Smart Trainer Option

I now have the option to go from a Kinetic Rock & Roll Trainer, to a Saris H3 Smart Trainer… however I only use TrainerRoad. My understanding is that it’s benefits are the erg mode… because if it wasn’t, why would I change? However … on days I feel good, I can go above the asked TR workout targets, and recovery valleys. This doesn’t happen often, yet on that day I have the energy, I’d like to use it. My fear is a Smart Trainer will not let me do that… without changing the workouts intensity. Which I definitely don’t want to do for personal reasons of looking back over years, and notes as to why I did, or didn’t fail, etc I’d rather continue to learn , and push myself when I can… will a Smart Trainer hold me back to only the target power?

One of the nicest thing about erg mode is that it is convenient: you know the target and you focus on get your legs to turn and generate that power target.

This is also the main disadvantage, you might get lazy and not being aware of what power zone really feels. That being said, you can always train and calibrate it against your RPE.

On your concern of holding you back: if the workouts are too easy, just increase the intensity. I have found myself relying a lot on Erg mode for training and I have a quite opposite feeling. Erg pushes me to keep up with the target power and I don’t have the option of “under”-perform the workouts.

You could bump up the targets by 5 or 10% on those days you want to hit those targets, the trainer should adjust accordingly.

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An under acknowledged feature of erg mode is the ability to change flywheel speed at a given power output.

And as mentioned above, at each moment you can press the plus/minus buttons to set a higher or lower intensity depending on how you feel.

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Thanks!!! All the information is greatly appreciated!!! I guess I have the option of the Saris H3 trainer, or a Wahoo Trainer… similar price. Wish I knew Nates review/ opinion of the H3? I know dcrainmaker liked it. Thanks again so much!!

@daryl, TR has three modes of operation for smart trainers - erg, standard, and resistance. The article below does a good job of explaining the differences, but in standard and resistance mode you control the power via gearing and cadence - just like on your Rock & Roll trainer. So those days that you’re feeling exceptionally well you can go above by increasing the percentage in erg mode as others have mentioned, or using standard or resistance mode.

Additionally, you can use Workout Creator to customize your workouts. For example, I alter almost all of the TR workouts to have a 15-minute warmup (I need that much time before I’m ready to work) and usually increase the intensity during recoveries so that I don’t get too cold.

Nate loves the H3 and still uses it AFAIK.

According to DCRainMaker about the Saris H3,

If you’re living in a TrainerRoad world (or any other ERG mode app), there’s no better trainer than this for nailing ERG workouts best I see at this point.

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I love my H3 fwiw.