WKO5 - Juice worth the squeeze?

Sorry for the cheesy subject line…

i use various packages to look at my data, but in fairness it’s just that, looking and maybe at most monitoring. I’d like to start analysing the data more to drive my own performance forward and to see where my physiology needs to improve.

I understand that there is (I guess like most things in life) a learning period to get the most out of WKO5. How deep into the weeds do you have to go to realise something worthwhile?

What am I going to get out of it that makes it worth investing the time?

Appreciate your replies.

I’m a big fan of WKO5. It gives you a lot of great tools for a portion of the self-coaching, specifically interval targeting and design. For understanding physiology from performance data, i think it’s unmatched.

That said, it doesn’t do it for you; you have to place it in context yourself. And in addition to there being a learning curve, it’s probably not as useful until you get to the point in the season where you are feeding it maximal efforts at a variety of different durations. In other words it’ll be a lot more useful for you IN the racing season vs. in pre-season winter when you’re just spending an hour at a time on the trainer. At that point I don’t think it’ll be accurate.

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Unless you are committed to doing max efforts every ~60 days or so. Or ignoring some of the tools and focusing on the ones that are still providing good data.


fair point

It’s a modelling tool, so you really have to understand garbage in, garbage out. If you dont feed the model properly you might as well not waste your time. A lot of people complain about the software and after questions you find out they are not properly testing/feeding the model what it needs. Hard to do much about it at that point

Feeding it worthwhile data would not be a problem, I’m fact I believe this would actually be of benefit for me as currently I don’t test power durations often enough.

Totally worth it for the data geek inside. Lots of useful graphs and charts. I’ve found ilevels to help make my vo2max workouts much better as well.

Isn’t ilevels similar to Xert?

I’m not terribly familiar with Xert, but the principle might be similar. Different levels based on physiology and training. For example, vo2 not always manageable at 120% ftp, I do much better at 115% which is reflected in ilevels.

WKO5 is an incredible piece of software - as has been said, it’s unmatched.

Provided you understand that it is designed to handle the “science” while leaving you to your “art” as a coach/self-coached-athlete.

Just on the point of feeding the model, it’s not as hard as you think. There is a tutorial on establishing the model first-up, and then keeping it up to date is as simple as hitting 3 distinct targets/durations once each every 60 days. It’s super easy to embed these into your training (even during endurance blocks). These are captured in one simple dashboard and are easy to see.

My suggestion is to have a good look around the WKO5 support site, read all the tutorials and watch all the videos. Even if you don’t buy the software, you will learn a heck of a lot that will help with your training.



Ill certainly do this, thank you.

WKO5’s modeling is really good, especially once you learn how to use it. If you already have WKO4, there isn’t a big difference between the versions in terms of functionality, but WKO5 has Training Impact Score, which I find to be really interesting and very insightful for understanding how different workouts impact your training.

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Agreed, super useful. Kind of like a more advanced and “weighted” Time in Zone.

One of the questions I’ve been meaning to put to Tim C is whether Training Impact Score (TIS) could be used in a similar way to TSS, to create a PMC-type chart with something similar to aerobic CTL, ATL and TSB and separate anaerobic CTL, ATL and TSB.

Would be super useful to see at a glance how training is affecting both systems over time.

(Or does such a graph already exist and am I looking in the wrong place?)

I’ll give you my quick opinion. I’ve been racing for 3 seasons now and have always been self coached. Every year I’ve been diving deeper into the data so this year I took the plunge and purchased WKO5. For me so far WKO has helped me with the following:

  • Better understanding of how to target specific intervals using iLevels.
  • Understanding more my weaknesses using the Power Duration Chart (PDC) being super helpful.
  • Tracking the typical fatigue (CTL / ATL / TSB) using the Performance Management Chart (PMC).
  • Forcing me to feed the model by doing my max efforts (1/5/20 min). In the passed I would go through the TR plans without really focusing on testing where I’m at. WKO does a great job at forcing you to re evaluate or else the software is useless…

I still have lots to learn and keep re visiting some of the webinar Tim and company have developed but for a $250 it’s well worth the investment. I wished the calendar was a bit more intuitive but from a marketing stand point I get it they want you to invest in TP membership. I make it work but it’s a bit of a manual process.

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I’m a nonbeliever.

That isn’t to say the software is bad. In fact I’m sure that it sets the standard for the industry. But I think you really have to put solid 24-carat gold in if you don’t want garbage out.

I’ve seen some ridiculous things on the WKO Facebook page where it felt like people who doubted the Power Duration Curve were subjected to this weird gaslighting (as the kids call it). I particularly remember some guy who’d actually ridden 60 minutes at one wattage but was encouraged to either accept an mFTP that was lower, or go away and come back when he’d done some 30sec - 2min max testing. All because the PDC values for shorter intervals were affecting the curve.

Every time, the answer is the same. Test your shorter power. Test your 20min power. Test more. Test test test test test. Feed the curve.

I like curves. Curves are great. They make buildings, and people’s bodies, look prettier. They make things roll smoothly, like wheels and bearings. But I don’t want to be a slave to one.


“TEST TEST TEST don’t stop testing just keep testing until you die and they write “TEST IN PEACE” on your tombstone”


I don’t know WKO (too cheap) and didn’t have too much patience with setting up and learning Golden Cheetah (I did like the stress chart!). I can find all the information I need at intervals.icu or TR analysis.

The more I have read/listened about the training and analysis the more I am inclined to the training plan that is something along the lines: “Ride hard if the legs feel good, ride long otherwise. Don’t be a training hero.” This winter was especially good for me in learning to understand my body and recovery level. By the way, I am not advocating for an aimless training. Have a goal, rough plan and monitor how you feel. Adjust.


I agree with what you are saying and have noticed the same thing. I don’t even bother posting some of the bugs and issues I run into because I know I’ll be told that they don’t exist. That’s more of a function of the FB group and it’s moderation rather than the actual product itself though.


the biggest piss-off i have for WKO is the fact that you have to use facebook for any kind of support. You pay $250 so that you have to continue to use a third party provider that steals data? WTF.
Getting a forum setup (like TR did) is such a huge advancement and would make the user community so much more helpful.