What with the number of topics currently on the subjects of FTP and W/Kg,
and how people are interested in their metrics vs others, me included, what do people think about whether there was a pinned topic that includes a couple of Trainerroad user percentage tables?
One for FTP, in say 10W increments, and another for W/Kg, say in 0.10 increments, with a breakdown of either what % or how many Trainerroad subscribers / users are at each level so you can see how you measure up with everyone else.
I’m not overly fussed about seeing a league table showing what position I am in, that would be too demoralising / depressing, and I know I can see my own personal increases, but a scaled chart showing what % of people are at 250W vs 260W vs 270W etc, and 3W/Kg vs 3.1W/Kg vs 3.2W/Kg etc, may be of interest to some if you knew you were climbing up against other users, or you were say in the top 50% last year but in the top 40% this year.
It goes without saying, this would need the input from Trainerroad and the tables wouldn’t use live data, but it could be a snapshot at a point in time with say quarterly updates?
I don’t see the upside, but I can see the downside of impacting people’s confidence.
People focus on the numbers too much already. It’s very useful, but training and racing is about much more.
FTP shouldn’t really be compared between people in my opinion; different meters, different environments, different protocols…it’s good to measure your own progression and racing, but numbers between two different people could easily be 10% out.
I can’t imagine TR will release this data and I’m not sure how motivating it would be to me. We’re always told that FTP is just a number and that w/kg doesn’t tell the whole story. I can track my improvements in relation to my own history.
That said, it would be really interesting to see TR’s dataset just out of curiosity
This sounds like a can of worms to me. Data with very little likelihood of providing any useful direction or help in setting training goals.
As others said, I see it potentially derailing people in shooting for targets that are not appropriate or attainable. A pure power or W/kg value doesn’t give any guidance. It is also only a single data point.
Things like power curves and PR’s give way more of a picture and context to potential performance (even though that leaves out massive elements of what leads to successful performances in our related events). And even that is still insufficient really.
What could be useful is a summary of habits and training choices that correlates to meaningful increases in fitness at those broader power levels (not just FTP or W/kg).
Hints from Nate indicate they may be working on things like that to present for us. I see that type of info as being much more helpful than a simple population distribution suggested here.
I agree that providing this information is not actionable to most people and would likely be demotivating. If people are curious enough, there are plenty of tables out there for people to self measure against and if you just look for Andrew Coggan’s activity on any of the major forums, you can find the information.
TrainerRoad’s user population is also a very shifted data set; what may be “average” among TR is likely far to the right of the median in a normal cycling population.
Totally agree. I’ve tossed around the idea of grass-roots coaching (very lightly, mind you, my one-armed pull up record is still zero!) but find it completely alien as to how one would train without power. There seems to be a very real fun–>seriousness shift once a PM becomes involved (e.g. user percentage tables).
You want people to enjoy riding their bike, but also make them better at riding a bike so they can enjoy it even more. As @stevemz says, so much data is not actionable and demotivating, thus having the opposite effect of having fun on the bike.
If all you are going to do is virtual indoor training then join one of the virtual indoor training services which allows you to compete against other people while riding. Much more fun than a spreadsheet competition.
The thought was never to provide a detailed analysis and to be too serious, it was just to show a high level view of FTP, W/Kg, as well as some other fields of say, gender, age groups, who use virtual power vs those who don’t, and time people start there workouts at, in a chart / graph forms.
Non of the above is going to effect my training, nor is it intended.
Whilst @AndyGajda says “No good will come of this…”, I don’t see any harm in it either. After all it is just trivia.
I am still male, in my 40s, use virtual power, and start my workouts between 0500hrs and 0600hrs. But nonetheless, to me, I’d still be interested to know that there are 0.01% of users rocking Trainerroad in their 80s and 90s, or 3 times the amount of people start there workouts at 1800hrs than 0500hrs when I do.
Super good point I never even considered. Then include the fact that many smart and power devices are also know to be inaccurate (Tacx Vortex, many older Elite trainers) and you would have very questionable “data” in some cases.
Those devices can all work, but the delta in change is what must be watched, not the actual value, as those may be very misleading.
I would also second @JoeX and add that each user has their specific discipline within the sport. They are training for a specificity that sometimes won’t translate to another user purely based on circumstance. I fear it would over complicate the process seeing as though seasons change as do FTPs and w/kg.
Feels kind of like an ego check for everyone - nothing positive out of it in my opinion.
There might be some interesting (in a fun fact sense of the word) cuts of the data around percentage of users riding at different times, most popular workouts, average % change in FTP graphed over duration of subscription, most popular plans by type and volume, etc…
Not sure anything there is worth development time (still some missing features from the app that are more important in my opinion) but presumably you could throw someone against the database and get that data pretty easily, particularly if you were just updating it quarterly
Shows progress or in my case what happens when you spend a whole calendar year rehabilitating. Pretty easy to see short efforts are my limiter. I’ve only been cycling for 3 years, my 2019 goal is to get solidly in Cat 5.