πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ New Product Release! Updated Training Plans, Workout Levels, TrainNow Updates πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

When we announced Adaptive Training, we promised to roll out individual pieces once we felt they were ready, instead of doing a single big release of everything down the road.

Today, we’re excited to release three significant new features from Adaptive Training to every TrainerRoad athlete!

Updated Training Plans
We’ve updated all 100 of our training plans using insights from our machine learning to improve the sustainability of progressions & ramp rates. In all, these insights resulted in over 600 new workouts! The updated plans still ensure that you’re training specific energy systems at the right time to target the specific fitness you need for your goals.

If you’d like to update your current training plan, you can delete your existing one, then add the new updated plan. You can backdate the new plan to your original start date. Additionally, you will get the updated plan with any Plan Builder recalculation by editing an A or B event.

If you’re on the web, you can click on a training block annotation, then the update button.

You don’t need access to the Adaptive Training closed beta to follow or benefit from these plans. They have been designed to maximize your training with or without Adaptive Training. If you have access to the Adaptive Training closed beta, the plans you are looking at will be individually adjusted to your Progression Levels, so they will be unique to you.

Check out this blog post for more information on the updated plans.

Workout Levels
Workout Levels are a new metric that helps you to compare the difficulty of workouts more easily. Within each training zone, every workout is ranked on a scale of 1 to 10. Some of the most challenging workouts can even exceed a Level 10!

Workout Levels were created using machine learning models that go beyond TSS and IF, but also take into account things like repeatability, interval length, and more to include more nuance when comparing workouts.

Moving forward, you can use Workout Levels to compare workouts in the same training zone, as well as see the levels of workouts that you have completed in the past.

As of now, you will not yet see your individual Progression Levels that you have seen in the Adaptive Training launch and preview, but you will see the Workout Level for each workout.

Check out this blog post for more information on Workout Levels.

TrainNow
TrainNow is getting smarter, with improvements based both on data and athlete feedback. TrainNow’s intelligent workout suggestions are getting better. Our data shows TrainNow athletes are already more likely to succeed at their workouts than those choosing them manually, and we’ve used these insights to drive further improvements.

TrainNow has always looked at your abilities when making specific workout suggestions. Now, it also looks at your recent training history to recommend an ideal type of workout for each day. The new β€œRecommended” label is based on the intensity and stress of your recent rides and workouts.

We have more info over on our blog:

We’ll be going into more detail on each of these over the next week, but in the meantime, we’re happy to answer any questions you have!


Workout Levels FAQ


What are Workout Levels?

Workout levels are a new metric in TrainerRoad that compares the relative difficulty of workouts within each energy system and training zone.

They range from 1 to 10 with some workouts even exceeding a level 10, with 1 representing an easy workout. Thus, a Level 6 Threshold workout is significantly harder than a Level 3 Threshold workout, but not as challenging as a Level 9 threshold workout.


How did you come up with them?

We leveraged the analysis made possible by our Machine Learning algorithms and the insights we have gained with Adaptive Training to accurately quantify the difficulty of any workout.

The result is a very accurate representation of workout difficulty that takes into account details such as interval repetition, interval length, interval format, recovery time and more.


How are these different from my individual Progression Levels I’ve seen in the Adaptive Training previews?

Your individual Progression Levels are a representation of your capabilities within the context of Workout Levels, and those are not yet ready for production.

Workout Levels are simply ML-driven quantifications of the relative difficulty of a workout, and those are what you now see for every workout.


Are Workout Levels comparable from one Zone to another?

No. Workout Levels are classified in two ways: (1) Zone (2) Workout Profile.

An example of Zones would be Endurance, Tempo, Sweet Spot, Threshold, VO2 Max, Anaerobic, Sprint.

Each Zone has various different Workout Profiles within it. Workout Profiles represent the interval structure of the workout. For example, the VO2 Max Zone has On-Offs, Float Sets, Sustained Intervals, Traditional, Attacks and more.

Workout Levels within a specific Zone and Workout Profile can be directly compared, while Workout Levels within a specific Zone but different Workout Profiles can only be loosely compared. Workout Levels between workouts of different Zones cannot be compared.

For example, a Threshold Level 4.0 and an Endurance 4.0 are not going to have the same RPE.


What is the max level?

There is no max level, but most workouts will fall within Workout Levels 1-10. If you are completing workouts above Workout Level 10, you are likely to gain more from reassessing and starting a new training plan at a higher FTP and lower Workout Levels.


How do I know how hard a workout is with these Workout Levels?

This understanding will come quickly as you train with Workout Levels.

For context, most athletes are able to complete a Level 3 workout regardless of where they’re at in their training, while significantly fewer athletes tend to successfully complete a Level 8 workout unless their training has properly progressed them to that point.


Are Workout Levels personalized to each athlete?

No. Workout Levels are assigned to a specific workout based on it’s difficulty, and is done regardless of an athlete’s abilities.

