Looking to improve my TR experience

Hi, thanks in advance for any suggestion.
I’ve been using TR for more than 3 years quite consistently and i’m very happy with it.
Yet for as much discipline i try to keep, things were starting to get a bit repetitive and boring lately, especially not being able to ride outside…
I finally redeemed a 2 free month coupon for the Sufferfest to try something different, and these are my considerations and questions after a few weeks that i hope somebody can help me with.
Firts of all the pros: indeed i’m more entertained as it’s normally the case when you try something new. The videos help make the sessions go by quite fast. What i like best though is the integration of yoga and strength training; the former i normally do, but it helps to have it in the plan with vids so i do it more regularly and correctly. The latter is quite a nice addition to me and it’s helping.
Then the cons: being used to TR, it’s quite a bummer not to have any kind of insight into the workouts performed; only very basic info and no analytics. Also, even only after a few weeks, i can see the novelty of videos wearing out eventually. Then there is the matter of trainer control: it sucks. Same trainer (Direto) and same PC i’ve been using for 2 years with TR with mostly no issues, and with SF it just works much worse: in some intervals it adjusts normally, in some it takes longer… very inconsistent. Even the HR strap is working inconsistently at times. And in level mode, the same! Also, level mode is not smooth at all, somehow changing resistance on you. Support has not been able to help with any of this. Maybe it works better on a Kickr :wink:
Lastly i’m not binding with the whole attitude; it’s fun sometimes, yet not especially my cup of tea. And the mental training is a bit off too with my general approach to things.
Considering all this, and the fact i don’t plan on leaving TR, i just want to improve my experience with it as much as possible.
So the two main questions i have, even after reading and searching the forum a lot, are:

  • For those using Zwift in parallel with TR, does it make it easier to get through longer workouts? I tried it almost three years ago and did not like it much, but i was trying to decide between it and TR, not trying to use it together. I checked and don’t have trial left for my account, so to try it again i should pay one month…
    Is there another app (Fulgaz, RGT, Rouvy or whatever) you find good to help with TR workouts? I would not think just playing cycling vid would help me though, probably something more interactive.
    Without any entertainment (youtube while on the trainer does not work for me) i’m stuck at low volume plans and the 1.5h sessions are hard to swallow. I’d like to increase low intensity hours without torturing myself too much.
  • What would be a resource regarding strength training? To just put a note on the calendar does not do it for me, i like it WAY better to have vidoes with sessions. Yet i would consider it too expensive to stay on SF just for yoga and strength videos.
    Thanks a lot for all the help and suggestions!

Id also love TR to go down the route of the plans add strength/yoga for you. As im always fishing around for stuff to add, and more often it not being right

I like TR because it is purely a training tool. I ride time trials and ride a bike to race. Yes I love going out in the sun to ride but I consider myself a performance first cyclist. So yes 2 hour SS sessions are boring in the winter but I do them with plenty of heavy metal because I know they make me a better rider come race season (whenever that will be!). Same applies to o/u and VO2 sessions. For zone 2 I try to get outside with my mates in the winter on a Sunday for 4 hours unless the weather is crap in which case 2 hours SS it is. In the summer I usually race Saturday and do 4 hours zone 2 Sunday. Currently I’m doing 3 - 4 hours zone 2 most days with a VO2 session to keep me fresh. So if 90 mins is your turbo limit then outside it will have to be - you need to see the big picture. If you want to stay fit and enjoy your bike riding then LV and the odd outdoor ride is great - if you want to get faster after the initial gains you simply have to put more time in. Strength training has an enormous thread with some great advice on here - I would suggest reading it along with coach Chad’s recommendations as well. Unfortunately cycling can’t always be about entertainment sometimes it’s going to hurt and be boring…even Zwift can’t address that - good luck :grin:

This would be amazing. They talk a lot on the podcast about strength training and stretching and how important it is. And they have written up several blog posts and made some videos with exercises/stretches. But it would be really cool, if it was integrated in the product itself. For a start, I think, it would already be enough, if it was simply scheduled in the TR-Calender, with a link to the video with the exercise.

Thanks; indeed i used to do the longer zone 2 rides outside, where 3 hours go by quite fast… It’s probably that between winter and lockdown, i’m trying to figure out a way not to burn out doing everything inside.
The shorter threshold and VO2 workouts i gladly do inside and they go by fast…
Yet with SF i see some workouts can be less boring, after all. I’ve been pretty disciplined and consistent with TR for 3 years, done hundreds of hours / workouts purely on it, so it’s not like i just want to be entertained :wink:

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That would already be a big step forward and should not be extremely hard to implement!

One thing that helped me was outside rides. I’ve been on trainer road for quite some time and it was an on and off thing. Purely riding inside was just boring at times and my schedule didn’t support races very well and it was hard for me to sustain motivation.

This year (is) should have been my first real race season in 5 years … I did two things differently:

  • Changed the diet
  • Rode outside as much as possible with outside workouts. Most of the time, they aren’t quite as effective as I live in an area with rolling hills. But I’ve enjoyed the training a lot more. So while not being as effective minute for minute, for me it pays off in the long run.

Riding outside quite a bit also helps to show me, what all the training is for - even without the races. Just seeing how I’m able to put down more power than I used to motivates me. And that makes training inside better. Last but not least, I try to watch very dumb movies while I’m on the trainer to distract myself (Judge Dredd was awesome for that, there is no way you don’t understand the plot and lot’s of stuff going on).

I’m however quite happy how they designed the product. I tried using Zwift and I just can’t. I don’t even like the races (despite enjoying the odd Playstation game). I think the focused training platform without anything else works really well and gives me the chance to look for a yoga instructor, meditation guru or strength work somewhere else. I wouldn’t mind having that in the program, but I would rather they spend the money on the adaptive plans that I’m pretty sure they are building (the number 1 thing Nate is always going on about)… Analysing the data and automatically adjusting the plans to compensate for weaknesses and building on strength relative to the goal would be crazeamaze.

I agree this would be a great addition. Another app already has this integrated into their app so it can be done and done well. I feel like TR is the best training app with a calendar around so I’d love a one stop shop for these extras.

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