I’ve been training with MTB and running (this one only recreationally) for a few years.
All training were heart based (prior to TR, when I added a PM) coached with intervals and goals (only the biking ones).
I seemed to reach a plato no matter what I had done and wanted to go beyond.
As an avid listener to professional cycling podcasts, presumably at least, I happened to find the TR’s one and I found it interesting and its scientific claims made sense to my scientific background.
During the podcasts they claimed, over and over again, that:
One can take their indoor workouts and do them outside with the same benefits.
Adaptive training shall advance one according to one’s actual performance.
Later on…that AI FTP detection can be used to eliminate ramp tests.
What had actually happened during last year is simple: I had never been so ill or injured ever and each time I peaked I either became ill or got injured.
Not only that, coming back from each illness or injury the sessions were just off and way to hard.
On top of that FTP calculated by TR was not correct, adaptations became undoable over and over again and all in all…I have never felt so bad physically ever since I started training.
And…I never gave up, until now.
Three times I tried and three times I burned (two illnesses and one crash) and I always came back…till the forth time wiped me out, completely.
From endless emails with the support personnel, support documents, podcasts and more I found out that:
Outside trainings do not have inside workouts drills.
Adaptive training does not analyze outside rides workouts and any adaptation is according to one’s RPE…which means no science and if you read yourself wrong you just boil yourself.
AI FTP detection used to use outside rides as the only source and they found out it was not accurate alone and it needs mandatory 10 inside rides. Its numbers had been way off for me and too high when it used only outside rides.
TR personnel claimed later on the podcasts that there are at least two fundamental issues with outside workouts that they find to be frequent and cause different physiological benefits than planned:
a. Frequent power surges outside of the prescribed range.
b. Frequent micro power drops.
Some of that is typed in the manuals in the support section or known by the support personnel but is advertised and publicized differently with omission of serious outside ride TR’s handicaps.
My own personal conclusions:
Accurate personal adaptive training is expensive and don’t be surprised when cheap is just that…cheap, in all regards.
When you crash into a wall not once or twice but three times and try each time to rise up and expect a different outcome…just blame yourself for not learning the lesson sooner.
This is my own personal opinion and my own experience.
To each his own.
As for the legality of wrongful marketing and advertisement…that’s a US federal issue.
I do thank and appreciate the support crew for their tremendous help, care and credibility…throughout.
Honestly no app or of the shelf training plan will fit and work for everyone. AI FTP. Is as flawed as a ramp test imho. Also never trust the apps over your own feeling and rape. If threshold workouts are to hard lower ftp and progression level. I’m currently off the tr plans and do my own ftp progression and some Anerobic work for a race coming up.
AI ftp would have me at under 280w a ftp/tte test has me at 300w which also feels correct.
Overall you to find what works for you and if TR isn’t working stop and find another solution or just use it for the workoutlibrary and progression.
It’s okay even professionals burn out just ask Alex Wild, King Iz and Payson Mcelven, im sure there are others.
Trainer road, online plans and personal coaches are great until you stop giving good feedback and don’t rest when you need to rest.
I say this while being sleep deprived and driving to ride for 5 hours
I think a bit more background info is needed. You will over do it if you go from 3/5h a week to hv etc.
Ive previously overtrained and yes it does suck.
The illness could be due to alot of things depends who your mixing with. If you do alot of travelling youll get sick if you have small kids you’ll get sick.
Of course the product had significant limitations. But you burning out is your own doing. When you use this product, you are self coached. When it feeds you workouts that are way too hard, do you not stop and think “hey, this thing is steering me off a cliff”?
I 100% agree here. Unless folks can say with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that EVERYTHING else in their life is spot on (work stress, life stress, kids, sleep, nutrition… on and on), laying it all in the lap of a training platform, regardless of WHAT platform you are using, seems an inaccurate assessment in my mind.
That said, maybe the OP has reflected on all that and perhaps everything in life IS in perfect balance, though he/she hasn’t shared those details.
Well I think you should continue to hang out on the forum. It would be super fun to read your advice to current and prospective TR users (based on your experience). I’m quite certain there is a survivor bias among TR users and I for one am not at all put off by somebody who finds success using different training methods.
To the contrary, I think there is a long history of exactly that in endurance sport…even at the very highest levels. You should give a listen to Mike Joyner talking about the history of endurance training.
In a similar vein, back in the day a certain sport at the OTC hired a certain eastern european coach (let’s call him Drag) who employed a sports machine type of training approach. In Drag’s home turf you could start with 10,000 athletes, subject them to high volume, high intensity training from a young age, and in 5 years there would be a dozen or so survivors that could really kick ass.
That didn’t work quite so well in the US because we were drug tested and there were only a few hundred to start with that were really interested in the sport. Our best medal prospect at the time refused to follow Drag’s workout plans. Too much volume, too intense, he said. (A teenager, mind you, who went his own way in an institutional setting) So Drag kicked him out & eventually coached us to one of our only olympic medals in the post drug era.
However, that teen who got kicked out went on to be one of the most successful athletes ever. He won big time events. He achieved feats which nobody had ever achieved. He leveraged his ability into a very comfortable lifestyle. If I said his name a great many would know him…nobody would know the name of the silver medalist.
So I would say there is plenty of evidence that if one training style doesn’t work for you there probably is another training style that will!
