Monday, March 12, 2012

Ironman Cycling Training... With Kids...

The racing season is really getting fired up, and I was fortunate enough to find TrainerRoad.

I frequently get stuck on the trainer for cycling, as it's my go-to when I'm stuck in the house because of a small herd of dinosaurs (or is it a herd of small dinosaurs?).  Add a little netflix or hulu, and I'm usually good to go.  I'm one of the many that isn't quite able to invest in a power unit for my bike, and percieved exertion always seemed a little vague to me.  So when I found TrainerRoad, my entire cycling experience changed.

The first thing I want to say is that if you've never trained with power, you don't know what you're missing.  It finally doesn't matter whether or not you have a power unit.  TrainerRoad uses a virtual power curve unique to each trainer, and they add more on a regular basis.  GO! TRY! IT! NOW!!!  The second thing is that power units can be expensive.  So, it's worth it to go check out TrainerRoad.  Even if you have a power unit, you should look at TrainerRoad.  It's compatible with so many pieces of hardware - yours is probably listed.

Before I actually tried it, my trainer sessions usually consisted of me, on the bike for an hour or more, on the trainer, with a movie, or a book on my kindle app.  I'd go as hard as I'd think my legs would let me go for my intended amount of time.

Then, I started looking a little more closely into how I could improve my cycling.  TrainerRoad is new - Nate and Reid are two great guys that are working on the system while they're working their own jobs. (Update-they've gotten to quit their jobs and do TrainerRoad full time!)  They're great on the customer service end, and they love getting suggestions on how to make the system better.  Sufferfest - who we all know and love to hate - has ten videos out that you can drag and drop into the TrainerRoad system.  And those are just the workouts that have a video component specifically designed to go together.  There are enough workouts to keep you busy for weeks.

So I signed up.  It isn't expensive or complicated and went with the garmin stuff I already own (suunto movestick apparently works as well).  Power is set at 200 ftp for default, and you can do a 8 minute test or 20 minute test to figure out what your ftp should be.  I plugged my computer into my tv and did the "8 minute test."  Now, don't get me wrong.  The test isn't 8 minutes long, it's an hour, but by the time you get to the 8 minute intervals, they feel like an eternity.  When I finished, I had an idea where I stood, cycling fitness-wise.

But I had goals in my training.  Something tangible to seek, rather than just getting on my bike and going.

It got even better (ha ha) when I got to the workouts that had Sufferfest videos as part of them.

There you are, part of the Tour, or cycling down a mountain with a buddy, or part of a criterion.  It was sooooo cool!  Even the support crew gets excited to see it on tv.  "Mommy?  Which bike are you on?"

Overall, I'm really looking forward to what happens this season.

Here is TrainerRoad's Public Release:

 "CONTACT: Nate Pearson,



Reno, Nev. (February 28, 2012) -- Recently released TrainerRoad -- an indoor training system developed for cyclists and triathletes -- offers athletes structured cycling workouts with live ANT+ data based on power, heart rate or VirtualPower™. The TrainerRoad software is both Mac and PC compatible and offers more than 190 workouts scaled to match the current fitness level of each member.

 “It’s our vision to develop an indoor training system that helps athletes improve no matter where they are starting from today,” TrainerRoad co-Founder, Reid Weber said. “As fathers, cyclists and professionals, Nate (co-Founder) and I both know the everyday challenges faced by cyclists to get the best training possible with limited time. TrainerRoad was designed to help everyone from the casual weekend rider to professional athlete improve their cycling fitness.”

“We bring the ability to train like you have a power meter with VirtualPower™,” TrainerRoad co-Founder, Nate Pearson said. “We take the known power curves of certain trainers and translate speed to power on the fly. The end result is that the user feels like they are training with a power meter without having to feel it in their wallet. Accuracy depends on their trainer, but members are seeing great fitness gains across the board.”

The user focused software saves all member data to the TrainerRoad cloud creating a stream of rider data and a community of riders excited about getting faster. Career pages track member progress, calculate workout stats and auto generate intervals allowing members to review past workouts and share them with friends, teammates, and coaches.

In addition to a vast library of targeted, focused workouts and powerful analytics, TrainerRoad features social sharing options, race simulations and integration with training videos. TrainerRoad also integrates with Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and many other websites providing entertainment while training.

“We wanted to provide a valuable product at a reasonable cost,” Pearson said. “For a low monthly cost, members have access to all of the software features. We are confident that for the price of a few energy gels TrainerRoad will make riding indoors fun, motivating and competitive.”

TrainerRoad membership costs $10 per month, including a 30-day, no-questions-asked refund period. Membership includes access to all current TrainerRoad features including training plans and support.

TrainerRoad also has CompuTrainer™ support on both Mac and PC.

Designed to help cyclist and triathletes improve their fitness, TrainerRoad is a powerful indoor training system that offers structured workouts based on power, heart rate or VirtualPower™ with live ANT+ data for motivation. For more information visit or follow TrainerRoad on Facebook at twitter:@TrainerRoad"


DCRainmaker did a review on his blog that seems pretty complete.  You can find it here.

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