General Discussion Triathlon Talk » My TriDot Experience Rss Feed  
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2016-10-27 12:01 PM

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1415
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Cypress, Texas
Subject: My TriDot Experience

There are Tri Clubs in OKC, T-Town, and Stillwater but the Okies that live more than 90 minutes away from any of these locations don't have the same support that is found in these communities.  I have never done any on-line training, over the internet coaching, etc.  I haven't even followed any of the free on-line triathlons plans.  I write out my own plans 8-16 weeks in advance and learn by doing.  

I will be taking a break from the self-coaching to participate in an 8 week pre-season study being conducted by TriDot.  I don't know anything about TriDot but it does give athletes that don't have anyone in there community to train with some another way to get outside feed back and guidance to help them improve so I plan to share my experience for other who are considering TriDot and other online coaching options.

 



2016-10-27 3:32 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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1415
1000100100100100
Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: My TriDot Experience

An email from TriDot came to my inbox 8 days ago inviting me to participate in an 8 week Preseason Study.  Note:  I probably have hundreds of TriDot emails in my junk folders.  This is possibly the first one to make it to the inbox.  

 

There was a list of requirements for the type of people they wanted to participate in the study and after briefly skimming through the overview of the program I saw I met all the requirements so I decided that this was as good an opportunity as any to see how on-line coaching works and if it would benefit me.  

 

The invitation said that I would get a response back in 3 days as to whether I would be selected to participate in the Program.  I got confirmation back the next day so my first interaction with TriDot was positive.  

 

2016-10-28 11:16 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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1415
1000100100100100
Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: My TriDot Experience

Communication got bumpy when I started to set up an account with TriDot for the 8 week study.  

I got an email with instruction on how to set up an account but when I followed the links the screens didn't seem to be matching up with the instructions in the email.  I also had a lot of questions about the program and how TriDot runs come up as I went through the initial set up.  A half dozen emails went back and forth where the person that was designated to answer questions forwarded question to one of the coaches who she felt would be more capable of answering questions than see was. then when I didn't get a response and sent things up the latter with email copy to her and the coach she responded that she never got my questions that she would help out but didn't address most of the questions I had asked.  I got the feeling that they are used to most of the people participating in their study to be familiar with how on-line coaching and TriDot works.  My questions confused them.  Also, I am used to having all the control over my work outs when I write them myself.  I know 2-4 months in advance what my goals and focuses are and how I am going to try to achieve them.  Turning the control over to someone else was proving to be a big adjustments for me.  I wanted to know all the details up front and TriDot wasn't prepared to answer most of my questions yet.  So the first adjustment I am making is to not getting worried about not knowing the plan or how things will go for the next 2-4 months.  I need to just chill out and wait for things to run their course.   Many of my questions were about when the program starts, how the program works, what equipment and requirements there were for the program, how to complete the account set up, and how to manually log work outs.  I still don't have answers for most of my questions will will see how things go over the next month.  If I remember correctly they said the program will start November 6th and I will get more information on getting started a few days before that.   

2016-10-31 4:22 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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1415
1000100100100100
Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: My TriDot Experience

Over the weekend I got a phone call from TriDot to go over all of my questions.  It was a lot nicer to be able to speak to someone on the phone rather that do the back and forth on emails with a lot of things being missed in the communication.  It turns out I don't have to have a Garmin or Polar account to log my work outs which is nice since I am currently logging everything by hand to the BT trainning log and that has worked well for me.  I will be able to do the same thing on the TriDot sign.  I was told that runs will be based on min/mile pace so that won't be a problem for me.  The bike will be done on heart rate.  I spent an hour a week ago trying to figure out how to do heart rate with my iphone and fit bit.  I spent another two hours over the weekend before determining that you need an Applewatch or Polar Bluetooth Hear Monitor strap to get a live Heart Rate reading with you Iphone.  I missed my long work out on Saturday because I had livestock that needed shelters and feeders built that needed to take priority.  I did my three hours of searching for ways to get a live heart rate from my iphone and fitbit after dark when I don't normally do long outdoor work outs but I still have to wonder if I would be better off doing a three hour work out than trying to figure out all the techno gizmos and gadgets for an on-line training program.  :-)  One of my goals is to catch up on the last two decades of technology that I largely ignored when it came out so I was probably time well spent but for an online program to be right for me it has to reduce the stress of planning my training not increase it.  :-

 

Oh...for the time being I am going to play with the fit bit and see how well I can use it for a hear rate monitor. It may get me through a 2 month program.

2016-11-11 10:05 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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1415
1000100100100100
Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: My TriDot Experience

Well, it looks like I will be able to use the fitbit to analyse my data but it will be difficult to use it to pace myself during workouts for HR training.  I have to reach down and click button on to see where I am at which will not work well when I am trying to keep my hands on the bars and focus on the road.  