Individual Progression Levels, an upcoming and currently unreleased feature, is what will be unique to each athlete.


Why are some workouts missing levels?

There are still some workouts missing Workout Levels that we’re working on fixing. If you find any instances of this, please share it with our Customer Support team at Support@TrainerRoad.com


Will my custom workouts have Workout Levels?

Yes, all TrainerRoad workouts and custom workouts should have Workout Levels assigned to them, but at this point we can’t endorse the Workout Levels of custom workouts.

As of now, Workout Levels are calculated uniquely for custom workouts and are not comparable to the Workout Levels of workouts in the TrainerRoad workout library.


Will Outside Workouts have Workout Levels?

Yes. Every workout in the TrainerRoad workout library will have Workout Levels assigned to them.


What is a reasonable progression rate with these Workout Levels?

Based on the data we have, anything within a 0.3-0.7 weekly progression in Workout Levels for a given Zone is considered achievable, productive and sustainable.

This doesn’t mean that an athlete couldn’t experience a 1, 2, or even 3 level increase in Workout Level from one week to the next, but these larger jumps are not likely to lead to productive and sustainable gains over time.

While there will be some individual variance between Workout Profiles and Zones for individual athletes, this progression is a data-backed approach that will yield performance gains.


How should I use this in conjunction with TSS and IF?

TSS, IF, Duration, and kJ(cal) are crucial metrics for understanding the impact of each workout, but none of them tells the full story.

For instance, long, slow rides can have the same TSS and kJ(cal) as short, more intense ones. Also, two workouts of the same length and IF may have vastly different work/recovery structures, making it hard to compare the experience of one to the other.

Workout Levels take all these factors into account in one easily understandable metric.


Updated Plans FAQ


Why did you update the plans?

We are committed to constantly improving our training plans as we get more data and insight into how to make you faster.

Our progress so far with Adaptive Training and our Machine Learning Algorithms has allowed us to quantify workout difficulty with more precision than ever before, allowing us to create training plans that still accomplished the same objectives, but did so in an optimized way.

While this is a comprehensive update, we will continue to make improvements over time as we gain further insight.


What changes did you make to the plans?

Our goal was to use the data we have gotten about workout completion and ramp rates to optimize the plans. This meant the main focal points were to optimize the progression of different Zones within each plan, and to adjust their beginning and end points in order to accomplish the unique goals of each plan and do so in a way that increases your odds of sustainable and strong performance improvement.

In actuality, this meant a very different approach that merited rebuilding the plans from scratch while still adhering to the original goals of the plans. As such, we created 641 new workouts to satisfy these progressions and goals. Nearly every workout in every plan has been changed through either being swapped out with a different workout or being shuffled to a different point within the plan.


Do these new plans Adapt to me?

No, these plans are not adaptive, just like the previous plans. This update to our training plans uses insights we’ve gained from the Adaptive Training Beta, but it is not Adaptive Training.


Why do the plans start at Levels 3-5?

Levels 3-5 (roughly) are an ideal starting point for athletes starting a new plan with an FTP assessment. This was discovered after analyzing completion rates at scale in great detail, looking for what delivers sustainable and strong improvement in performance throughout a training plan.


Why do the plans progress the way they do?

Based on the data we have, anything within a 0.3-0.7 weekly progression in Workout Levels for a given Zone is considered achievable, productive and sustainable.

This doesn’t mean that an athlete couldn’t experience a 1, 2, or even 3 level increase in Workout Level from one week to the next, but as those Workout Level increases get larger, and particularly when they are being accomplished in parallel with other high intensity Zones, they become less likely to lead to productive and sustainable gains over time.

While there will be some individual variance between Workout Profiles and Zones for individual athletes, this progression is a data-backed approach that will yield performance gains.


The new plans are lower in TSS than the previous plans – why is this?

Using TSS as the main guiding metric in training plan construction can lead to a non-progressive ramp rate in how each energy system is trained. The result is commonly a plan that looks like it ramps consistently in terms of TSS, but is far from a consistent ramp in how it trains energy systems, causing non-productive lulls in training productivity and excessively hard workouts that can halt training progression.

In short, TSS is a vague metric that doesn’t take into account the unique demands of different types of training.

Since our focus is to make you a faster cyclist, we focus on training the energy systems that matter most to your goals. Using Workout Levels to build plans guarantees sustainable and productive ramp rates that are uniquely adjusted for each energy system and the goals of the plan.


Why did you make these new plans easier/harder? How will this better prepare me for my discipline?

In the spirit of constant improvement, our goal with these plans was to make them even more effective at making you a faster cyclist, not to make them easier or harder.

There is a temptation to assume that harder training will always yield better results, but our data shows that high quality training yields better results, and β€œhigh-quality” is analogous with consistency and progression.

The start points, ramp rates, end points, rest weeks and tapers of these plans are all designed to put you in the best position to improve your performance as an athlete.


The rest weeks and tapers look a lot easier. Why did you change that?

