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TrainerRoad Launches TrainNow as Part of Bigger Adaptive Training Overhaul

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Today TrainerRoad announced sweeping changes to the platform, which they’ve dubbed Adaptive Training. This means they’re starting to use machine learning algorithms to change workouts based on your progress towards a given goal. A workout is scored as you complete it, and then the rest of your scheduled workouts change accordingly to adapt accordingly. However, while that was announced today, it won’t arrive on most people’s desktops for some time.

What is on your desktop as of today is their new TrainNow feature, which will give you one-off workout recommendations in three training categories, based on your past workout history, along with the option to choose the duration of the workout. TrainNow is using the underpinnings of Adaptive Training machine learning to generate those workout recommendations. So in effect, it’s your first window into TrainerRoad’s bigger changes.

While this might sound basic, the reality is that with far fewer people having a set goal for training or racing in 2020/2021, doing ad-hoc workouts has become more and more common for what are otherwise highly structured athletes. This feature is entirely targeted at those that use TrainerRoad but without a specific TrainerRoad plan, of which, TrainerRoad says there are more users than you might realize (though, it does work if you do have a plan loaded and just prefer to ignore the plan).

The main point is that many of us want to do a structured workout, but frankly can’t decide which one to choose. Whether it be on TrainerRoad, Zwift, Xert, or others – you’re often presented with hundreds or thousands of choices without any real guidance, or even basic suggestions. In fact, I’d suggest that’s why platforms like Peloton have done so well: They bubble up those suggested workouts to you, removing all the indecision blockers.

So, let’s jump right into it.

How it works:

To begin, you’ll first update your TrainerRoad app, and then once that’s done, hit ‘Workouts’ on the left side, followed by the ‘TrainNow’ tab at the top:

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Next, you can choose a specific duration for the workout, from 30 minutes up to 150 minutes. These of course align to the specific durations within the TrainerRoad library.

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In my case, for today I’ll choose the 45-minute option, and then you’ll notice how below, it changes the workout options to different ones. As usual, the thin line across the middle of the workout is your FTP level, so you can quickly gauge how much suck this workout will entail. Or, those more scientifically focused can simply look at the TSS & IF scores (Training Stress Score & Intensity Factor) listed next to it.

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Don’t like the look of the options presented? Not your preferred blue style? Don’t like the name of the workout? No problem, hit the ‘Refresh’ button to wash away those options and get presented with three new ones. It’s like pulling the slot machine arm, appropriate for a company based in Reno, Nevada.

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Ultimately, I pressed refresh a few more times, until I got ‘Goddard –4’, which looked interesting. Side note, you’ll notice the intensity and TSS scores for all these workouts in each category are almost identical. That’s not on accident. And it’s not something for today’s post either.

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Once you’ve decided on a workout, you can tap it to open it up. You’ll get a preview with a bit more descriptive detail just like normal:

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And then from there you’ll go ahead and pair up any trainer devices and do the workout as normal.

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And then simply go on to suffer and do the workout like normal. There’s no difference at this point forward – it’s just as if you do the usual TrainerRoad workouts.

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And then afterwards you’ll get the summary information, as well as see the results in the app and online for analysis there (and also, as usual, synced to other training platforms like TrainingPeaks and Strava):

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See…easy peasy!

Wrap-Up:

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This is a smart move for TrainerRoad, and one that I’ve long been hoping to see. Like I said earlier, the idea of ad-hoc workouts isn’t much different than what Peloton does, or in fact – even Zwift. For example, on Zwift when I open the companion app I’m presented with all the upcoming group rides that are about to start. When I decide to Zwift, 95% of the time I’m going to pick one of those workouts in the next hour or so, based entirely on that little section.

However, Zwift doesn’t have that same concept for structured workouts. I mean, sure, if one of those group rides happens to be a group workout – then yes. But there’s currently no recommendations engine within Zwift’s ever-expanding library of structured workouts. And that ignores the fact that it’s a nightmare to find anything in the Windows 95-style nested folder scheme that is the workouts UI. There may be lots of gold down there, but I just give up and choose either the short or long form of Jon’s Mix half the time – since I could at least find it quickly in the folders.

