Author Topic: VR Training  (Read 24065 times)

Re: VR Training
« Reply #50 on: November 25, 2015, 07:25:17 am »
Is that a congratulations or a commiserations?

Re: VR Training
« Reply #51 on: November 27, 2015, 12:24:18 am »
There appears to be an interesting twist to these Erg mode things, there is deffo some kind of "hill mode" as well as the simple erg power.

I tried Angels yesterday and - quite apart from the fact I crapped out before the end - there's a noticeable difference between the power output & target and cadence in different sections. What I mean is that - even with the same target power - on some "hill" sections were you to be achieving the same cadence you'd be pushing out much more power. I suppose I could change gear and spin, but as yet I haven't added that degree of sophistication ;)

Tonight I had a try of Do As you're Told and was doing OK until I had to kick the IT in the middle of the evil second set of intervals, lost rhythm and didn't stand a chance to come back. (eg @ 37:56 shows cadence of 50 with power of 240 - target 336) I gave up ;)

Think I should have a day off now.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #52 on: November 27, 2015, 12:50:09 am »
I just got a Tacx Vortex Smart full connected model for £299 on Rose. No idea if that is a good deal - it was a spur of the moment thing.

Arrived in <48hrs. Set up this pm, and straight on to Zwift. So far, seems like fun.

Wasn't this busy -

Riding with Laurens ten Dam in the morning.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #53 on: November 27, 2015, 11:25:33 pm »
OK, you tempted me and I was weak.. Tacx Vortex Smart, Wahoo Ant+ dongle purchased and TrainerRoad subscribed. I've only hooked it all up for long enough to do the 4 minute Power Training Ridethrough to see how everything worked (very well it turns out). Sometime tomorrow I'll find out just how weak I am, the embarassment of my first FTP test awaits.  :-X
What's this bottom line for anyway?

Re: VR Training
« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2015, 08:41:05 pm »
Just tried Violator. 64 effing sprints The few seconds out of synch with the video was very annoying

Re: VR Training
« Reply #55 on: November 29, 2015, 07:46:55 pm »
Just done get To Get To The Other Side for the first time.  Really enjoyed it as a Tempo workout.  Felt it was a bit neither one thing or another at times, but the scenery is absolutely stunning.

red marley

Re: VR Training
« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2015, 09:03:57 pm »
Stupid question from me: How do these Sufferfest videos (which appear just to be video files as far as I can see from the web), link to the trainer? How is the resistance controlled and progress monitored? I have seen, for example, the Tacx films which through the Tacx Cycling App seem to be able to control the turbo trainer and alter the speed of the video according to riding speed. Presumably, with an audio commentary, the Sufferfest videos don't do that.


  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: VR Training
« Reply #57 on: November 29, 2015, 09:30:29 pm »
It's not actually a stupid question since it's not that clear.

I found this:



Basically someone wrote .erg files which control a computrainer to match the work-out instructions.

TrainerRoad has a load of Sufferfest work-outs available, which match the videos.  So you load the sufferfest video and use the appropriate work-out to line up with it.

I've not tried this myself, I've just been using TR's workouts without any video (and either listening to music, watching a TV show or listening to a podcast).

Re: VR Training
« Reply #58 on: November 29, 2015, 09:40:25 pm »
I've no idea whether the Trainerroad depend on those erg files or not, but in TR it is very easy to use.

All you do from the workout menu is select ->Videos->Sufferfest then open the appropriate TR workout, then drag and  drop the video on the screen. (If you have the wrong variant it will warn that you have the wrong length video)

Then, it is as easy as turning the pedals to start and stopping to pause. Not all the vids are perfectly synched, and not necessarily the same all the way through as well. Not a big problem with most (you just follow the TR instructions) but Violater was particularly bad, as at one stage you are doing 5 second sprints with 5 seconds rest. TBH, by that time I was just hanging on in there and didn't care that much ;)

Within margins, it seems that you set your own cadence and let the erg mode sort out the resistance.

red marley

Re: VR Training
« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2015, 09:44:36 pm »
Thanks Simon and Ham. So to get the equivalent of the iMagic Real life videos from ten years ago (which don't work on a modern machine) I have to

A) buy a trainer
B) buy an ANT+ dongle for my computer
C) buy or subscribe to sufferfest
D) subscribe to Trainer Road
E) connect the lot together.

They don't make it easy (or cheap) do they?

