How to use Adaptive Training without a Smart Trainer / Outdoor Power Meter

I’m a TrainerRoad user who:

  • does not have a smart trainer for indoor training
    —> so cannot link my power during indoor training rides
  • does not a power meter on my outdoor bike
    —> so cannot link my power during outdoor training rides

However, I’ve been able to get adaptive training working for my set-up.

Indoors: I ride a Keiser M3i spin bike - you may have seen these at your local gym. The bike has a display that tells you your watts and cadence, but it is not Bluetooth/etc. connected, so that information doesn’t get to my TR account. When using TR, I change my gearing/cadence manually so that the watts on the bike matches the watts on the TR workout at that time.

Outdoors: No power meter, just a good old bike.

Other: I have a smart watch which is synced to TR using Strava.

Using adaptive training took a few tricks to work, but essentially what I do is log all my workouts (even indoor ones) as outdoor workouts using my smart watch and then associate the outdoor workout with the indoor TR workout that day.

The tricks required:

  • When I send TR an indoor workout (recorded by my Smartwatch at the same time I’m doing the TR workout in the app), TR seems to detect that there’s a duplicate if recorded at the same time and won’t import my Smartwatch’s indoor workout. So I have nothing imported to associate my TR ride with = no progression level changes = no AT.

  • When I lie to Strava and say I’m doing an outdoor workout when really I’m doing an indoor workout on my Smartwatch, she’ll override my categorization and reclassify it as an indoor workout (I’m guessing because my workout had no GPS data associated with it). And see the first point: because it’s an indoor workout done at the same time as my TR workout, TR won’t import it = no progression level changes = no AT.

The solution:

  • I have to record all workouts on my smart watch as outdoor workouts. This usually means I stand on my balcony to capture GPS and then jump on the indoor bike and do the workout. The lack of GPS data for the remainder of the workout doesn’t seem to be an issue and the workout is still recorded as an outdoor workout by Strava, even if it’s 3 seconds of GPS data. TR doesn’t see this as a duplicate because it has an outdoor workout classification, so I have something to link by indoor TR workout to.

→ Sometimes I forget to record on my smart watch, so LATER I will go outside and record a fake 3 second outdoor workout. I’m able to link this outdoor workout to my indoor TR workout (but I’m not sure what the impact to AT is since the time and heart rate info won’t be accurate). But I still seem to get core changes to my progression levels and AT workout changes.

Anyways, those are the work arounds! It took a bit of playing around to get things seemingly working so thought it might help someone out. Or, one could just buy a smart trainer :slight_smile:

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