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Thread: Structured training...

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    Default Structured training...

    I am new to structured training. Throughout my 20ís and early 30ís, I could just go ride big miles, high volume... and could hang on, no problem. I race endurance type stuff on the MTB periodically, no road racing, but do ride road for training. I have a smart trainer and a power meter on the road bike. Several years ago I put some effort into learning power zones on the road bike with a focus on being faster overall.

    I took about 22 months off road riding after a friend was seriously injured in a car/bike accident. Long story. Anyway, I am back on the road now, looking to regain prior fitness levels.

    I see lots of development in the last 3-4 years in trainers, available apps, & training plans. Right now, I just use Zwift to run the trainer, and periodically I will go through their power-based ERG mode workouts, so I know that drill. I use Strava to track rides/efforts, just because itís what everybody else uses.

    I am looking into something more structured, with better data analysis tools. I am an engineer by trade, most would call me a very analytical, data-driven person. So I am looking to apply that methodology to training.

    It looks like Strava Premium has some analysis tools. Zwift has some power based workouts. The others I see are Training Peaks, and TrainerRoad. Also Sufferfest. There is relatively minor cost incurred with each of them, itís low enough that it isnít really a concern with me. I donít think I can justify the ~$300/mo for a coach to work with me personally, it makes more sense to me to get a basic training plan and go with it, and do my own analysis, at a cost of ~$20/mo.

    Moral of the story: I am considering switching to Training Peaks for data analysis, and subscribing to TrainerRoad for workout planning. I guess the biggest reason for TrainerRoad is because a friend turned me on to their podcast and those guys seem fairly knowledgeable.

    I am looking for a confirmation that these two pieces of software/workouts are a decent plan, and there are no obvious alternatives that I am missing? I am also going to work with a nutritionist on a meal plan, that is available for free at my place of work, and the nutritionist is a tri athlete and ďgets it.Ē So I think I am covered from that aspect.

    Thoughts? TIA

    -Drew
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    TrainerRoad user here. I am happy with it and use their structured plans. They have also added lots of training analysis features and continue to add more. So much so that I dropped my paid subscription to Trainingpeaks, still have a free account. So I would encourage you to try TrainerRoad first, and see if their tools provide enough analysis and save some money. Send me a pm with your email if you would like a free month. I get nothing out of this, just happy to share my experience.

    Only downside of TrainerRoad is there is very little "entertainment" to keep you engaged. I have been using movies, shows and some reading on easier days. But am planning to try Zwift as well.
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    I like the no-frills approach of Trainer Road. I have other devices to entertain me. Trainer Road is the business end; here's your workout, start the hurting, get faster. Or in my case don't slide back any further.

    P.S. I don't know why I like that podcast so much. I don't care about any of the aero or weight weenie stuff they talk about but still enjoy listening.
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    I'm just about to complete the 2nd segment of base with TrainerRoad. It's been worth the $$ and the pain. I am faster than I would be if I was just logging miles... and I have more time to do other things.

    Like others said its not entertainment software, its workout software.

    I wish this existed 10 years ago. I think I would've been way more better at racing then.

    I can send you a free month trial if you want. Just PM me your name and email address.
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Thanks all. I usually listen to podcasts while on the trainer, it helps me think about something other than my legs screaming!

    The long term plan is to eventually get away from TrainerRoad and build my own workouts with Training Peaks. I need to go through all the details and make sure TP can run the trainer, and do all the other things. TrainerRoad seems to advertise that they work with my trainer (newer KICKR), so I don’t see any issues there. Maybe I’ll run the free version of TP until I get to the point where I feel like I’m done with TrainerRoad, then switch off TR and use the paid version of TP.

    For you guys that do a structured plan, how do you cope with trying to train on a group ride, outdoors? Do you just not try to train when you’re riding with others? I have never tried it, nor really thought about it... but it seems like it would be difficult to do, unless the whole rest of the group is at a similar fitness/speed level. Maybe I am missing something...

    Thanks again!
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Quote Originally Posted by KonaSS View Post
    Only downside of TrainerRoad is there is very little "entertainment" to keep you engaged. I have been using movies, shows and some reading on easier days. But am planning to try Zwift as well.
    Zwift is good if you “just ride.” The point is kind of lost if you try to do a power based workout... you might wind up on a recovery section of your workout right when Zwift gets to a big hill... then you’re climbing at 2mph and getting dropped. Then you’ll hit a hard section of the workout when Zwift goes downhill, and all of a sudden you’re doing 60 mph. Just my experience but I don’t really like running the power workouts with Zwift, it’s rather pointless unless you get off by seeing your little rider dude on a mythical course.

