How to Find Athletes to Invite to a Group Workout

I hope I’m not repeating myself. Please forgive me if this is a duplicate post, but I’m trying to figure out how to get started with Group Workouts.

Next week I’m scheduled to start The Next phase of the sweet spot base plan, which begins with a ramp test. I did not perform the ramp test at the beginning of the previous phase, so I’ve only been guessing at my FTP. This time around, I’d like to rectify that.

I’ve never felt that I’ve given my best during a ramp test. Typically, I lose my will long before my legs give out. As a remedy for my lack of intestinal fortitude, I thought I might benefit from the inspiration provided by the company of others.

I have read the instructions for setting up a Group Workout several times. I think I have a good idea how to go about it. The problem will be in finding athletes to invite. While I know a number of cyclists, I met most of them on the road. They have yet to discover the benefits of TrainerRoad. At our age, they are not likely to be interested in putting in that kind of work.

In a previous post I suggested that TrainerRoad should have a “lounge” dedicated to those seeking to organize Group Workouts. This would be a place where those interested in organizing a Group Workout could advertise. It would be like a classified ad section for Group Workouts. I don’t recall the response I got, but if such a place exists I have yet to find it.

I’d rather find interested athletes before I create a group workout. Is there a member forum dedicated to group workouts? If there is another way to advertise my workout, please let me know.


There’s a dedicated thread and a shared calendar:

The TR team has talked about improving discoverability for group workouts, so it’s on their radar.


Hey @babyboomer ,

I’m with you! The group ramp test, I feel, will give me that bit extra to push harder. I’d like to try it out. I asked on this forum in a different thread (@adski) and there is a way to use google calender for posting your group workouts to see if other wish to join.
I’m doing my next Ramp Test on Tuesday, 11 May if that helps.

Sounds intriguing! Unfortunately, in order to join you for a ramp test I would have to postpone the start of my base phase plan by two weeks. Alternatively, I could simply postpone the ramp test and start the plan based on an estimate of my FTP. I’ll have to give that some thought. In the meantime, I’ll try to find your workout invitation.

No need to postpone anything, in my plan I’m doing the Ramp Test every 4 weeks so another chance will come around. Just happy the help out if I can

Okay. I went ahead and performed my ramp test as scheduled. The good news is that the FTP I had estimated for myself was fairly accurate, if a bit low. The bad news is that, once again I feel that I bailed out early. I probably had a couple more minutes left in my legs. This is why I would like to do the ramp test as a group activity. I’m guessing that peer pressure would motivate me to new heights. Hopefully, we can rendezvous somewhere down the “road.”

  • This goes down a different road, but I’d like to understand why you think this. Can you be specific about things like power markers, heart rate, RPE, etc?

  • I say this as one who also feels like I could have done more when completing ramps on occasion, but I am considering 10-20 seconds… not minutes of extra time.

  • If you are really bailing that early, I just wonder what is causing you to choose to quit so early?

My estimate of how much longer my legs would have lasted might be slightly exaggerated.

When I start the test, my objective is to ride until failure – that is, until my legs refuse to move. I don’t know whether I’ve ever accomplished that. For this most recent test, I suspect I could have finished the step I was on.

One of the gimmicks I use when performing these tests is to keep my eyes averted. That is, I resist the urge to look at the screen. I’m afraid that if my perceived exertion is not producing a high enough number, I’ll get discouraged. More commonly, I’ll see a number that’s relatively high for me, and wonder how I could possibly go much longer. Ideally, I would prefer avoiding the screen until I can no longer continue.

Today, when I finally looked up, I was pleasantly surprised by the number I saw. Unfortunately, that was also my undoing. As my cadence slowed, the soreness in my legs began to predominate my psyche. I was doomed. I was probably not far from the end anyway, but if I hadn’t seen the number, I might not have psyched myself out. As soon as I quantified the amount of work I was doing, it felt a lot harder. I don’t know whether I had another two minutes left in my legs, but another thirty seconds might not have been out of the question.

The reason to test for FTP in the context of TR is to set training zones relative to that FTP.

  • Looking back at prior FTP tests and the workouts that followed, do you feel that the training based upon that FTP were successful?
  • Or did you have to manually adjust your FTP manually to get the training demands and effects appropriate based on the workouts in your plan?

My reason for asking the above is the fact that we often place too much emphasis on the pure watt value of the result, than consider the impact of it and what it really means for the training that follows.

I’m not opposed to trying things like videos, music and group workouts to perform as desired on a ramp test. I do my own combo of those myself. But the match between training AND testing as much as I can get them too. I want to test in the same way I train, so my levels are as balanced as practical.

