TR is not for outside training?

I found out TR by chance on YT.
The podcasts make sense, based upon scientific data, liked the vibes and…they continually said the training plans and workouts can be done outside.
As an XC MTB rider I only ride outside.
Heat of the summer or cold of the winter don’t make no difference to me.
So…I bought a power meter, enrolled and started training…and…

  1. Couldn’t understand the progression levels and software response after each ride.
    The data did not add up.
    Got in touch with support and found out that:

a. TR doesn’t analyze outside training at all, like it does with inside training.
Everything, or mostly, is based upon subjective RPE given by the rider.

b. TR doesn’t “know” which part of the ride was the training session and which part was a ride to/ from and you need to record three separate rides (my friends are tired of their Strava given them three beeps every time I go out on a session :upside_down_face:).

And as of a few days ago something new, without any prior notice:

  1. AI FTP detection is withdrawn from outside workouts.
    Apparently only inside workouts enable a more precise AI FTP detection value.

What it literally all mean is TR does not support outside workouts.
One can use the workouts outside and have a kind of a biased unscientific subjective progression…but that’s about it.
The worse thing about it is it is not advertised as such, on the contrary.
They encourage riders to practice with TR outside if they so wish.

I still hold TR’s team and especially the support team with very high regard.
The amount and quality of support and advice I have been given is remarkable, on a professional as well as customer support aspects.

What it all boils down to?
At its current state TR is just like any other online training plan for outside training without any true scientific benefits comparatively other than a manual adaptation according to one’s wishes and feelings.

That’s not science.

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The only thing true about this post is that it doesn’t analyze outside workouts, the same as they do indoor. It’s either a pass or fail decided by user input, where the default is a pass.

AiFTP does take in account all ride you do, and the feedback you gave on that ride (easy, moderate, hard etc).

This summer I’ve done most of my workouts outside and everything about the TR platform worked exactly like it does for indoor rides/season.

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From TR:

“ Complete 10 More Workouts to Unlock AI FTP Detection

Al FTP Detection needs 10 recently completed indoor TrainerRoad workouts to accurately detect your FTP; so far, you’ve done 0. Check back after completing 10 workouts to unlock Al FTP Detection!”

Response from support to my inquiry whether AI FTP detection was withdrawn from outside training:

“ This decision was made because indoor TR rides tend to give us a better idea of how the workout “felt” for the athlete. Because we classify the workout and then get a survey response, that increases our confidence for detecting their FTP.”

Well I find indoor workouts much harder than when outside so did wonder how my RPE feedback can be relevant when doing both …

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From TR on the AI FTP thread just after the launch of the new version the other week.

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I think what he is referring to is that fact that when you sign up to TR you have to do 10 indoor workouts for it to calibrate the AIFTP, hence he is getting the message

It’s now part of the on-boarding process, so what you have said is correct, it does take into account outside workouts, but it doesn’t do so until you have done 10 TR indoors workouts, as the OP hasn’t done any indoor workout, he’s not going to get to the stage where it uses outdoor workouts for AIFTP detection

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My inquiry by mail to support May 10th, 22

Question:
“If I got it right, adaptive training doesn’t actually work with outside workouts.
If it doesn’t compare execution vs plan and give an adapted plan then how can I rely upon its subjective workouts?

Is there a more precise assessment as to when outside rides shall be analyzed as indoor ones are or are there currently issues that prevent it in the really near future (near as in weeks not months)?”

TR support answer:
“You are understanding how Adaptive Training works correctly, Amit. While it doesn’t work the exact same way as it does with indoor workouts, it does still give you progressions and allows you to train adaptively. It does compare the execution of your workout and the plan of the workout, but this is based on your personal input, rather than an automatic change.
While we are very excited to be launching our updates to these features, I, unfortunately, cannot give you any ETA on this, Amit. I can however share with you that the workouts will be analyzed much more in-depth and it will be a real game-changer for athletes.”

My inquiry by mail to support Oct 24th, 2022

Question:
“A while back I asked and was answered regarding current outside rides’ analysis handicaps…ie it’s based heavily on RPE and one has to manually separate rides to/ from the training session by 3 separate recordings…which makes the whole process cumbersome.
I understood it’s in the works.
Is there a more precise date other than future weeks/ months?”

