Workout Levels V2 update? [Unstructured Rides]

I think it’s very hard/impossible to give a realistic target date on this @pwarmuz as this is uncharted waters for the developers. A bit frustrating for us, but I guess we have to accept this and be patient :grinning:

But yeah, having just completed a 7h ride at 0.7IF with endurance progression 3.6 and tempo progression 1.0, I can confidently say my workout levels have become utterly meaningless since I gave up manual pairing ride with similar workouts half a year ago. I can only deal with stopgap solutions for so long :sweat_smile: And I won’t lie: if I wasn’t grandfathered in, I too would have cancelled my subscription until the build season or until workable WL2 was announced, despite being a huge TR fan. It would be impossible to justify the cost for a product I could’t actively use in base season.

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I have not seen full hoped feature list of WLv2, so I may miss something, but what is general expectation of it?

My understanding:

  • it analyses any ride with powermeter (both indoor/outdoor),
  • extracts time spent in various energy zones,
  • increases corresponding progression levels, and
  • as result, feeds more/improved data to AI FTP detection.

Here are typical rides (at least for me):

  1. planned workout as it is, with reasonably small variability index (VI) within prescribed power levels: well done but isn’t marking workout as “completed” good enough?
  2. planned workout with high power intervals + various duration Z1/Z2 to get to suitable road segment and later back home: main progression and input for AI FTPD is still in those intervals, additional LSD may be good but I guess it still has lesser effect compared to separate long Z2 workout
  3. fun group/solo rides, just reacting to surroundings, spiky high power, etc. Good for many things but as structured progressive overload to develop specific energy system it is suboptimal. It has been warned about in TR podcast multiple times.

Originally my personal biggest hope for WLv2 was to improve input for AI FTPD with type (2) rides. I usually do low Z2 30min before and ~2.5h after main intervals, i.e. with 2x hard workouts per week it makes 6h additional Z2 not taken into account (unless I unknowingly happened to be part of WLv2 experimental group :wink: ).

Nevertheless, AI FTPD still gave me good enough FTP estimation for consistent training: following workout were as hard as expected. Point is: additional unaccounted Z2 improved various fitness aspects (endurance, TTE, whatever) but it did not change FTP that is output of AI FTPD, using input from our rides. Obviously, if somebody does additional Z3+ with similar consistency/duration, it definitely would affect but then solution is different: choose more suitable workout and stick to it.

I can’t comment (3) rides but if warnings from TR podcast are correct, athletes hoping higher FTP from it might be disappointed.

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If I understood correctly AI FTP already takes extra warm-ups and cooldown, unstructured rides, etc. into account for everyone. So pretty much everything.

That seems to be the case for me for sure, with 20h/week of endurance/low tempo work slowly nudging up my FTP (couple of watts every 4 weeks), while my Workout Levels have basically disintegrated since I stopped pairing rides to similar workouts (e.g: what workout would 7h @ 0.7 IF be?)

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Same here. Without workout levels v2 my subscription is canceled for the summer.

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I’m hoping to get some PL recognition for rides which may not exactly be structured, and certainly don’t follow a TR workout, but still have clear purpose and quality work in. E.g. a disciplined chaingang in a small group where I’m never really off the power, so amass a lot of time around sweetspot/threshold. Or a 4 man paceline where I’m doing 1 minute VO2 efforts on the front then 3 minutes at tempo-sweetspot in the draft. Or a hilly ride where we hit the hills hard and do ~Z2 on the flats, so there’ll be a bunch of 3-6 minute VO2 efforts. I know from previous experience that these sort of rides can build my fitness, as I’ve had good results (both in races and in testing) based on just doing these sort of rides 2-3 times/week, with steadier efforts on other days. Just never really been able to quantify the benefit and if mixing and matching these sort of rides with TR workouts it can become a bit of a guessing game as to which PL I can manage.

I’m also interested in what (if anything) it makes of long unstructured rides. Up until recently I hadn’t been progressing my Endurance PLs on TR at all, but had been really consistent at doing long weekend group rides, typically ~4 hours. These are exactly the sort of rides that I suspect the TR crew and a coach would hate - not disciplined Z2, far too much time spent coasting or in Z1. But we are disciplined enough to keep things mostly below threshold and aerobic, and these rides are burning 3-4000kcals with a lot of time in the saddle, so I figure there must be some endurance benefit even if they’re not a particularly efficient use of time. Backed up by a few weeks ago when the weather was horrible so decided to ride indoors, picked a level 6.3 1:45 endurance workout even though that was a “stretch” and finished it no problems.

Lastly am hoping to get visibility of what the PL (or PLs if hitting multiple zones) of a non-TR ride was even if it doesn’t move the needle. E.g. my Sweetspot PL level is currently 7.8, I don’t honestly expect anything I’m doing away from TR to get me a higher level than that as raising that PL requires a very high quality ride with a lot of sustained SS and little to no time recovering. But would like to know whether a mostly SS outdoor ride would count at least as say a level 5, or if it it was down at a 2-3 or something.

