Doing a straight up time based workout with TR outside can be difficult. We have long term plans to adjust the app so that it’s easier to do outside workouts but I think we can deliver some value before that.
The idea is that for any indoor workout on your calendar or in the workout library, you could hit a button and get an “outside workout” that is text based with either power range targets (specific to you) or RPE targets (if you don’t have a PM on the bike you’ll use).
Some of our workouts can’t be done outside, so we’d specifically write workouts that that make sense for outside riding and achieve a similar goal.
This is how almost every training plan is written online already.
Here’s an example of a wattage based outside workout:
- Warmup for 15 minutes. During the warmup do 2x1 minute of high cadence drill at 100 RPM target and between 300-320 watts.
- Main set: Find a hill or stretch of road that you can maintain a constant power output for 3 minutes. Do 5x3 minute intervals between 330-350 watts. Spin easy for 5 minutes in between sets.
- Cool down: Spin easy for 15-30 minutes,
We could still have approximate time and TSS goals for the workout.
The question is, would this be useful? My gut says a big YES, but I wanted to ask everyone here. And Coach Chad would be writing all of these workouts.
- I would like to have text based outside workouts
- I would not use text based outside workouts
- Other (see comments)
Bonus points if you can sync them to Garmin/Wahoo
(Bonus beers for Chad really)
I’d love to have outdoor workouts built into my plan.
I get two indoor sessions in during the week, but my Saturday workout is usually done out doors as the weather is mild enough in winter. I just try to incorporate what was in my plan in to my weekend spin.
How would this work in the calendar when you add a plan to it? How would the calendar know that one of the workouts is actually going to be done outside and not indoors?
My thought is we have a one button click to convert a TR workout to outdoor. Maybe even right on the calendar without drilling in.
We could get a bit more complicated and allow you to specify it when you pick the workout days. Like maybe you make it so Sat and Sun are always outside via a checkbox.
I think the key thing is to make it flexible. So if you hit a button to make it outside you could hit the button again and flip it back to inside.
I’ve been avoiding this for a long time because I think it’s super hard to actually execute the ride outside.
Recently Jonathan has really championed this idea internally, thinking that it would work for some people and it wouldn’t damage our brand if it was hard to do the workout outside; that’s more on Garmin and Wahoo’s shoulder’s rather than ours.
I think doing text based workouts is the first step in making it so they automatically send to Garmin/Wahoos.
Yeah I guess that would be handy, allowing you to change it if the weather is not being nice.
Onscreen instructions would so handy for outdoors and then no need to assign outdoor rides as a workout.
Yes from reading users here I think the ones who are used to ERG mode on a smart trainer would find following the workouts an interesting challenge. I use a Quarq Dzero/dumb trainer inside so text is natural. I used to write the workout on painters tape and stick it to the TT or stem. Still do actually as the Wahoo TP workout sync doesn’t sync with the roads I have to ride on to get to a suitable place to do focused work. Cheers
Personally not sure if I’d use it. Time is short and trainer is more time efficient so used for 90% of my non race riding. If I do ride outside then usually social so not interested in workout or easy enough to replicate anyway. E.g. do 15 min intervals as sweet spot or 3 min hard repeats etc. I had to miss Bashful the other day (due to a hangover I’m afraid to say!) so rode to work the next day and did one minute repeats hard/easy.
I feel lots will say yes please…but not sure really use it - not that hard to replicate workouts outdoors in terms of knowing what to do…it’s being able to actually do the intervals without stops/traffic/hills etc getting in the way…which brings me back to indoors being more efficient.
Just my devil’s advocate 2p worth!
Personally, I find the current written text more than good enough to guide an outdoor workout. I actually do TR workouts outside fairly often in the summer. I have a few go to workouts programmed into my garmin or, I just put the sets and targets on medical tape on my stem and just use the garmin lap button to time things. Actually, the notes on white tape work great and it feels kind of pro I don’t see what a different version of the current text instructions would bring to the game, unless you a just talking about preserving the TR name/description post ride on the calendar which I could see many people liking. I’m never going ride with my iPhone on my bars outside but I would love an easier way to load workouts onto my Garmin.
I think a lot of the major “off-day” workouts would be easy to execute outside, as well as anything steady state that is 5 minutes or under.
Taking a look at SSBMV1/2 (which is what I would assume to be the bread and butter starter plan), you could easily do the following outside:
Carson, Ericsson, Kaweah, and Antelope are all on the line. If you had a long enough local climb, they are doable but not optimal.
When I first started using TR with Graeme Street’s workout programs there were always outdoor rides and I would print cue sheets to tape on my stem or top tube. I found them to be very useful and effective.
Two examples: 1) high cadence drills are much easier on the trainer than on the road, 2) standing drills or out of the saddle sprint ups are also more effective outdoors in my opinion.
I do almost all of my training inside, so I’m not really the target for this type of feature, but having the feature available obviously wouldn’t impact me or my training at all. For a certain segment of the TR population, they really, really want to avoid training inside if possible. This would be a big time added bonus to those types. Probably would increase the likelihood these people would stick with their TR subscription year round. I think it’s definitely worth investing your time in, in my very humble opinion.
I would not get much use out of text workouts. I don’t often try to duplicate TR workouts outside but on the few occasions that I do, I recreate them using an unmentioned program that allows me to download into my Wahoo ELEMNT.
I work with a coach, so I don’t follow a TR plan, and I do a good chunk of my workouts outside. However, I’m a huge proponent of TR–I do almost all of my indoor workouts using TR, and I use the workout creator a LOT. There are definitely certain workouts that are better indoors, and certain workouts that are better outdoors.
Your description in the first post is basically the type of information I get from my coach and what I do when I ride outside. I will often write them down on a piece of paper and just refer to it as I progress through the ride. I could use the “workout” feature of my garmin, but I prefer not to. I just watch the time, power, and cadence, and use the lap button regularly. I think this would be helpful to people who are following a plan and want to do the ride outside. The trick, of course, is finding the right road to do these types of workouts.
I think you could make comments on the workouts about “this workout is best done indoors” or “this workout is possible to do outdoors”, to help guide users.
I think this would work. Lots of hills near me to do repeats on…and some flats with no interruptions.
I used to create similar workouts in Garmin to do, and if it rained, I had also written a tool to take it and create subtitles from it. I’d then add that to a movie and do the workout indoors while watching it. The subtitles then told me what to do next.
Before the days of having a PM and TR.
I don’t think that “translating” the thumbnail into text instructions is the big barrier – the thumbnail already gives a great description of the workout, and you can quickly see the power target values by scrubbing over the graph.
But perhaps the bigger deal is in “linking” an outdoor ride to the intended TR workout you were trying to replicate. In the old version of the career page, you would just “replace” the workout with an outside ride, but you would lose the original prescribed workout in the process, so you couldn’t go back and see what it was you were trying to accomplish. So a high value / low complexity feature might be to enable being able to “link” the prescribed workout to an outside ride you did instead.
A next step in that evolution might be for a given TR workout to “recommend” other workouts that can be done outside instead but that are consistent with the goals of the original prescribed workout. So if the plan calls for Geiger, I might click on a “Recommend Outside Workout” button and be offered 2-3 one-hour workouts consisting of sweet spot intervals. Some workouts won’t easily translate to the road (Xalibu) but many will, especially the ones that are at/below threshold.
Like the first poster said if you can workout how to sync these workouts to a Wahoo and Garmin head unit you would win the internet.
I did the intervals of Geiger+2 outside on June 27th this year. Would have loved this on my Garmin:
Had to adjust Garmin’s zone % to match TR:
and then it took about a minute to pull that together.