There was a misque on my start date.  I had a TriDot account open for me to set up my pre-program tests in swimming, cycling, running.  I had been logging my work outs there but this morning I couldn't get into the account.  It wanted an access code for me to enter it.  The first start group starts this week.  I was originally in the first start group but was moved back to the second group that doesn't start for a month.  That worked better for me since I don't have any races for 8 moths and my current training cycle will end a week before the second group starts but I would have still had three weeks on it if they had left me in the first group.  So...I got an activation code a few days ago for the first group and contacted TriDot to see if there had been a change in plans.  I think they had me down for both start dates.  Anyways I think they have us all on a 2 week trial account setting and that they were extending that until the program started.  I hop that they let me back in to get instruction on the pre-program tests and to log them.  I was planning on doing them the open week I have between the end of my current training cycle and the start of the 8 week TriDot Program.    

2016-11-30 8:51 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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1415
1000100100100100
Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: My TriDot Experience

Thanksgiving week was the last week of my 4 month bike focused training mezo cycle.  I had my last Bike Time Trial the Monday before Turkey Day and I really wanted to smash the time so I took an extra day off the week before.  After my time trial (whihc was right in the middle of the range of times I have recorded on my TT training course) I took 3 more days off for the holidy.  I have another week before I will get my information to start the Pre-Season Program, so I went back and pulled up the sample work outs that I was sent in the middle of October.  He sent me a Run Work Out for Monday & Wednesday and a Bike workout for Tuesday and Thursday.  IT was 40 def F and raining when I woke up at 5:00 AM on Monday morning so instead of running on the roads by my house I went into town to the Gym and did the run work out on the Tread Mill and 120m indoor track.  The Warm up had a lot of fancy skips, hops, and jumps by names that I was not familiar with.  I had to spend about 30 minutes searching for YouTube videos on what all of these drills then when I got to the work out I couldn't remember what a lot of them were and I don't think I did all them right that I did do.  I am used to doing 2-3 basic drills so the big range seemed too much for me.  On Wednesday's run work out this morning There was a new set of skips, hops, and jumps.  Almost not of them were the same as what was on the first warm up and this time there were even more that I wasn't familiar with than the first day.  I swore when I was doing these drills that the ABC Skip was the Same thing as the High Knees I did two drills earlier and that the XYZ Skips were the same thing and the Lung Hops I had done during the drills on Monday.  So...I felt that the warm-up drill s are needlessly overdone.  The run work out this morning was 4x 1600m repeats Threshold pace. This were not bad.   The bike work out I did on Tuesday was nearly identical to the type of work outs I have been doing for the last 4 months for my bike focused training mezo cycle.  They lined up right down to the warm up, main sets, and cool down.  I felt really dead legged and lathargic though.  I don't know if that was from the running speed work out the day before, from holiday goodies, from taking too many days off the week before but my lets were sore all day.  Durring the bike focused program I only did recover on my non-bike days so I was always ready to hit it hard on the bike and aways felt strong.  I didn't feel strong at all on the bike yesterday.  I will see how these back-to-back days go on the TriDot plans without recovery days.  The TriDot staff told me that I would probablly feel like there was too much recovery and to light a work load on their training.  So far that is not the case.  :-)    



2017-02-06 10:30 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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1415
1000100100100100
Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: My TriDot Experience

Well... tomorrow is the last day of the 8 week TriDot Preseason Training Program.  So here is my thoughts.

 

1) This program as 180 degree different from what I would have done if I was writing my own training plan.  Moving from 5k's to marathons the thing that helped me the most were my long runs.  Moving from running to Triathlon my plans was to focus on endurance work outs.  In the Pre-season I would build volume then as I prep'd for races i would cut miles and work on Speed.  During this Tridot preseason plan I have done more speed work in 8 weeks than I had done in the past year combined. This was a different way of training and I was glad to have the opportunity to try something new.

2) Tridot's sales pitch is that they have a sophisticated computer software that looks at your daily work outs and make constant adjustments to always have you on the most efficient work out every day to help you improve.   I found this to be quite limiting.  It put long swim work outs every Monday and Friday which didn't work for me because the gym where I swim has swim classed at 5:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 5:30 PM on Monday, Wednesday, Friday so the only days my schedule allows long swim work outs are Tuesday, Thursday.  You can move you work outs, but when I did that it wouldn't re-optimize your schedule.  There were other conflicts with the planning so it took me the full 8 weeks to try to figure out how to make the TriDot schedule work with my schedule.  A computer is good at crunching numbers, but it can't hold a candle to the value or a real person working with you to know you you gets to know and understand you.

