The Friday Interview: Jonthan Lee from TrainerRoad
For this week’s interview we caught up with Level II USA certified cycling coach and Marketing/PR guy for TrainerRoad, Jonathan Lee. As both a coach, athlete and member of the team that’s taking the cycling/triathlon world by storm over the last year (they seem to be sponsoring everything I listen to or read about cycling lately!) we wanted to find out what he tracks day-to-day, as well as a bit more about the service and what’s coming in the future. So without further ado, here’s how our chat went:
HI JONATHAN, COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT TRAINERROAD IS?
TrainerRoad is indoor cycling software that makes cyclists and triathletes faster. Our iOS, Mac and PC apps pair with wireless biometric sensors like power meters, speed sensors and heart rate monitors to give you structured, power-based interval workouts and training plans.
After a brief fitness assessment, we’re able to identify a fitness benchmark called FTP (functional threshold power). We can then use this benchmark to scale every workout and training plan to your fitness level so you can be guaranteed each workout will be not too easy and not too hard, but just enough to make you faster.
We’re a four year old company with users in over 150 countries that have completed more than three million workouts.
HOW DOES TRAINERROAD MAKE MONEY?
Our app, training plans and everything else we do can be had for a $99/year or $12/month subscription. Our subscription model allows our users to put suspend and resume their subscription at any point.
WHAT’S COMING NEXT FROM TRAINER ROAD?
Our mission is to make people faster, and having broad platform compatibility is the first step. We’re currently in the process of revamping our Mac app and building an Android app, and all of these apps will utilize the same codebase. This will allow to provide more features to more people. We’re also working on revolutionizing the process through which cyclists and triathletes select and follow a training plan. The first steps for this are currently underway, and we’re very excited about it!
WHAT DO YOU PERSONALLY TRACK ON A DAILY BASIS?
As a cyclist, our performance boils down to two things: power and weight. To track my power I utilize a power meter during all of my workouts. It does a fantastic job of objectively measuring my work in watts. I have a structured interval workout I do every day, and each interval has a power target that I hit to the best of my abilities. As my fitness improves, so does my power output. To track my weight I utilize a Wahoo Fitness BALANCE scale and count my calories with a Fitbit Charge HR. I also utilize my Charge HR for resting heart rate trend analysis. This allows me to anticipate illness and recognize poor lifestyle patterns that could affect my performance on the bike and in everyday living.
LASTLY, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE FUTURE OF SELF QUANTIFICATION?
From an athletic perspective, I think the running space is about to be revolutionized with wearable tech. It’s not about steps, pace, or even heart rate. We can do better. In a more general sense, wearable technology seems to be the face of the quantified self, but I see a massive opportunity in the utilization and implementation of this data in our everyday lives. The cycling world has become heavily reliant on power meters because the data is objective, the insights are quantifiable, and whole training programs and systems can be created and scaled for a person with this data. What we are already seeing is an abundance of devices that measure familiar biological processes in a unique and innovative way, but without a framework for implementation, they will never reach ubiquity. As more people use wearables, the real opportunity will be in how they understand and utilize the data they’re being given.