TrainerRoad's Big Data

Maybe I’m thinking small, but I would start with:

  • Personalized ATL & CTL exponential decay rate
  • Personalized work to recovery weeks. That is, if I’m doing SSBMV1, TrainerRoad calculates that I can handle 4 weeks of work before I need a recovery week, and modifies the plan accordingly. But when I’m doing Short Power Build MV1 (SPBMV1) I can only handle 3 weeks of work before needing a recovery week, and TrainerRoad modifies SPBMV1 accordingly

The dream is to get people to do the ramp test once and never have to do it again as long as they keep training. If you take a hiatus from training we’d need you to ramp test again.

We’re working on all the blocks to make this happen.


I agree.


We’re still playing with this. I don’t want to give too much away until it’s launched because: 1) We might change it. 2) Competitors could read it and start copying us.


We’re working on all of these cases.


And also why stopped early - sometimes I need to cut workout 10-15 mins short (or choose say 75min version instead of planned 90 min) due to life commitments rather than physically unable to complete workout…



I’d be interested to know how you see this working in broad strokes (no need to give away trade secrets).

Here’s my take on some difficulties that you might face:

Take the WKO4 solution which plots the Power Duration curve based on the rider’s Mean Maximal Power curve and then takes a turn-point on that line to be indicative of FTP. The model is fairly robust as long as you have enough max efforts.

For that type of model one of the problems I can see is that if you’re just training indoors (as I imagine a high percentage of folk do during the winter), or only have power data for indoor rides (do you know what percentages of users own a power meter?) then the PD curve is self-defining over the course of a plan. There would be nothing that you could tell about the riders abilities after the completion of the plan that you couldn’t have known before they started, assuming everything was completed as prescribed.

Without outdoor rides or tests there would be no max efforts since the intervals are not tests of MMP: My own ability to crush an 8 minute test far outweighs my ability to perform 4 x 8 with 3 minutes rest.

There is also the discrepancy in power between indoor and outdoor rides: it wouldn’t be appropriate to base indoor workouts on a model driven from maximal efforts done outside.

Obviously this is only one way of modelling FTP - there may well be others out there but I’m pretty sure they all require maximal efforts (tests) at different durations.

It’s an interesting topic and was actually the one that I had in mind when I first started the topic. Having said that, it is actually only the determination of the model that requires Big Data, the calculation of FTP only needs a single user’s data set.



Just have workouts that have the last interval be a ‘modeled fail’. If their numbers say you should be able to hold 105% ftp for 5 min and they build an interval that tells you to hold it for 7 min and do… then they know your FTP is higher, and could adjust accordingly.

How would you overcome that repeatable interval power is never on the PD curve? If it’s just a single interval you might as well call it a test.



Because they aren’t saying you can maximally hold this power for this time. They are saying “people that can hold this power for this time at the end of this workout will statistically be able to complete these workouts at this intensity.”

Take everyone’s favorite SSBIMV O/U progression; Reinstein, Tunemah, McAdie, Palisade, McAdie +1. When you finish McAdie +1 they can probably make a pretty good guess at the power that it would take to make you fail Reinstein.

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A good answer.

How you develop a model based on that principle may be difficult though as it would only be the last interval or interval set that would be done to to exhaustion. Is there even any data out there that would allow us to build that model?


Their data.

But these intervals don’t really exist yet because what you are proposing is a change to the current workouts.

Don’t get me wrong - think there could be the start of a good model but not sure that there is enough verified data to build it with.


There are some good ideas in here and some of them hit pretty close to what we’re going to do. I can’t share everything as some stuff is a competitive advantage if we can execute.

I just wanted to say ya’ll rock :smiley: :metal:.


Interesting thoughts from @GPLama & crew.


…and here as well. TR-specific mention

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Regarding the point about the FTP increases being taken from the plan being self-limiting - if you look at the way the plans progress, a block of training tends to get harder over time. For instance the VO2 max workouts on Tuesdays in SSB II mid volume get harder (same duration, higher IF) as you progress. So if you stick to the plan then the NP numbers will rise over the course and you would see an increase in FTP.

Without a test to increase the intensity that the workouts are being done at, I could draw your Mean Maximal Power curve based on your FTP at the start of the plan. This has nothing to do with what your FTP is - it’s just a function of what the power curves are for each of the workouts.


If you did this, would you also model power at VO2max separately from FTP? As you’ve mentioned on the podcast many times, the estimate of 120% of FTP used in many of the workouts is a good starting point, but definitely not universal. You could use it as a baseline, but then adjust it independently from FTP as more data is gathered on the individual (as the workout text suggests individual riders do on some of the workouts).


@Nate_Pearson I’ve been thinking about the recent plan improvements (great job on these by the way!). To me these seem only a stones throw from the beginings of personalisation. For example, take the change to Spanish Needle in the general build plan. Many users fail that workout but some must complete and derive benifit from it. You may have done this already, but I bet if you clustered users (e.g. on age group, FTP, difference between VO2max power and FTP) and looked at failure rates for this workout you could identify the optimal version of Spanish Needle for each group.