3) I got one coach call as part of the Preseason program.  About 5 weeks into the program I had to travel for 8 hours on a Saturday and missed my long bike and run work out.  I had missed another day earlier that week too so I only got about 60% of the planned work outs in.  The system didn't re-optimize my schedule so it did a 40% reduction one week then it set me up for a rest week the next week.  I wanted to talk to the coach about adjusting the schedule.  I contacted the program coordinator and it took the coach a day to get back with me.  Then we wanted to set up an appointment which put me two days later in the week.  So by the time I finally got to talk to him the week was already over.  Oh...well.  We talked and the coach seems to be very well versed on the TriDot sales pitch but didn't seem to listen or give me any personal advise.  I had noticed that ever week my bike hours were about 3 hours and 15 minutes and my run hours were about 3 hours.  I was used to doing twice as much time on the bike as I spent running as asked if all the athletes spent as much time run in proportion to cycling as I did.  He went of on a rant about how cycling does less impact on the boy than running does and I could safely take twice as much cycling as running.  I was pretty sure he hadn't listened to my question and was just shooting from the hip.  So I heard all about Tridot's BIG Data and optimization software but didn't hear anything that was relevant to me or my training.

4) At the end of the program their were no final evaluation or clear instruction on how the program would close out.  I asked how they would know who benefited from the program and who didn't.  I thought that maybe they would have be submit race times or continue to submit TimeTrial evaluation, etc.  They hold me that they just get a list of race time from Ironman and anyone that was in the TriDot program is compared against those that Trained in-season with them and those that don't.  So I guess if there are 2000 people in a rate and 30 of them were in the preseason program and 10 trained in season with them that the way they determine that their training makes people faster is by taking the average finish time of the 10 in-season athletes, the average finish time of the 30 pre-season program athletes and then the average finish time of the other 1960 people.  For all the pride they put into their BIG data I am surprised that they use a crude method for pulling data.  I am doing two Olympic and one 70.3 race this year but non are Ironman branded races so I guess none of my results will be counted.  

Over all I felt that following the Tridot program was about like following a free online program.  It didn't seem to meet my schedule and required me to move the work outs around and make the adjustments myself.  I did like trying something new and feel that I am now armed with new arrows in my quiver.  I plan to go back to my self coaching though because I feel I can be as successful and progress just as fast on the training that I write as I could with TriDot.  

Note:  My final assessment have at the exact same place after 8 weeks as I was before the 8 week program.  Not too surprising.  My college running coach said that it take about 3 years to peak in an endurance sport so I after training for 2-1/2 years 8 weeks is really going to me  long enough hurt me or help me in any significant way.  My rest race is 5 months out.  I will keep working as I have been and see if I can see as much improvement from my 2nd to 3rd season as I did from my first to second.  If I do I my improvements ill about double Tridot's claims in their sales pitch.  :-)

2017-04-01 10:21 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26


1

Subject: RE: My TriDot Experience
I saw a Facebook ad for Tridot and have been looking for a more formal system of training and a coach as I am a pretty good triathlete who usually places in the top 3 of my age group in local races but I haven't been able to make the top 18 nationally in my age group at the Olympic distance level and make Team USA to compete at the world championships. I also am trying to qualify for the Ironman World Championships and am right at the edge in my half ironman times.

So, I signed up for Tridot. I got a local coach who was knowledgeable, supportive and caring. My interactions with him are what gives Tridot 2 stars instead of 1.

But overall, my experience with Tridot was negative and I think it is a sham. For starters, they have you do assessments of your swim/bike/run, which makes sense, but my projected time from these was slower than my only 1/2 Ironman I did where I had a 25 minute delay due to a flat tire. I also just went out and leisurely previewed a course of an upcoming half ironman and the assessment projection for how I would do in a race was slower than than what I got previewing the course at medium pace. If they claim a whole bunch of massive improvements in time based off of these assessments, it is a sham because the baseline from which they measure your improvement is way off.

Secondly, they have all sorts of metrics that even my coach said weren't that useful to him and did not seem useful to me. Garmin and Training Peaks both have better analytics. Tridot seems to base their whole package off their analytics and get you to pay for it by including coaching, but the analytics are not worth paying for.

Third, they give you all of these benefits for participating like a year online subscription to Lava Magazine and Generation UCAN gels. But, I went to the UCAN website to learn more about it because I want a good gel and not just one that is free - we can all pick up free ones at various triathlons. In doing so, I found out that they give everyone a free sample pack (you have to pay $1.95 for shipping). Here is the link: https://www.generationucan.com/samplepack/letsrun. I feel Tridot offering it to me as a benefit of participating in their program when it is available to everyone is dishonest.

In sum, I would strongly discourage anyone from signing up with Tridot. You are paying for value you don't get, I felt in multiple ways they were dishonest, and you can get better analytics using other systems. I think Tridot does have good coaches, but I think you get more value from finding a good coach who is not part of Tridot.
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