Is machine learning about to replace traditional coaching? TrainerRoad announces Adaptive Training

New tool promises to personalise every TrainerRoad workout and training plan to your specific needs

Woman cycling on a smart trainer

TrainerRoad has today announced a potentially ground-breaking new feature called Adaptive Training, which will be available to all TrainerRoad subscribers.


Adaptive Training is said to use “machine learning, science-based coaching principles and an unprecedented data set” to individualise every TrainerRoad workout and training plan to the needs of each athlete.

Previously, TrainerRoad training plans were devised by professional coaches, but individual athletes were then left to their own devices to complete each session as prescribed, unless they employed a professional coach to monitor and optimise their training.

TrainerRoad, an online training ecosystem, says “scheduling challenges and training interruptions are a fact of life” and that the Adaptive Training function will monitor your performance in every workout you complete, as well as missed sessions or planned time off.

This will help to determine your Progression Levels (i.e. how well your fitness is improving in various aspects) and adapt your future training sessions to keep making improvements.

The hope is that this monitoring and the adjustments will, in the long run, help TrainerRoad subscribers see larger fitness gains than they would otherwise.

The platform also says another new feature called TrainNow will be able to help athletes who don’t follow a specific training plan. By using Progression Levels calculated from recently completed workouts, and using Adaptive Training insights, TrainerRoad will suggest a suitable structured workout to do next.

“Every workout is intelligently chosen to be as effective as possible, and to address your unique needs and goals as an athlete,” says TrainerRoad CEO Nate Pearson. “Adaptive Training combines the science-based coaching principles TrainerRoad is built on, with a data set gleaned from millions of completed workouts. We truly believe this is the future of cycling training.”

Online training plans vs coaching

Online training platforms like TrainerRoad (and its competitors, Zwift, The Sufferfest, and other indoor cycling apps) have offered stock training plans for athletes to follow, at relatively affordable prices, for some time now. However, the traditional achilles heel of these is usually the lack of personalisation.

The wrong training load, or a mis-match between the rider’s goals and workouts performed, can easily lead to sub-optimal results.

Man cycling on a smart trainer
Every athlete is different and following a stock training plan doesn’t work for everyone. TrainerRoad’s new Adaptive Training tool is designed to solve this problem.

In contrast, when you sign up with a real life cycling coach, they will help optimise your training load, fitness progression and training specificity, as well as adjust your future workouts to help you manage the rest of life’s challenges.

The downside is that a human coach can often be relatively expensive because this personal touch requires a lot of expertise and time investment.

TrainerRoad’s new Adaptive Training tool seems to suggest it can provide the best of both worlds, combining the accessibility of online training plans with the adaptability and personalised nature of a real-life coach.

Exactly how well it works in practice remains to be seen, of course, but it’s undoubtedly an exciting prospect.

When will Adaptive Training be available?

The Adaptive Training feature is currently in closed beta, and TrainerRoad has not confirmed a precise release date. It does say, however, that individual aspects of the tool will begin rolling out soon, “starting with TrainNow and data-driven updates to existing TrainerRoad training plans.”


For those who can’t wait, TrainerRoad says subscribers keen to get early access to the new tools can request priority access via