How to Export Your FasCat Training Plan to Your Bike Computer and Smart Trainer

Isaiah Newkirk

With the new era of technology-driven training becoming increasingly more common, we have been getting at lot of inquiries on how best to transfer workouts from our training plans to bike computers and smart trainers. While there are numerous systems out there, we’re going to walk you through most common ones we see.

All of the interval workouts in our training plans can be exported through the workout builder feature in TrainingPeaks by clicking the “Export Workout File” icon in the upper right.

Click “Export Workout File”

Garmin- Manual Export

There are several ways to export workouts to a compatible Garmin device, one way is to manually drag & drop the exported workout to your bike computer. In the Export Wokout File pop up screen, choose the FIT option for Garmin.

Export as a FIT for Garmin

Once downloaded, plug in your Garmin device, locate the “Workouts” folder of your Garmin, and proceed to drag and drop the FIT file you just downloaded from Trainingpeaks.

Drag & drop the exported workout file to the Workouts folder of your Garmin

Then start your workout by going to the “Workouts” folder on your Garmin device and selecting the desired workout.

Get ready to ride!

Garmin- Connect IQ TrainingPeaks App

For this option you will first need to sync your compatible Garmin device through Garmin Connect, then download the TrainingPeaks Daily Workout IQ App to your Garmin and authorize it to access your Trainingpeaks account via the Garmin Connect phone app.

From here, go make sure you phone is connected to your Garmin, then click on the IQ icon. Then select TrainingPeaks (you may need to authorize it one more time).

 

Sweet Spot 3 x 8 downloaded via Gamin Connect IQ app

Start your Garmin, select the desired workout, and go!

Zwift Export

Next, the newly popular computer app, Zwift.com. Through the same “Export Workout File” button in TrainingPeaks, choose to export the workout as a ZWO file.

Export for Zwift

On your computer, find your Zwift Workouts file folder (Documents/Zwift/Workouts) and drag and drop the ZWO file into the Workouts folder. Then open Zwift and click on “Select Workout” at the top.

Click “Select Workout”

Finally, select the workout you wish to do from the “TrainingPeaks Custom Workouts” tab.

Choose your downloaded workout & get pedaling!

Wahoo Export, including KickR, Elemnt and Bolt

Wahoo has made uploading workouts very simple through their Wahoo Elemnt Companion App for your smartphone. Once connected to your Elemnt or Bolt bike computer, go to “Profile” and click on “Linked Accounts,” then authorize your TrainingPeaks account to sync with the app.

Next, click on the “Ride” tab in the app, then go to “Planned Workout.”

Select the desired workout (don’t forget to refresh the page to tell the app to sync if you don’t see the workout!), then click “Select Workout Plan” and get ready to ride! If you’re using a KickR, you’re ready to go!

If your’re using an Elemnt or Bolt, pull up the settings tab on your computer, scroll down to “Planned Workout,” then click on the desired workout and press Start!

Select your workout from the menu

 

Hit the Start button and get riding, indoors or out!

Copyright 2017, FasCat Coaching

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FasCat Coaching, a cycling coaching company in Boulder, CO.  To talk with a FasCat Coach about your indoor training please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation.

Field Test that is Too hard

How to Perform an Indoor Field Test

Performing a 20 minute field test indoors can be a highly effective and repeatable method for establishing your wattage training zones and measuring your improvement. Execution of the test indoors requires details that we’d like to share in this training tip.  Because the harder you ‘go’ the better the test.

Goals: to determine your Power-Based Wattage Training Zones

1.      The purpose of this test is to achieve the highest average power for 20 minutes. By testing and going as hard  you will be able to train and achieve precise physiological adaptations from you various sweet spot, tempo, VO2, threshold and anaerobic intervals this indoor cycling season.

2.       The easiest way to perform your field test well is to not go too hard in the first 5 minutes.  This is called proper pacing. Using your powermeter makes properly pacing your field test a cinch.  Most athletes will test in the 200-300 watt range. So starting your test at 400 watts is too hard!  We also like for athletes to go by feel, using their wattages as guidelines.  For example, “Try going as hard as you feel you can sustain for 20 minutes” without going above 300 watts (for example). Here is the power data from an athlete that went out too hard (top image) and then one that paced their test evenly (lower image).

Properly Paced Field Test:

After proper pacing nutrition, hydration, air flow and M O T I V A T I O N are 4 essentials to performing an indoor field test properly.

  • Nutrition & Hydration: Eat a healthy carbohydrate meal 3-4 hours before the test. It is important to have your glycogen stores topped off before attempting this workout! Hydrate well beforehand but once the test begins don’t worry about needing to drink although you can sip on mix.
  • Air Flow: Use a fan directly on you and ideally test in a room that is 68 degrees.
  • M O T I V A T I O N:    Be motivated for your test! A 20 minute full gas effort is a mentally challenging task.  In order to generate the highest wattage you can achieve you will have to bear down and suffer.