But what’s probably more interesting on TrainerRoad’s side is actually the otherwise innocuous text just above the TrainNow workouts, which states: “Allow us to suggest some other options, based on your recent training history.”

That’s notable, because up until this point, TrainerRoad hasn’t actually taken historical data, except for RAMP/FTP test details, and done anything with it that’s recommendations or forward-moving in nature. So that single line is basically referring to the larger Adaptive Training machine-learning driven changes to the platform. But, that’s a different thing or two for another day.

With that – thanks for reading!

[Can’t decide on a trainer app to use? Ask no more, and hit up this massively long and detailed cycling trainer apps guide.]

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86 Comments

  1. Have you had access to the early beta at all Ray, and if so can you share anything about that? I’ve signed up for the closed beta.

    • Yeah, I have access. But I’m not 100% sure on what I am or am not allowed to say there yet on that piece beyond what they discussed in the livestream today (which, was a lot).

  2. Marco Ekelo

    Interesting development on their part, based on your blog and the blog from TR themselves. With their vast majority of intervals, it might become a very good alternative to those who are into Xert.

    Looking forward to your views once the total “program” is rolled-out.

    • Yes, there’s a lot of similarities with Xert – and a lot of differences. Xert offers a lot of depth as I’ve discussed here and there. I think one of the things that TR excels though at is simplification – from the user interface to what exactly the user should be doing next.

    • Saad

      More competition is good. As a Xert user, I disagree with this sentence from your review ” Whether it be on TrainerRoad, Zwift, Xert, or others – you’re often presented with hundreds or thousands of choices without any real guidance, or even basic suggestions. “.

      This might be true of the others but not Xert, it does have a recommendation engine that gives guidance, although it can stand to be a little more transparent about why it is suggesting what it is. Agree that Xert’s depth is both a strength but also a hurdle for users who might not want to dig that deep.

    • Tizzledk

      I have used Xert and TR in the past ….loved the overall simplicity and logic behind the programs (I know people say it just a vanilla program that hasn’t been updated in years) but my results spoke for themselves. I tried Xert twice, and although I love the concept, I found it too difficult to make sense of it (even after watching videos). It was just too cluttered and non-intuitive so I gave it up, particularly since I would need to have one account for running and one for biking…a dealbreaker for me as a triathlete. This may lead be back to TR and away from Zwift again.

    • JD

      Strongly concur with Saad’s assessment “This might be true of the others but not Xert, it does have a recommendation engine that gives guidance,”

      Xert teaches you how to self-coach and once you learn their system it’s not hard to understand.
      You can set it to automatically select a workout based on your goals, or choose from daily alternates aligned with those goals. You can also decide to train a weakness or a strength or combination.
      Everything mentioned in this announcement has been a function in Xert for years.
      I realize you don’t have time to take a deep dive into all the trainer apps, but your comment smacks of ignorance. I would feel slighted if I were Xert. Just sayin. 🙂

    • “This might be true of the others but not Xert, it does have a recommendation engine that gives guidance, although it can stand to be a little more transparent about why it is suggesting what it is. Agree that Xert’s depth is both a strength but also a hurdle for users who might not want to dig that deep.”

      Best I can tell, that’s not true. The adaptive engine of XATA does require you set an end date/plan initially in order to start working. TrainerRoad doesn’t. That’s my point with TrainNow, which, btw, is the only thing I’ve really talked about in this post, other than briefly highlighting TR’s Adaptive Training bit in this piece.

      “You can set it to automatically select a workout based on your goals, or choose from daily alternates aligned with those goals. You can also decide to train a weakness or a strength or combination.”

