OK, so it’s not really a feature request. I know that I’m talking about some serious man-hours being put in, not just a line of code. But at the same time, I think there are some issues with the workout library and how it’s organised, and it’s overdue an overhaul of some sort.
- There are too many. It needs a cull. There are 19 different options for “60-75 minutes of sweetspot intervals at .80 to .81 intensity”. Tweed is “4x5-minute intervals at 102% FTP with 5-minute recoveries between intervals” and Tweed +1 is “4x5-minute intervals at 102% FTP with 3-minute recoveries between intervals” - what’s the difference, really? Perhaps, like Marie Kondo, we need to throw out the ones that don’t bring us joy.
- The rationale behind the workout variants is inconsistent and confusing. Sometimes the +1 and -1 are just shorter and longer, other times they’re about intensity. Baird, for example, has 5 variations (-1 to +3) that are all an hour long.
- There are even worse anomalies, often because workouts used in training plans get updated and their variants don’t. This poor man thought he’d just reduce Dade+1 (75 minutes) to Dade (60 minutes), only to find the latter was an eye-watering 0.96 IF, 6% harder. Meanwhile, half the variations of Baird are gut-busting vo2 torture-fests while others have rest intervals long enough to make them a stroll in the park, as this user recently noted.
So anyway, here’s MY manifesto for a simpler, streamlined system.
- Make it so variants are all about duration, with the overall intensity staying at an equivalent level for whatever length it is, and the interval length and intensity staying the same wherever possible. This means that if you have a 90 minute workout and only have time for 60, you can just select the alternative, knowing that it will be the closest you can get to the same training effect as your original workout.
(This means that for vo2 workouts, 90 and 120 versions will probably just add on endurance intervals at the end, rather than increasing rest intervals and bring your heart rate down too much. Workouts focusing on muscular endurance can probably increase rest intervals for longer versions without ruining the training effect.)
This means that when I say “Baird” you know I mean “short hard vo2 intervals”, or when I say “Spencer” you know I mean “3 minute vo2 intervals”. It makes sure each name has a consistent identity and purpose. It also makes it user-friendly to the majority of TR users who are simply following a training plan and want to make easy substitutions without extensive research. You shouldn’t have to think about it.
- Get rid of the + and - naming system, and simply replace it with the number of minutes. So Baird 45, Baird 60, Baird 75, Baird 90, etc. (Thanks to @DaveWh for this great suggestion)
- In order to achieve point 2, carry out a cull so each workout only has at most one variant for each duration. There only needs to be one “Baird 60” - if the other 1-hour Bairds have a purpose, call them something else.
- Take out any workouts that are (a) not in any training plans, and (b) used very rarely. They could be stuck in a workout archive if anyone happens to be a big fan.
- Just to casually throw in another year’s work into the mix, this overhaul should be accompanied by a web-based and user-friendly custom workout creator, for those of us who like to tinker.
Anyway, that’s my vision, show me yours. All I would note before you do is that I’ve tried to think about it both from my point of view (bit of a geek, regular forum poster) and from the point of view of the average TR user (just wants to do a training plan and get faster). I know some of us would like it to be more like Golden Cheetah with a half-decent UI, but that’s not really what TR is about.