AI FTP Detection Update

We’re working on a major release of AI FTP Detection.

I wanted to give everyone an update of what’s happening and ask for feedback to help with some internal constructive debates we’re having.

Disclaimer: everything I type here is subject to change.

We’re planning on creating an “Auto” AI FTP detection feature. This would run after every TR workout and prompt you automatically if you had an FTP increase.

This would be a smart feature that would take into account training plan phase and progression levels. IE if you’re in sustained power build or 40k TT we’d have you go farther through your levels before we have you an FTP increase. This is so you had more time in zone in these plans. We plan on expanding these triggers as we learn more.

This also means we would remove ramp tests on plans by default (you can still easily enable them if you want).

Auto would watch you progress through the plans (much like a coach) and give you a smart recommendation on when to raise your FTP.

“Auto” AI FTP Detection would be on for everyone.

We’d also have “Manual” mode where you could trigger it yourself from a button on tests or your profile.

Manual would only be available once every 28 days. We do this because we want people to work more through their progression levels than update their FTP every day/week.

Today it’s only 14 days but based on athlete usage we think 28 days is more appropriate window for better training.

We’d remember your detected FTP for those 28 days so you could go back and accept it if you ignored it the first time.

In review:
Auto - Gives a smart recommendation of when to raise your FTP based on many factors (like plan phase). It checks after each workout.

Manual - Click a button to detect your FTP every 28 days. This is basically what we have in early access today but it will be more robust.

Now here’s the big debate at TR.

Should TrainerRoad launch with:

  • Auto Only
  • Auto + Manual

0 voters

If we didn’t launch with the manual feature:

  • I wouldn’t mind
  • I’d be upset

0 voters

Do you understand and accept why not raising your FTP daily/weekly and working through progression levels is better than constantly changing your FTP? And that this is why there is a 28 day gate in the manual feature?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

What do you think you’ll primarily use:

  • Auto AI FTP Detection
  • Manual AI FTP Detection
  • Auto and Manual
  • Fitness Tests

0 voters

Let me know if you have any questions.

44 Likes

This is really exciting! Great job TR!

Question though:

Is this implying that it would take longer to launch with both auto and manual as opposed to just auto?

5 Likes

I am pretty excited about any new features even if I don’t yet know I need them!

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Sounds awesome Nate.

My random uneducated thought is, it would depend how the auto detection would treat a declined FTP, or “sickness” annotation etc.

(I voted auto + manual, but honestly assume I wouldn’t be at all disadvantaged/upset with no manual option)

4 Likes

The people who have concern with launching both are not timeline issues. They are:

  1. there could be confusion between auto and manual.
  2. Athletes would get upset that there’s a 28 day throttle for manual.
  3. If someone saw a countdown to use manual, used it, and got a decrease, they would be more upset than if they got the decrease with auto. This is because the countdown could build excitement /anticipation.
  4. Manual doesn’t give people context around when they should change their ftp.
  5. Worry that Manual puts too big of a emphasis on FTP rather than FTP + Progressing levels.
23 Likes

Just to make sure I understand:

  • Auto would check for FTP increases after every workout, but only actually raise it if it makes sense given the current plan phase?
  • But you could (potentially) still have the option to manually force an update, but only every 28 days?
  • Does that 28 day limitation also apply to auto? e.g. if it recommends an FTP increase and a couple days later I go outside and do a really big effort that increases it further, will it ignore it until 28 days have passed?
  • If I get an FTP increase at the wrong time in the plan, will it give me a choice, or not say anything until it’s the right time?
4 Likes

Yes

Yes

It would be at least 28 days unless you got very low or very high in your PLs. Ie you’re having problem with level 1 or you did a level 9.

It wouldn’t say anything until it’s the “right time”.

