Does TR suit my needs?

Hi everyone,

I’m looking for customizable training plans, and I came upon TR through the “Ask a Cycling Coach” podcast. The science behind the app looks great. However I was wondering if it could suit my needs, knowing that :

  • I only ride outdoors
  • I don’t have a powermeter as I often switch bikes between road/gravel/mtb
  • In the winter (I live in the Alps) I do 5 months of intensive ski-mountaineering season (20hrs/wk), and want to use TR training plan for this also (as it can compare to cycling)

So my questions are :

  • Can the app be used as an interval timer on an Android phone (and not a head unit) ?
  • Can the app be useful without power data ? With HR or RPE as an example.
  • Can it take into account the other sports we do (i.e by pluging into strava) for adapting the plan (avoiding overtraining) ?

Many thanks for your insights !
Cheers from France

Honestly, I doubt there is a lot of added value for you. I mean you can always try it out (look at the referral code post if you want to).

It feels a bit like buying a mansion but just using the tool shed of it. By all means, go for it - there might be some small benefit. But without indoor training nor powermeter I just highly doubt that you will hit the right numbers in training / know even what the right numbers would be in the beginning (no way to determine your FTP).

Regarding your last point and overtraining. Yes, data can flow from TR to Strava. No, TR doesn’t take other sports into account. But in general it’s the old ‘shit in - shit out’ problem. Without a power meter it’s hard to get a correct evaluation of your training, hence the results you would get out of that data are probably quite unreliable. It might be more helpful to listen to your body instead of faulty analysis.

For the part of the year that you do indoor training it will definitely help you, even if you don’t have a power meter. Virtual Power estimates your power based on the speed of your rear wheel and the known power curve of your dumb trainer. As long as everything is consistent between rides then it should all be on the same scale.

I don’t think you can use the app as an interval timer in the way you want but you can select ‘outdoor’ versions of workouts and go off RPE and some planned intervals.

I know that many athletes use TrainerRoad as a coaching tool, even if they dont have a power meter or indoor trainer by using Plan Builder to help them with structured training that will help them get faster.
This may just look like writing a cue sheet to tape to your top tube for outdoor workouts and riding based upon perceived effort, but we do have a 30-day money back guarantee for riders that want to just try it out. You may find that you like having an idea of what your structured training should look like, even without a power meter or head unit!

1 Like
  1. You can run TR on an android phone. Usually it would then get the power data from a power meter or even control your indoor trainer (via ant+ or bluetooth), but you could just follow along for the intervals. The details of how hard to go are in watts though, so you’d need an idea what that feels like to follow along correctly.
    If you had a bike computer (or watch), you could also load the workouts on there an do them outside, it would give you RPE targets to stick to. (Not sure if you could run an outdoor workout on your phone to get RPE).

  2. Yes, outdoor workouts give RPE targets afaik (not tried myself)

  3. The plans don’t take additional training into account. There are quite a few threads on here with people trying to figure out how to fit their additional rides or training in. Not sure if you meant you wanted to continue bike training indoors over the winter, or use the TR plans for skimo training? I don’t know enough about skimo intervals to comment, but some people on here are using TR workouts for running on a treadmill. There are also triathlon plans, which would guve you both bike and running workouts (you probably have no need for swimming…)

As said above, if you post in the referral thread, someone will be able to give you a discount code for a free trial month of TR, so you can test it.