Welcome to Episode #56 of the Mile High Endurance podcast. Mile High Endurance is your weekly connection to coaches, experts and pro athletes to help you reach your endurance and triathlon goals. I'm your host Rich Soares and I'm joined by co-host Bill Plock from 303 Triathlon. Welcome back this week. Today's guest interview is with Dirk Friel from TrainingPeaks to talk to us about some of the newer features in TrainingPeaks. We'll get into that in just a minute. How's it Bill?
Catch up with Bill.
Thanks to Michael Rodgers for joining us last week to talk about the NYC Marathon.
We've been talking about this week's guest for a few weeks now. Dirk Friel, co-founder of TrainingPeaks, has been a guest on the show in the past. This week we caught up with Dirk to talk to us about some of the new TrainingPeaks features.
My inspiration for the topic. I had upgraded to the Coaching Edition and had received an email from Tony at TrainingPeaks offering to give me a 45 minute overview of the coaching version. During the orientation session, Tony was walking me through how to create an Annual Training Plan (ATP). I have been using ATP, and had struggled the task of data entry and calculations to design and build the ATP. My specific thought was "jeez it would be great if you could just enter the target Training Stress Score and have that automatically produce an ATP volume required to prepare an athlete for their A Race. It seemed like a reasonable question, so I asked Tony. He chuckled a bit, and I expected to hear Tony follow the chuckle with a "it's right there in front of you", Instead, Tony explained that the functionality did not exist yet, but was actually scheduled in an upcoming release.
In preparation for the interview I was poking around with the TSS/CTL/ATP tool and the Workout Builder. The more I played with them the freaking cooler it got. As a guy who works a Product Manager for a software development team, I have an appreciation for how "in-tune and intuitive" it is. I usually work too hard to try to figure out some software functionality. When I let myself mouse around, I began to find that there were controls exactly where you want them and an interactivity between the data tables and the graphical display that is dynamic. Meaning, you can create a table from drag and drop templates, you can adjust things like set length by dragging, or go to the table and make data changes directly.
The same is true for Workout Builder. From Calendar, either click on Workout Library or create a new workout by clicking on the plus sign on the day you are adding a workout. Depending on the type of workout, you can pick the Training Method (eg, % of FTP, % of MHR, RPE, etc). You can drag or click blocks, within a block, you can hover over each and see the duration and intensity displayed in the text. You will also see the zones dynamically specified for the individual athlete. You will also see starting time/distance in the hover over text box. This helps you make sure you have the right training volume to reach your target.
If you want to increase the intensity, you can over the top of the graph bar and you will see the mouse arrow change to a double-arrow. You can left click and move the intensity up or down.
Likewise, you can adjust the duration by hovering over the side of the graph bar, reveal the double-arrow curser. Left click and then drag to be longer or shorter.
If you want to increase or decrease the number of reps in the set, you can hover over the block and you will see a +/- on the left side of the block. You can click on the + to add reps or the - to remove reps. Note that you can see the projected TSS.
Let's get into the interview with Dirk Friel and hear what he has to say.