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Training software tools

thomasmorristhomasmorris Posts: 373
I'd like recommendations for training software / online tools that

- track power curve
- track training stress from Power and HR
- planning calendar with key events
- predict TSS from planned sessions.
- ideally online so I don't have to download software

Last year I used Strava Premium and Golden Cheetah. Unfortunately I can't download golden cheetah now (work laptop doesn't allow software). However, whilst I liked the post ride analysis from GC, i found i started relying on fitness and freshness in strava as it would include HR data from MTB training. In the end Strava premium with power curve and fitness and freshness did most of what I wanted... however, you can't plan using it ( just planned out rough sessions for each week in excel last year). And it was missing some of the more detailed post ride analysis like left / right power, W' and stress plot which i would go back to GC for post race.

Posts

  • So not much feedback on here?

    I've opened up both training peaks and cycling analytics free trials, both being based online.

    Below is a review of my initial impressions, I'm probably missing things so correct me before I make a decision based on a misunderstanding!

    Data Transfer
    Training peaks looks good, but is a pain to get my data into. I only have the last month on my garmin, and everything pre-dating that is only on strava. I've done a mass download from strava, but the GPX files exclude HR and Power so pretty useless for historical training record (CTL). In this regard Cycling analytic is much better as it pairs to strava and pull out all the data including power and hr, so you have a full historical record.

    Training Load / CTL / Fitness and Freshness calculated from HR + Power
    Both calculate training load from power and HR. This is what made me loose interest in Golden Cheetah as that wouldn't include rides done without power in training stress. In the end golden cheetah became very good for individual post ride analysis with a power meter, but no good for tracking long term training stress.

    Future Planning
    The future planning is good on both and what I'm looking for (as strava premium doesn't have this and neither did golden cheetah). You can schedule workouts with training load and this will be used to forecast CTL and show up in training load / training management charts. Training peaks has a more detail in the planning and also allows you to import whole training plans (at additional cost?).

    Post Ride Analysis
    As for ride analysis both Training Peaks and Cycling Analytics are very similar. Both go beyond the basics of strava (power curve, power histogram, time in zone, line graph showing power, hr, speed, temp, cadence, altitude). However, here I'd say Training Peaks wins out, you can create scatter plots, view left / right power.

    However, for post ride analysis neither go as far as Golden Cheetah with the very useful W'Bal, aero-lab and pretty much every conceivable metric plotted by scatter / histogram.

    Summary
    Both Training Peaks and Cycling Analytics do what I want tracking training load from HR and Power, and both allow future planning. I'd say Training Peaks does this in a little more detail, however cycling analytics I can get all my data into... which is a big plus.

    However, neither offer the post ride analysis that is really useful in golden cheetah (W'bal, comparing two rides side by side, etc). They're a step up from strava in what you can see, but ultimately, like strava it's more about seeing the data you've recorded, rather than taking that data to understand something further.

    I'd be prepared to live with Golden Cheetah not being web based if it did two things:
    -future planning with forecast CTL; and
    -used HR to calculate training load.

    Does the new version of Golden Cheetah address the above?
  • Regarding the data transfer, having started using TP premium I think what I did was export from Strava into GC and then from GC into TP. Job done!
  • Regarding the data transfer, having started using TP premium I think what I did was export from Strava into GC and then from GC into TP. Job done!
    Thanks, if I decide to take up the Training Peaks subscription then I'll try this.

    At the moment I'm still in a bit of a dilemma. There doesn't seem to be one online tool that has the in depth post ride analysis of Golden Cheetah (free) or WKO+ (£118).

    Training Peaks (£78) has the best future planning, and good post ride analysis, but not on the scale of GC. Cycling Analytics is cheaper (£38), but I'm not finding as nice (although it was easier to get data in to).

    I'd rather it all be online, as then I can access the information on any computer. However, it looks like I'll have to put up with doing deeper analysis at home.

    Just trying to work out whether it's worth paying the £78 or £38 for TP or CA just for planning sessions and predicting training load.... which I could do in excel for free. I don't have a coach so don't need it to interface.
  • Regarding the data transfer, having started using TP premium I think what I did was export from Strava into GC and then from GC into TP. Job done!
    Thanks, if I decide to take up the Training Peaks subscription then I'll try this.

    At the moment I'm still in a bit of a dilemma. There doesn't seem to be one online tool that has the in depth post ride analysis of Golden Cheetah (free) or WKO+ (£118).

    Training Peaks (£78) has the best future planning, and good post ride analysis, but not on the scale of GC. Cycling Analytics is cheaper (£38), but I'm not finding as nice (although it was easier to get data in to).

    I'd rather it all be online, as then I can access the information on any computer. However, it looks like I'll have to put up with doing deeper analysis at home.

    Just trying to work out whether it's worth paying the £78 or £38 for TP or CA just for planning sessions and predicting training load.... which I could do in excel for free. I don't have a coach so don't need it to interface.

    If you are a member of British Cycling you get a discount on TP. Not sure if you have already factored that in.
  • Oh that's good. I'm BC Silver, so 20% off the price above.

