FTP-based workouts

(Mark Williams) #1

I have used TrainerRoad since early last year and it’s been very good. But since I got onto the Zwift beta in early December I haven’t been near TrainerRoad. I just find the experience with Zwift to be much more interesting and stimulating, particularly catching or staying ahead of others (whether they know it or not :)).

But, TrainerRoad obviously takes a different approach, with less of the competitive angle and more around FTP-based resistance. And that struck me as an opportunity for Zwift to add that aspect too.

Let’s say I am FTP 200. It should be possible, presumably, to create an AI rider that approximates to a really good workout for someone with an FTP of 200. Now let’s say I am FTP 250 - I’d have the same course but the AI rider would obviously have more power/speed all along the course.

One advantage with TrainerRoad - depending on how much motivation I have - is that I decide the workout I want to do BEFORE I start peddling. I basically can’t let up and either follow the “power profile” or quit. I don’t like quitting so I have had many occasions where TrainerRoad REALLY pushes me, because I am “committed” to a particular workout ahead of time. If I slow down the resistance goes WAY up, because TrainerRoad adjusts to target the required power.

By comparison, with Zwift I can just slow down whenever I want.

The aforementioned FTP-based AI rider would give me that same approach as TrainerRoad.

Short term I could envisage a simple approach where I just enter my target FTP AI rider before I start a course and perhaps the number of laps or distance and follow (or get ahead) or get ahead of that that AI rider.



(Duane Gran [Vision]) #2

To expand on this idea a little, it might be interesting to have some AI riders who are actually driving by your past performance. In this way if you set up a ride with some hot laps or hard efforts you could follow yourself. The user interface might need to be adjusted a bit to account for this.

On the CompuTrainer I’ve used this scenario in their 3D cycling with good results. It can be incredibly motivating to beat your prior past performance especially when the rider image is right there in front of you.

(Mark Williams) #3

Agree with that totally, Duana. Across all the various types of workouts I have done over the years (road bike, indoor trainer, Concept 2 rower, treadmill, etc) the one concept that REALLY motivates me is making incremental improvements against my own recent performances.

With the road bike I do this with the Virtual Partner capability on my Edge 800 and the Concept 2 has a similar idea. Zwift takes the competitive angle to a new level and I when I hop on I create these little battles (no-one knows!) with other riders, either to catch them or stay ahead.

In the rare cases where I succeed it’s fun, but the unknown is always the strength of the “opposition”. With a virtual partner (“yesterday’s me”), I know that I am absolutely in the ball park and can have a good, close race.

Although I know I am simplifying this, the UX could presumably be quite simple - select a previous ride and have that just show up as another AI rider (presumably “decorated” in some way in the UX to stand out).

So, yeah, totally agree.

(Simon Oxenham [VC10]) #4

I would also like to see a TrainerRoad style workout option based around FTP and Virtual Partner. I would also like it to include the ability to create my own workouts… The Workout Creator in TrainerRoad is perfect for adding in your own personal sessions.

I used to create workouts in Garmin Connect and upload them onto my Garmin 800. TrainerRoad has replaced this, but I’d love to be able to do it all from within Zwift…

(Stewart G teamWBR) #5

Further to the ghost rider idea using past performance, it would be good to be able to adjust the pace upwards slightly to give you something to try and reach.

(Mark Williams) #6

Yes, I like that suggestion too. The way TrainerRoad does this is have a simple % indicator that allows one to adjust above or below 100% (this is in the app itself and can be changed on the fly).

That said (and while I like the suggestion), a good way to increase the previous ride is to go and beat it - and then use the new one the next time around :slight_smile:


(Garden Velo ZZRC) #7

If I get what your’ saying right, you want interval workouts based on FTP, only instead of following the bar graph for your’ power output you follow an AI rider. The AI rider puts the power down during an interval and eases up for the rest phase. He could even sit up and take a drink from his water bottle to clue you in that it’s time to rest. If you start falling behind perhaps a Rottweiler could run out and start chasing you up the road for that little bit of extra motivation to hold the watts to the end of your’ interval. :slight_smile: I like it, great idea.

(Nicklas Nille Johansson 54) #8

Dont know if it works,but will try tomorrow,i follow a trainingplan in TR,i will just open the workout for the day and write the numbers down according to my present ftp and follow them on the island,just have to keep an eye on my watts and the time.Then i get the workout i want for the day.

(Craig Scarberry) #9

I agree. I also use Trainer Road and I like the structure for all the reasons you list. Seems like every time I get onto the island I can’t help but “blow myself up” and I end up not following the plan.