Is there any point in continuing subscription if I’m now only cycling outside?

Much as I have enjoyed the structured indoor training, it’s now time to get outside on the bike! I have IronMan Wales in September and need lots of real-life hill training. So is it time to ditch the TR subscription? I don’t have a power or cadence meter on the bike so not sure what use I’m getting from the subscription now.
Interested to hear people’s thoughts on this.


You can do outside workouts based on RPE. Some structure will be better than none imo


I hardly turbo train in the summer - nearly all outside. That said come October I’m back on the turbo with TR all through the winter until about March/April - plus I like the forum and other stuff. If finances became tight that may be a different matter, but fortunately currently it’s not an issue so I keep my subscription.


No point with subscription if training outside only.


You can do pretty much every TR workout outside. I don’t see how that’s hard to grasp (for some people, not a shot at you).
Anyways it’s up to you, do you want to have some structure or just ride for fun? Do you want to try to get stronger or do you want to just ride for the adventure? Imo it’s up to you and both are possible at the same time.


IMO, this is why TR having annual pricing is awesome. You get a significant discount to cover those weeks or months when you don’t use TR much, but still have it available for those days you need to ride inside or want a structured workout for that outside ride.


I ride inside occasionally during the summertime when it rains or when I have other commitments all day long. It’s also useful for the calendar.


Will you still be following a TR plan? If you are, then I’d say yes - you can use RPE for your efforts and that will still allow the calendar to populate and you can still track your progress.
I remember back in the day, I followed a training plan out of Friels’ The Cyclist Training Bible and it was all based on HR and I would program my workouts on my Polar watch. Still got fit by following the plan and using HR which is one step away from RPE. Basically, I think you can still benefit without having a power meter.


I’ll offer a counter argument that a summer spent doing big rides in the hills, only limited by time availability and the amount of food you can carry, will create the super fitness you’re looking for.
That’s what works for me anyway.


The majority of my training/ riding is now outside but I keep the TR subscription. It keeps me in their eco system AI FTP and I like having a calendar etc, it gives me a little focus for those outdoors rides (outdoors training) and the indoors is still there for the occasions when I’m time constrained. If I needed to reorganise my budget however, I might revisit things.


If you like structured training, why wouldn’t you do it outside? Not every ride needs to be structured, but keeping that structure 2-3 days per week will continue improvements. Heart rate/RPE is actually a great way to train. For some use cases, I would argue it may be better than a power meter.


Imho, if you’re serious about training and being competitive, you’ll invest in a power meter. You can get a decent single sided meter for $300-400 and dramatically improve the accuracy of your training and racing.

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I may be an outlier but I hate doing any real structure outside. I’ll do some long threshold or tempo blocks but that’s about it. Otherwise I just like to have fun, jam some hills, smash some sign sprints with friends, etc.

I still ride inside once it twice a week and do my structure there. It’s more productive and efficient for me.

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You are not too much of an outlier. Its probably not the most efficient but when I’m with a group I just tend to enjoy my self too. On a solo ride outdoors I do sometimes tend to follow a structured workout to break up the monotony, it depends on my mood.

Let’s remember why many of us ended up here in the first place — to get faster!

Structured training is an extremely effective way to increase your fitness over time. While many of us are itching to get outside after a long winter, there isn’t really a good reason to leave structured training behind if getting faster is your main goal.

It’s normal to want to ride your bike with no strings attached purely for fun when the weather is good (that’s probably what got us all here in the first place), and we advocate doing whatever it takes to stay mentally motivated to keep riding your bike. There are ways to make room in your training plan to allow these types of rides to happen regularly if you’d like, such as bumping down the volume of your plan to give some breathing room for soul rides such as these.

Riding with a power meter is going to be beneficial if you’re really serious about your training, but @NateP is right — completing your workouts based on RPE is totally acceptable as well.

As @Stevie_Dee mentioned, there are benefits to having TR around aside from simply riding on a trainer or even having workouts at your disposal. Having access to your calendar, FTP Detection, Adaptive Training, and analysis of your progress throughout the season is a huge asset, especially when training for something such as the Wales Ironman!


I’m curious how FTP detection works when all it receives as inputs are rides without power data.

It doesn’t, because AIFTP needs 2 things:

  1. At least 10 TR indoor workouts as a foundation.
  2. Rides WITH power data outside.

It’s possible to do RPE based workouts with no data, but those won’t work towards AIFTPD.

ETA now that the site is working:

What AI FTP Detection Needs to Detect Your FTP

In order for AI FTP Detection to have enough data to accurately detect your FTP, you need a minimum of 10 completed TrainerRoad indoor workouts. If you haven’t completed enough workouts, don’t stress—you’ll see how many more you need when you click the button to use the feature. Once you’ve completed these 10 workouts, AI FTP Detection will analyze and incorporate all indoor and outdoor rides with power data, whether or not they’re TrainerRoad workouts.


That’s pretty much what I thought.

I seem to remember @Nate_Pearson mentioning it uses heart rate if no power is available?

That’s not part of the current support article, so either that is wrong or you are thinking of something slightly different. They do offer an option for heart rate to drive TSS estimates at least.

But that is not the same as what is needed for AIFTP estimation from what I know right now.

It would take some notable extrapolation to take pure HR data and convert to some form of power estimation needed for FTP relationships. Considering the variability in the data, and things like road vs gravel vs MTB and such, any “power” data from that would be suspect IMO.

To a degree, that would be parallel to the PowerTap PowerCal HR strap they used to offer. I have one and it was interesting, but I wouldn’t consider it a great option when thinking about FTP estimation with any level of accuracy.

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