Trainer Road has made me a faster rider - a MUCH faster rider!
I started using TR at the start of 2018 and saw noticeable improvement by cyclocross season. My results were a bit better than in 2017, and I felt stronger at the end of races.
In 2019, I did more or less the same training plans as I did in 2018 (mostly Sweet Spot Base and Short Power Build), but my first two cross races last weekend were out of this world! I beat guys I never could challenge before by as much as 2 minutes! This happened both on Saturday and Sunday, so it wasn’t a fluke. The two races were quite different: one was punchy with lots of turns, the other one was a “grass time trial” with long straightaways. In both, I could sustain power throughout, I could turn on the burners whenever I needed to, and I was ready for another lap at the end!
I’m ecstatic about my “test-this-guy-for-drugs” level of improvement, but I’m not sure I understand it. FTP alone is not the explanation - I saw significant FTP increases throughout 2018, but 2019’s FTP is about the same as 2018’s. I can simply sustain my power much longer.
The most likely explanation is the cumulative effect of two years of TR training, but I should point out that I am 72 years old, not 22 where “miles in the legs” are unambiguously good. I wonder what three or four years of TR will do at this age?
I choose to believe that TR’s outdoor workout feature was a big factor. I know the science (aka Coach Chad) says that indoor rides are more efficient, but it seems to me you have to climb actual hills to compete in the real world. I did about half of Short Power Build’s workouts outside, culminating with last weekend’s races. Earlier this year, I did part of Sustained Power Build to prepare for a hilly 62-mile gravel ride (a long ride for a pure crosser), maybe that helped. I started the Cyclocross specialty plan today, and I’m eager to see how that goes.
Whatever the reason, I don’t think this improvement was because of yoga or retirement or new tires; it’s gotta be Trainer Road.