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What can you do with WKO4?

We’ve recently acquired the WKO4 tool from Training Peaks. This article is a brief summary of what you can do with WKO4 and why it’s useful to you as an athlete and a coach. WKO4 allows you to do deep dives into athlete’s data and answer some of those questions you just can’t answer right now. One caveat up front, athletes need to be training with power for this tool to be useful.


One of the very first things you notice when you load data into WKO4 is what WKO4 refers to as Phenotype. Each athlete is categorised as one of the following based on the data you give it:

  • Sprinter
  • TTer
  • All-rounder
  • Pursuiter

(Actual definitions are here, about half way down the page)

Straight away this gives you value as to what you should or shouldn’t be doing with an athlete. Been trying to get Joe athlete to go faster up long hills, when he’s a sprinter? Maybe a strategy rethink is required?

Power Duration Curve

The PD curve is the next logical step from what is already available in Training Peaks, but fills in the gaps between the time periods so you can see exactly where the athlete is strong/weak on the power curve. This allows you to prescribe training that addresses athlete weaknesses in very specific time periods.


This chart can be used hand in hand with the strength and weakness chart that shows exactly where the athlete’s strength and weaknesses are:



No this isn’t another Apple product, but something that for me personally fills in a big piece of the puzzle. When Coggan and Allen brought in the functional threshold power model they calculated all training zones based on a percentage of FTP. This works really well for FTP and below for pretty much everyone, the standard deviation is in fact tiny for this.

However, where the model starts to fall apart is when you go above FTP and into the anaerobic and sprint zones. This is where athletes start to differ in big ways, so whilst prescribing sprint intervals for a TTer at 150% of FTP is fine, a pure sprinter will not be working anywhere near hard enough. At the extreme end of the scale, a sprinter can produce four times as much power as a TT rider in a sprint, but could have exactly the same FTP.

Enter iLevels, these live above FTP and have been completely revamped by Coggan to cater for each individual athlete based on what they can actually do. There are now nine (yes 9) levels:

  • 1 – Recovery (56% or less of FTP)
  • 2 – Endurance (56%-76% of FTP)
  • 3 – Tempo (76%-88% of FTP)
  • 4a – Sweetspot (88%-95% of FTP) new zone
  • 4 FTP (95% – 105% of FTP)

The next four zones are individual for the athlete and expressed as a wattage range and time period, example times and wattage have been added for illustration purposes only and will be different for every single athlete:

  • 5 FRC/FTP – 265-406w 31:27 to 2:34
  • 6 FRC – 406-753w 2:34 to 0:37
  • 7a Pmax/FRC – 753-1054w 0:37 to 0:12
  • 7 Pmax – 1054w or more 0:12 or less

FRC is a new term: The total amount of work that can be done during continuous exercise above FTP before fatigue occurs. Units are kJ orJ/kg. Basically think of it as a bucket of energy that you can use when above FTP level. However, once you’ve used it, the only way to replenish it is to come back down below FTP for a period of time. The bigger the number, the bigger your bucket of energy is. Looking at our athletes, Sprinters seem to have much bigger buckets than TTers and all-rounders seem to sit between the two.


These are just three of the main features in WKO4 and there are many, many more to look at. Hopefully, this article gives you an insight into what is possible when looking at athlete data in detail.

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November 2015 Update

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Welcome to our first edition of our Pedal Action newsletter, catching up on all the latest that’s been happening with us and our athletes over the past month. We have also welcomed some new athletes this month and always looking for others who are looking to improve their cycling ability.

Results Re-cap

Veteran National Championships October
Tanya –  Gold, Road Race and TT
Georg – Silver, Criterium
Darren – Bronze, Road Race and TT
Graham and Jarrod were in the mix just missing out in their races

State Junior Scratch Race 7th November
Sophie WU17 –  Bronze WU17

Veterans Bike Station GSR Milang 8th November
Darren 2nd place A grade
Graham 1st place B grade
Dave D 1st place E grade
Tanya 3rd F grade

CIC Cervelo Series
Started early this month with Jarrod racing in the FCAT Seight Racing Team which includes Crits and the famous Hell of the North Race
He has raced every round and performed well being the top placed rider in his team for most of the racing.

VLCC HCP 15th November
Darren won overall

SDVLCC AGM Handicap 15th November
Matt 2nd
Graham 3rd
Phil 9th

SDVLCC Avanti Twin Peaks 22nd November
Dave D claimed the KOM in D grade
Uwe claimed 5th
With Graham close behind with Phil following

Lobethal GSR 29th November
Darren won A grade with very tough competition
Matt C 3rd in B gade
Tanya 1st female in E grade and 5th overall

State U19 Championships 28th & 29th November
Kennedy claimed bronze in the sprints and Keirin events

PACC CX Twilite Series 10th & 24th November
Rd 1 Tracy J tackled her first ever CX race and raced very well
Rd 2 Tracey G saw her win in B grade with Tracy J following in 14th

Tracey G has had a huge month securing a spot on the Enviosport Women’s team for the Focus Women’s summer series. It’s been a great month of racing in numinous club level races too for all athletes and far too many to mention. Congratulations and keep up the hard work! If I’ve missed a race result I apologies, it’s very hard keeping up with your amazing performances.