      Right, you *HAVE TO CHOOSE A GOAL*. Every bit of Xert documentation I can find, and the UI itself mirrors that requirement to choose a goal. Which is fine, but it’s not what I’m talking about, nor what this post is titled about. TrainerRoad’s TrainNow doesn’t require that all. In fact, it’s designed for the opposite of that.

      That’s what this post is about – TrainNow. It’s not about their Adaptive Training, which I agree shares a lot in common with TrainerRoad.

    • Hi Ray,

      While you will often set a goal with Xert, it’s not a requirement. Training without a goal simply remove two elements from the recommendation engine: recommending training that is more periodized and recommending workouts that are more specific. Without a goal, specificity and periodization aren’t needed so they are removed from the workout recommendation calculations. Simply set a event date in the past, for example and you then are training without an event goal, i.e. simply for improvement.

    • We have this simplification too, Ray. Many users just go with the recommended workouts and work towards improving fitness (whether directed towards a goal or simply for improvement).

      But what’s unique about Xert, it’s not meant to just be simple but to provide users with information on how things work, with our quantification of training strain and fitness signatures. While this is complex to some, it is important we feel for many users since it provides confidence that Xert is offering the advice not based on a prefined coaching approach (such as polarized vs. sweet spot) or some opinion on how training should be done, but on how training and progression add up for each user. Once understood, athletes end up supplanting the adaptive training system with their own knowledge of what’s best for them.

      Xert isn’t just a system that prescribes workouts that help you improve; it also helps you understand how training affects you. It is this deeper awareness that enables you to decide what’s right for you. Just following workout recommendations or following a predefined plan doesn’t accomplish this.

    • Eli

      While this probably isn’t a problem for more advanced users or those who have a coach for a beginner use like me it feels hard to get started. With tr I can easily create a training plan so it tells me which days I should train and how long I should plan to train in those days. With xert I state at a blank calendar. Sure I could use the suggested workouts but I don’t know what days I should be on the bike and which I should be off. I don’t know how much time I should expect to spend each day ahead of time. I guess I don’t really need to know the exact workout that will happen in the future but would be nice to know which days I should be doing a workout and how long it is.

      The other problem I have with xert is it seems to think I should be doing 2+ hour workouts all the time. Sure, maybe that would be the best for me to improve but I don’t race and don’t really have that level of time to commit every day

    • André Lemos

      that’s the issue with Xert. The UX is really lacking, even if the engine is there.

    • Thanks Armando.

      As you and others know, I’ve repeated talked about Xert over the years and the great work being done here.

      But I do think yourself and others are missing the point a bit. The point of this post is TrainNow, which is specifically targeted at people not on training plans and not with end-goal dates (as noted in the post). The line people seem to be hung up on above, is referencing the larger aspect of too many options to choose when you just want to get a workout in. Obviously, that situation doesn’t apply to people on a plan, because…there’s a plan.

      To that point, Xert doesn’t do that for users today without a plan. As you noted, you have to “Simply set a event date in the past”. And while as a geek I appreciate the creativeness of that, that’s not at all user intuitive, and seems to kinda miss the point of simplicity of what TrainNow and others are doing.

      It’s also a prime example of what what almost every single commenter here has said (including many Xert users/fans): Xert is great, but the user interface is too complex.

      Again – I like a lot of things about Xert, but this is incredibly valid criticism that people are saying, and this tiny example is ironically the perfect metaphor for it.

    • Xert uses your history to determine how long a workout (or ride) needs to be. It won’t recommend 2 hour workouts unless those are the typical durations you ride. It currently doesn’t distinguish between an outdoor ride or indoor workout. So if you’re seeing 2 hour rides reccommended, look into our pattern of riding on that day-of-the-week and you’ll most likely see 2 hours rides having been performed in the past.

      Xert does need to know (like any good coach or system) what you’ve been doing in the past in order to prescribe the appropriate training and will continuously adjust based on this day-to-day. Simply putting things on a calendar, while it might feel assuring that you have structure, isn’t optimal training.

