Wanting an "ultra" HV plan option

I know that this is why several years back the high volume rides on weekends were ditched, no one is sitting on the trainer for 4 hours… well almost no one right? But this was before the outside integration. Do I see compliance for winter/base for northern hemisphere folks? Nope, not in the least, but for build/specialty, I think compliance would be higher as people can now link those rides via their computers to their TR workout. They’ve done a good job with the outside integration to not be ridiculous with 3 minute oscillations of 10 watt increments that you might find on an endurance session, they just block those together and it might be 20 minutes in this range, or 45 minutes in that. They could publish a 4 hour ride that might spend the majority of the ride in your endurance zone and popping in some sweet spot or even threshold efforts to keep things fresh.
Suffice it to say, they closed the door on the long workouts with good reason, but perhaps a revisit with different variables is in order.

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I am pretty sure you recognize the fact that you are a “rare breed”. TR is set up for 90% (more?) of the people out there, which is where 90% of the money is going to come from. Chasing that last 10% is going to be a ton of effort for small gain, just doesn’t make business sense to please people like us. Luckily my self coaching over the years was really effective, and a season of paying for a coach proved I was doing things right and he helped me learn a bit more, which is why I am more self coached just using TR workouts themselves.

I am guessing with the amount of saddle time you have, you probably have the experience to succeed beyond what any TR training plan can do for you. You just need to take what you need from TR and adapt it to your needs.

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Three days ago I did my first TR outside workout since it was introduced. Wasn’t a great experience.

Echo -3 a tempo session, main set:

  • 6 minutes at 211 watts. (80% FTP)
  • 6 minutes at 224 watts. (85%)
  • 6 minutes at 198 watts. (75%)
  • 6 minutes at 211 watts.
  • 6 minutes at 224 watts.
  • 6 minutes at 198 watts.
  • 6 minutes at 211 watts.
  • 6 minutes at 224 watts.

They still have some work to do. I’d rather do FasCat or Velocious or CTS plans if my training was focused outside. Those are all sensibly designed for 8 hours and up, and the structured versions on TP do a better job with bike computer and post-ride analysis.

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These apocryphal old guys aren’t training indoors, so they don’t need the same hours to maintain or improve.

Hey can you expand upon this? Would love to know what specifically you considered sub-optimal about the outside workout experience specifically that is something we can improve upon (ie not a imitation of the hardware interface).

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Hey Ivy, a few details here: Adaptive Training Closed Beta Update - #1066 by bbarrera and the follow-on posts. Ask in that thread if you want more. Its Monday and busy morning at work, however I would be happy to take time later (next 24 hours) to provide additional feedback.

Thanks, I do remember seeing that post and the advice that followed to just set up a custom screen for your Garmin with the fields you’d like, which for sure holds up.

Feel free to expand upon post-ride analysis shortcomings if you’d like. No pressure at all. Thanks!

Do you think we are that rare though? I mean sure it’s anecdotal, but damn near everyone who is competing in my local scene and a healthy number of people I follow globally, are putting in a good amount of volume for at least part of the year. I’m certainly willing to acknowledge my own error and say maybe there’s a selection bias going on, but my community is rather small and everyone is at least tangentially aware of the majority of racers in the scene. We are linked up on Strava clubs, and you’re not making top 20 in less than ~300 miles/15 hours per week.
Your point is well taken, I don’t think a business should chase a fool’s errand surrounding a small niche (I don’t think my dollar is worth more than the next guy’s), but I can’t help but wonder if they would attract more riders with the availability. I don’t think the platform supported it before Plan Builder, Outside integration, and even AT existed. Very few people, even us high volume folks, want 15 hours of trainer rides. I’ve done SSBHV and THAT sucks! It’s only 9-11 hours per week and by the end of the block I want to shove my own head in a toilet from sheer boredom. Straight endurance on POL isn’t much better. Yet tell me I have to do 20 hours of outside or indoor/outdoor riding, I would do so gladly if work would kindly kick rocks.
Wishful thinking I suppose, but I think at minimum, it should be a part of the conversation, they don’t want to hand the niche of high-volume riders that wants a low friction, turn-key experience over to TP or even Zwift. That niche typically thinks nothing of scrounging up good money if they see value, I am already getting the platform at a steal (original pricing) and have a pretty strong understanding of training fundamentals, if they told me I could pay another 100 bucks a year for such an enhancement, I wouldn’t think twice. :slight_smile:

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This is a great thread and I really like the way @Sarah stays on point in her responses adding more commentary and detail to support her argument.

