Trainerroad

Hi, just wondering whether anyone else has noticed how Trainerroad appears to be “adopting” many of the features of Xert? I listen to the Trainerroad Podcast as I think it’s an excellent source of training advice, but clearly the Trainerroad platform looks to be moving towards Xert!

Features such as?

Yes, you are definitely right. TR introduced difficulty ratings for their workouts, adaptive training and they are working on FTP estimation without tests.

However, I don’t think they can achieve the same performance in those areas as Xert due to different underlying logic. Xert is build around the ability to estimate athlete’s fatigue in the real time (XSS). TR is missing such algorithm. I just wonder if TR could develop one without complete rebuild of their entire system.

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Outdoor “custom” workouts, ordinary rides, still are not accounted for in the machine learning.

That’s the point! It is relatively easy to cluster structured workouts into difficulty levels. I guess that every coach and experienced athlete can do it with his/her workouts. However doing this for unstructured rides is virtually impossible without solid algorithm. That’s huge advantage of Xert and it seems that other training platforms are far behind now.

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The main issue that Xert has I think is that it has to reeducate people to an entirely different training philosophy. FTP based training is simple and most people get it quite quickly. On the other hand when I try an explain Xert to my riding chums their eyes just glaze over. Obviously it could be just me but it’s not a simple system to understand. I’m retired, find it interesting and importantly have the time to invest into it. My son on the other hand works 50/60 hours a week and has a wife & 2 kids. He just wants to get on the turbo and do what the program tells him to do. He and his friends understand FTP and trust it. Also TrainerRoad is better at splitting up the different energy systems below TP/FTP. Hopefully with what’s been hinted at a few times recently, this could change. For myself I use Xert for managing my Training Load, using the apps on my Garmin for when I’m outside and keeping on top of my signature via the Slow Decay Method. I rarely use their workouts as they generally have far too much intensity in them for me. The workout creator though is really good. If I could have one thing extra it would be Power Scaling for Trainers.

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Yeah, it’s definitely a paradigm shift, and my friends get the same glazing. The beauty of Xert, if they would just listen, is that you can “just ride around”, but also pay attention to Focus and Ramp Rate, and hey presto end up at the same place as a very prescriptive plan.

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Xert could use a refresh…a makeover. First impressions are always important, and Xert’s first impressions make it look complicated. A newb knows it’s different, but add in complicated, and sometimes I imagine it’s a no go…no conversion from trial to Premium. It doesn’t have to be or appear as complicated as it is. Those who say it’s not have just gotten past that extensive learning curve. And the complication is not just the nuts and bolts. Just navigating the interface is confusing. Click on an activity in a certain place, and you select it. There’s no indication that that’s a method of selecting it…it just gets selected. I guess the best way to describe this aspect of Xert is that it’s quirky. It doesn’t have to be. A makeover could make the interface more conventional and intuitive.

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They’re getting FTP estimation and prediction now. I haven’t tested in a while since having Xert for a couple of years now. I’m still sticking with Xert, anxiety free.

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Agreed. I understood TrainerRoad’s UI pretty much immediately and was on my way.

Xert, I’ve put in hours of reading and watching videos and I’m 80% sure I understand it and 20% sure I have no idea at all. But, Xert was the better result for me.

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For me there is no single app that does it all - as someone new to indoor/structured training since the pandemic began I have had subscriptions/trials to Xert, TR, TP, Wahoo Systm, Zwift, Rouvy, RGT, Fulgaz, TrainerDay.

For me the biggest mistake that apps writers make is trying to be the be-all and end-all rather than focusing down on their core USP. From that side, I feel Xert is one of the best, its got a relatively limited set of features, but its clear that the resource effort is targeted at making those features robust and more usable - e.g. cycle computer integration. The planner is ok, but used along side Training Peaks for me is a better experience. For sure the UI is not as polished as say TR, but it only takes a couple of days to work out where everything is.

I rate TR really highly - but for me its too $$$ for an annual sub

My current usage is:

Xert - fitness tracking, some workouts (+ hoping to do more outdoors in 2022), workout creator
Training Peaks - planning, workout creation, tracking other activity - weights, running, swimming etc

More transiently I use / subscribe to:
Trainerroad - follow plans over winter months only
Wahoo Systm - loved their “Inspiration” videos during base training in the early winter, Suff videos are a bit random, most other features a bit lacking to consider using app long term
Zwift - occasional group rides with my club
Rouvy - works well for TrainingPeaks workouts to provide some interest

Did RGT trial, works ok but not so into the “simulator” apps
Fulgaz - didnt work properly, I was asked to so a whole host of computer updates which still didnt fix
TrainerDay - ok, but found player buggy and not prepared to pay for an app that was hosting ripped off workouts from other platforms

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I am jumping back and forth between Xert, TrainerRoad, TodaysPlan or just Zwift.

I like Xert, but I miss the sync to Garmin with an update to the Garmin fitness status, which TrainerRoad does. At the moment I have to either run Zwift or my Garmin in parallel to keep my Garmin stats updated. And then delete the duplicate in Xert.

From TodaysPlan I miss the ability to automatically upload workouts to Garmin and Zwift according to the calendar. I realize that this doesn’t work for smart workouts.

And Xert has probably the worst user interface, for web and app.

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I think the app is great. A massive improvement on the early days. Website could do with a spruce up but is not that bad. I’d rather substance over style than style over substance and I honestly don’t think it’s that bad.

The recent workout import tool s a great killer addition.

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