After your test, use your average power to calculate your wattage zones. Here’s how in TrainingPeaks. Lastly, train hard, train consistent over the winter and test one more time before your indoor cycling season ends. “Indoor” power tends to be lower than “outdoor” power so when test a second time make sure it is with the same powermeter under the same conditions (indoors). Take what you learn from your first indoor field test and apply it to your second test.  If you’ve been consistent and raised your CTL, most likely you’ll be able to measure your improvement in watts.  Going from 225 to 250 watts in 12 weeks is a legit 10% improvement.  Congrats in advance!

Copyright 2017 , FasCat Coaching

FasCat Coaching, a cycling coaching company in Boulder, CO.  To talk with a FasCat Coach about your indoor training please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation.

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Indoor Cycling

How to Make Indoor Cycling more Fun and Productive

Here are 5 training tips from Coach Jake Rytlewski to make indoor cycling more fun and productive:
  1. Set up a dedicated indoor trainer space with a fan!
  2. Select fun, diverse and short workouts with variable power outputs
  3. Be Consistent: 1 hour a day 3-5 times per week and the tortoise beats the hare everytime!
  4. Use technology to enhance your indoor riding experience (Zwift and Smart Trainers are a huge leap forward for indoor cycling enjoyment)
  5. Analyze your Data

Buy our 6 Week Indoor Training Plan described in this training tip!

The holidays are quickly approaching and the dark days of daylight savings are upon us. Your preparation for the 2018 cycling season should be starting soon. After breaking out a few hard hours from now through the holidays, you’ll need to come up a with a real plan for success. Indoor training is about as frustrating as hearing Christmas music every day for two months straight!

Luckily…indoor training has never been easier.

As for myself, I’ve been racing for over 15 years and as recently as a couple of years ago I had only a few options for indoor training. Would I ride rollers or a trainer? Was it a mag or fluid trainer? Was I going stare at the wall and listen to music, watch a movie or watch the 2001 TdF for the 17th time? In 2017, the options seem never-ending with smart trainers, power meters and the newest craze: virtual training. Yeah, I remember the old days when you actually had to load up your indoor training gear to ride with someone at their house!

Even with all the new fancy toys you still need a well-structured plan. The plan you build now is the start of reaching your targets and goals in 2018. All this new technology just makes the time fly by as opposed to watching those last few seconds tick by on the microwave.

Here are 5 Tips to make your indoor training a success!

#1 Set up space where you can ride. Ideally you will be able to keep your trainer setup and all the other essentials right there in hand. That way you do not have to spend precious time and motivation just trying to set things up. You want it to be comfortable, with the temperature somewhere around 68* F. Also, make sure you have a fan! I’m not talking about a personal cheering section, although that might help! Instead, find a fan that will cool you off and reduce the sweat dripping off your forehead. I also highly recommend having a towel and plenty of water! Your body runs hotter indoors and will go through more water so it is important that you stay hydrated. Be sure to drape your bike with a towel to protect it from sweat – I’ve seen a lot of corroded out stem caps over the years!

#2 Keep the workouts fun, diverse and short! You want to be excited, well as much as possible, about your workout! As boring as riding indoors can be, repeating the same workout for the 4th time can only make things worse. Don’t just sit on the trainer in zone 2, make the most of your time. Add the intensity in, mix it up to achieve 60 – 80 TSS in an hour times as opposed to stretching it out to 1.5 – 2 hours. Last time I checked you do well in races at specific power outputs greater than zone 2. Unless you are less than 6 weeks away from a goal race there is no reason to spend much more time than that.

Here is a one hour workout with variable power that helps one hour go by quickly:

#3 Be consistent! That goes along with not spending more than 90 minutes on the trainer. Riding 4 – 5 days a week goes a lot further than doing 3 days really hard and being burnt out on the trainer. Winter can be a long season. Some can still be stuck on the trainer until April! You don’t want to be crushing it on the trainer in December and January and then be burnt out on it come March when the racing season is starting. It’s sort of like making the early break in a 100-mile road race, it looks great while it’s happening but come crunch time only a small percentage actually make it. Early in the winter season look to add in strength sessions and do some core work as opposed to just another day on the trainer. These are workouts you should add to your training year round.

#4 Use the new technology that is available in your training. There are multiple types of trainers, rollers, smart trainers and now virtual training. See which one works best for you! Hire a coach and they can build a plan around the resources you have available. Or buy a plan with TrainingPeaks structured workout export feature like the one in #2 above.  Export that to your smart trainer and poof, all you have to do is pedal which the structured workout controls your trainer.  All our plans have a new variable power workout everyday to help break the monotony. 1 hour and the structure helps prepare you specifically for the power demands you’ll face outside.