    Enough that I am pretty sure I am going to drop my Zwift sub in favor of TP/TR, thus this thread...

    I am really digging the video podcasts during trainer sessions. Gives my eyes something to do, along with my thinker, and helps me ignore the legs and just do it.
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Just cancelled my Zwift subscription. I think I’ll have it for one more week before it runs out.

    TrainingPeaks says it can send workouts to Wahoo head unit, which in turn drives the KICKR. Seems easy enough. Wahoo | TrainingPeaks

    And while I use TrainerRoad, it can drive the KICKR directly.

    Seems like the way forward is to use TrainerRoad in the interim, and use that to run the trainer. Then later on, build workouts in TP, dump them to ELEMNT, use that to drive KICKR.

    Maybe...
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Zwift is good if you ďjust ride.Ē The point is kind of lost if you try to do a power based workout... you might wind up on a recovery section of your workout right when Zwift gets to a big hill... then youíre climbing at 2mph and getting dropped. Then youíll hit a hard section of the workout when Zwift goes downhill, and all of a sudden youíre doing 60 mph. Just my experience but I donít really like running the power workouts with Zwift, itís rather pointless unless you get off by seeing your little rider dude on a mythical course.

    Enough that I am pretty sure I am going to drop my Zwift sub in favor of TP/TR, thus this thread...

    I am really digging the video podcasts during trainer sessions. Gives my eyes something to do, along with my thinker, and helps me ignore the legs and just do it.
    You may know this but you can do trainer work outs in Zwift by selecting a workout when you are logging in. There a bunch or workouts built in or you can import other from other programs. Once you do this, you are no longer affected by the terrain. As you point out, you can not really ride with a group but generally there are enough people around that you could find someone that is doing something similar or you see often. One of the main things it does is to change display modes so that it is easy to see what zone you are supposed to be in and where you are within a workout. I get that it is silly doing all of this in a mythical place* but I find it much easier to do that then stare at a wall or try to watch/concentrate a regular show while tracking and doing a workout.

    *After I stopped racing and took a decade off the bike I swore I would never sit on a trainer again. I also can not stand playing video games (perhaps I am just too old). But for some reason combining the two works for me.
    Brian McLaughlin

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    You can also create custom workouts in TrainerRoad.
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Quote Originally Posted by KonaSS View Post
    You can also create custom workouts in TrainerRoad.
    Thanks. I haven’t got that far yet with TR. maybe that is the long term solution.
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Quote Originally Posted by KonaSS View Post
    You can also create custom workouts in TrainerRoad.
    Good tip. Have used the TR workout builder tool to create some of my favorite workouts in TR format.

    It's very easy to use.

    If folks enjoy the TR Podcast, Jonathan does a mountain bike oriented version with a partner. Called mtnbikepodcast. It's not weekly but similar low key vibe.

    -Mark
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    For you guys that do a structured plan, how do you cope with trying to train on a group ride, outdoors? Do you just not try to train when you’re riding with others? I have never tried it, nor really thought about it... but it seems like it would be difficult to do, unless the whole rest of the group is at a similar fitness/speed level. Maybe I am missing something...

    Thanks again!
    Some folks talk about doing "over-unders" by rotating in and out of the paceline but that seems dumb to me. I've always thought that if I'm riding with others I'm either doing something social or I'm racing.

    When I did group rides I'd supplement one trainer workout with that. Something that would be similar to the effort on the ride. Same thing for Sunday crits or whatever.
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Another TrainerRoad fan here. Use it with a Kickr. I have Zwift too but will not be renewing for two reasons.

    First, as others have said, TrainerRoad is the business. For entertainment while on the Kickr I put on Netfilx. Second, I find the Zwift control of Kickr a bit klunky. It is a fun piece of software, but I'm more interested in smooth control of the hardware and the structured plans available on TrainerRoad.

    For analysis, I've been on Training Peaks for a few years. For the last year or so, I've also tracked on Strava and use the Elevate plugin. I'm finding it's just about as useful for me as TP and may not renew that subscription next year. My plan is to track on both this year and make a decision after a solid year of training and analysis with both.
     

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    Default Re: Structured training...

    Just adding- "your own structured training" and group rides are usually not compatible-
    Group rides tend to be the "anti-structure"- Guys like to smack it on every hill, show everyone else how hard they can pul, etc.

    If you are going to train- Do it alone or with 1-2 other like minded individuals who give each other a bit of space.
    If you re going to group ride- Don't plan structure for that day.
     

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