific amounts of time and need to adjust your training for that. Also it becomes more relevant if you are already close to your limit, these tools can help you to find the spots where there is still room for improvement.

TR provides a basic power graph and allows you to compare one ride to past seasons, a bit like you can also do in Strava premium.

I think in your case a general goal of increasing FTP should be sufficient for now. That means all you need is to do a ramp test to determine FTP and then follow the program with intervals relative to your FTP. Then periodically do the ramp test to adjust FTP such that the intervals remain challenging and you keep growing.

edit: Actually, I see that ramp tests are limited to inside. So you would need to do FTP tests using more traditional 20 min intervals.
Not looking for anything too complicated or complex in terms of analytics. I think most of the mainstream training platforms will provide what I need.

I'll have to look into the ramp tests in more depth. If it is like you say, strictly limited to inside, that could be a deal breaker.

Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
I've been using the paid version of Training Peaks for about 6 months. I appreciate it. I've been training with a smart trainer but no power meter on my bike; I do most of my workouts on the erg, and do a long road ride on the weekend. I haven't bought a coach's training plan--I've rolled my own, which might not be ideal, but seems to work. Note: rolling your own training plan is tedious enough that it's probably a decent time/money tradeoff to just buy a canned plan that works for you. I'm just ornery.

I do find myself chasing numbers to some extent. I "cheated" today and took a rest day when I had an erg ride scheduled because my knee is kind of jacked up. In the back of my mind I was thinking about the hit that my CTL would take as a result.

Having power data is super helpful, and has really changed my whole conceptual foundation for cycling and fitness.

Golden Cheetah is worth looking at, but is confusing as hell, and uses slightly different vocabulary and calculations from TP. Also, unless I am missing something (quite possible), you can't use it to map out a training plan.
Like you I (generally) feel comfortable building out my own plan - in part because I have access to a local coach who would help guide me - but I'm not looking for something that is overly tedious.

I've read good and bad things about Golden Cheetah, and at least a couple of reviews have also said it can be confusing.
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Old 12-11-20, 04:15 AM
  #24  
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Regarding ramp test being limited to inside, this is always going to be the case regardless of the tools you choose. You can technically do it outside, but the problem is that for it to be accurate (or at least consistent from one test to another), it relies on a specific amount of fatigue building up during the ramp test and it then uses the moment you break down to estimate FTP. When done inside using a smart trainer with ERG mode, you will get consistent results with the same ramp-up in power every time and if you can hold on for longer you know you are improving.
Outside this is hard to do because it is hard to follow the same ramp-up every time if you have to do it manually and traffic can easily cause variation in the results.

Any of these programs rely on first estimating FTP to determine interval intensities, the outside version of an FTP test typically consists of doing 8 or 20 minutes all out intervals, which is also included in any of these training tools.
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Old 12-11-20, 10:24 AM
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There are a bunch of different FTP test protocols. There's even a 3-minute test, where you ride all-out for three minutes and measure only the last 30 seconds. The thinking is that you will burn off all your W' ("double-u prime" also known as work above critical power (CP and FTP being about the same thing), and is the total amount of work you can do anaerobically, that is, without getting oxygen to your muscles) during the first 2:30, and by measuring the last 0:30, you're getting a reasonably accurate representation of how hard you can ride over the long haul.

It would take a very lucky set of circumstances to be able to ride an honest 20-minute FTP test on the road, or even 8-minute test, but a 3-minute test is probably doable outside of urban areas.
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