Workout Levels V2 update? [Unstructured Rides]

I disagree. Riding steady Z2 for 2, 3, 4 hours without a break is super hard (mentally as well as physically) if you’re not used to it. I’ve always done long rides regularly (because I enjoy them as much as any training benefit) and somewhat take for granted my ability to just be able to go ride or race a century or longer if I want to. But I know plenty of people who don’t do those kind of rides and really struggle even when the pace is fairly low and it’s proper Z2. People who can kick my butt in a crit or hard 1 hour group ride but struggle to finish strong even in a 50 mile race, or will be struggling to hold my wheel towards the end of a Z2 century.

Whether you want or need to raise endurance PLs is a different question. I could easily see why people who are time restricted and specialise in short events like crits or CX would decide they couldn’t care less about their Endurance PL. But those higher PL endurance workouts can absolutely be a challenge.

8 Likes

Normally, I’d cancel my sub during the summer and re-up for the winter when I’m doing TR workouts indoors. Saves a lot. In the summer I usually take the TR plans and make my own workouts for my head unit. If WL V2 came out, I’d probably keep my sub year round.

1 Like

But in the context of following a TR plan I have found it easy to hit the max PL for endurance for that time block. Low volume is 90 minutes. No bursts and you get a max PL of 5.4. During the summer when I go outside I see no issues in doing a 3-4 hour ride greater then z2 so doing it at Z2 would not be an issue. I just dont see the problem. I dont see a benefit to endurance PLs

3 Likes

I have raised this point with TR’s support in the past and they said they were aware of the issue and intend on mitigating this with v2.

The main purpose of PLs is to allow you to pick suitable workouts — that’s why I think they were named progression levels rather than performance levels. And that works well for endurance workouts — just that your progression is cut short if all you do are ≤ 2-hour workouts.

You have similar problems with e. g. sweet spot workouts: if you limit yourself to 60-minute workouts, TR is torturing you with 1–2-minute anaerobic efforts before the sweet spot interval. It is just that fewer people reach really high sweet spot PLs (8.5+).

4 Likes

I 100% percent agree with @cartsman here. I believe the general sentiment I’m seeing from others also reflects my own desires of WLv2. I think most people really like to feel they’ve earned credit from all their hard work. I know for me, ever since Strava/Training Peaks, I feel like a ride is a complete waste if I can’t record the data, analyze it, and see my PMC change from the TSS. The meme “If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t count” comes to mind.

Sometimes all this training can feel a bit like you’re on a hamster wheel. Spinning and going nowhere. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Having something that shows progression, given an unstructured ride or workout, would help the weak minds like mine to feel as though something was accomplished.

2 Likes

Peoples heads are going to wobble when they realise just how little credit will be achieved from unstructured outside rides :crazy_face:

17 Likes

I agree, but I also suspect some credit, any credit … is better than none.

What’s more, WLv2 is likely to persuade people back towards prioritizing structure. Which is very much in line with TrainerRoad’s mission of making everyone faster.

2 Likes

I’m hoping for it, it may encourage me to ride outside less :neutral_face:

3 Likes

that’s the point of outside workouts though.

1 Like

There’s an interesting discussion to have about models, systems design and legacy code. From the outside it seems that TR system is based on the workout library as the elementary unit.

One can see why it’s so difficult to analyze and unstructured ride, if it has to somehow reference a workout in the library.

The obvious way out is to create other parameters to evaluate a workout like: Time in Zone, Intensity, sequences of intensity, W’ of FRC, many more. It could be detrimental to keep stuff linked to % FTP. But ostensibly they could have already done this for the normal progression levels, unless they kept everything anchored to the workouts themselves.

It’s an interesting problem, difficult to solve without a performance/physiology model. I’m really curious to understand TR’s approach. Looking forward @Nate_Pearson

4 Likes

Sorry, I don’t think I was very clear in my response. I’m thinking from the context of someone who decides to do that fun group ride instead of their planned workout … While that someone is thinking they’re probably getting a similar progression bump.

Once WLv2 shows them that they minimally improved progression level (if at all), they might be persuaded next time to prioritize that planned workout they skipped instead.

4 Likes

I agree, it’s such a fascinating problem. I’ve heard an increasing quantity of commentary of how TSS doesn’t do a great job of truly reflecting the difficulty of an activity. Since you get the same TSS for hour 3 as you do for hour 1, yet it’s physiologically more challenging to produce the same power in hour 3. I think WLv2 might be a really big step towards the training analysis industry giving a better measure of training impact.

1 Like

Is Workout levels for unstructured rides just TR’s equivalent of TIS?

Personally I’m thoroughly looking forward to the people complaining about the delay of this release complaining about their low scores when it finally comes out :sweat_smile:

3 Likes

Indeed!. But I don’t know if TR can tackle this problem, since it’s not even addressed in the current version of progression levels….or I’m I wrong on this?

1 Like

I don’t see the point of riding outside full stop. :smile:

3 Likes

I assume you posted that in the “unpopular” thread, since that is rather unique in the world of ‘cycling’? :rofl:

6 Likes

:blush::blush::blush:

1 Like

I don’t listen to the podcasts much; have they mentioned or hinted if WLV2 will adapt future workouts based on fatigue from unstructured rides? (Like reduce the workout levels for upcoming workouts if I do a big ride outside.)

People like riding outside? :open_mouth::open_mouth:

2 Likes

Good question. I do listen to them all, but I don’t specifically recall the answer to this. I would assume the potential is there… but not sure how that would be handled.

I bet it would affect ‘Train Now’ recommendations. If a big level increase is detected, I bet it would adapt planned workouts to be on-par with the new level. But maybe not adapt planned workouts downward in account of fatigue? I have no idea.