Introducing TrainerRoad - Add Real Time Data To Your Ride Fit™ Workout
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™
When we started Ride Fit™ a little over a year ago our aim was to bring affordable, structured and entertaining indoor cycling workouts to anyone that had access to a computer, tablet, iPad, smart phone, game consol or DVD player. Our downloadable and DVD based indoor cycle training videos provide just this, allowing you to workout at home, in the fitness center, at a hotel gym or anywhere else you can take a portable media player. As we like to say, "Experience real rides, anywhere, anytime."
That being said, having talked with many of you over the last year we've realized that some of you want to enhance your workout experience further by having the ability to collect, store and review your workout data. To that end, about six months ago we started the process of integrating our workout videos with the folks from TrainerRoad. Now that process is complete we'd thought we'd formally share this exciting news with you.
We know many of you are familiar with TrainerRoad but for those who are not let me start by briefly introducing their product. TrainerRoad is a Windows/MAC based software package that is used in combination with an indoor trainer, at least one ANT+ device and an ANT+ USB stick. This allows the TrainerRoad software to collect real time workout information such as heart rate, cadence and speed, and in turn calculate a VirtualPower measurement. If you're lucky enough to actually have a bike equipped with a power meter then this data can be used instead of TrainerRoad's calculated VirtualPower.
When you run the TrainerRoad application you get a well laid out dashboard showing your real time workout data, plus the power profile you're working out to and power/heart rate graphing. After your workout, your data is automatically saved to the cloud. When logged in, accessing your Career page allows you to view, graph and get key performance indicators for any of the workouts you've done. Plus, you're provided with your own Personal Records or bests.
In addition to Ride Fit™ titles, TrainerRoad offers a huge library of 300+ workout profiles, including race simulations and other video based titles from the likes of Sufferfest, epicRides, Spinervals and 3LC.tv. The application is linked to the major social media sites so you can share workout information with your friends. All this is available for a low monthly subscription (at the time of writing $10/month) and a 30 day risk-free trial.
For each Ride Fit™ title we've created a matching TrainerRoad power profile. To find a Ride Fit™ title, select the Workouts tab and then select Video. Scroll down the listed workouts (all our videos start with the words Ride Fit™) to find your favorite title.
After you've found your Ride Fit™ title, open the workout and using the Browse button load the video right into the center of the display screen so the TrainerRoad dashboard is now supplemented with great live-action ride footage. The power profile is time synced to the Ride Fit™ workout video so just change gear as instructed and alter your cadence (and hence your output power) to match the power profile. How cool is that?
Above is a TrainerRoad screen shot for a workout being undertaken to the Ride Fit™ title Master Blaster. You can see the Ride Fit™ video plays center screen with the complete ride power profile on the left-hand side and a zoomed in power profile on the right-hand side. Both power profiles are overlaid with real time VirtualPower/actual power and your heart rate. Towards the center of the screen you'll see from left to right, your real and target time power (at this moment 243/241W), interval and ride timers, and your heart rate and cadence values (at this moment 140bpm/90rpm). A very nice feature is that when you hit your target power the power line goes bright green. Go too hard or too soft and the power line turns redder in color the further you stray from your target power.
As I mentioned earlier, when you complete your workout the collected data is stored to the cloud. An example of a stored workout for the Ride Fit™ title Local Rollers is shown below. You can clearly see the target power profile, along with recorded power and heart rate. A wide variety of statistics are also available including calories burned, time in power zones and time in heart rate zones.
I use TrainerRoad extensively during the Ride Fit™ video testing process and also to add variety to my indoor training sessions. You can checkout my TrainerRoad profile, it's RideFitTrainingVideos. When using TrainerRoad, Ride Fit™ uses the Garmin ANT+ USB stick, the Garmin GSC 10 speed/cadence sensor and the Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor in combination with a Kinetic By Kurt Road Machine. All these products are available at Amazon. For your convenience they can also be ordered through our recommended accessories page.
Of the many other workouts available through TrainerRoad, you can do both a standard 8 Minute Test and 20 Minute Test to determine your baseline Functional Threshold Power (FTP). As you likely know, FTP is a key metric for cycling performance and is defined as the maximum average power a cyclist can maintain over a one-hour period. My personal FTP is 193 Watts - OK so I'm not the strongest of riders! Whatever your FTP, TrainerRoad will use this value to appropriately calibrate the selected workout power profile.
In summary, TrainerRoad has done a fantastic job of developing this very comprehensive software package and we're thrilled that all of the Ride Fit™ indoor cycle training videos are now integrated. Going forward, all new Ride Fit™ titles will be TrainerRoad compatible.
If using TrainerRoad with a workout video on an older computer you may observe that the ride profile and the video get out of synch. This problem can be overcome by installing the TrainerRoad app on a more modern machine. Alternatively run the Ride Fit™ video in a media player like VLC Media Player and size it to take most of the middle and upper part of the computer screen. In TrainerRoad select your chosen Ride Fit™ profile and run this in Horizontal mode at the bottom of the screen.
Syncing should improve but if it's still an issue then OPEN an appropriate length TrainerRoad Free Ride xxx profile and run this in Horizontal mode. The TrainerRoad Free Ride xxx profile will provide you actual power, cadence and heart rate. Just follow the instructions on the Ride Fit™ video and complete your ride. When finished, save your data to the cloud. What option you end up using is all going to come down to the processing power of the computer your using to support your indoor training.