🎉🎉🎉 Introducing Workout Alternates!🎉🎉🎉

We’re excited to announce another new feature that we’re rolling out to all athletes: Workout Alternates. You should see it in the latest version of the apps (desktop and mobile), as well as on the website.

Workout Alternates are a new, more precise way of finding a longer or shorter substitute for your scheduled workout. We all know that “life happens” and some days you have more or less time to train, so we built this feature to find suitable alternate workouts that preserve the original workout’s zone, relative difficulty, and workout profile. Next time you find your schedule changing at the last minute, use Alternates to find a substitute workout that’s longer or shorter, but still respects your training plan’s objectives for that day.

As you may have noticed, Workout Alternates replaces the old “Variants” option. When we introduced Workout Levels, it became apparent that variants (a workout’s + and - versions) didn’t always correlate with levels. In fact, some “minus” variants were actually significantly harder due to shorter rest intervals. Alternates approaches this in a totally new way by using Adaptive Training’s insights and Workout Levels under the hood to find similar workouts from the entire TR workout library. When we were testing this feature internally, one thing that we immediately loved was all the new workouts it suggested that many of us had never ridden before. Not only is this feature great for finding a longer or shorter substitute workout, but it’s also great at finding variety.

To start using Alternates, simply open a workout in the apps (or web) and click the “Alternates” tab inside the workout details. We hope you enjoy this feature as much as we do!

For more info about this feature, our illustrious @SeanHurley wrote a great blog post about it here: Keep Your Training On Track With New Workout Alternates - TrainerRoad Blog

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I literally just saw info about this new feature pop up in my Twitter feed and so I came here to find out more. :slight_smile:

This is great! I have Pierce -4 scheduled this Thursday and I like that it’s not just showing me the minus versions of the same workout but actual alternate workouts of different durations (based on my selection) and, like you said, new workouts that I probably didn’t know even existed. It’s giving me lots more options, which is the part I really like.

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Alternates looks really good. I’m looking forward to the “productive” “breakthrough” options to make it easier to find a slightly higher level alternate.

Do Alternates only reflect the level of the workout being alternated from, or also Progression Levels?

Alternates do use a workout’s difficulty (relative to your Progression Level) to select workouts. Say, for instance, your scheduled workout is Productive Sweet Spot Over-unders - you’ll see other options with that same set of attributes as alternates. If you’re not on the AT beta, that might not make immediate sense (because neither difficulty nor progression levels are visible), so it’s best to simply think of it as recommending workouts similar in challenge to your original, scheduled workout.

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That makes sense. I think it’s a great feature.

I’m looking forward to the added ability to choose upwards as needed with the teased (and presumably next) function.

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When I have extra time on a given day, I’ve been doing a second workout after my prescribed workout using TrainNow, which almost always recommends an endurance ride. Would I be better off doing a longer alternate instead?

Just checked my next workout on the calendar and noticed this feature, it feels like a game changer for me as I usually go on a mid-volume plan and try to add volume when time permits.

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It’s a bit hard to generalize, as both will add some TSS and volume. But typically we recommend using Alternates if you’re on a training plan looking to adjust a scheduled workout, and TrainNow if you’re not on a plan, or looking to add a workout to a day without one scheduled.

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It doesn’t look like Alternates are available on outside workouts. Is that correct or am I missing something?

Looks like the Alternates tab is only there for Indoor workouts, as (on Android) the space is taken up by Power/RPE for outdoor workouts.

But you can change back to Indoor, select an Alternate and then reset it to Outdoor (I did that very thing this morning to change a 1h workout to 45mins to fit it into my commute).

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Hi the alternative workouts aren’t showing on my mobile version. Am I doing something wrong?

Are you sure you are on the latest version of the TR app?

Hey Bob,
it’s likely you need to update your app. Depending on your phone settings this might happen automatically, or might not. Try searching for TrainerRoad in the app store and forcing an update; Alternates rolled out to all our apps yesterday so getting the newest version should fix your issue.

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Thanks Chad that’s sorted. It should be on auto update so sorted manually

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Sean, that’s sorted it. My phone is on auto download but obviously was not working. Looking forward to adaptive training once I formed so this will do nicely
Cheers

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There is no alternate workout for Steamboat +2

@SeanHurley
@david.riddlebarger

Workout Alternates always have the same workout profile and difficulty as your original workout. Some workout profiles include many workouts, while other profiles don’t have as many. If there are no other workouts of the appropriate difficulty level and duration available for Workout Alternates to choose from within a workout profile, no results will be shown.

Under the hood, Workout Alternates reference your relative abilities in each training zone when determining what workouts to recommend. Alternates are not available for workouts significantly above your current capabilities. :v:

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Is it just me that finds it odd (and just mildly aggravating to my inner Obsessive Compulsive) that when looking up “Alternates” the achievable ones list from hardest to easiest, whereas the other difficulty options list them easiest to hardest?

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No, it bugs me too. It seems like a mistake and is another inconsistent aspect if they actually meant to set it that way.

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I’m sure it’s an easy fix for them.