Review: Today's Plan

Today’s Plan seeks to bring the knowledge of a qualified coach to an affordable, cloud-based training and coaching subscription service in the form of training programs. What sets Today's Plan apart from other off the shelf programs is that it responds and adapts to your feedback and training results.

Although not the first in this arena, Today’s Plan offers a range of unique features promising to take online training and coaching to the next level. This is done through two avenues. The first is a computer-generated training plan that, based on your riding history, fitness level and time available to train, is tailored towards your event or training goal. The second is through analytics, with easy to use graphs and summarised terminology guiding you through the multitudes of data captured and displayed.

 

Their founding team includes a qualified sports scientist, two leading software development engineers and two business people with extensive experience in Information Technology and the cycling industry. Apart from professional qualifications, they are all avid riders.

 

Get Going



Creating a tailored training program is an easy task that only takes a couple of minutes. You have two options when first setting up a training program: 1) Pick an event you would like to train for or 2) create a fully custom training plan based on a questionnaire about your goals, health and general fitness, and time available.

 

If you'd like to select an event-based training program, you will need at least five weeks between your start date and the event. Once you have selected your event, the program will tailor a training plan for you based on the event's course profile. For example, a 100km Fast One training program will look completely different to a 100km Cape Town Cycle Tour program.

 


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Good news is that several leading South African and international events have already been loaded. Wines2Whales, Cape Classic 380, Coronation Double Century, Desert Dash and Attakwas are just some of the upcoming events you can pick from the list. Even better yet, if your race is not there simply email support and they will add it for you usually within 24 hours from logging your request.

 

Selecting to train for the Trans Baviaans, Today's Plan will ask you whether you will be racing Solo or Paired and what your event priority is.

 

If you opt to create a training plan from scratch, the questionnaire lets you select a plan from 6-16 weeks in length. You then set the parameters around your usual time on a bike, type of riding you do (Commuter, Road, MTB, Indoor Trainer, Single Speed, Time Trial, Track, etc), your goals (weight loss, target specific event, improving a specific cycling skill), your strengths & weaknesses, accessories you're planning to use and then finally you select how many hours a week you’re willing to dedicate to training. The minimum requirement is five hours a week, and you can specify how many hours you’re able to train on each day of the week.

 


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It also asks several crucial questions that I wasn't sure of such as your anaerobic threshold or threshold watts (if you're using a heart rate monitor or power meter). Thankfully where answers are not known it provides an average based on other parameters. This data is later automatically replaced following results from training tests.

 

You will need a cycling computer or training tracking device (GPS head unit or cellphone with GPS) in order to upload your data to Today's Plan for analysis and fine tuning. Although not needed to use their analytics or to complete a training plan, it is highly recommended to use a heart rate monitor and a power meter as they are great tools for cyclists looking to better track their training, monitor their performance and objectively measure their improvements.

 

For most of my training I used a Wahoo KICKR indoor trainer, Wahoo TICKR X and RFLKT+ bike computer, Giant Propel Advanced 2 and my trusty LG G4 with a LG G3 used for a short while as well.

 

Using It


Once you've gone through the quick process of setting up a training program it only takes a couple of minutes for Today's Plan to have your training program up and running. The plan that was worked out for me did not match what I’ve specified 100% in terms of training per day (first couple of rides were shorter than I specified), but it worked to my daily parameters as close as possible to deliver a workable, realistic training plan. There is still room to move some training sessions around and edit where needed and, should you miss a day, you can move that training session to the next day.

 

Every session has a warm up and cool down portion to get you in and out of the swing of things. The aim of your session (Endurance, SST, Threshold, Test, etc) is noted and if you're unsure what it means there is a YouTube video for everything. And, with videos covering Using your Inbox to Calibrating your Stages Power Meter, I mean everything. Accessing the videos is quick and easy, as there's a play icon on just about every screen. Hitting that will open the video and give you a quick rundown of what you need to know. The tutorials are short and to the point. I have to compliment Today's Plan on these. If you're new to the world of coaching and training plans these videos will be of great help and takes all of the doubts and unknowns out of the experience.