Considering that we need that the FTP later, if we “over-perform” on the ramp test in ways that we can’t replicate in future workouts, we may be getting a FTP that is more harmful than helpful.

I just mention it because too often we see people aiming for these big FTPs as the end result, and not always seeing the reason that really matters for finding that value in the first place. Unless that FTP is something relevant and repeatable for our training and event needs, it is potentially misleading and might even be detrimental if we adhere to it without considering the actual use case that matters.

Hmm. Interesting. I think I understand.

After reading your latest response, I took another look at TrainerRoad’s description of its Ramp Test. It’s quite possible that I’ve been going about it all wrong. The description indicates that I should pedal until I can no longer maintain the target. Since part of my testing strategy is to avoid watching the screen, I’ve never really concerned myself with what the current target might be. Besides, in ERG mode, I assume that the trainer is managing that for me.

Ultimately, I’m just trying to ensure that the workouts in my plan are calibrated appropriately. I guess I will be able to tell when the workouts are too hard or too easy. A bigger challenge for me these days is completing a plan. Lately, my record is rather dismal. I think this will be the third time I have restarted the sweet spot base plan. My erratic performance hasn’t necessarily been due to any issues with the workouts, I just haven’t been able to make training a priority. They say that the third time’s the charm.

Your understanding and use is basically correct.

  • Yes, the goal of completing a proper ramp test is to go until you can’t hold target. Meaning your lungs, legs, head or heart (and any combo) pull the plug on you. What that looks like varies for each rider.

  • I test in ERG, and let the app and trainer do the work while I focus on holding my desired cadence. I end up either with a cadence decay from my 95 range down into the mid 80s and either pop then, or on occasion, am able to hold on into the high 70s. But in each case, I am cooked and know that I had little more to give (maybe 5 secs more if I had someone cracking the whip).

  • Other times I have great cadence, but breathing and heart rate lead me to just stop. So the point of failure varies between each rider, and for me tends to vary over time too.

Since you are in ERG, you don’t NEED to watch the power target. And based on your comments, I think it might be best for you to ignore it too. So I think you have done that right. The “watch and keep on target” matters most for those NOT using ERG mode. Their instructions have to cover both use cases, so keep that in mind and recognize what does or does not apply with your use case.

  • Same goal for all of us.
  • Yup, and this is the reason that people should NOT necessarily take ANY FTP test for gospel. Be aware of the workouts following any test and consider how difficult or easy any workout is intended. Adjust your FTP in the app manually if you find the results are not aligned. This is necessary consideration each and every time we test, IMO.
  • That may be related to FTP performance, if you are getting incorrect (likely over-inflated if you are failing workouts and plans). But it is far from the only reason for plan failure.

This all rolls into a very different discussion, and may be best in a separate thread. But in short, you have to look at your training history, age, general health, selected plan volume, nutrition, recovery, consistency and more factors to see why you are failing to complete a plan.

With respect to this discussion, since you are fighting plan completion, I wouldn’t be looking to Group Workouts as some savior to eek out more performance in the Ramp test. I have a feeling there is far more to this than you thinking you gave up too soon in the test.

I’d refocus on the many factors above, because I expect one or more of the other items are in need of review and adjustment.

Just for the record:

Nothing I’ve said here should be misconstrued as a criticism or complaint—quite the contrary. I am a proponent of TrainerRoad. I owe my most significant gains to your training plans. Several years ago, I went from the base phase through the specialty phase and in the process, added over seventy watts to my FTP. I can’t fault TrainerRoad for my current lack of motivation. I haven’t been inspired enough to dedicate myself to a training regimen.

Since the plan I’m following is predicated on establishing a baseline, I’m just trying to make sure I’m performing the test correctly—nothing more, nothing less. I shared a gimmick I use to help get me past the mental demons. I can’t believe that using such an artifice would skew the results; certainly no more so than performing a ramp test as a group activity. If those I’ve seen performing ramp tests as a group workout are not using the results as a precursor to, or part of a training plan, then that’s my mistake.

So…, I have completed a ramp test. It gave me a number. I’m going with that number. My challenge will be to remain committed to the plan. Not because I might encounter difficult workouts or even fail some. Instead, it will be because I don’t give this venture a high enough priority. At this moment, I’m feeling highly motivated.

Today I completed a workout composed of three 12-minute intervals. The first interval felt a little too easy, but by the second interval I knew that I would be working hard to finish the third. Perfect!

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