TR support answer:
“You are indeed correct. This is something on our top priority at the moment and with it being such a big piece of work it is not something that is going to be implemented in the near future. We are however working non-stop to get this feature up and running so that all outside workouts will be analyzed in much more detail to give even more in-depth adaptations. I cannot give you an ETA yet, but just know that it is still being worked on!”

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I’ve been training since May this year.
In the middle of a training plan.
Just planned to get back unto the plan after a prolonged illness and tried to check my AI FTP.
Had two checks:
One before the last change…went OK.
After the last software change…got the indoor requirement notice.

Checked with support as quoted above.

I wasn’t disagreeing with you, just trying to help people understand what had happened to you

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I think it’s difficult to quantify a pass or fail yourself, when you don’t have the experience of doing the same type of workout indoor in ERG mode, forcing you to hit the target or fail.

But with or without experience, if you know you hit your targets, you passed the workout and you will get the level bump and plan adaptations. You will have to make sure that you are are not slacking during the intervals (which you can see in the power details afterwards) and that your are honest…

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I agree with your advice!

But…let us remember that RPE at best is very subjective and heavily dependent upon one’s psyche, mental fortitude, experience, other physiological and anatomical aspects and other factors.
More than that, RPE can not quantify how constant your power was during a specific interval, how much and far and long and at what frequency were you in relation to the interval target, how well you performed as the session progressed and fatigue accumulated, how other systems reacted to the session like HRT, how well you recovered between intervals and after them and so on.
That’s the reason TR treat RPE ONLY as an additive to indoor training analysis.
It’s important but none objective numbers make analysis and progression imprecise at best.

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this is asinine. TR works fine for outside, I’ve done many outside workouts successfully, and did a lot of outside workouts during the adaptive training beta rollout

some keys to good outside workouts are a) finding the right terrain b) practicing steady power. as for the analysis piece, no one really analyzes outside power well. there’s only so much handholding analysis can do, that’s why, as cool as some of these advancements are, there’s still a bit of art and science to coaching. if you’re doing workouts on your regular loop(s) and not tailoring your route to your workout, well that’s kind of on you

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Worth noting that you don’t need three files either. Use your warmup section of the workout to ride to the place where you will do your intervals. Hit the lap button when you’re ready to start your session. Ride home after the final workout lap is complete but before you stop your head unit.

You can compare your power data to the targets for each interval if you want to get strict with yourself, but I rate it a pass if I can stick the intervals without my body giving up on me. If I miss the power for other reasons like traffic or a downhill it’s still a pass. I find progression levels work totally fine this way.

Too bad about the ftp detection. Have to imagine this is coming once TR releases progression level detection for all rides.

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I disagree with this. RPE has long been used in training and scientific studies and is consistently good enough for proper training, with the added benefit of the athlete learning to better pay attention to their sensations.

Also, TR doesn’t use RPE for outside power based workouts. Just try to ride at the target power and you’re good.

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Used the lap before.
Was advised by TR support to separate the training session completely.
It is needed for a better association with the proper TR session plan.

That’s odd advice. If it doesn’t automatically associate the ride you can do it manually.

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Wow, this is news to me. I’ve only been doing outside workouts the whole summer. Who knew it didn’t work this whole time?

I just ride to where I need to go, bring up the work out, complete it and then continue riding back home all in one file. Never had any issues doing it that way. The workout always creates the “laps” so I never hit the lap button.

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I’ve had no problems with outside rides. I make sure I know a good traffic free area and understand the layout of the workout. I do 3 rides outside and. 2 inside every week.

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regarding the lap button, I think that’s a difference between garmin and wahoo, garmin expects you to hit the lap button at the start of an interval (only when for example the SS block starts, not when the rest starts). This is different for short intervals, for 30/30s you don’t have to manually hit lap every peak.
This is considered a benefit over wahoo, as you can easily time the start of your interval, e.g when you are at the bottom of a hill or at the start of a long stretch without traffic lights etc.

Not sure how wahoo works exactly because I only have a garmin

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I use a garmin 530, I make sure I understand how the workout works before I start. So I know when to hit a lap button and when to not hit a lap button. Garmin automatically creates laps too.
La dama Blanca, outside workout; this is a screenshot from garmin connect app. Besides my poor pacing I can easily see if I did the workout.

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