Interactive workout feedback (Feature Request)

I observed that I and most of my training peers sometimes are prone to being overcommitted in training. This overcommitment results in a behavior where

  • I turn up the intensity for an easy workout if I feel real good

  • or muddle through by skipping or slacking intervalls, or standing up during intervalls where I should have a high cadence etc.

Essentially, I mean that the easy workouts are performed to hard and the hard workouts are just muddled through. From what I understand these behaviours are generally counterproductive. Therefore the feature I would suggest is interactive feedback based on intensity setting and intervall accuracy.

The feature would look something like that:

  • Workouts can be specified by the TR team as ‚interactive‘. If they are contained in a training plan the ‚interactive‘ feature would be enabled.

  • It would have 2 different functions:

1. Preventing to turn up intensity above the targets of the workout

  • Each workout already has an explicit target (shown in the filter of the application e.g. endurance, sweet spot, …)

  • If an athelte extends the intensity of the workout to the extent that the relevant intervalls (not warmup or cooldown) would fall in different zones (eg. an endurance intervall would be sweet spot) Trainerroad would present a recommendation to not do that.

  • The recommendation is presented as additional or alternative in-ride instruction (eventually also in different color than the regular in-ride instructions

  • Control of the workout would stay with the athlete, no automatic adjustments would be done.

2. Preventing muddling through instead of quitting or reducing intensity for a workout

  • If an interactive workout is performed the accuracy of intervall completion for each relevant intervall (not warmup or cooldown) is measured.

  • This can e.g. be done by computing the homoskedasticity vs. heteroskedasticity of the data points (power required vs. power produced and cadence required va cadence produced)

  • If the performance of the intervall was homoskedastic, meaning produced cadence and power fluctuated rather equally around the desired power and cadence and the variance is low, all is good and the workout continues as planned

  • On the other hand, if the performace was heteroskedastic or variance was high Trainerroad would suggest what a real trainer would suggest. This could be to stop the workout if I cannot produce consistent power in VO2Max intervalls or could be to turn the intensity of the workout to 90% to ramp up the cadence to 95+ - you get the picture.

  • I believe such measurements would to a certain extent need normalization for the different trainer types. Power onset of a Tacx Neo would be structurally different from Wahoo Kickr or unsmart trainers or rollers and affect recommendations.

  • To see if both functions make sense it can be evaluated if a recommendation results in an adjustment of the workout intensity.

Thanks so much for the detailed recommendation!

I think Part 1 could be a really straightforward addition and could help to guide our athletes towards the most effective training for them. This could also be useful for when people turn down the workout so far that they lost the intention of the workout. For example, if an over-under is turned down too much, it is merely a Sweet Spot workout. This feature could help to inform users when the adjustments have been pushed too far and offer other recommendations for making the workout easiuer to complete.

As for Part 2 of your request, this would need quite a lot more research and development to implement. As you pointed out, all of the different trainers react slightly differently, which could make it very hard to get a consistent reading. And that’s not to mention the differences in athlete pedal strokes and other variables.

I’ll pass these suggestions onto the team, thanks so much for taking the time to share!

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Not to be rude, but are you asking for TrainerRoad to devote resources to stop you from screwing around with a workout? How about just do the workout as prescribed? Or am I missing something?