Any 'Trainer Road' users within?

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
For the uninitiated Trainer Road (which shall be referred to as TR from now onwards) is a Windows and Mac compatible software designed to make turbo trainer workouts a little more challenging. The software itself relies wholly upon ANT+ technology to provide the real-time feedback during a workout.

There are 3 ways in which to do and record a workout with TR

ANT+ Power meters: (Quarq , PowerTap , SRM , Power2Max, Garmin Vector, Zone, etc) or a CompuTrainer.

Heart Rate: ANT+ HR Strap (Garmin , Cycleops, Wahoo Fitness , etc)

Virtual Power: ANT+ Speed Sensor - Garmin GSC10, Wahoo Fitness Speed and Cadence Sensor

***All three methods require a USB ANT+ receiver stick. Garmin make one as do Suunto(Movestick mini)***

And a compatible Turbo Trainer: List here


Virtual Power(commonly used and is the cheapest option) takes the known power curve from a listed trainer and through your ANT+ speed sensor turns this into an approximate figure in watts. This figure is then used as you follow the onscreen instructions and prompts during a workout.

With VirtualPower™, we are effectively measuring power at the trainer. That means that any variance in the drive train between your pedals and the trainer can have an effect. When training with VirtualPower, make sure your tire pressure and tension against the wheel are the same each time you ride. This will give you consistent power readings.

Different tensions on the wheel effect rolling resistance and can skew your readings. The important thing is to have consistent and repeatable readings to train with. That's why having the same tension on your tire and the same tire pressure each ride is important.

So once you have the hardware you chose fitted it's time to download TR and begin the very easy setup process. The first time you load the program is will take a few seconds to download workout files.

You can then go to this screen if you have your USB ANT+ stick plugged in and installed. I've already used TR so my sensors have been paired already but haven't been woken up.



A quick spin of my cranks (bike is on other side of room) wakes up the Wahoo speed/cadence sensor fitted. The HRM will pair itself once a heartbeat is detected.


Note: I have my trainer and resistance level selected in this same window.


With devices paired it's almost time to do a workout(theres plenty of them!) But some other minor stuff first.

Click on the "Profile" tab.


For most purposes you would want to be training with FTP, this by default is set to 200 which can be lower or higher for you. As you can see mine is currently 220

LTHR: Is a pretty random number as I was having problems with a known bug.

Power smoothing: This option stabilizes the figures as an average during a workout. You can have none, 3secs or 5secs.

The last important option is "Don't use cadence to play and pause workouts". This option ticked will start a workout once you hit the start button, if you use cadence(above 60rpm) starts the workout and 0 rpm pauses the workout. A handy feature if you break your bike like I did yesterday :P (this was not any fault of TR or the trainer :smile: )

Workout screen: The gold stars are workouts that I have favourited,these will remain at the top of the window. I'm currently doing the intermediate base plan and Baxter is my next ride so it's there waiting. You can open and view a workout by clicking the graph or by using the Open button when you are viewing the details of the workout.



A sensible place to start is with the 20 minute test. This is 1 hour long with a 20 minute max effort segment. This segment is used to calculate your FTP (the maximum power you can sustain for 1hr) After you have done this, TR will give you a recommendation as to what it thinks your FTP should be set to. As you will see soon,this setting scales all workouts for you.

Here is the result: Although it suggested 201 I made it a little higher anyway.



Down to business:



I've taken the liberty of highlighting 6 fields to explain a little further so onto the 3 upper left of the window:

Power: This is the current power that is being calculated

Bold red line: When this bar is green you are in the sweet spot either side of the target.

Target power: This is the target for you to achieve during a particular segment. As a segment is either beginning or ending, loud bleeps and onscreen instructions tell you what to do. Watch for this target power figure changing as you go

Heart rate and cadence are a given. If you don't have an HRM paired this field won't show.

Across the middle of the workout is a thick white line. This is my FTP and the workout has scaled around that. The highest peak you see corresponds to 352watts for 30 seconds into a 5minute recovery period of 88watt target. This ramps up to the first 8minute segment @ 253watt target.