 

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I used the Today's Plan app on my LG G4 most of the time to control my training. Syncing it with the Wahoo KICKR took seconds and I only had an issue with the RFLKT + bike computer causing the app to crash. Although not technically an issue on Today's Plan side, they solved the issue within days and it worked 100% from there. The app offers several layouts and you can choose what you'd like to see in each block on your screen and this also automatically updates the layout on the RFLKT +. Nifty.

 

You can choose to receive an email on training days as a reminder. If you'd like you can access that day's session straight from there or view it online in your calendar. To get going I would open the app, select the day's ride and by the time I had put on my shoes it would be waiting for me to get going. Click start and you're off.

 

Once going the app takes full control of the indoor trainer adjusting resistance as needed - all you have to do is hit those targets and stay within the parameters in order to get the most out of the day's session. When the day's workout has been completed and uploaded, you’re prompted to offer some feedback about how you’re feeling. This data is used to shape your future sessions.

 

Analytics


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This is where the real fun starts. You can now start tracking your training and improvements. Your online dashboard is fully customisable and allows you to add or remove widget or graphs to your heart's content. I found it best to start with the bare minimum and to then add as my knowledge and confidence grew. It obviously also helps to have a good couple of rides in there to populate the graphs.

 

Good news is that you can import .fit, .gpx, .ant, . srm and several other file formats or the option to enter ride data manually. You can even import data from TrainingPeaks and yes, there is a video for all of this too. While I was busy with my program, it was announced that they have integrated with Garmin Connect. This allows WiFi uploads to Today's Plan on 510/810/1000 head units. Alternatively, every time a user loads to Garmin Connect the data will go to Today's Plan so no need to plug into a computer to upload your rides.

 

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To highlight the extent of data and analytics available: Shimano integration will give Di2 riders the ability to analyse time spent in and choice of gear. This will allow you or your coach to work out where you could be more efficient through better gear choice.

 

Verdict


I was, and still am, amazed at how much can be done using an online training program and your cellphone. Incredible day and age we live in. Creating an, almost living breathing, online training program takes only a couple of minutes and it adapts to your results all the way through. Using it with a Wahoo KICKR indoor trainer takes it to another level where all you have to do is show up and give your best.

 

Several features and updates were added in the three months I used Today's Plan. The online dashboard, mobile app and training program in general is very mature, but it's great to see the developers aren't sitting still basking in their glory. By their own admission their training program does not replace a real-life coach, but it will get you 95% there and if you do use a coach you can give them remote access to your data to help steer you in the right direction.

 

As it is Today's Plan has almost no equal - certainly not one that I'm aware of and certainly not for nearly as little as their yearly unlimited plan including full analytics. If you're serious about your cycling, working on your fitness or (finally) busting that gut, I can't think of an easier, cheaper, more interactive way than this.

 

Best yet, if you're a coach Today's Plan offers a powerful and easy to use tool to manage, motivate and keep track of your athletes and their progress.

 

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Tutorials on every possible topic
  • Affordable
  • Customizable
  • Excellent support
  • Value for money
  • Help videos and tutorials are very helpful and to the point

Cons

  • This is online - you need to show up motivated and stay focused all by yourself
  • To get the most our of it you will need to invest in some proper gear (Power meter, Indoor Trainer will built in power meter, Heart Rate Monitor, etc)

Options and Costs


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Check out the latest plans and pricing here: https://www.todayspl...g/?currencyId=1

 






80 Comments

Jedition, Nov 03 2015 07:05

i would like to give my review on Today's Plan. I've been a member of another online training program for a while but what bothered me was the price compared to what i actually get out of the program and then to still pay a arm and a leg for a custom training program. Now in all honesty i am no Pro i am really just your local cyclist that just loves competing and turning up on the best form i could be at that given time,also i must add i am a stats freak that loves monitoring what i do and what effort i am  putting in.