A more optimized and consistent ramp rate increases importance of the Load:Deload balance of work and rest weeks. As such, we took a measured and conscious approach to reduce load during rest weeks and taper weeks in particular.

These changes will better prepare you to be consistent with your training throughout loading phases and better prepare you for peak performance on race day.


Why should I follow these new plans?

You should follow these new plans if you want a more optimized and data-driven approach to reaching your goals. Not to say you won’t reach your goals following the previous plans, but following the new ones will increase your chances of success in reaching your goals.


Can I still follow the old plan that’s on my calendar?

Absolutely. You don’t have to change your current training block and can finish it out to avoid manually swapping out workouts. That said, we do recommend using these updated plans as soon as you’re able.


I’m almost done with my current plan – should I update to the new plans?

If you are in the middle of a training block and switch to these updated plans, you may notice a decrease or increase in Workout Levels compared to what you have been doing.

If this is the case, our recommendation is to substitute the workouts that remain in your current training block for workouts with Workout Levels within .5 of what you have been doing recently.

Once you finish your current training block, you’ll start with a Ramp Test with the new updated plans and the workouts will once again be calibrated to your fitness.


How do I update my Plan Builder Plan to get the new plans?

The easiest way is to update your current training block through the Calendar on TrainerRoad.com. To do this, go to the start date of your current training block, click the calendar annotation with the name of your current training block, then click β€œUpdate Plan”.

If you have any questions on this, feel free to reach out to Support@TrainerRoad.com


What happened to the weekly tips?

We are planning to remove the weekly tips as we get closer to launching Adaptive Training. Since Adaptive Training will frequently adjust workouts in each week of a training plan, the current weekly tips will no longer apply.


When will we get updated triathlon plans?

This round of updates includes the bike portion of the triathlon plans, but not the run and swim portions of the plans.

This update was driven by the data and insights we have gained from Adaptive Training and our Machine Learning algorithms, which at this point are being applied to cycling-specific training only.

Consistent with our theme of constant improvement, we do anticipate updating other aspects of our triathlon training plans, but we have not ETA for this at the moment.


My plan disappeared after selecting an update – how can I get it back?

Please reach out to our Customer Support Team at Support@TrainerRoad.com – they’ll be able to get things sorted for you.


I’m getting a β€œSomething went wrong. There was an issue updating your plan.” error – how can I fix this?

  1. This is a good one for our Support Team too. Support@TrainerRoad.com.
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Awesome @Nate_Pearson will done to all at Trainerroad!

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I just opened my calendar it asked me to update my Plab Builder plan. I assume I don’t need to delete it and re-make it?

Correct. If you want to have the latest plans, use the β€œUpdate” option and you will get that revised on your current Plan Builder setup, with no need to redo anything.

Just open any plan the annotation starting a your current training phase, and use Update.

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Question on LEVELS: Someone posted a screenshot from their app showing Phoenix as a 7.8 level, which shows the same for me. I thought the levels were personalized to the user, so seems odd or a coincidence that we would both have the same levels. In addition, what does the level score actually correlate to? Is it the difficulty of that workout in relation to other workouts in the same zone in the library, or to our progression (I know we can’t see this yet). Reason I ask is Tempo is kind of my sweet spot (not actually SS but more of my mojo/forte/bag/etc) where I can seemingly survive for long periods, so I can’t see how Phoenix would be at the upper end of the Tempo level area for me.

Might be, most likely, misunderstanding this, so would like some clarity if possible.

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All displayed workout levels (Ex. Tempo 7.8, Threshold 4.0) will be the same for everyone. So for this release, everyone will see the same thing.

However, your ability to complete those levels will be different. In a future release of AT, there will be added designations regarding if those levels would be an Achievable workout, Productive, Breakthrough, etc. specifically for you and your abilities at that time.

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Thank you! Perfect timing I start my new plan tomorrow LOL

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β€œWorkout Levels” are set and consistent for everyone.

What changes are your β€œProgression Levels”. Those are only visible to those in the AT beta at the moment.

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I noticed that the weekly tips did not update. I’m assuming that the Sunday rides can still be exchanged for some longer Endurance rides?

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Yep!

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Great news on the new workouts. There were some pretty big level gaps in places.

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I got a splash page before I even got that far. I did agree to the update. Just want to make sure it is not confusing for others.

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Thanks for the clarification. Suggestion for once this is all out in full swing, wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a video tutorial showing where things are and what means what, maybe a Q&A session. There’s a lot of new stuff to make sense of so a tutorial would be super handy

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I did that and it deleted the current plan of mine and everything in the future, :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:.

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Ouch. I’ll be holding off on that then.

Will do!

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I’m going to have one of our support agents contact you and get that fixed.

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looks like polarized plans didn’t change. at least now w/ workout levels, can adapt the saturday rides to be easier in progression

It’s weird because the updated plan now shows under my career, but there are no workouts under my calendar or in the iOS app