Do they? I mean yes, getting 4-500 people to show up for the BMTR Saturday 160km ride is impressive in terms of raw numbers for a group ride… but across the whole Strava population or even just as a percentage of active users at the time, it is actually a pretty small number.
I handle these long rides in two common ways:
TR app running a long workout in ERG mode and then watch a streaming video for fun. I also run Zwift in the background just to get my virtual km’s and my Z experience points. This is the most common use case for me, but I mix it up as follows for some specific workout goals or demands when I want.
Run just Zwift while riding with one of the Robopacer groups (whatever closely matches my pace demands) and riding to cover the time I have on the TR workout calendar. Essentially I treat this like an outside ride but with Zwift.
As to the others that do long rides in Zwift and such, they sure do exist. I’ve been in a number of those groups over the years. Those are good examples of people going above the typical 60-90 minute range we see from many riders. Even with those riders, I suspect they are the minority when looking at the whole audience. Not nothing, but also well short of even a pure majority would be my guess.
That opens the discussion about what exactly “optimal” means. Best possible with no restrictions, or best possible within time limits that we see from many TR users. I would guess that the greater bulk of TR users are somewhere between 5-8 hours per week, so that will impact what is optimal, IMO.
TR selling within whatever they see as their target audience is what it is. It may not be the “best” training in the world, but it may well be darn good within a set of restraints that seem common for a majority of users around here.
I agree very much with this sentiment. I got into TR with the plan of riding only 45min sessions. I could knock out five or six days of VO2 in a row and then take a day off.
Then I started to follow the plan, spend time at Sweet Spot, and eventually Threshold. Got a bit stronger and started to look for ways to find more time to train (it also helped my kids have very slowly started to sleep a bit better).
I am one that will sit on the trainer for four or five hours multiple times a week if that’s what the weather and my availability combine to present, but I suspect that many TR users follow a similar-ish path of getting into it, and many for various reasons didn’t, don’t, and won’t ride for more than a couple of hours.
To expand on that, but in reverse…going back to the 4-500 rider group rides. Based on my experience, over half the riders that start those rides drop out before the end. There have been some rides, where in the last 20 miles, I’m looking around and thinking “I’m running out of wheels to hide behind!”
What makes you think they haven’t? If anything, their deep dives know that TR has the institutional knowledge to design very sophisticated training plans.
They have publicly said that among other things completion rates factor into training plan design.
That might lead to the following situation:
Plan A: Better on paper and in theory, but less people adhere to it.
Plan B: Worse on paper and in theory, but higher level of adherence.
Which training plan is “better”? As a company that makes plans for thousands, this is a hard problem.
But even if you break it down to one individual, it isn’t so easy. What if I belong to the minority who would also adhere to Plan A? Or if I belong to the minority who actually responds better to Plan B? After all, we are not statistical averages. Here, the main factor is a lack of features that allow for customizations.
PS I am not arguing you or I must agree with their decisions, I’m just saying that we should expect these decisions have been made with the same knowledge and care that they display during the podcast.
If your goal is to make someone faster, do you prescribe them something that is theoretically better, but something they won’t adhere to? Or do you take the human factor into account and prescribe the best plan they actually will adhere to? Like @mcneese.chad wrote, “optimal” is a loaded word that seems easy at first, but is both, crucial and really hard to make precise.
The term “sweet spot” was first coined by cycling coach and author Andy Coggan in the early 2000s but coggin himself had research papers around that topic in the 90’s. We have to remember that power meters weren’t invented until 1989 by SRM. So while they may have come out around the same time one’s getting more attention.
This hasn’t applied to me but i’m a sample size of 1
My training plan said that I needed 4.5 hours endurance last weekend, so I did it (as I couldn’t get outside) on the turbo, got a badge as well
Good for you but after 90 minutes on the trainer I’m bored and my ass hurts a lot. I think there’s probably a LOT of people in that category.
Vast majority of Strava user base is outside most of the time.
The term ‘sweet spot’ was first used in training in the late 1970s. It is used to describe a point of optimal performance that takes into account a range of variables, such as workload, nutrition, and guidance.
The long steady distance ride goes right back to the end of the 19th century.
Or I just had a brain fart and mis-typed Strava instead of Zwift.
I think the point remains, despite the typo.
Anecdata - majority of short rides in my Strava feed are on Zwift and Peloton.
I personally think the LV plans would be better general use plans if they were two 1 hour interval workouts and one 90 minute Z2 workout, vs how they are now with basically three interval workouts.
I like that suggestion. It splits the difference between Polarized and non-Polarized.
Proving those who don’t want to go long, go or stay home
I wish TR did A/B testing their adaptive training. Randomly pick the workouts picked for someone to be biased towards a certain type of workout. They have enough people on their training plans to do this. Though this may be hard if an endurance ride has to be long since you won’t really know the length of the workout you’ll be doing (major issue I have with Xert)
I do wonder if they have data from non tr workouts that could be used to use historical data to judge how useful endurance riding is. But feel like that analysis depends on the functionality to analyze outdoor rides first to be able to identify rides that are zone 2 as even structured rides that TR can see the recording of from other platforms TR won’t really know what is happening till that part is done.
This is why I wish plan builder let me set how many hours I have to do workouts in. I think they even said they are planning to do this. But feel like this is a hard ask. I mean I would say I have an hour before work and 2 hours after work I could plan to be on the bike for. I feel like time per day isn’t flexible enough to convey that and trying to figure out how to structure 2 possible time slots to use a day can get complicated.
Yeah, @Nate_Pearson said that this was desirable in several forum posts, too. I’d love that, too, and hope they will tackle that after getting AT v2 out the door.
Yup, existing feature request we use, and Nate mentioned more than once on the cast and in the forums that it’s something he wants added to the feature set:
But we are talking about the number of TR users that are unwilling or unable to to do long rides on the turbo, which across strava population, or a percentage of active zwift users at the time, is a tiny number.
Thank you, it’s take some commitment, and some mental health issues that didn’t allow me to leave the house, but it works to my advantage now
Sorry to hear that, maybe asking chad about his setup, he like I spent some time working at it, bike fit definitely helped me, and movement in my trainer