    • Armando Mastracci (Xert)

      Thanks Ray. Indeed you are correct that a more intuitive selection to be off-plan rather than using a date outside the plan window is an example of what could improved. However it doesn’t negate the fact that the system is able to offer training without a plan. What’s important to recognize isn’t the lack of simplicity but on how the system is able to optimize outcomes with workout recommendations on or off plans.

      As you know, what Xert has been doing is extremely ambitious and totally outside the traditional methods. Re-inventing training across so many areas with a small team will leave some things less complete than others. But lets not lose sight of what’s been done and how others are now starting to mimick many aspects of what Xert has been doing for years. It’s an affirmation in many ways that our re-inventions are the way of the future.

    • André Lemos

      with all due respect (and I’m a paying Xert customer, not of TR), if it’s not obvious, or having to set a date in the past DOES negate to its users that it is possible. it just feels like a byproduct, even if *technically* the system allows it.

      if people cannot use the system the way you intend it to use, how is that not important? HOW?! If the system/engine is SUPER AMAZING, but people cannot use it, who cares? Xert will never take off if this mentality does not change imho.

    • JD

      It has always been a function to float without phased progression.
      The description for phases says this:
      “In [pre-base or post-event], there is no specific guidance used for the Focus of your training; the advisor simply offers a wider variety of workouts that are near your Athlete Type.”
      I guess they could make it more obvious because as we well know most people (especially cyclists?) never bother to read the instructions. 🙂

    • Eli

      If I ride outdoors (mostly for fun) for long rides that isn’t the same as a structured workout that is almost by definition pushing you towards your limit. 2-hour structured workout is very different from a 2-hour group ride.

      I know just putting things on my calendar isn’t optimal training but without a coach what else am I to do with Xert? This is a very fundamental part that Xert is missing that makes it hard to use for training (I have paid for Xert since 2017) Need some way of filing a calendar with time slots to do structured workouts where I can tell it how much time I have to work with. That way I have some way of knowing what I’m doing in the future and know I’m not doing 2+ hour structured workouts every day of the week. Just basing it off what you’ve been doing may work great for those who seem to always do structured training but for those of us who are not that serious of a racer and just want to get faster as a weekend warrior group rider……. Thats where Xert fails for me

    • Eli

      Doesn’t optimal training have to be done in phased progression? Some kind of repeat of building and then recover. Saying you get workouts near your athlete type seems to imply that won’t happen. If you don’t have a goal date there is no need to time when the recovery part will be but you’d still want to progress in that way

    • Jesse Vernon

      I think one of the things that makes Xert unique is the ability to quantify all your rides, not just the “structured” ones. That structure is actually illusory. Your body, according to Seiler and others, doesn’t distinguish between 4×12 of 3×16, and a group ride isn’t bad training because it can’t be traditionally categorized. By assigning a difficulty and a focus to every ride you can measure strain and load on your body and track the rate of change for both. When you look at the blank Xert calendar, just do a ride, and do one closer to your focus if you can. The system will then guide you on what you should do the following days. All else being equal, the more you ride the fitter you’ll get.

    • Chad McNeese

      Nate said TR will be adding analysis of unstructured rides as part of the final package. It’s around 1:20 of the Adaptive Training podcast.

      He adds that they also are working on a custom system based on ML to determine HRTSS from heart rate only (even if you lack power) on those rides.

      So that unique gap seems destined to be closed.

    • Rob Campbell

      I use one account for cycling, running and nordic skiing. Works fine for me.

    • Chris McKeown

      Yes! I love Xert but it is too darn complex for me to fully comprehend.

    • Eli

      Analysis of rides is hard and in some ways is not something ml can really do very well. Look at xert, it tries to break down the energy systems used during the ride and you need that type of breakdown of the data to feed into ml. Maybe tr is doing that and just not showing it
      Though I guess tr could train the model of they analysed cyclists with much more detailed sensors to know what energy system is in use at the time but not sure that’s really feasible.

