Do people follow the “Goals” and instructions for the workouts or do they just do their own thing? It appears most just ignore workout instructions. I wonder do you get less out of the workout if you’re not following the workout as intended to be preformed?
For example, I recently did the workout Brewery which states under Goals for the workout:
These intervals are meant to simulate climbs, so try to use cadences that most closely mimic ones you’ll use on grades you’re likely to encounter in your events or rides.
Recommended cadence is above 75rpm when seated and above 65rpm when standing.
However, when I looked at “All Rides” to get an idea of how other people had completed the workout, since this one was new for me, I noticed almost no one used “climbing cadences” and treated it as a normal SS workout at their preferred cadence.
I alternated between climbing cadences averaging low 60s when standing and mid 70s when seated which made it quite the muscle demand at the end of the workout. However, I couldn’t help but wonder if the cadence aspect was irrelevant now and I was just given this workout because it was the proper PL for my training plan.
I have had workout texts turned off for over a year now. And even when I had them on I ignored the “goals”. I know I should probably work on cadence inside but I just end up spinning away at whatever feels comfortable to hit the power target (I ride ERG always).
This is my guess for the most part. Considering the fact that we are all getting essentially “individual” training plans now, there is less “planning” in them when compared to the singular definitions prior to AT. Perhaps TR is using additional factors beyond the obvious Workout Levels and general plan objective to select workouts, but it could be more “random” in a sense now than it was in the past.
Using the filters in the Workout page and applying SS, level 7 & 8, and 1:30 duration: I see 42 total workouts. Narrow it down to 7.7 thru 8.1 (+/-0.2 from your 7.9) and we get just 11 options.
Skimming those there are only 3 total of the same basic profile and approach (Loma Alta & Galena) but these all incorporate some climbing focus in the goals. No idea if this holds as a trend across the many workout types and goals, but there could be some connection between options like this and the actual training plan foundation.
As to the need or desire to use and follow the Goals, that will vary with each person. Just because a “climbing” workout is the focus of said workout doesn’t mean it has any actual relevance to the rider and their particular needs.
I have read tons of those Goals in the old days and formed some habits based upon them. But what I chose to adopt or ignore was done in light of what I thought any particular workout meant to my training and event needs. I mix in cadence ranges, standing efforts and other personal goals within workouts that may well be counter to the prescribed goals.
I still see tons of aero position comments and drills that have nothing to do with my basic needs these days. I used them in years past with the events I did back then, but much of what I do now has nothing to do with aero positions.
All that to say the tired old phrase… “It depends…”. Perhaps people should spend more time considering the goal and adopting at least some of them. At the very least it’s a decent idea look at any workout and think about how and why it applies to your training. I do think there is at least some tendency for people to not take this step and just do what it takes to get through a workout. We see comments about things like cadence, standing and such where people train in a way inside that doesn’t align with their apparent needs outside.
Seems an obvious mistake to me when people spin 95+rpm inside with high gearing when their outside use is 80 rpm in lower inertia cases. That’s just one example I’ve seen repeated specifically along with many other variations of deltas between inside and out. It all goes to thinking about your needs and adapting training to be more useful for the real needs (specificity and all that).
I think when I was newer to cycling and brand new to TR I got into the habit of reading workout descriptions, goals and weekly Tips. They were really beneficial and helped me understand why I’m doing what I’m doing when I’m doing it. For the most part after almost 6 years with TR I don’t need that any more, but if it’s a workout I haven’t seen before or unique interval structure, I look at what the goals are.