11 Likes

I’d be fine with Auto only, but only if it means it can be delivered more quickly. I don’t really agree with any of the concerns for launching both. Confusion can be alleviated with good UI design and doco, and I think there could definitely be cases where somebody wants to check manually rather than letting auto kick in. eg: returning back to training after a few weeks off, off-season, illness, etc.

Also regarding Auto, you said it takes into account your training plan/phase, which makes perfect sense, but I’d definitely want it to work well for people not on plans / doing TrainNow, etc. But I’m sure you have that covered :slight_smile:

6 Likes

Auto and no manual makes perfect sense to me. I don’t care about what specific FTP I am at, just that I am training at the correct FTP to help me grow. If a auto system can do that better then that helps me not have to think about it

11 Likes

Thanks, what’s the science behind a frequently shifting FTP based training regime?

AFAIK/can recall all studies I’ve seen are based on fitness assessments at the beginning and at the end of multiple month protocols, so I’m thinking not much.

Also, whilst I appreciate the broader community has a problem with FTP testing, I don’t and I know lots of people who like the challenge/reward of proving our fitness gains. Plus I see the benefit of knowing my FTP more directly than cyclists as it has specificity in Olympic triathlon and is a generally accepted bellwether for longer triathlon bike pacing. So my question is, is AI FTP more or less reliable than FTP testing?

3 Likes

Yes, TrainNow is a big reason to build it. Right now TN athletes don’t have a prompt to do a test. With this, we’d just tell them when it’s time.

21 Likes

You’re stuck at the same TIZ/repeatability for energy systems.

Sometimes you want to build out to 40 minutes at threshold. Sometimes you want to focus on more repeats and building matches.

Tri is a good example. You might start at 10 minute threshold intervals and work up to 40 min intervals.

It looks like it’s as good or better when we look at post AI FTP workout rates.

6 Likes

@Nate_Pearson Instead of having a “countdown”, per se, Nate, why not just a simple date on the career page. “Next Manual Update Availability is June 30, 2022”, so people aren’t necessarily referencing an actual numerical countdown each day they use the app. Less conspicuous, yet still useful. For example, currently I sometimes lose track of the 14 days that remain since my last AI Detection, and go through the process of loading a ramp test, etc (the system them tells me its working on it, to come back, then it says it’s not available due to the 14 day window not being met)

I primarily use TrainNow workouts to supplement my outside riding. I’m not in a particular “plan” or shooting for a race, so it’s hard for me to see what “triggers” TrainerRoad would be targeting for me. As I am very heavy on outside, unstructured rides vs TR workouts, having the manual feature as a tool I can access is of value as a confirmatory measure of where I think my FTP should be (thus, I put that I would be “upset” if I did not have it, but I think a more appropriate description is that I would be “disappointed”, not necessarily “upset”)

Very much appreciate all you guys do…

6 Likes

How long until I can have a TrainerRoad AI brain implant that trains myself for me?

1 Like

It’s a 28 day window in the future. :sweat_smile:

The countdown isn’t on the career page. It’s only if you click an AI FTP button on a test or on your profile next to where you update FTP.

The idea of putting it in those places are for people to discover the feature if they were about to do a test or manually update their ftp.

There’d be no notice on the career page about manual.

If you used TrainNow or Plans you’d really never see the button (or the count down).

Awww, we appreciate you too! Thanks for posting the nice message an engaging in this!

1 Like

That’s an admin only feature. This is how Brandon won AG Xterra Worlds. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Good point.

Another use case for manual could be you train only outside and want a “check” to see where you are at instead of waiting for auto.

6 Likes

I’m starting a new plan in a week or two, whether or not this new update is released by then.
What would happen at the start of a new plan, would you recommend manual AIFTP ramp test or will the system have a way tell you what your FTP is?

2 Likes

A couple of these feel more like arguments against the time limit, to be honest. I like opinionated software, so I feel like if you think manually checking for AI FTP changes frequently will result in suboptimal results, it’d be better to not have it at all than have this countdown as a guardrail.

2 Likes