    However, I think I've found (see link below) how to future predict in the Performance Management Chart in Golden Cheetah. First I need to manual create activities on the calendar in the future, and assign a trimp score. You then go to the PMC chart and in chart settings change the data range to include the future (up to the date you're planning for).

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/golden-cheetah-users/Z-_n4k6oK8M

    I've also seen that you can use HR solely by using only trimp in the PMC chart, instead of bike score (power only). And by using the metrics chart and you can mix the two.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn9soTvXx7U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05AYQhtMR-M

    So that solves two of the issue I had with GC; no future forecasting and the Performance Management Chart not including HR.

    So the only problem with GC now is that it is computer based software rather than an online app. I'll just have to use my slow computer at home and suck that up.
  • Oh that's good. I'm BC Silver, so 20% off the price above.

    However, I think I've found (see link below) how to future predict in the Performance Management Chart in Golden Cheetah. First I need to manual create activities on the calendar in the future, and assign a trimp score. You then go to the PMC chart and in chart settings change the data range to include the future (up to the date you're planning for).

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/golden-cheetah-users/Z-_n4k6oK8M

    I've also seen that you can use HR solely by using only trimp in the PMC chart, instead of bike score (power only). And by using the metrics chart and you can mix the two.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn9soTvXx7U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05AYQhtMR-M

    So that solves two of the issue I had with GC; no future forecasting and the Performance Management Chart not including HR.

    So the only problem with GC now is that it is computer based software rather than an online app. I'll just have to use my slow computer at home and suck that up.

    I could be wrong but isn't the new GC cloud based?

  • I could be wrong but isn't the new GC cloud based?

    The ride data can be stored on the cloud by mapping to a dropbox location (which the new version does nicely). However, you still need the GoldenCheetah software installed on each computer. Good if you own and upload from more than one computer, but not so good if you don't have administrator rights on all the computers you use!

    My problem is I can't install software on my work laptop. I started this thread hoping there was a totally web based solution that didn't require software download, then when I'm at work, or travelling I can still upload and analyse my training data.

    It just seems these online based systems (strava, training peaks, cycling analytics etc etc.) don't have the same analysis capability as software (GC and Training Peaks WKO+).

    For now I've uploaded GC to an old laptop at home which rarely gets used (just an ipad at home). It's ten years old and struggling horrendously. And I still can't view my data when at work, when I stay with friend, or through the ipad.

  • I could be wrong but isn't the new GC cloud based?

    The ride data can be stored on the cloud by mapping to a dropbox location (which the new version does nicely). However, you still need the GoldenCheetah software installed on each computer. Good if you own and upload from more than one computer, but not so good if you don't have administrator rights on all the computers you use!

    My problem is I can't install software on my work laptop. I started this thread hoping there was a totally web based solution that didn't require software download, then when I'm at work, or travelling I can still upload and analyse my training data.

    It just seems these online based systems (strava, training peaks, cycling analytics etc etc.) don't have the same analysis capability as software (GC and Training Peaks WKO+).

    For now I've uploaded GC to an old laptop at home which rarely gets used (just an ipad at home). It's ten years old and struggling horrendously. And I still can't view my data when at work, when I stay with friend, or through the ipad.

    What additional data are you looking to analyse that Training Peaks doesn't give you?
  • Chung analysis / aero lab, I was thinking of doing some TT next year.

    And the W'bal. I found that quite useful for looking at crits and comparing my depletion of W' and how that effected following attacks / making attack in crits.

    Both of the above go beyond just displaying data like the online tools seems to do.

    I was hoping to use changes in W' (work in kJ above CP you can do before blowing up), Critical Power and Tau (recovery rate) as indicators for fitness. My idea was they tell you more about fitness for road races than just FTP which is an arbitrary Maximal Mean Power for an hour. For instance in lot of races CP is important as a base to performance, but absolute success is determined by how much work you can do above CP to attack (W') and how quickly you can then recover to sprint from breakaway group (Tau).

    However, after playing with GC the last couple of days I'm reminded about how difficult it is to get the W'bal model to fit and therefore there can be some uncertainty in the fitness values W', Tau and CP. On the other hand FTP is an absolute number, so whilst it doesn't always give you the full picture, it is easier to track... so maybe I don't need the W'bal model in GC?

    On the workout power curve in GC you can set what date range you're comparing to, and you can put up separate lines for intervals within the workout.

    GC will pull out efforts from the data, but Training Peaks won't (Cycling Analytics will though). This is helpful for races where you don't have time to press the lap button for each effort. You can then look at how each of these effort compares to you over curve for a set date range.

    Training peaks doesn't have force/cadence scatter plot either (cycling analytics does though).

    And then on top of this in GC you can create any of your own charts on specific rides.

    In terms of tracking trends GC allows you to overlay load of other stuff over the Performance Manager Chart. So you can overlay your 20 minute max, or 2 minute max, to see how you output performance changes with training stress. There's no point pushing your training stress up and up, if your FTP isn't actually increasing.

    However, how useful seeing some of the above is to actually training better is open to debate!
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