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KOM Informatics: Working With Interval Advisor & Adaptive Workouts: January through March 2024

After a successful trial last fall of I decided to use Interval Advisor both with (for indoor workouts) and without (for outdoors workouts) Adaptive Workouts to build for my 2024 competitive season. I compete mostly in USAC time trials, although I do club road races on a regular basis too.

My competitive season ends in August and doesn't start up again until the following April. I'll still ride 5 days a week, sticking with mostly Zone 2. I mostly will take a break from hard aerobic interval sessions, although I will throw in a few here and there. I'll do sprint sessions every 7-10 days or so, but reps are down compared to in-season sessions. Starting in late November, early December, I ramp up Zone 4 work, starting to prepare for harder sessions in January. The first article in this series covers the offseason through December 2023. Here's the data for January through March of 2024:

January - March 2024 Data

Date Power Zone Recommendation Difficulty Rating Bicycle Ride Title Workout Name Description
01/02/2024 Z5 6:43 Too hard Trek Speed Concept Watopia (1x3:32 VO2Max) (TTB) Traditional VO2Max
01/06/2024 Z5 12:37 Too easy Trek Speed Concept VO2Max Grinds (TTB) VO2Max Grinds
01/09/2024 Z4 21:48 Ok Trek Speed Concept Watopia (2x10:54 TH) (TTB) Traditional Threshold
01/13/2024 Z5 12:00 Too easy Trek Speed Concept VO2Max Grinds (TTB) VO2Max Grinds
01/16/2024 Z5 6:43 Too easy Trek Speed Concept VO2Max Descenders VO2Max Descenders
01/20/2024 Z5 11:59 Ok Trek Speed Concept VO2Max Grinds (TTB) VO2Max Grinds
01/23/2024 Z4 23:25 Too hard Trek Speed Concept Watopia (1x13 TH) (TTB) Threshold (KOMInformatics.com Workout)
02/06/2024 Z4 12:51 Ok Trek Speed Concept Watopia (1x14 TH) (TTB) Traditional Threshold
02/10/2024 Z5 11:19 Did not attempt Trek Speed Concept Canal (1x11 VO2Max->TH) Non-workout based Interval Session
02/13/2024 Z4 14:36 Ok Trek Speed Concept Watopia (1x14:36 TH) (TTB) Traditional Threshold
02/20/2024 Z4 16:28 Ok Trek Speed Concept Watopia (1x16:28 TH) Straight Shot Threshold
02/24/2024 Z4 18:21 Ok Trek Madone Watopia Pretzel (1x23 TH) Non-workout based Interval Session
03/05/2024 Z4 15:24 Ok Trek Speed Concept Watopia (1x15.5 TH) (TTB) Straight Shot Threshold
03/12/2024 Z5 5:09 Too easy Trek Madone Lambertville Loop (1x5, 1x4, 1x3 VO2Max) Non-workout based Interval Session
03/19/2024 Z4 16:19 Ok Trek Speed Concept Watopia (1x16:19 TH) Straight Shot Threshold

Critical Power Progress

Critical Power increased under this program from a season low of 244 watts to 268 watts.

Personal Records Progress Year-Over-Year

The following graph looks at both a Workload and Performance Comparison for Period 1: 2/21/2023 - 4/4/2023 vs Period 2: 2/20/2024 - 4/2/2024. Despite small deficits in official interval workloads, I managed small gains in 8 of 9 PR durations, with the last one a tie. I think this is mostly due to "off-label" use of shorter than usual VO2Max and Threshold intervals for "strength training". In a better weather year with more outside rides, I wouldn't have had to have done these intervals, or at least not so many of them.

Interval Advisor Progress

Different Bicycles

Devising workouts can be especially challenging when athletes perform those workouts on different bicycles and/or different environments. It's quite common to not to be able to perform intervals as well on a TT bike vs a road bike, or indoors on a trainer vs outdoors. I felt this first-hand on 1/02/2024 when I failed a workout on my TT bike, that was based on an Interval Advisor recommendation derived mostly from road bike workouts.

Version 3.51 of the application mitigates these issues by bringing the notion of different bicycles into the application. Interval Advisor can now provide recommendations based on a particular bike. For some more detail on this read the Bulid 3.51 Blog Entry.

Off-Label Workouts

An off-label workout is one that prescribes a duration under the usual minimum for a power zone. An example of this is the VO2Max Grinds workout which contain 1 minute only VO2Max intervals, where the usual minimum duration is 3 minutes. A workout like this enables the athlete to work on muscular hypertrophy and endurance without overtaxing VO2Max.

This presents an issue for Interval Advisor which will calculate a workout duration based on an athlete's past performance of VO2Max intervals of at least the standard minimum duration. Applying this recommendation to shorter intervals may result in a session that is too easy.

Interval Advisor will use the initial recommendation "as is" to establish a baseline. A new code enhancement allows Interval Advisor to detect if a user rated a workout as "Too easy", and make a subsequent workout of the same name ocurring within 2 weeks tougher as a result. This change was included in Build 3.51

Upcoming Enhancements

There are times when athletes aren't able to meet a recommendation, and there are extenuating circumstances. I felt that an example of this was my workout of 2/10/2024 which was a Critical Power trial, not a VO2Max session. The first 6 minutes or so of this trial was at VO2Max wattage, so of course the app recorded it. The rest of the interval was taxing enough to preclude any more interval work that day. As a result, although the session was worthwhile, it was less than the usual VO2Max session. Interval Advisor later used this session as a basis to prescribe a "Too easy" session a month or so later. There may be other circumstances such as a mechanical or important phone call that are beyond an athlete's control that preclude a best effort.

To keep these less than great efforts from influencing future Interval Advisor recommendations, the athlete will be able to flag a ride as a "No" as to whether it should count as an Interval Advisor source ride. The default will be "Yes", that the ride should count.


The Interval Advisor based system continued to function well for me during the test period, enabling both gains in Critical Power, and Personal Records year-over-year. Hard, IRL use of the system revealed some areas which needed enhancement. 2 of those enhancements are in, with the third to follow in the next month. I'll continue to use the system in the coming months.

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