 

Discovering Today's Plan was golden...looking at the monthly price i thought "wow there has to be some catch" but to my surprise there was none what so ever. The extra you have to give for a tailored Training Plan from a specific coach is seriously affordable if i compare current prices of coaches or specialists in the field,and lets be honest the local cycling coaches and sports scientists don't really cater for your average cyclist looking to take it to the next level. At Today's Plan i get immediate answers on anything i need, i get treated like a pro for R90 monthly subscription,even if i don't take a coach custom plan that monitors me every day and week of the month i can still speak to any coach for advise or explain what i don't understand of my analytics's,if that is not enough they have youtube videos on every single thing that you can think of from explaining the exercise you have to do today...oh yes they even lay out your exercises for you by the click of a button all custom to your riding hours that you can put in...i mean seriously what do you get in cycling at that price for coaching or even better what service do you get anywhere for that price.

 

With well trained staff and top quality coaches i urge any local or your average cyclist that's looking to loose weight or be more competitive in your Seeding category at your local club series join Today's Plan you will not regret it. its truly worth every single Rand you pay a month...and i have to say this YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A PRO TO BE TREATED LIKE A PRO AT TODAY'S PLAN 

 

Oh and for all my fellow police officers that's part of our national cycling believe me affordability is no excuse here...this is a Service not just a online program....DO IT!!!! See you at nationals 2016 

Today's Plan, Nov 03 2015 08:18

Thanks for the complementing words, glad to hear that you are enjoying our programs and that they have elevated your riding. We are working extremely hard to bring even more features and enrich the platform hugely over the next few months, we are the official training partner of  the UCI Trek Factory Racing team for 2016 which will ensure we keep reaching new heights for athletes and coaches alike.

 

If you need any help please feel to drop us a line.

No Hare, Nov 03 2015 08:27

"Their founding team includes a qualified sports scientist, two leading software development engineers and two business people with extensive experience in Information Technology and the cycling industry."

 

 

I suppose one of them will be the cop...

DIPSLICK, Nov 03 2015 08:52

Going to be following this one

notmyname, Nov 03 2015 09:01

Beep.

Wayne Potgieter, Nov 03 2015 09:09

This does look cool.

Joeboy69, Nov 03 2015 09:23

Let me be the first to ask an obvious question.

I use a powerbeam pro as an IDT and then my iPhone/strava when on the trails. In both cases I have the option of a HRM and cadence, but power only on the IDT.

Does this meet the technical requirements of the programs?

SwissVan, Nov 03 2015 09:27

I gather its a cycling only, or can you combine with other sports i.e. swim and run for triathletes?

SCD, Nov 03 2015 09:32

Using Today's Plan since a few month now. Training using a structured plan is new to me and as life goes I followed it less diligent than I should have. The beauty is it shows you the effect of your missed sessions and displays a beautiful graph of where you are and where you could have been using all sorts of (well explained) performance parameters. 

 

So by all the above I really can recommend the platform from a beginner's point pf view.

 

An attempt of constructive criticism to the TP team:

- the web interface reacts somewhat sluggish. This should be fixed to improve the user experience.

- I would prefer spline graphs over the current block diagram. maybe make it a choice?

- what about the iPhone app? It was announced but never appeared?

Today's Plan, Nov 04 2015 08:02

Using Today's Plan since a few month now. Training using a structured plan is new to me and as life goes I followed it less diligent than I should have. The beauty is it shows you the effect of your missed sessions and displays a beautiful graph of where you are and where you could have been using all sorts of (well explained) performance parameters. 

 

So by all the above I really can recommend the platform from a beginner's point pf view.

 

An attempt of constructive criticism to the TP team:

- the web interface reacts somewhat sluggish. This should be fixed to improve the user experience.