Unlucky you had a bad experience and I do agree somewhat with what you are saying. TR currently is getting marketed as a simple tool that will take away all the stress of thinking about your training, workload and FTP. The software will do everything for you, you don’t even have to think about. That’s just plain not true. You have to really listen to your body and you have to be really in touch with how you feel. Especially when you’re new to cycling this car be very difficult. They should be a bit more careful with how they talk about this.
There’s a really fine line between hard and too hard that’s really difficult to judges. Especially for new riders.
That just isn’t true….they advise over and and over again on the podcast to listen to your body, etc.
It is incumbent on any athlete to listen to their body and ultimately be responsible for their own training. Even a 1:1 coach can only do so much….
training is both a journey and an experiment. You try things, learn, fail, succeed and adapt. It doesn’t matter if you use a training app like TR or have a personal coaching. We are all different and what works for some may not work for you.
At the end of the day, the OP is essentially an outlier against tens of thousands (more?) of other users who have great success with TR, including AI, FTP detection, etc.
All of the things you’ve experienced have been experienced by those who have also had personal 1:1 coaches giving daily power file feedback.
The most important thing you can bring to any training plan is yourself. Be present. Understand when it’s time to gut it out, and when it’s time to take a day off. And understand the consequences of each.
Don’t lay all the blame on the training plan. Sorry it didn’t work for you, but there is no panacea …
Cycling training is tantamount to building a plane while you’re flying it as the different parts of the plane are rusting or need rest and repair in mid-flight while the gas tank continues to shrink
Far more unknown here than known, despite the info shared. But two key points of interest to me are the lack of power meter data and apparent MTB focus.
Each of those opens the door to potential issues, but the absence of power data is HUGE to me considering the way TR works. They do make provisions to work without power data but I see that as hamstrung and more likely to cause issues without extra effort and thought.
Add in MTB use that can be much more difficult in terms of workout goals and actual completion and I’m not surprised there were issues.
Even the best setup with full data and live coaching can go awry for many reasons. Nothing is perfect and some perspective of the whole picture along with the relative cost are things to keep in mind too.
I shall try to clarify:
Coming from a human coached team I opt for a more scientific, adaptive training.
TR have repeatedly claimed on their podcasts that:
Adaptive training relies heavily upon AI analyzing objective data derived from planned workouts execution and thus decide how to progress the next session.
RPE, according to TR’s own PR is of minor importance when calculating PLs.
TR can be done outside with the same benefits.
My expectations were simple: to become a better rider progressively, over time, training only outside, while dealing with real life and its own influence in a personally adapted training regime tailor made for me.
I used both a power meter and a heart rate strap.
Only when I enrolled and started things started to not add up.
Multiple correspondence with help and reading the help section they asked me to read revealed that their PR was false regarding outside rides:
Their AI can not analyze them for PL.
Only RPE (which is subjective and anything but scientific) decides PLs.
They have known for some time that outside workouts don’t give the same physiological benefits as inside workouts due to several reasons.
I tried my best to continue, adapt, listen to my body, ask them when I did not understand, set RPEs as accurately as I could and…every 3 months or so my body became too stressed with the load.
I have never been so ill during a year of training with mostly a very weak immune system and exhaustion.
Did TR’s AI adaptive training adapted my personal training plan and progression to my own life and my own ability?
Do I blame them for everything?
I do state that living my real life of family, work, health and different challenges TR’s plan did not adapt to my actual capabilities and drove me overboard each time.
That had never ever happened to me and the worst I encountered is plateau (or none training related injuries).
Sorry to hear, for what it’s worth I’ve evaluated and used several different training plans from companies targeting outside workouts. Both before and after using TR for two years. For outdoor workouts those plans are far better than TR in my humble opinion, because TR is coming from an indoor training perspective. And I had to stop listening to the TR podcast because I have a different interpretation of the science.
what volume plan were you on? AT can only process the data it is fed. so if you’re going out and running 15 miles a week, that is stress AT has no way to process. I’m sorry you overtrained, but when things were beyond difficult, why did you keep pushing deeper into the hole?
I am grateful for TR, having started three years ago, and how it’s kept me sane over the winters and brought me into the summers in decent shape. But my situation is different from yours in that I would not take a TR workout outside since the workouts’ success depends on consistent power and I just find that easier, actually thoughtless, in the controlled indoor environment. If I tried to do all the workouts outside I would almost certainly be frustrated and lack progression.
I’m not certain where you are getting this understanding, but it is not correct. PL’s are 100% based on data.
However, when doing outdoor rides, it only gives you credit for doing the rides, it doesn’t look at the actual data. This is the reason why so many are waiting for v2 of PL’s.
I’ll also add that it is going to be extremely difficult to adhere to workout profiles if you are doing the workouts on MTB trails. WAY too much terrain variability to consistently adhere to the prescribed power levels.
Sure, this is true if you listen to the podcast. If you don’t, however, what you get in all the marketing is “our intelligent software will look at your training history to always give you the right workout”. Here’s the front page of TR if you aren’t signed in.
If you scroll down that page, you get a YouTube video with Chad explaining AT that says it over and over again. He never once says, “listen to your body, choose alternatives, or take a day off if you need it”, or “we don’t take into account your outdoor unstructured rides”.
This seems like common sense if you have a lot of training experience, but if you don’t, all you hear is “just log in and we will always give you the right workout”.