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I probably missed some of the tangents in this thread, so I apologize if I’m not exactly on topic.

My initial thought reading through this gets stuck on what I think TR’s mission statement is as a company, “we aim to make you a faster rider.” If I’m TR, I guess I’d ask, “are you completing the workout plans we offer with consistency? Are you getting faster? Better at efforts?” I understand (maybe incorrectly) TR thinks their current workout plans and future path (AI/ML) is inline with their mission statement.

I might have missed or did not see where your idea for super HV plans align with “making you faster.” I heard it as you are asking for a 15 hour a week plan for the convenience, different from “making you faster.”

Am I understanding your thoughts correctly? If so, my priors are TR users’ compliance sucks on the HV plans which tells TR adding longer plans isn’t going to make riders faster.

This could all change when the AI bugs get fixed and all the outside rides you and your peers do can be confirmed as a better (different) way to make riders faster.

It’s am interesting point, I don’t doubt for one second that many fast athletes are logging those hours at all. I think the trouble is that how they make up the additional volume is highly varied.

From what I have seen of the local fast guys and girls, they are doing many km’s and hours, but a lot of it is what I would call easy, or endurance stuff.

I think the problem with “high volume” is, as discussed previously, many athletes step up one “volume” too high instead of doing the low or mid plus endurance work.

TrainerRoad could provide a couple of “add on” plans that could integrate with the main plans, that could be a way of steering people to the right training load.

I struggle to see a high enough proportion of athletes that could cope with the plans scaling up to make it feasible. Having a means of adding volume to the plan seamlessly would have merit and prevent burn out potentially.

It still doesn’t solve your problem, and wouldn’t be super awesome if you’re riding outside mostly as it would be multiple workouts a day.

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I mean, does anyone here NOT anticipate the day that AT, through ai and levels etc, completely do away with “volume” plans and eventually train you to your potential given your physiological needs and time, through finely tuning workout suggestions? It might require the workouts themselves to become adaptive, where the +/- levels etc are done away with and replaced with single workouts that then add numerical values to increase difficulty. So let’s imagine a fake workout Grumpy Bear, which is a threshold workout at 101% ftp for a five minute block. Based on your adaptive training and progression levels, it would assign you, say, Grumpy Bear 2.5, which is a 2.5 progression, or 2 sets of five minutes with a ten minute block of SS after.
It’s a hypothetical scenario and workout type, and obviously I’m not a trainer and trying to create a realistic workout, but you get what I mean. The workouts themselves could also become adaptive, and created with an algorithm that just assigns a duration and intensity level of a specific type of workout according to your specific needs. That would be easier than Chad going in and creating every single type of workout.
adaptive training and levels will eventually take you to the point where your workouts keep being rated as very hard or impossible, and it understands where that is with how much time you put in. That would theoretically completely do away with volume plans and go entirely off of your specific circumstances.
Anyone else here think that’s where we’re going? I see it written between the lines so to speak.

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Bingo. Scalable tech like TR programs always leave out the extremes because it’s not profitable. Too much time investment for such little gain.

I have a line of plans for sale for runners on TrainingPeaks, and I wrote them thinking, “okay fine I’ll include novice and beginner” but I poured my heart into the intermediate and advanced plans, naively thinking it would be game-changing for a lot of folks because of the paucity of plans like that on the market.

I was wrong. I sell more beginner plans than anything. I sell very very few advanced plans. And the advanced-plan-purchasers all tend to be higher maintenance clientele, which is fun from a sport scientist perspective, but not so fun from a scalable tech with “passive” income perspective. haha

You’re prob right. But there are very very few of them by comparison to the big middle of the market. An order of magnitude fewer.

I thought so too. Nope! The market is too small. Even if you converted 20% of the entire cat 3 racer & up market (which is crazy-talk), it would probably still be less volume of purchases than the rest of TR users.

