Trainerroad, One Year In

Are you a reluctant upgrader? I am. I hate it when my brain feels like it's doing a bench press and can't quite get the bar up.

But I'm not as bad as Sika Henry! She's Mikey (hates everything) in the Life Cereal commercial (for you who go back that far). I pretty much forced Trainerroad on her last year. "Just try it for 6 weeks," I said. She whined, but she was a good sport.

Here's what she said after 6 weeks. I thought I'd to back a year later and ask her again. Slowtwitch's longitudinal study on neo-Luddittism.

SLOWTWITCH: When I first introduced you to Trainerroad, about a year and a half ago, you said, “I guess I’ve been hiding under a rock because I’ve never heard of Trainerroad until you mentioned it… the lazy part of me doesn’t want to familiarize myself with new technology. I’m pretty old school. I didn’t even start paying attention to cadence until a few months ago.”

You wrote a piece for Slowtwitch after 6 weeks on Trainerroad, through the lens of a newbie. In other words, you fulfilled your editorial obligation! But – and you can give it to me straight – did you continued with Trainerroad in the year since that article?

SIKA HENRY: Funny how much has changed within a year! I can’t believe I said that. Initially, you are right, I was using it so that I could write an article based on my experience using the app. Now I can’t live without it. One hundred percent of the workouts I did on my indoor trainer this year were done in TrainerRoad. In fact, I just logged into my account. I’ve done over 120 workouts in Trainerroad this year.

ST: How many of your cycling miles are indoor over the course of the year, and how much of that is Trainerroad?

SIKA: I would say about 80 percent of my rides are indoors. These are all done using Trainerroad. My coach, Jonathan Caron, sends me the workouts and I create them using Trainerroad’s Workout Creator. The workouts he prescribes are time-based – not in miles. He typically has me do four 60 to 90 minute workouts during the week and then a long ride – 3 ½ hours – on the weekends. The long ride is the only workout I do outside.

ST: You were not training with power prior to moving over to Trainerroad. You began using Trainerroad without a power meter. You wrote me, back then, “I’ve always wanted to try a power meter but I like the simplicity of Trainerroad. All I need is a speed sensor and indoor trainer. I have both.” When you did begin training with power I believe it was through the use of your first smart trainer, which was a CycleOps Hammer. How did that change things for you?

SIKA: You know what? I still agree with that statement. I love the simplicity of Trainerroad. I think it is a great introduction to learning how to ride with power without investing in a power meter. When I first started using the app I was a 3-plus hour cyclist in the half -Ironman distance and knew nothing about power. But I had some pretty big goals this year, like getting down to the 2:30s. I also started working with a new coach – Jonny. He really stressed the importance of learning how to ride outside with a power meter. I was reluctant for months.

ST: Did you get a power meter for your bike?

SIKA: Yes! I purchased the Garmin Vector 3s in July. IRONMAN 70.3 Atlantic City in September was my first time racing with a power meter.