#5 Make sure you are uploading and analyzing your workouts. Analyze if you are hitting your zones and getting the proper workload. You want to make sure you are making progress and improving. You can take that a step further and see if your CTL (Chronic Training Load) is rising and also keep an eye on your TSB (Training Stress Balance) for fatigue levels. Even though the hours may be short you still need to have those rest days and weeks.  To set up your Performance Manager Chart and track your CTL/ATL/TSB read our training tip here.

Here are 4 Example 1 hour Indoor Workouts:

  1. Sweet Spot Bursts: 4 x 8 minutes.  Ride in the Sweet Spot and during each 8 minute interval ‘burst’ for 5 seconds at 200% of your FTP every 2 minutes.

  1. Tempo/Zone 5 VO2 Criss Cross: 3 x 10 minutes. Ride Sweet Spot and alternate between sustained sweet spot and VO2 power for the 10 minute interval.

  1. Zone 4/5 Bursts: Watch a football game a make a Zone 4/5 burst during the plays.  Rest in-between and during the commercials
  2. Zwift: 4 laps total and ride in your Sweet Spot for laps 2 and 4

The possibilities are really endless! For example, you can change up the intensity and number of laps on Zwift, or even join one of the many group rides or virtual races! As mentioned above use the new workout export feature in TrainingPeaks to send all the structured variable power workouts from your training calendar directly to your SmartTrainer.  So all you have to do is pedal!

Set yourself up for success! Make sure you have everything you need for your trainer session to make it as fun, comfortable and effective as possible! Indoor training does not need to be one of Dante’s nine circles of hell, yet it can just be another stroll in the park doing what you love! Get out there, or rather on it in there, and ride!

Copyright 2017, FasCat Coaching

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Jake is an Associate Coach for FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO.  He is a former professional road racer and current full-time professional USA cycling and TrainingPeaks certified coach.  Look for him on Strava and join him on the Zwift Island of Watopia for a great indoor group ride.  To talk with Jake about your indoor training and coaching, please call 720.406.7444 or fill our a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation.

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3 Indoor Cycling Workouts for the Winter

Riding on the trainer during the winter may not be your ideal way to spend an hour or two, but the truth is that training indoors can be highly productive when done properly. At FasCat, we have a couple rules of thumb when prescribing indoor training workouts for our athletes. They are:

  1. Limit the ride time to 60-75 minutes during the week and 90 minutes on the weekend.
  2. Add structure to the workout.
  3. Work on Advanced Aerobic Endurance.
  4. Never “just ride” in zone 2.

In January we like to add advanced aerobic endurance intervals to our athletes’ trainer workouts primarily in the form of Tempo and Sweet Spot workouts. By riding at higher intensities than traditional wintertime “base miles”, the athlete will achieve more physiological adaptations and make better use of his or her time.

Here are three indoor cycling workouts that will make the most of your winter trainer time:

1. Tempo Intervals

Tempo intervals are a great place to get started. Ride at 76-90% of your threshold (FTP or Functional Threshold Power). One example of a tempo workout for a 1-hour trainer ride:

  • Warm up for 10-15 minutes
  • 3 x 8 minutes on at 76-90% of FTP
  • 4-minute recoveries (“off”)
  • Cool-down/ride easy for remainer
2. Sweet Spot Intervals

Once you’ve done a few Tempo workouts, up the ante with Sweet Spot intervals which are slightly harder at 83-97% of one’s FTP. Again, do intervals in the 5 – 20 minute length repeating 2-5 times as appropriate. For example:

  • Warm-up 10-15 minutes
  • 3 x 10 minutes on at 83-97% of FTP
  • 5 minutes off (recoveries) in between each interval
  • Cool-down/ride easy for remainder

The 2:1 work-to-rest ratio (for example, 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off)  is more productive when training indoors.

3. Tempo Bursts

Tempo and Sweet Spot intervals are as hard as we have athletes go on the trainer in the winter. To continue the progression and to help the time pass quicker, we add bursts to the tempo and sweet spot intervals. For example, during workout #1 above we’d add a 5-second burst greater than 450 watts every 2 minutes during the 8 minute tempo interval. Not only is this specific to races that many of our athletes compete in, by having a burst to do every 2 minutes it actually helps the time pass by quicker!

An example Tempo Burst workout:

  • Warm-up 10-15 minutes
  • 3 x 8 minutes on at 76-90% of FTP, with a 5-second burst every 2 minutes that is > 450 watts
  • 4 minute recoveries in between intervals
  • Cool down

Overall the number of intervals and their length can be widely varied. Most athletes should start with a total of 20-30 minutes of tempo work during the workout, and increase the total load as they go along the season. Lastly, even though you are indoors don’t forgot to use a fan and drink plenty.

Enjoy!

Looking for more indoor cycling workouts? Buy our indoor cycling training plan with all the tips and tricks written about above!