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And yet the podcast spends an inordinate amount of time discussing race strategies for this small group of people

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Agree that the TR “high volume” plan isn’t really high volume. However I think anything above that time in the TR plan would only ever by z2/endurance. I’m not sure you need a specific plan for that, just add as much extra z2 time as you want/can do/have time for.

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touche. I’d guess that middle aged men (or 33 y/o’s like me) want to listen about intricate race strategies and imagine dominating, even though they (I) only train 4-8hr/wk on average.

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I do speak to the performance benefit of additional volume in some of the replies. I think some people read this thread as if I (and many others) are asking “permission” to ride more. I know that happens, people who are new to the sport follow a plan because they think it is the right thing to do and wonder if it is “ok” for them to ride for fun sometimes. I am perfectly content with doing what I want riding and the implications both positive and negative on overall performance.

This thread is speaking more to getting faster. There is a point at which a high volume and/or high performance athlete will plateau on the high volume plans without some augmentation. Those of us with years of experience and research that had to come before the ubiquity of YouTube videos, forums and social media shorts had to get this information from books like the Cyclist’s Training Bible in the like have become adept at those augmentations. I could write my own periodized training plan, but that is a part of my routine that I have decided that in the interest of time and temperament that I would farm out to an outside source. I like the periodization of the TR plans for build and specialty and would like to see them scaled up to true high volume to meet my current state of fitness. It is not as simple as 50% more volume = 50% more intensity. There is a point of diminishing returns where one won’t get faster. I would like TR to manage that breakpoint and take some of the guess work out. It comes down to functional overreaching, for those of us whose baseline of training volume is head and shoulders above the HV plans, we need a little more to drive continuous improvement but not so much that we are overtraining.

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I think that is more or less what I am alluding to. I think it will need boundaries, someone might plug in goal events, number of hours they can train per day around work/responsibilities and AT would do the rest. I would not be surprised to see that in a year. In the interim, could we get a few more volume options and allow it to learn? I’m not trying to undermine the work being done at TR, but I don’t think creating the plans would be as difficult with the lion’s share of work already done with the existing framework.

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I get your point, but there is a quality component too. Z2 miles can very easily become “junk” miles. Garbage in, garbage out. I think there are some deliverables that can be prescribed in those Z2 days that could benefit a ton of athletes, especially those who are bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to take the racing world by storm lol. I’ve been around long enough to maybe take those long rides and introduce some pedal technique drills, or introduce a couple intervals at SS for instance.
You know where I am really getting jammed up, I’d be fine with the HV plan defaulting where it but I would like to go into the variants section and plug in a higher volume and have it populate a workout that will make sense, maybe I had VO2 on the docket for one hour and I have 2 hours. Maybe the suggestion is an extra set, or maybe it is a high Z2 extension, but what I have found often is that I can’t pick another duration. The variants are not populated, but I know the workouts exist, I can do a workout search and find a couple dozen workouts that are 2 hours and at the appropriate VO2 max level. I want AT to serve up the ones that are best rather than locking me out. I don’t know if this is just limitations of the beta or if this is done purposefully.
Essentially AT is going to tell me “nope, you can’t ride more than 45 minutes today” and I just do it anyway. Let me choose my own adventure so to speak and put the disclaimer in there, “we don’t recommend this” that’s fine, but then AT were learn from my adherence that it is within my capacity and apply it to future workouts. I essentially don’t get level progression against my manual augmentations.

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Absolutely! I think a lot of TR users get the lion’s share of their value out of the free podcasts! I think more people are using those fundamentals and right-sizing the TR plans for them. With that said, not everyone out there has the time to invest in listening to long form podcasting, it is a matter of priorities. Do I think everyone who trains should make an effort to understand this stuff? Yep! But the reality is some people can’t or simply won’t leverage the time. They are the workhorses, they want to execute. They don’t want to screw around with plans and workout selection, they want an out of the box experience to check the boxes. I think there needs to be a wider net of boxes.

But, even for those of us who do listen to every podcast, read the literature, and otherwise make the effort to understand, sometimes our judgment can’t be trusted. Our pride or enthusiasm can become our enemy. No one is going to tell me that more than 10 hours a week is not valuable, that is a baseless assertion, but I know there is a breakpoint and an intensity mix that can be the distinction between getting faster and digging a hole. I’d like AT to find it if for nothing else, as a sanity check for my own intuitions.

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