JOIN cycling app

Was using JOIN while following TR mid volume plan for the last two months. Just feeding TR rides + unplanned rides to Join. TR got me to 154% of planned Join progress. Just following Join would hold me back too much for my 8-10hours per week. Might be great for winter base where I feel TR is too exhausting.

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The percentage in Join seems useless. Following the plan in Join I always get 150-200%, even with extra rest days.

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If the event is in the next 7 days then you can add it as an unplanned ride and enter its duration, expected RPE and priority (A/B/C). Join will then schedule a bit of tapering depending on your priority.

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Yeah, I think it is just bases on predicted time spend riding. If you do extra rides, you’ll always end up ahead of it. Even just the extra couple of minutes to/from training roads add up.

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Does you athletic profile match what you are doing (in hours) (not availability) as mine seems spot on, and most of the to much training / not enough seems to come down to that setting

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Think one of the risks of the percentage indicator is that it can make you think you’re following the plan, when actually you are not. I had a couple of weeks where I didn’t do a single Join workout, just rides and races, and as long as you add them to your training plan in Join, it looks like you’re progressing.

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Totally, just I’ve seen it more than once that somebody says they are going to ride 5-6 hours in the athletic profile. then ride 10 hours doing other things, and then 10 hours is 160%(ish) of 6hr’s so the percentage goes out the window

which is why i asked what the profile is set to

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I have not subscribe to JOIN yet but plan to in preparation for (hopefully) a couple of days of bike packing in September. Given my recent struggles with the Fondo Specialty plan and taking nine days off, I dropped the second half of Specialty to LV and plan to add in some Z2 rides, basically making it similar (but not exactly) to the Polarized Build plan. I’m going to run JOIN along side for the remainder of the Specialty LV plan to compare / contrast the two.

I’ve read the whole JOIN thread and have a couple of questions.

  1. With only being able to schedule time off one week in advance, how are people dealing with long-term scheduling / lack of visibility into the overall plan?
  2. How do you get workouts from TrainingPeaks (from JOIN) into TR? Since I’m going to run both for at least a quarter I might as well use TR to control the trainer.
  3. Does JOIN have an off-season plan? For the last two years I’ve been doing FasCat’s 10-Week Weight Lifting program and plan to do the same this year, but would be open to using JOIN’s riding plan with FasCat’s lifting schedule.
  4. If you fail a workout (in the traditional TR sense of not completing the intervals at the prescribed power, taking a back pedal, bailing completely, etc), how does JOIN handle it?
  5. Conversely, how does JOIN handle exceeding a workout (additional sets, increased power, adding endurance, etc)?
  6. I have Zwift but am curious what other free workout players exist IF I were to cancel TR and Zwift. I understand that JOIN has a player but it is still in its infancy. Zwift’s workout mode leaves a lot to be desired, specifically in its limited range to add duration and adjust intensity up or down to get a proper warmup/cooldown.
  7. Do you need to setup the connected apps in any special way to avoid duplicates if you have Strava and TrainingPe

Not able to answer all, but answered some. Others can hopefully respond too.

  1. You get used to it. At least for me it sends a push notification every Sunday reminding to update for the week ahead, which I do as needed or ignore it.
  2. I can’t comment, not a TR person.
  3. I don’t think there’s an off-season plan explicitly, there is a recovery plan though. There’s a plan selector here.
  4. I haven’t done this so can’t comment.
  5. It adapts the future workouts accordingly, in my case it opted for easier stuff.
  6. Good question, that’s an area I personally haven’t investigated much since I use Wahoo RGT and now I’m curious about free options too…
  7. Nope. I have Strava, TrainingPeaks, Garmin, and Wahoo all connected to my JOIN and stuff just works.
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There are two types of plans, time-based, and event-based. Some plans, eg the FTP builder, run for eg 3 months, and then finish. Other plans are event-based, you pick the type of event, enter date and duration, and it makes you a plan for that. Some events (popular European sportives) have their own plans you can just select.
Join shows you the workouts for the next week (but they can change), and some sort of overview until the end of the plan - weekly durations and “level”. However I find that a bit useless, because it changes all the time. “Level” is a Join-defined measure that seems to combine FTP and CTL. It is something between 0 and 50, the higher, the fitter you are.