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Yeah, you’re right: while I still stick to TR progression for Z4+ stuff (2/week), majority of time I do my own Z2 progression (a la 30min increments), half-randomly assigning them to similar workouts in TR library (Big Mountain → Bandeira) to get some PL change but it really isn’t too precise.

Only when I do seldom 8h Z2, I actually try to get proper PL for it using TP workout builder with ballbark IF, sync it to TR and let it to estimate new PL.

EDIT: FYI, for curiosity created 7h IF 0.7 workout, it’s PL would be Endurance 10.7 :slight_smile:

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As far as I know custom workout levels were not correct yet either, are they? Last workout I created was a level 29 sprint workout that is very feasible for me despite my measly sprint progression of 1.0 :joy:

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Some custom workouts may return decent Levels, but many do not. Ones with sprints can give wildly results specifically. In short, I wouldn’t trust them without some basic review towards ones in the TR library.

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Yes, this is known bug. I do this TP → TR trickery only for flat Z2 and only when it truly goes above 8h.

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Don’t you mean a Spritns workout? :smiley:

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For me, the value of TR is their workout catalog. The calendar, training plans, PL bar graph, workout creator and AI makes the product even better (as hopefully workout levels v2 is going to as well). For me, the reason I use TR is structured training. I ride mountain bikes (don’t even have a power meter on them) so I do a lot of my structured training indoors… so I can maximize the fun “level” outside. I know my 2-4 hour ride in the mountains is good training. Don’t need a bar graph to tell me that.

I know everyone is different and some really get into the numbers. So I’m curious what is it about v2 that if you don’t have it you will leave? Are going to stop structured training? Do more riding outside? Something else?

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Stop structured training in base season for me.

I find that I burned out on SSB at 10h/week within one block, but thrive on endurance (18-20h). For me it’s just much easier to push somewhat hard on the pedals while still half asleep at 5:30am, than to muster the will to do sweet spot work that early. So with endurance my consistency is way, way higher, volume is eye-watering and yet I feel less fatigued…

But that also means the workout library is somewhat useless to me in winter. I do plan to dial down endurance and dial up structure in early summer, which is why I would love WL2 working for a better transition. As it stands though the PL graph and AI does little for me me since all my PLs are 1.0 :joy:

Right now I can hit better VO2max numbers off the endurance months than I could last year off structure (there are many other factors involved), but starting at VO2max Progression level 1.0 with these numbers feels just completely silly.

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I pretty much exclusively ride outdoors in the summer, so with outdoor workouts, it’s either 100% pass or 100% fail with the current system, and the decision is up to me whether I felt like I passed that workout or not. Which is fine, but I don’t need a subscription for that. The plans are good, but I can create those workouts in about 2 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, TR is a great platform. I just get much less use out of it during the summer and to me it’s not worth the current monthly price.

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The ones in the library can be way overrated too (eg. mount major, sweetspot 8.6, which without the the 2 sprints would be a sweetspot 6.3)

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Workout compliance I think is a big thing effectively coming with WLv2 if I understand correctly, given it’ll grade your actual workout for awarding progression levels? (and I can see how this is probably all sorts of fun to validate and make consistent)

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Although I am okay with getting some extra credit for a workout or partial credit for a workout that would otherwise have scored as a failed workout I would fint it very disheartening to me to get downgraded for a workout because something beyond my control happened…

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Yeah, wonder whether having compliance feature would be anti-correlated with plan completion :upside_down_face: But then personally I want as objective a grading as possible, not doing the workout is not doing the workout.

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Totally understand that (I ride mostly outside in summer as well). :+1:t2:

But what is in v2 that would encourage you to stay?

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This part I suspect is incredibly complicated. I look at the power profile of my outdoor rides and they are all over the place when I am with a group. On my own it is different as my power tends to be fairly consistent.

I would wonder though is there any real benefit to PL recognition for endurance rides. We are doing an endurance sport. Other then the factor of time I dont see any of the endurance workouts posing a challenge. Does it really matter what is my PL for endurance.

Now change to VO2, threshold or sweet spot workouts. The PL, for me anyways, makes a difference. Even the type of workoout within that set can be hard or easy at the same PL. So do VO2 workouts and hit the 4 or 5minute intervals in the level 6 or 7 PL. When I havent done a 30/20 or 30/15 workout in a while and drop down to a lower level PL like I did this last week I was surprised how much my legs felt the workout. I didnt have trouble with the workout but I could tell my legs were not used to it. I dont notice that with endurance rides.

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the more I move forward in cycling, the fewer options I need. aside from the fact that I moved on from adaptive training for my own work, progression levels also increase complexity a bit unnecessarily. If I haven’t had any dropoff in training, I know I should be able to do 4x20 at 90% as my entry level sweet spot workout. And from there it’s just a few workouts, 3x30 @ 90, 2x45 @90%, maybe 3x35 @ 90, I’ve done 1x60+1x30 @ 90%, and 1x90 @ 90%.

as for wlv2, i felt way back when it was gonna be an uphill task, this is a club ride I did, aside from one climb it’s really hard to make sense of things

For 1hr, I averaged 229w but 260np (90%), but obvs it wasn’t steady sweet spot. A lot of us feel that people are overestimating what their outside unstructured work is actually like, we’ll see!

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