    • JD

      You may want to visit the community forum at Xert and post your concerns there.
      It appears you missed a few things along the way or perhaps never asked.
      Xert is a self-coaching platform that does not require populating a calendar. That is a big shift compared to other training systems. It also where TR is headed with their AT iteration after so many cyclists have burned out following their plans.
      Once you understand a few basic principals Xert works rather well. Doesn’t matter what type of rider you are. Young, old, racer, recreational rider, or just want to ride a bike to get fit.
      I am sure TR will be successful too, but they certainly didn’t invent AT.

  3. Vincent Needham

    I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords (er, coaches) ?‍♀️

  4. Louis

    I’m so excited about what’s to come! Machine learning and polarized, etc etc etc.

    Tri workouts too are to be integrated soon!

  5. If they can pick up steps, hrv, resting HR etc from watches inc Apple it would start to become very very useful. They did mention they wanted all this info so hopefully it’s automated!!

  6. Daniel Daza

    is this just for PC right now? I find using the iphone a whole lot easier with TR

  7. Richard G

    This will be huge for me. I’ve been doing TR for years and when I’m near my peak I often struggle with particular sessions (and spend most of the day dreading them), also with progression.

    I’d rather be turning up and continually getting the job done, than failing regularly and losing confidence (which makes me more likely to fail). Same sort of reasoning has me doing 5/3/1 for weights, when you’ll basically always hit your base program, but when you’re feeling strong you can take advantage.

    • Richard G

      I’ve just realised I’m mostly referring to the adaptive training news from today, which this article only really hints at! I’ll definitely make use of suggested alternate workouts though.

  8. Goodie

    I’ve been using TR for years and recently have tried Xert. The TR interface is so much cleaner. One of the features that I really enjoyed about Xert was the more realistic kilometres as opposed to TR. I know it doesnt make a real difference other than for tracking distance which is nice.

  9. Will

    With AI the next step would be for TR to look at your whole power duration curve and make a specific workout around that, rather than just FTP.

  10. John Davie

    I love where TR is going and this may finally justify their platform costing 33% more than Zwift. I love what Zwift offers, but don’t understand why its workout functionality and interface is not on a par with TR today. I would be more than happy to pay TR prices for a Zwift with TR’s workout functionality.

    • Eli

      The training plan on zwift sucks, I agree, but the interface? That is much better to me, way more engaging making it easier to push myself. Staring at a graph doesn’t do it for me. When I use tr I have that in minimal mode at the bottom of the screen controlling the trainer and zwift taking up the rest above it for the distraction

  11. Chris

    I am their target user for sure. I jump around using Xert outside in the summer, Rouvy or Sufferfest in the winter but I can never stay consistent to progress on a program so I pick and choose. If they can create a Xert like experience for outdoor, maybe it’s already there, I would be on board. I just want to start fit and keep a respectable average speed for a 50 year old.

  12. Sam

    Zwift workout selection is a joke, it’s a nightmare on apple tv, I just give up and use my garmin most of the time,

  13. Regarding this: “That’s notable, because up until this point, TrainerRoad hasn’t actually taken historical data”.

    As an avid TrainerRoad podcast follower I remember Chad updating their plans and replacing some of the more intense workouts with easier versions based on completion data available to them. This was done manually and on one occasion only. I think Build plan got Mary Austin replaced with a minus version with her fans complaining on the forum.

  14. Tim

    Plan Builder will sort of look back if you have a training history in TR and rebuild your plan from a previous date (say FTP test 2-months ago for example). It will leave your completed logged workouts in-place and then build forward based upon that info. At least that’s how I understand it from their Customer Support folks. I’ve deleted and re-buit training plans several times. This is a nice added option for sure and I hope it works well (I’m sure it will.)

    Great review. Thanks Ray!

  15. Marcos

    I don’t understand correctly… I am following a TR plan. This feature will show me a different workout as an option to improve my plan?

  16. It’s “that guy” again…

    “That’s not on accident.” should be “by accident”.

