For athletes striving to reach peak performance and conquer their personal goals, having the right tools and insights can make all the difference. One such tool that has gained significant attention in the world of endurance sports is Training Peaks, and specifically, its premium version. But is Training Peaks Premium worth the investment or should you stick with Training Peaks Basic?
In this blog post, we’ll help you make an informed decision about whether or not Training Peaks Premium is the right choice for your training journey. We’ll explore the essential elements of Training Peaks Premium, discuss its benefits for endurance athletes, analyze its costs and pricing plans, and provide insights into whether it is required. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clearer understanding of whether Training Peaks Premium aligns with your goals and aspirations as an endurance athlete.
What is Training Peaks?
Training Peaks is a web-based platform and mobile app designed to be a hub for athlete performance management. It is unique in that it allows athletes and coaches to interact around one calendar using a variety of methods ranging from ‘comments’ to data file uploads and downloads. It has many features to help with data analysis and planning training. The platform’s primary objective is to provide athletes with the tools they need to reach their fitness goals regardless of sport and, importantly, whether they are working with a coach or not.
Key Features of Training Peaks Basic (Free) Version:
- Log and Analyze Workouts: Athletes can log their training sessions, races, and workouts to keep track of their activity over time. Importantly you can (and should!) use Training Peaks even if you don’t have a coach. It is a great, free application to store your data to use now or in the future.
- Plan Workouts: Coaches can plan normally for any athlete regardless of level but athletes are restricted to logging and adjusting their calendar only in the past and present. There is no ‘future planning’ available in the basic level. This is the main reason we see athletes upgrading.
- Connect with Wearable Devices: All levels of Training Peaks allows athletes to sync their data with popular wearable fitness devices, such as Garmin and Suunto, making it easier to track and analyze performance.
- Basic Data Analysis: Athletes can view basic charts and graphs to assess their progress and performance trends.
- Mobile App: All athletes can use the mobile app to log their comments, RPE and see basic graphs.
While these free features are undoubtedly valuable for many athletes, Training Peaks Premium takes things a step further, offering a wide range of advanced tools and insights to help athletes fine-tune their training programs and optimize their performance.
Key Features of Training Peaks Premium
For busy endurance athletes, Training Peaks Premium offers a set of valuable features that go beyond the basics. These premium features are designed to save time and enhance performance:
- No ads – this isn’t a feature but upgrading is sometimes done to avoid ads
- Schedule Workouts into the Future: This is the most common reason we see athletes upgrading. They want to drag today’s workout to tomorrow so they can plan in advance. With Training Peaks Premium, athletes can schedule workouts well in advance, making it easier to plan their training and accommodate their busy schedules.
- Comprehensive Dashboard Graphs: Premium users have access to in-depth dashboard graphs that provide a visual representation of their training data. Athletes can quickly assess trends and spot areas for improvement, saving time on manual data analysis.
- Email Alerts to Coaches – Training Peaks Premium allows athletes to set up email alerts that notify their coaches about completed workouts, progress, or potential issues. This is a huge advantage that Consummate Athlete offers at the DAILY Coaching level that makes feedback on workouts faster. Feedback is huge to progressing so this feature, coupled with great coaching, really can accelerate your training and ensure each workout make sense given your recovery, motivation and goals.
- Ability to add newer calendar features like NOTES and Availability – these features allow for easier communication of vacations, appointments and other ‘events’ that are not races or workouts. Premium allows athletes to use these and to place them into the future, which is where they are most useful for planning.
- Use the Annual Plan (ATP) Builder to plan out your season and look back on past seasons
Costs and Pricing Plans
When considering whether to invest in Training Peaks Premium, it’s essential to understand the costs and pricing plans associated with this platform. Training Peaks offers flexibility in its pricing structure to accommodate a variety of athlete needs.
- Training Peaks Premium is priced at $124.99/year USD (plus tax) as of March 2023. If you elect to pay by the month it will cost 19.95 y the month will cost $19.95 USD per month. Check most up to date pricing on Training Peaks Pricing page.
- Coaching Packages from Consummate Athlete: Some coaching services and organizations, such as Consummate Athlete, may include Training Peaks Premium as part of their coaching packages. This can be a valuable way for athletes to access Training Peaks Premium while receiving personalized coaching guidance to maximize their training benefits. If you’re working with a coach or considering coaching services, inquire whether Training Peaks Premium is included in the package.
- Trial Period: Training Peaks often provides a trial period (click here) for new users, allowing them to explore the premium features before committing to a subscription. Be sure to check the duration and terms of any trial period offered.
- Save 15% off Training Peaks Premium when you buy a Training Peaks Plan – If you get a Training Plan from Training Peaks you can also save 15% on Training Peaks Premium – check out all of the Consummate Athlete Plans on Training Peaks here and save 15% on Premium!
Alternatives to Training Peaks Premium
Consummate Athlete recommends getting started training and not paying for any premium or additional features until you get a bunch of workouts logged and you start to see where there is friction or missing information. More information or data isn’t always helpful and for many athletes the additional features such as email notifications, future planning and dashboard graphs are not required to start training frequently.
If you like to see graphs and want to play with your data then consider these free options to start:
- Garmin Connect – many of the bike computers and run watches will need to pair to a website like Garmin Connect that also has a phone app. These are often more than enough for checking out your distance, maps and any peak powers or heart rates after your ride.
- Strava for logging data – provides graphs and maps at free/basic level. Importantly, you do not need to post publicly to use Strava (or Intervals.ICU) for data analysis.
- Intervals.ICU is a free extension off of your Strava data is often more information than most athletes need. Most athletes like to look at their workout data (how far they rode) and perhaps the map of their route after they get home. Wait to see if there are compelling reasons to add these other features.
- Golden Cheetah – An anlysis software that is open source and more advanced but a great tool that can be used on your desktop. (not an online app).
Who SHOULD Get Training Peaks Premium:
- You are using advanced data metrics with WKO+
- You want to really follow TSS and performance manager chart but do not want to use the similar load features in the above free softwares.
- If you are working towards BOLD GOALS and will benefit from tracking training load, peak powers and analyzing data all in one convenient place.
- If you are working closely with a coach. For the hard-charging athletes at our Weekly and Monthly coaching levels the ability to plan ahead, see data, use notes/availability and communicate frequently with a coach makes Training Peaks premium a great addition to their training.
Last Thoughts on Training Peaks Premium
Training Peaks Premium offers a valuable array of features designed to elevate the training experience of endurance athletes. For those looking to up their game, streamline their schedules, and gain access to advanced tools, Training Peaks Premium is a compelling option. It’s worth noting that Consummate Athlete includes Training Peaks Premium as part of their WEEKLY and DAILY coaching levels to enhance collaboration, improve planning, and foster better communication between athletes and coaches. With features like the ability to schedule workouts into the future, comprehensive dashboard graphs, and email alerts to coaches, it can be a game-changer for those aiming for peak performance.