Race tactics article from Training Peaks

Training Peak university four stretches you all should include to your routine

Next Month

2015 Season Reviews
Season reviews will be sent out next month for you to evaluate how what you planned to do turned out in reality ready for you focus on next year.  Doesn’t matter if its only been a short season or a full year, reflect on the positives and what you would like to change moving forward. Here a some questions you might like to ask yourselves;-

  • Did you train as much as you wanted?
  • Did you train too much or too little?
  • Were you consistent in your training?
  • Did you give good and appropriate feedback to your coach?
  • How well did you adapt when life threw you curveballs?
  • Did you respect the recovery you needed?
  • Did you take care of the other things in your life (recovery, family, work, etc)?

2016 Annual Training Plans
Start thinking about what your new year is going to look like so training can be specific for those events.

As we approach Christmas and TDU many will be taking a break from actively pursing racing wins and focusing on building fitness for future races next year. Keep up the good work everyone and thank you for your continued support as we grow our small business.

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Trainer Road vs Zwift Workouts

Love it or hate it, the indoor trainer is often the only training option left to many of us, due to a number of reasons. This article sets out to look at two options open to us to make life on the trainer more effective and interesting. Trainer Road until now has probably been the most popular power based trainer software and recently, new kid on the block Zwift has introduced Zwift Workouts. Zwift workouts is still in beta at time of writing, but the feature set is already sufficient to be able to perform a comparative review.

Both of these two products set out to do pretty much the same thing, that is to give you a power based workout on an indoor trainer.

Trainer Road

Trainer Road has been around for a while now and many of you will already be familiar with how it works and what it is like. In order to make it work you need the following:

  • A bike
  • A computer
  • An Ant+ dongle
  • Either a power meter or a smart trainer or a speed calibrated trainer
  • Trainer Road software

How it works

Once you have everything installed on the computer and configured to work with your equipment, you fire up the Trainer Road software, pick a workout (you can filter by time, training zone, intensity or follow a training plan) and start the workout. The software is clever enough to wait for you to get on the bike and start pedaling before it starts the clock ticking.


Most of the workouts follow a similar pattern; a warm up, some form of intervals for the main set (and these vary enormously depending on what you picked) and a cool down. All the workouts are power based and use your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) to work out how hard you should be working, so if you don’t know your FTP, you should start there first and do an FTP test.

Workouts will, in general, slowly ramp up the warm up power from an easy zone 1 power into about the middle of zone 2 power over a 15 minute period. The bulk of most workouts are the intervals in the main set, these vary from short 5 second high power efforts right up to and beyond 20 min threshold efforts. The software displays the power you should be hitting and the power you are actually producing, the idea being that you match the two. It’s fairly obvious when you don’t achieve this and you get on screen cues to address it.


To complete the workout, it’s up to you to maintain the power that is displayed on screen and the difficulty of achieving that will vary with the workout you picked. Some are easy, others are brutal – you have been warned!

Trainer Road also allows you to ‘drop-in’ workout videos from third party suppliers to make the workout more interesting, although this will add to your monthly cost. In most cases, the videos match the workouts and will give you something to look at on screen other than just your power numbers.


Zwift Workouts (beta)

Zwift Workouts is built on the Zwift platform, if you haven’t seen Zwift go read this first. Zwift is new and quite different to any sort of training tool we’ve seen before, it’s more like a computer game than a traditional workout video based system.

How it works

You need a Zwift account to use the Workouts component, but it is all delivered through the same Zwift software on your PC. In order to make it work you need the following:

  • A bike
  • A computer
  • An Ant+ dongle
  • Either a power meter or a smart trainer or a speed calibrated trainer
  • Zwift software

If you already have a Zwift account and have logged in, you won’t have to do any further configuration, otherwise it’s the same sort of process as Trainer Road and involves installing software on your PC, connecting up the ANT+ dongle and pairing the various devices you have – the main one being the power meter or smart trainer.


Once you login, you have a new ‘Workouts’ option to choose from as well as the existing ride options. In the workouts section, you get to pick from a few individual workouts or from a workout in a plan. At time of writing, there are nowhere near as many workouts to choose from as Trainer Road, but I would imagine this would grow with time. Workouts can be filtered by time and discipline (TT workouts for example).

Pick the workout you want and hop on the bike, and like Trainer Road, it doesn’t start the workout until you start producing power. Workout format is very similar to Trainer Road (warmup, intervals, cool down). Target power levels appear clearly in the middle of the screen, your power is displayed alongside and if you don’t match the two, the software lets you know about it:



One neat feature of the Zwift software is when you get close to the end of the interval, it puts a glowing archway across the road in front of you which marks the end of the interval. I found this to be a great motivator to get you to the end of the interval whilst still maintaining the correct power.



Both of these options will give you a great workout and fundamentally work in much the same way. The key difference is that I found Zwift more fun to use, mainly because of the other riders riding in the Zwift world with you. Ultimately the decision is up to you, but I’ll be putting my money with Zwift rather than Trainer Road. Zwift is a great platform and I can only see it growing and offering more features in the future.

The only suggestion I have for improvement for Zwift is rather than sticking to a set power level, it would be nice to have to ‘chase’ another rider who is riding in front of you at the correct power levels.

  Trainer Road Zwift Workouts (Beta)
Cost $12/month USD10/month
Equipment Computer

Power Meter

Trainer or Smart Trainer

ANT+ dongle

HR monitor (optional)


Power Meter

Trainer or Smart Trainer

ANT+ dongle

HR monitor (optional)

Number of workouts 1000+ Limited (but growing)
Training plans Yes Yes
Support for smart trainers Yes Yes
Enjoyment factor ** ****