  17. Brent

    Will it take into account data from other sources? Like, if I race on Zwift or do a ride outside, is that factored into the recommendations?

    • Daniel Sheldon

      Not fully at this time. Nate addressed this in the podcast. You’ll get “credit” for the outdoor ride but the algorithm doesn’t yet understand it as much as the TR team would like

    • marcin c

      this would be huge. I like structured plans for the winter months when I don’t dread being indoors on the trainer but when it gets warmer I’d like to be able to upload my ride outside (structured or not) and have the program calculate future workout recommendations based on the TSS/Power/HR from the outdoor ride. Ideally if TR could merge with Strava and do a one platform it would be sweet.

  18. WattsUp

    I have tried to use Xert a few times in the past and really wanted it to work, because it was obvious that this type of AI-driven refinements to individualize training was the way forward. Unfortunately I found the Xert interface cluttered and hard to use – the exact opposite of intuitive, getting the workouts to work was problematic, and the whole process was just so convoluted that I didn’t want to waste any more time trying to figure it out.

    DC Rainmaker has said it many times, better than I can, but bad UI/UX will kill even the best ideas.

    I mean, CVRCade, anyone? It’s completely disappeared.

    TR absolutely nails this

  19. Rob Campbell

    Everyone here knows that Ray cozyups to TR, and thats fair – they do provide a great product. As a former long-time TR subscriber (now an Xert user) I’m glad that TR has finally accepted that a lot of their users burn-out using their conventional plans. I agree: the Xert platform is … intimidating, and I don’t pretend to know I’ve figured it out (or ever will) … all I know is I am following it and I am not burning out.

    Everyone just needs to calm down and take a laxative.

    • JD

      I believe TR’s AT will also tell you when to take a dump.
      The feature is called StrainNow.
      I’m curious about the post-dump survey questions.

  20. Mike

    Great review Ray. As someone with a family and career and not a lot of spare time, I love TrainerRoad for its simplicity, it makes it easy to get workouts in. This new feature and their new Adaptive training will just make it even better.

    I also use Zwift to ride in while doing my TR workouts and other adventures, which I really enjoy. But, I’ve looked at the Zwift plans and they are a mess, not mention, as you noted, their UI really sucks.

  21. koen roekaerts

    Hi, thanks for the walkthrough.

    2 questions:
    I guess it requires you to train with a heart rate monitor?

    How does it take into account training stress that you accumulate outdoors?
    (I typically prefer a group ride outdoors in the weekend, and a trainerroad workout 2x during the week)

    Thanks!
    Koen

  22. Jim

    So far Train Now has been an intuitive next step toward making high level structured training available at the touch of an app. Plan Builder provides a road map tailored to goals which can be shifted as life changes, a good thing for 2020. But weekly schedules didn’t always align with the Plan. In the past I’d pick another workout to suit time available or as an add on workout. Now I just use TrainNow. Makes it even easier. Im very much looking forward to the AI input to smooth out the training bumps from vacation weeks or particularly strong training periods. Its a great program from a young company pushing the limits of cycling training.

  23. Corey

    You got one thing incorrect (I did too at first), you can scroll to longer than 120 minute duration. Try it. Great article for a great product!

  24. Lutz

    Here we go, after Garmin’s daily suggested workouts the next tool that offers smth useful to us weekend warriors 🙂 Honestly, who with a family and a job can follow a plan for longer than a week or so? It’s incredibly helpful to have a robot coach telling you what to do in that free hour you have NOW, based on your current training and health status.

  25. This feature made me start a test subscription of TrainerRoad.
    I am also currently paying for Xert and Zwift.

    I really love what Xert are doing and I don’t find the interface too confusing.
    But using it for workouts is a bit of a hassle.
    The ConnectIQ app is way too unstable.
    The Android App is OK, but best to use a device that you don’t need to look at for any other app.