I haven’t found the lack of visibility of future workouts a problem. If anything, it is a relief - you stop worrying about what you’ll have to do in the future. In terms of planning, you just don’t have to. Join adapts the plan to what you do, instead of you having to plan around the workouts. You can adjust your availability for thw week, or even just for a day, or change a workout to a different one, or just drop an unplanned ride in, and Join will update the plan. It feels pretty much like what a coach would do, apart from that you don’t annoy anyone if you keep changing what you do.

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I just push workouts to my garmin, if I want to use erg mode. It can’t so powermatch, which I really miss from TR, but its ok.

However, one of the nice things about the Join workouts is that they are usually easy to remember, so you don’t have to use a workout player. If doing them indoors, I often just put the trainer into slope mode (using the garmin), at some sort of gradient that allows me to hit the prescriped power without too much shifting, and then just do the workout from memory (or look at the notes in the phone). That way its super easy to eg have a longer warmup or repeat an interval where you got interrupted, or anything.

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That is something I’ve grown to appreciate about JOIN. Unlike other similar offerings, it’s a library of workouts that are not overly complicated but interesting enough (and you can do any of them adhoc if you want). Other things generate a workout instead for the day and some I’ve tried have either gone for the “well that’s really… complicated…” or the “uhhh that’s a single power target for 3 hours” approach. (Random evening thought)

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Join is a lot less picky about perfect execution. Basically it is up to you to do the workouts as intended. Join does evaluate the workout, and might give you something simular again, if you didn’t do the right work. I’ve had something where I skipped a 4x 10 min threshold workout (or something like that), so I got 4 x 15 min threshold the next day, lol. However I’m pretty sure if I’d done something like 3.5 x 8 min, I wouldn’t have got another threshold workout that soon.

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I think the different history of the apps shows here. Join comes from a traditional human coaching approach - a coach would say, during your ride today, do 5 low-cadence intervals, or, do 10 30s sprints, or something like that. The rider would go on a normal outdoor bike ride, and just work on these things during the ride.

TR on the other hand has evolved from indoor cycling/spinning classes. To make the classes interesting and engaging, there needed to be a lot of change in intervals. They also could make use of programmable trainers, and so there are intervals that quite hard to do without erg mode control. I guess other training plans/apps that started as indoor training also have fairly complex workouts.

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That definitely makes sense.

Setup the TP-to-TR sync, I was using it in 2020 and 2021. It works.

Then do the Join to TP sync dance, whatever that is.

And unlearn some of what you’ve been taught by TR. The failed workout concept is, generally speaking, a fail of TR algorithm or assumptions or something not worth trying to unpack on a TR forum. Do the work and move on. Striving for watt-perfect intervals is not worth your time and attention.

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With join I’ve got more relaxed at looking at the intention of the session and doing something that approximates it rather than getting every interval bang on.

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Join exports to Training Peaks, usually do it on the day of the workout (as the workout can change up till that point) TR imports TrainingPraks, though don’t expect the progression levels to be accurate, TR doesn’t play well with others

Join doesn’t have a concept of a failed workout (surely no workout is a fail, they all have some training benefit), if you mark a workout harder than it expected (by a margin) it might back your training off, likewise with under, my traininging has fallen apart at the moment (outside) and Join is just nudjing me to do a little bit more

Not free but how about TrainerDay ($5 a month)

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Maybe if you get to the end of the street, and decide to turn round because it is raining. :slight_smile:

I agree. I find this idea of “failing” a workout weird. Maybe it is just the terminology, but it seems overly negative to me, when you actually tried as hard as you could.

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I really don’t think that will work / be a fair comparison, all you get from sitting on the fence is splinters

The two have different takes on training, TR (IMO) is make the intervals harder and harder, Join is ride more and more (that is a generalisation of the two for example) so Joins raction to following a TR trainng plan is probabably going to be , spend more time on the bike / longer endurance workouts, by running the twoo side by side, all you are testing is how Join would adapt it’s plan if you did a TR plan instead

And you have to be sure that you have to make sure that you giving both your full attention, like we know the questions in TR if answered incorrectly have an efffect on the progression, to give it a fair(ish) chance you have to make sure that you are setting your available time / athletic profile / question answers and plan you are on are comparable

At the end of the day, if what you are using is working, then thats worth more the gold, if it’s not, make sure your evaluation of a similar product is fair

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