Source Endurance launched a free guide titled Utilizing Indoor Training Apps for Coaching, written and designed by Colorado-based senior coach Zack Allison. This guide evaluates the smart trainer and all the apps and tools that have come in its wake. Designed with cycling and triathlon coaches in mind, it is also beneficial for the devoted self-coached athlete. In addition, creator Zack Allison recorded a two-part webinar covering the guide in detail. Get both the guide and the webinars here. Coaches are eligible to get Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
Source Endurance is finding that weather aside, most coached athletes are now utilizing their smart trainers multiple times per week. As coaches, that means that workouts and strategies must change in order to get the best workout completion out of athletes. TrainingPeaks Workout Builder has become a pivotal tool for coaches to deliver workouts to ERG mode for smart trainers or to headunits for outdoor workouts. Automated syncing helps coaches get faster feedback and adapt and adjust as necessary.
With new tools come new problems. Smart trainers function as a secondary power meter and as athletes with multiple power meters know, with multiple power meters come different accuracies. It’s up to the coach to be able to evaluate these inconsistencies and create a plan to address in order to keep athletes motivated. Capturing an indoor FTP is important and built in ramp tests most of the popular apps makes it an “easy” and less mentally fatiguing choice for athletes. Other common issues seen with athletes training inside include overheating or hydration issues, lack of coasting and an increased RPE. In order to get the most out of athletes, it’s essential to cover these basics beforehand.
Even with all the benefits of smart trainers, they do not replace the skills and knowledge gained from training outside and, of course, racing in real life. Riding inside is a tool to gain overload stimulus and physiological ability. Pre-made plans within apps can get athletes to a certain level, but do not provide the communication, customization, knowledge and experience real life requires.
Professional coaching is at its best when the practitioner has a post-secondary education in exercise physiology, knowledge of sport, skill, and equipment, and is available to mentor an athlete to help them accomplish their goals. At Source Endurance, every single coach meets this criteria. As part of the Source Endurance family, the athlete is the priority. Source Endurance works with clients across the skill continuum in sport and athletics. First time competitors and experienced veterans are given the same service as clients competing internationally.