    I also have used Today’s Plan before and really liked the easy workout sync to Zwift and Garmin.
    The UI/UX is also a little bit better than Xert.

    I wish I could take all the nice features from Xert, Zwift, TrainerRoad and Today’s Plan, mix them together and create a new app.

    Adaptive Xert workouts and training plans inside Zwift would be great.
    Also adaptive training on Garmin, without relying on the Xert App blocking everything else.
    And a nice interface like Xert or Today’s Plan to analyse and plan progress.
    All for a reasonable price … I don’t think I will pay for TrainerRoad for long with the limited set of features.

  26. Sean O

    Small correction – TR offers workouts up to 150 minutes in the TrainNow area.

  27. Ck

    Xert is hands down a more robust platform in terms of improving performance but you need to invest time understanding the theory behind training adaptations in general. This abstraction layer could be taken care of by designing a GUI on top of it simplifying the process – with the option to dig into the details of needed.

    TrainerRoad on the other hand has a simplified and intuitive GUI but that not much substance in terms of bucketing a fitness signature and predicting training adaptations on an individual level depending on which training is prescribed.

    This is fundamental in my opinion. A subjectively pretty GUI and bar charts during workouts is not what makes your faster. It works for new people and that is probably their take on it. Attract the masses and aggressively market the product as performance oriented. $$$

    • Geeceee

      Agree mostly, except that TR will be applying machine learning to training recommendations while Xert is using a rules-based algorithm.

      It’s the ML stuff that MIGHT take this to the next level. Or the machine might just learn that we need to ride our bikes more to get faster. 🙂

  28. Fred Debulpaep

    I recently stumbled on your website while researching which smart trainer I should buy tot replace my old one. I like your comments and explanations even though your English is sometimes difficult to understand for a non native American (flemish). Like your comment on the new functionaliteit of TR. which Is alsof use.

  29. Jc

    Can all the Xert fans please start another thread? I’m sure it’s an effective app with its own pro/cons that’s developed and used by great people.

    Selfish as I may sound, I was hoping to hear in this discussion what folks think about TR’s new features.

    Appreciate your efforts, DC.

    • Michael Kersting

      Got your point. As a paying Xert member (newbie), who is still trying to better understand the interface, I’d love to learn more about TR’s new rollout.
      Comparing it to Xert delivers context, that makes it easier to value individual pros and cons for everyone.
      And might further push the developers of both apps to make their products better for us customers. Which is more or less exactly why we all are meeting here.

    • ATate

      Head over to the TrainerRoad forum. It’s a great resource for these discussions. One of the best places on the net for cycling training discussions.

      If you think it’s all fanboys, read the Dylan Johnson threads, or the Kolie Moore testing threads, or the ISM thread, etc.

      I’m sure the Xert people have a bunch of threads discussing training over on their discussion forum as well.

  30. Steve Smales

    Hi Ray,
    Despite scouring the net on this, I don’t seem to be able to see if this looks at my power files from road riding as part of the algorithm. An indoor trainer is often used ad hock when super time crushed and getting out on the road is too time consuming.

    • Robin

      I don’t have a power meter on my bike but it pulled in my power files from my zwift workouts and assigned a TSS and IF factor for them. I presume it’s the same for outdoor rides with a power meter.

      The thing they really need to get fixed imho is accurately recorded outdoor rides into the system and incorporating this into the load/plan matrix, especially if you don’t have a power meter.

      I’m halfway through the podcast but I get the impression that this is in the works.

      Btw – signed up to TR on the back of what this *should* become. I only really look at the numbers on zwift so I’m not really missing out on that, although I am missing the integration with Today’s Plan.

  31. Johnnymaher

    This is a terrific step for TR.
    I work in digital sales and in the same way that product libraries suffer from the burden of choice, TR was always hindered by that plus the fact that it’s was down to yourself to deduce what you wanted.

    The recommendation piece is v powerful and great to see it using its treasuretrove of behavioural data to give us more informed choices.
    A great step .