- I would prefer spline graphs over the current block diagram. maybe make it a choice?

- what about the iPhone app? It was announced but never appeared?

Hi SCD,

 

We've recently beefed up our servers recently so speed should be improved. In the dashboard we have an equal quantity of spline vs column graphs, depends on what we are trying to show as to which one we use.

 

Yes the beta Iphone app is release if you would like to join the iPhone beta program to email us at info@todaysplan.com.au

 

Thanks for the feedback and will ensure will continue to solve any issues ASAP.

Today's Plan, Nov 04 2015 08:05

I gather its a cycling only, or can you combine with other sports i.e. swim and run for triathletes?

 Hi SwissVan,

 

Currently we are adding a plethora of cycling specific features and trying to do one thing really well. But will be adding Tri and Multisport to the platform in 2016.

 

Also remember the first 2 weeks are free and their is a Hubbers discount code.

 

Thanks

TP team 

Lexx, Nov 04 2015 08:07

Thanks for the complementing words, glad to hear that you are enjoying our programs and that they have elevated your riding. We are working extremely hard to bring even more features and enrich the platform hugely over the next few months, we are the official training partner of  the UCI Trek Factory Racing team for 2016 which will ensure we keep reaching new heights for athletes and coaches alike.

 

If you need any help please feel to drop us a line.

I see there is no 36One On your List of events? I am actually targeting that Race. Also no, Baberton or Sabie races?

And how does the Bi Annual fees work?

lerouc, Nov 04 2015 08:31

I signed up for them a while ago but never actually used it.

Wayne Potgieter, Nov 04 2015 08:36

I signed up for them a while ago but never actually used it.

why not?

Karman de Lange, Nov 04 2015 08:36

I signed up yesterday, very impressed with site, can see its old web devs that done it , still few minor bugs etc, but overall very good.

 

One thing I cannot figure out is:  When you rate your workouts and how you feel, does the plan automatically adjust for more or less load like a real life couch would do?

 

 

 

ps: android app is very much alpha still.. keeps on crashing and RFKT/Cadence etc don't work althouh paired and testing fine.
 

Today's Plan, Nov 04 2015 09:00

"Their founding team includes a qualified sports scientist, two leading software development engineers and two business people with extensive experience in Information Technology and the cycling industry."

 

 

I suppose one of them will be the cop...

No Hare,

 

Just to clarify the comment comes from a user.

 

Our Team consists of the Ex- Apple Managing Director , Chief scientist Bsc Hons Sports Science with 30 years Pro coaching experience, Chief technology officer- Ba Science, LLB Laws an expert in system development with particular expertise in working with large data sets, real time data collection and correlation of disparate data sources.Product designer and web guru with 20 years experience in digital design and developing web applications. A Brand Manager with 15yrs global sports electronic and GPS solutions. These are just a few of our members.

 

Thanks for the interest.

Today's Plan, Nov 04 2015 09:06

I see there is no 36One On your List of events? I am actually targeting that Race. Also no, Baberton or Sabie races?

And how does the Bi Annual fees work?

Hi Lexx,

 

No problem adding any event into the system. Just logon and request the race you would like in the system and will add within 24hrs.

 

The Bi Annual fees have an option of Unlimited training plans for R1095 or you can just take the analytic's for R450. Will find all the pricing under my services.

 

If you need any help just hit the "need help" button and drop us a line

 

Thanks

Today's Plan, Nov 04 2015 09:17

I signed up yesterday, very impressed with site, can see its old web devs that done it , still few minor bugs etc, but overall very good.

 

One thing I cannot figure out is:  When you rate your workouts and how you feel, does the plan automatically adjust for more or less load like a real life couch would do?

 

 

 

ps: android app is very much alpha still.. keeps on crashing and RFKT/Cadence etc don't work althouh paired and testing fine.
 

Hi Karma,

 

Please make sure you have the latest update of the app, and if you have any issues please hit the " need help" button we will get back to you ASAP and try solve any problems.