Bottom left: This option makes TR stay on top of anything else you are doing,handy for watching fullscreen dvd's, youtube, netflix and so on.

The up/down arrows:
This option changes the intensity of your workout on the fly. 100% is your current FTP so if a workout is too easy, turn it up and likewise turn it down if it's too hard.


The other awesomeness in TR is compatibility with SufferFest. Currently I only have Hell Hath No Fury and here it is,fully integrated with TR.




The workouts you do will then be listed under the "Career" tab within which you can share via Facebook,download and review the data.

 

ziggys101

Über Member
Location
Uttoxeter
Just started using it, very impressed with my first use the 8 min test, ill be trying another work out tonight using the figures from the test.
 
OP
T.M.H.N.E.T

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Just started using it, very impressed with my first use the 8 min test, ill be trying another work out tonight using the figures from the test.
How did you do? My 20min test result a few months back was 201 but I manually changed it to 220 :smile:

Probably about time I tested again hehe
 
OP
T.M.H.N.E.T

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Not a bad start. Just flick the intensity up if you find it too easy. I reckon you could increase your default to 185-190 pretty easily though. You going to just ride or follow a plan? I've been doing Intermediate 1 which is 6 weeks for about 12weeks now lol. Road riding gets in the way!

Stress = gain :cheers:
 
OP
T.M.H.N.E.T

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Yeah give 180 a go
 
Hey, thanks for the link to this page. Think i will give TR a try. Not too expensive and seems an interesting way to make indoor training sessions target based.
I had previously been using heart rate to find the sweet spot. This though is no where near as focussed as TR workouts.
Some TT specific workouts are reportedly going to be added soon also.
Will order an ANT+ usb stick. Got everything else.
 
Okay software downloaded and USB gotten. Here is my first session.

http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/101561

It's the 8 minutes test (hour session). Just rode it the way it said on the screen. Enjoyed it.

Will take a bit of sussing out what all the info means. Any tips T.M.H.N.E.T??

My FTP was set for me at 238 so will just go with that for now. On my profile page my FTP/kg says 3.12. I am pretty sure with a more intense workout and near 100% effort this will be closer to 3.5 to 4.0 FTP/kg.

I am pretty sure with the right frame of mind one could stay in good shape through winter, with this program, and be in good stead for 2013.
 
Just roll with the 238 for now. You'll know pretty much past the first warmup period on any ride whether it's too high as a default. http://support.trainerroad.com/entries/20644037-what-do-ftp-np-if-and-tss-mean

Are you going to ride to a plan or just pick at random?
Think i'll ride to a plan though as you say it may get in the way of riding out on the road. In fact when the bad weather hits i am pretty sure i will have no choice. I can't sit and do nothing for very long so i will have a look at some plans and see which one looks best.

Edit: it seems the first one, intermediate base 1, is recommended. I'll try that.

Do you use any sufferfests? I've had a look and they appear okay though i think you have to pay for each one then convert for TR.

Thanks for the link. I know the more obvious stuff like FTP etc. It's how TR uses the numbers that i am unsure of. The info in power zones and heart zones is slightly confusing. I get that time and percentage are both stats regarding effort over the duration. Time spent in certain zones such as active recovery or endurance. What i don't get is what the numbers in the low and high sections relate to?? Vo2 max low and high for my 8 min test was 210 and 240 respectively. Or anaerobic capacity. 240 and 2000 again for low and high.

Any thoughts what these numbers are?
 
OP
T.M.H.N.E.T

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
No idea tbh, never really paid much attention to it.

I have Hell Hath No Fury which is a fantastic way to spend an hour killing yourself. Just haven't got round to getting others.
 
No idea tbh, never really paid much attention to it.

I have Hell Hath No Fury which is a fantastic way to spend an hour killing yourself. Just haven't got round to getting others.
Well if those numbers don't have any way to be measured or compared, i will just ignore them also.
I had a look at Angels (sufferfest). Looked like a whole heap of pain. :biggrin: So the vids are quite good then?

I've still got the 20 min test to do then i'll start the 1st plan. Was out this morning and climbed a total of 4000ft so may just wait till tomorrow or Monday. The legs seem grumpy...........
 
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