    While I love the concept, how it’s delivered in terms of simplicity and whether average Joe will use it repeatedly is another question that only time will bear out.

  32. Stergos

    For me the question remains: will it help me stay “productive”? In other words, will it help me achieve my goals (A, B, C races) which also includes avoiding overtraining? From what I have seen for the moment at the core of TR-AT is their classification of workouts into several categories for each user, so that they can choose a workout that is classified as “productive”. Nonetheless, I am not sure that they have included the “Rest Day” on their workouts so that they could prescribe it to us.

    To put it differently I think that it is up to me again to handle fatigue. They just alleviate this burden a bit by restricting workouts to a subset that will fatigue me less but they do not prescribe a rest day.

    Also, I wonder if it will be able, as a user, to have a vision on the advancement of my training. If I chose to have vacation with my family and for a week, what the histogram of my zones will be if I do not choose to get a bike with me? What if I could rent a bike just for a day in that week, will I still be on track? Should I, maybe, rent a bike for a couple of days and still stay in track with my program? Can I have a vision on my detraining and how much time it will get me to get back on track?

    I honestly think they are on the right direction but I also honestly think that they will still miss a lot of things in order to avoid frustration from users, notably in terms of overtraining and maybe undertraining.

  33. PomodoroRosso

    Hello!
    Does anyone know, if it can work with data from other sources, like Garmin connect (GC)? Lets say I’ve done some workouts which are stored in GC, and would like to switch to TR. Can it use this historicall data as well and provide recommendations?

    • LucasKun

      Hi PomodoroRosso,
      from the Podcast I understand that for sure they plan on using data from outside rides as well, including past data. But this means classifying (with machine learning) which energy zones are hit by a ride. If I understood correctly, this is not in yet. But I’m willing to bet that 1yr from now this is fully supported, 6 months if you are very very lucky.
      Another tidbit is that they’re trying to use the heart rate date from outside as well, as a proxy for power. But that is also further out, my guess is 1+ yr as well.

  34. Tim

    Recommend watching (or listening to) the most recent Ask a Cycling Coach 298 Podcast for details. They spend 2 hours going thru where the programming is at now and where they are going with it.

  35. ms

    I like it. I can just let them suggest an appropriate workout and be done with it instead of wading into their almost too voluminous database.

    Of course, I pay $89 USD yearly as I took them up on a no price increase ever if you prepaid a year going foreward deal about 6-7 years ago. They must have needed the cashflow. that makes it very palatable.

  36. Paul

    Another ex-Xert user here, but mainly due to COVID. However another vote for a more simple Xert experience!!

    I’m a crap cyclist, but love the numbers, and Xert was great for tracking my outdoor riding, but I just couldn’t link it up in my head to get training programmes sorted properly, and using it alongside Zwift was way to difficult for my tiny head.

  37. Hervé

    Ray, did you had the opportunity to test TrainASOne which is also an adaptive training plan ?

  38. Will Wright

    Hi Ray,

    Can the train now workouts be pushed to a Garmin for outdoor fun?

    thanks

    • Chad McNeese

      I believe so. You can access the TrainNow feature, pick your desired workout, and Schedule it on your calendar. After that, I think you would open that scheduled workout, swap to Outside (Inside is the default) and it will push like any other outside workout. Not a direct option AFAIK, but possible through those steps.

  39. Noah

    Wow, has anyone else had a lot of problems with this new release of TR? I love the option for Train Now, but man it’s so slow and I’ve had to re-add my trainer a couple times.

    • Tim

      So far no issues using my MacBook for editing. I’ve used the iPad to run my KICKR Core twice without any problem except adding my trainer and sensors one time.

  40. Christine Fieser

    Anything like this for runners?

  41. Jackie M

    If TR nails this, (and I suspect they will) Xert will hemorrhage users over to TR, all except the most ardent users. The small team that runs Xert is myopic, too rigid, without the creative diversity of ideas needed to improve the platform in order to compete.