Re: VR Training
« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2015, 10:06:12 pm »
w-e-e-e-e-el.... it could be worse?

The worse is Tacx videos which you "just buy" for about £50 a hit (!!!!) but run on such flaky software it is untrue.

It sounds worse than it is.

First, the Ant+ trainier - the Vortex Smart is probably the best value, I went for the Genius (actually Ironman) because of the bundle and Rose Bikes price, I'm not convinced I did the right thing. But anyway, you have to lash out on an Ant+ trainer for sure (which should also do bluetooth)

That trainer is functional on its own, with a phone or whatever to control it. But yes, you do need a computer with and Ant dongle, because anyway you do want to have HRM as well, don't you? So that's part of your purchase price. Tacx software is eyewateringly expensive (£140 for the software + dongle) - did I mention it is as flaky as hell? Any other dongle should work as well, although the Tacx one is on a long lead, some people report having to use an extension to use the USB plug type so as to get it closer to the devices.

That's where TR comes in. TR is the glue that holds the stuff together and you can cancel the sub when you don't want it. From there, there's a learning curve to get it all happening, but it is quite a short one. The nice thing about the Ant+ is that it does all hang together without any trouble (at least, for me)

There are also other video providers that are supported in TR, I haven't tried any of them yet, but Sufferfest are pretty good, I'm getting much more out of them now that I have the erg mode as opposed to before where you have to estimate your effort as n/10 - I always either over estimate and end up burying myself or/and then underestimate just to get through. Overall the workouts are much more effective with the VR stuff than without, at least that's what the echo sounder on the Pool of Sweat suggests.....

ETA, and no it's not cheap and I count myself as fortunate that I can indulge, but given that it is seriously helping my weight loss regime and my plans to be in the mountains come next April, it's money well spent for me.


  • rothair gasta
Re: VR Training
« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2015, 10:17:43 pm »
For software, you could try Golden Cheetah, it is free. I think you can load those Sufferfest videos in it.


  • Bike pilot
Re: VR Training
« Reply #62 on: November 30, 2015, 12:04:35 am »
Sufferfest with TR works very well, but you do have to ensure you're using the exactly correct TR profile; some of the Sufferfest videos have been updated and differ slightly from the previous iteration. Also, if you have a flaky Ant+ dongle (and they do seem to be a bit flaky), the synchronisation can suffer.

Fairly soon you can expect the Sufferfest iPhone/iPad app to be available, which should obviate these issues (using Bluetooth Smart as wrell as Ant+) , though I assume you'll need a good enough internet connection to stream the videos.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #63 on: November 30, 2015, 06:24:50 am »
I think the new sufferfest app is going to hit TR fairly hard.  If it is as good as the videos then it should be excellent.  I believe that you will be able to do some caching for offline use (holidays, etc.).  It should have the advantage of perfect sync.  I believe the app is out before Christmas and will give access to all the videos on a subscription basis.

Also being iOS native it should run off bluetooth. Then all you need is a smart bluetooth trainer, an iPad and a bluetooth HR band.

Interestingly, Tacx will broadcast on ANT+ but the app to do the updating runs on an iPhone over bluetooth.  I suspect that ANT+ will slowly die.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #64 on: November 30, 2015, 07:10:24 am »
I can't see that the synch has anything to do with Ant+ issues, the problem synching is matching changes in target power/tempo to the changes to the timecode on the video.

And a reminder, less than half the population have iPhone-y things. I'm also not certain that a Sufferfest sub for more than TR sub quite hacks it, just as long as TR continue to have such a wide range of compatible workouts along with integration.

(Wifi down my shed is pretty flaky, too)

Re: VR Training
« Reply #65 on: November 30, 2015, 01:48:10 pm »
I agree about the ant+. I perhaps put it badly. I would expect that the version of the videos in the app will be able to trigger/ sync the app directly. Whereas TR works by someone sitting with the video, timing to intervals and setting the TR intervals to match.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #66 on: November 30, 2015, 08:00:19 pm »
Whoever makes it, it will come down to someone pressing a button at the right spot, but that's the odd thing. As far as I know AVI do have time codes, so how can it ever get to be so wrong? Weird. But you're right, I would expect a minion produced app to work in synch, people forgive TR (at least I do) but I wouldn't forgive Sufferfest if they got it wrong as that is their only product.

Just done get To Get To The Other Side for the first time.  Really enjoyed it as a Tempo workout.  Felt it was a bit neither one thing or another at times, but the scenery is absolutely stunning.

