I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with Mr & Mrs ELEMNT recently. (Wahoo BOLT + ELEMNT).
They are a very pleasant couple and always fun to spend some time with.
One of the issues with their still relatively short-lived marriage has been a lack of physical workouts (ahem). Specifically structured workouts.
Yesterday’s ELEMNT app update and firmware release have put their blissful union back on track.
WAHOO have now filled this major functional gap by comparing their ELEMNT products to the higher end Edges. Many people never needed that functionality but those that did should hopefully now be happy.
WAHOO RELEASES STRUCTURED WORKOUT SUPPORT
WAHOO’s ethos has been ‘openness’. So it’s no surprise that they will now accept structured workouts created in TRAINING PEAKS (and the paid-for Today’s Plan…). Specifically, this can be either a workout that is part of a plan that you may have bought or that your coach may have created. Or you can create your own plan.
I was looking at how a new user might get a workout onto the ELEMNT. So I created a free account and then created a few dummy workouts.
- Both the ELEMNT app and ELEMNT firmware appear to bother to require the latest versions. I had an issue updating the ELEMNT device for a while and that earlier firmware version specifically did NOT do any form of plan download.
- You can then sync the ELEMNT over wifi. It points out that it is syncing with TRAINING PEAK and Today’s Plan. However, this does NOT sync workout plans and looks to only sync historically completed sessions. I sync’d multiple times and I’m pretty sure that’s the case…for me.
- So you have to sync the app with TP online and then the workout appears on your ELEMNT once it sorts itself out with the app…usually pretty quickly.
I’m going to cover this later when I review the ELEMENT (2 years late 😉 ) but then a few extra things appear on the ELEMNT to let you; access, execute, view and sync the PLANNED WORKOUTS.
Workouts can be executed on the road or on a trainer.
One thing of note. I’m fairly used to Garmin Connect’s way of creating a structured workout which I typically use for running. Garmin’s way is a bit cumbersome but it works. TrainingPeaks have a much more comprehensive workout creator. One thing I would say though is, “It’s a wee bit complex to understand”
Clearly TrainingPeaks want to get you to use their paid-for service and this kind of integration brings you one step closer to that – but you don’t have to have a paid-for service from them for this functionality. WAHOO also want to impress you with their links to Team SKY. That’s all great and you would say ‘fair-enough’. So you also get some free workouts thrown in, including some to determine your FTP just in case you didn’t know what 20/30 minutes of pain already felt like ;-).
These are TRAININGPEAKS restrictions with the basic account
- The structured workout must be created today for today
- The structured workout must be a BIKE workout
- The structured workout cannot be based on RPE
I think those restrictions are fair. The only thing that would make that unusable would be if you had to create a workout from scratch each time. Eg if I could copy last Thursday’s workout to today that would be OK I reckon. if I had to re-create it then the novelty would last about 2 weeks at most.
ALSO IN THE WAHOO NEWS
WAHOO now support the control of ‘any’ FE-C smart trainer with the ELEMNT…cool. And that fills another gap in missing functionality, perhaps less important? Good to have nevertheless.