Smart trainer and VO2Max workout problem

yesterday I did Taylor-2, the problem is that my smart trainer need at the least 5/6 seconds to reach the target power, and because the whole interval is 30sec at VO2max I lost around 15w in the medium power.
What I did is raise the intensity to 105% in the last series, so the power growed from 290w (the requested one) to 304w and I saw that the medium power for the 30sec was near 290w.
Is the right choice?, I ask because the IF was a bit higher than the requested one, and of course the power in the next 25sec isn’t the 120% but roughly 130%.

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Hiya, which trainer is it? You might want to try resistance mode and using the gears for short intervals like that

Is an Elite Direto

I think 3-5 seconds is probably about right to get up to speed, as an instant change would be like hitting a brick wall. You could trying raising your cadence as you move into the higher interval

You can also try flicking a gear in ERG mode, can help speed up the process.


@ Jonnyboy
But at this point it’s quite normal that medium power in 30sec would be lower than the requested one.

DC Rainmaker commented in one of his videos on YouTube that most trainers use 2 +/- seconds to adjust. This is to prevent hitting the wall as @Jonnyboy describes is.

On my Kickr the resistance kicks in 1 second early, i belive @Nate_Pearson said this is done intentionally by the TR software to hit the start of the interval better. This doesn’t really matter though in my opinion. Reason: If your trainer needs time to get to the right resistance, it might also use some time coming down again after the interal? So all you get is an interval “moved to the right” by some seconds.

@andrea7376, spinning up the candence is also a smart tip. Hitting 100+

Spinning up it’s something I already did, I discover that there is a power smooth in Trainerroad and also in the Direto , I want to ask to Elite what is better if less smooth so it react faster to the change of the power request, but of course also to the small change of the cadence, or the inverse.
Because I think the problem is: ERG->290W->some small change in cadence -> delay in the adjustment of the power from the Trainer.

I have an Elite Direto too. For short interval workouts I use a low gear in ERG mode. I may have the following reasoning completely wrong, but from my limited reading on the subject and use of the trainer it seems to work. The use of a low gear means there’s less flywheel inertia for the trainer to overcome when changing resistance. There is still a delay, but this occurs at both ends of the interval. Each interval generally reports an attained power of less than target, but the end values for the workout give pretty much spot on target IF and TSS values. What you’re losing in attained vs. target power at the beginning of the interval, you’re gaining at the end.

I also find that if you’re going to change cadence for the interval (not always the case as something like Spanish Needle should be consistent cadence) then you should do so about 5 seconds before the interval starts. Changing cadence right as the interval starts ends up with a lot of power fluctuation IME, presumably due to the trainer trying to balance the new power target with the changing cadence.

Here’s one of my recent short interval workouts as an example:

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I think it’s almost inevitable for a very short workout in erg mode with a significant change of wattage.

I just checked out a random selection of taylor-2 workouts and a lot of them are between 5-10 watts under for the interval.

Trainerroad’s powersmoothing only affects how you see the numbers on the display (iPhone, PC or what you use), actual power and power recorded by TR is still on a 1 sec frequency.

I belive the Direto however smooths the powerdata sent to Trainerroad, so it looks artificially flat. If you can, turn of the smooting on the Direto (might be done through their own app), and only use ie. 3 sec smoothing in TR app.

This is also a good tip, and something I do.

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Same workout last week - Elite Drivo 1 - same problem. It’s the nature of the beast.

Tried various different ways to ‘hit’ the target power on those short intervals.

Eventually found that letting it drift up to the correct resistance and for the final 5 sec pushing a fair bit harder (as by the time the trainer corrected itself the interval is over) things evened out nicely. While it does over run the start of the rest interval, it also means that it is correcting itself in the low power valleys where (AFAIK) it has little impact on the workout total.

Speaking with a guy at Elite, he told me that the hardware need around three seconds to change to an arbitrary high resistance, but they have smooth this value to 5 seconds because from their test they found would be better.
He told me that in the future they are planning to permit to change this value from their application, but he don’t know if with the actual trainer also or only with the new that will come, in other word for the moment we can forgot this way.

P.S. How can I share here my workout?

Blockquote On my Kickr the resistance kicks in 1 second early,

My Kickr starts to ramp up at 3 seconds prior to the interval start, I always thought this was by design.

The trainer only does what it is told (by TR’s software).

What’s the overall actual IF for your workout compared to target? On workouts like Gendarme with lots of intervals, my Actual IF is usually about 1% lower than target due to these delays in hitting resistance.

In the big scheme of things, this does not matter. A missed workout for example, has a bigger impact I’m sure than 1% of IF.

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Yesterday I also did Taylor -1 using a smart trainer.
Target for me was 288 and i hit -5 to -7 on all the 42 (yes 42!!!) intervals.
I was happy with that.
One trick is to up your cadence about 5 seconds before the interval starts and keep on right through the end beep.

I really would not be bothered about not hitting a few watts on a 30 second or less session


This is my workout:
In the next few workout I will try to:

  • put to 1Sec both TrainerRoad and Direto smoothing
  • use a bigger gear to help the magnet of the resistance with the inertia.
    I will update my result.

You want to use a smaller, or easier gear (small ring in the front, large cog in the back) to decrease the time it takes the trainer to apply resistance. You may have meant a bigger cog in the back - in which case you’re on the right track


Mine does as well - 3 seconds before. I have had two Kickrs (2014 and now a 2018) and they both do the same so I think it is intentional.