I just had a go at that, and really enjoyed it, it is after all a tempo ride that - if I understand it right - you should be able to carry on and on. Also, I found the exercise of riding to tempo was quite challenging and useful, but then I haven't ever done any style practice, I think I need to. And if you don't mind me saying, I think my cadence was a little smoother than yours  :demon: :smug:

Re: VR Training
« Reply #67 on: November 30, 2015, 09:55:52 pm »
You may be right about the cadence.  My  cadence comes from the turbo and seems to go inappropriately high in the fast cadence drills.  I think I will need to add a garmin cadence sensor.  I think that in the high cadence drills the rocking of the turbo upsets the sensors for the cadence.

I have been trying to do most of my outside riding purely in zone 1 and 2 so less than 130 HR.  Has some real advantages in that I don't sweat at those HR levels so I can wrap up for the commutes without then getting too hot.  Not really seen a major improvement yet in my speed at that level but I think it is coming.

I was also advised by a coach to do some sweetspot training. So I made a custom sweetspot workout  So far I am really enjoying them.  His advice was to push it up by a couple of watts each time you do them to maintain the stress but keep them doable.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #68 on: November 30, 2015, 10:19:23 pm »
That looks quite like Carson except with Carson the ******rs get you to stand (which I found interesting and needing some work on refinement). The most interesting bit was to try moving nearer the saddle when stood up. Wasn't easy to start but felt remarkably natural when it went right (not often); the large flywheel on the Genius probably helped, I always find it difficult standing on a trainer.

I would have thought that if you have a (deliberately) wobbly trainer getting smooth cadence at high rpm would be tough to impossible. My daughter has just started working in a gym where they have a load of Wattbikes, I must have a try to see what my peanuts are like ;)

My own reason for this binge of training is two fold. First and most immediately for weight loss (are those calories burned really real?) and second to get ready for some mountains come April. Given how little RL riding I'm doing, I think every day on the trainer is a good idea. I don't have any firm plan or programme, although I probably ought. I'm just trying to mix it up and not overdo it. (which is why I haven't pushed my FTP up as far as it probably ought to be....)  Interesting article you linked to, is he your coach?

Re: VR Training
« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2015, 08:01:42 am »
No, I went to a guy called Adrian Timmis at Barton under Needwood for a bike fitting and asked about coaching etc at the same time.  basically with Adrian you get 2 hours to have a fit, new insoles for your shoes and to ask about training, eating, etc.  He gave me a sheet about his training plans and we discussed the sweet spot coaching.

he also recommended "Fast after Fifty" by Joe Friel which I read with interest.  Some very interesting things in the book about eating mainly. I had been trying to lose weight and was seriously cutting down but feeling tired.  Made me realise that I needed a lot more protein in my diet which seems to be making a big difference whilst maintaining my weight loss.

I am not sure my weekly timetable is steady enough to be worth having a formal week in week out coach.  Also the motivation needs to come from within to make me get on the bike.

Yes Carson looks very similar but 7minute intervals x4.  Might try that next time for a change.  My mountains are the Brian Chapman in May and then a week in the Alps in June.  Hence the focus more on base aerobic at the moment.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2015, 08:16:44 am »
In the ‘olde days’ on the Birmingham track, the rider would attempt to lap a slower rider on a bike with a cable speedo. It was a 'paced' ride and a sprint round to lap the pacemaker with his speedo.
Do any VR training vids do this?

Re: VR Training
« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2015, 12:22:43 pm »
There is some track time on one of the sufferfest videos but not much. Unfortunately I think track is too niche for videos to sell. I would love a video with taking half laps, flying 200s etc.


  • Bike pilot
Re: VR Training
« Reply #72 on: December 02, 2015, 07:59:36 am »
You can do track on Bkool's site. As well as 'real' opponents (other people online), you can set virtual opponents who will lap at your choice of fixed speed - though that speed is determined by the fitness level you give them, rather than a direct input of lap time or speed. It can be excellent fun!

Re: VR Training
« Reply #73 on: December 02, 2015, 08:42:18 am »
Thanks. I will look at that.  I am struggling with paying yet another subscription service when i will not use it often enough to really be worthwhile.


  • Bike pilot
Re: VR Training
« Reply #74 on: December 02, 2015, 08:49:03 am »
I'm pretty sure you can opt in or out of Bkool on a monthly basis (as you can with Zwift and sort-of with TR).