 

The Today's Plan platform builds condition/load by creating a progressive increase in chronic training load. This is derived using a 42 day rolling average of your daily T-Score values. If you're starting CTL is quite big, but, your availability is low the system will need to include high intensity rides with a high IF to allow you to meet the progressive overload projection for the plan and increase your condition and load. As you have said most recent literature refers to using high intensity intervals to gain optimal fitness. The rate the workout give us an understanding of your phyiscal and mental state that will affect your TSB (fatigue). As like less sleep will effect your workout and how you handled the load.

 

If you have any questions please logon and hit the " need help" button and we will help you understand anything in our system to reach your goals.

 

Thanks

Today's Plan, Nov 04 2015 09:55

Hi Lexx,

 

No problem adding any event into the system. Just logon and request the race you would like in the system and will add within 24hrs.

 

The Bi Annual fees have an option of Unlimited training plans for R1095 or you can just take the analytic's for R450. Will find all the pricing under my services.

 

If you need any help just hit the "need help" button and drop us a line

 

Thanks

Lexx,

 

The events are now in the system and you may add them to your calendar or create a plan targeting those races, make sure you add whether they are and A, B or C priority race as the training plan will take that into account on how you taper into the race.

 

Thanks

Lighthouse, Nov 04 2015 10:30

I know nothing about these things, I have no indoor trainer, can I use the program outdoors and with HR monitor and GPS only?

edgarblount, Nov 04 2015 10:42

Lexx,

 

The events are now in the system and you may add them to your calendar or create a plan targeting those races, make sure you add whether they are and A, B or C priority race as the training plan will take that into account on how you taper into the race.

 

Thanks

I have created a 16-week plan targeting the 36ONE in April 2016. My 36ONE plan only starts on 26 December (Eish :mellow:).

 

Any suggestion on a plan I can start on before the above training starts? 

shaper, Nov 04 2015 11:15

I have created a 16-week plan targeting the 36ONE in April 2016. My 36ONE plan only starts on 26 December (Eish :mellow:).

 

Any suggestion on a plan I can start on before the above training starts? 

Base Build training plans for stage races http://www.fittrack....Stage Race.aspx

 

And they are free!!!

Karman de Lange, Nov 04 2015 11:25

Base Build training plans for stage races http://www.fittrack....Stage Race.aspx

 

And they are free!!!

 

 

Sorry, but there is NO comparison between fittrack and Today's plan training plans.. the one is like giving you a pen en paper and say draw your own mona lisa vs taking you to the the Louvre with full guided tour, almost doing the training for you

 

The mere fact they have Sufferfest training sessions build in and it works on there app sold it to me (now just need to load all of them)   :)

 

 

edit: No affiliation... just already addicted

edgarblount, Nov 04 2015 11:30

Sorry, but there is NO comparison between fittrack and Today's plan training plans.. TP is like giving you a pen en paper and say draw your own mona lisa vs taking you to the the Louvre with full guided tour, almost doing the training for you

 

The mere fact FitTrack have Sufferfest training sessions build in and it works on there app sold it to me (now just need to load all of them)   :)

 

 

edit: No affiliation... just already addicted

^Like so?  :whistling:

Today's Plan, Nov 04 2015 11:33

Base Build training plans for stage races http://www.fittrack....ti-day Stage Ra

 

 

Thanks but canned training plans are very different to dynamic tailored plans with full analytic's which is tailored to each riders individual availability . Todays Plan is very much more than a spreadsheet, it incorporates sensor alerts, utilizes Garmin's workout features which will run you through step by step when on the road along with ERG trainer controls data and we also take riders raw create easy to read meaningful data that riders along with coaches are able to follow. We offer this all for +- R30 per week if taken for a year and is free for coaches to manage unlimited athletes. 

 

Thanks for the interest and hope you sign up for a free 2 weeks to experience the difference.