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Expected Physiological Adaptations in Sweet Spot

Tempo Training

by Frank Overton, January 25th, 2005

I made it out the door with about 90 min to spare before darkness and black ice would set in. What type of ride did I do? How do you go about achieving aerobic adaptations and adding some variety with limited time in the winter?

I did my first slushy sports drink ride the other day. For a short window of time that day the cycling god(s) shined down on me and work, weather, wife and baby all cooperated. A rare occurrence, indeed. No doubt with the way winter is going here in Colorado there’ll be more slushy rides. Don’t get me wrong, it was exhilarating – a thousand times better than the trainer.

The exhilarating part comes when you ride as far as possible away from home calculating exactly when you have to turn around in order to make it home in time. I just love hustling back and stopping at red lights with steam coming off my legs and shoulders.

Jailbreak from Trainer Hell

With 90 minutes to ride you might wonder what type of ride I did? I design training plans and think about training all day so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I put a lot of thought into each and every minute I spend on the bike. At this time of year I’d venture to guess that a large majority of us are well into our “base” phases, myself included. And I’m pretty sure we are all riding as much as we can within the grander scheme of life. Hey, we’d all like to be out there doing 5 hours rides day in and day out but that just simply isn’t realistic.

Additionally, I’d also venture to guess that, like me, you are getting pretty sick of riding the stationary trainer. I mean who can do more than 90 minutes back to back to back like an aerobic endurance phase calls for? I know I can’t.

And so what do you do to achieve those aerobic adaptations? Back to my slushy ride, you ride harder! Bring an ever so slight bit of intensity into your shorter time crunched rides and indoor trainer sessions. Take it up a notch! Not all out, eye popping interval intensity but nice, steady, sweat factory tempo training: Zone 3 intensity as seen from this table.

Tempo Training

Notice how more adaptations occur from riding in zone 3 than in zone 2 alone – more bang for your buck! If you’re using a powermeter, riding tempo (aka zone 3) will be represented by a greater total workload measured in kilojoules. If you are using WKO+, you’ll notice a greater Training Stress Score or TSS. If you’re using a heart rate monitor or RPE, well, it’s just a notch higher. All represent greater training adaptations than zone 2 alone.

Riding tempo is what I like to call “fun fast”, because tempo doesn’t elicit the pain like threshold training does unless it’s for an extended period of time. Plus, tempo is more technically stimulating than the mind numbing point and shoot zone 2 training.  For even more adaptations there is sweet spot training which we describe here.

Not So Fast, Buckaroo!

Now it would be really easy to take this recommendation out of context because it is based on several assumptions. First would be that you’ve already put in plenty of level 2 aerobic endurance training. Secondly, in the classical model of periodization you are ready and in need for an even greater training load in order to stimulate further adaptations. And finally it is based on athletes who are limited in their time: (i.e., not carrying a training load as high as they could if they had more time to train). Or in other words, athlete’s not even close to overtraining. That’s not to say that athletes carrying a greater training load can’t also benefit from riding tempo, they can; however it becomes a more slippery slope of optimizing just the right balance between the dose of training and the amount of recovery. Tempo delivers a greater training load and that’s why it’s beneficial for cyclists training with a limited amount of time.

For the weekend warriors, group rides are another great way to incorporate tempo into your training. Then you’ll really get your money’s worth out of your day. It’s a great transition between lower intensity zone 2 training and full tilt racing. When professional riders go off to training camp this is precisely what they are doing. Can you imagine one of the new Discovery recruits raising his hand saying, “errrr Mr. Armstrong, I’m only supposed to ride in Zone 2 today”? Hah! Did you read Armstrong’s quote the other week, “Some teams go off to camp to fish, I like to get together and suffer with the boys”? Fun for Armstrong, and I bet down right suffer city for some of the others!

Example Tempo Workouts

Zone 3: 3 reps of 10 minutes ON 5 minutes OFF  (Tempo performed between 76 – 90% of FTP)

Zone 3: 3 x 15 min ON 7.5 min OFF

Zone 3: 2 x 20 min ON 5 min OFF

Zone 3: 4 x 15 min ON 7.5 min OFF

As with all phases and cycles of your training, start off gradually – incorporate a few zone/level 3 tempo intervals into your mid week 90 minute trainer ride. Start conservatively with two or three 6 – 10 minute tempo intervals and work your way up. It is totally feasible to be able to work your way up to twenty or thirty minute tempo intervals for 60 minutes total tempo . After that point you may want to forget the structure and simply get out there and just throw down. And that my friends, is exactly what I did on my slushy ride!

Copyright 2017, FasCat Coaching

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Frank is the founder and owner of FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO. To talk with a FasCat Coach about incorporating Tempo into your training please  720.406.7444 or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation. Or buy one of our six week, $49 training plans that have plenty of tempo training.

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