TrainingPeaks Tip: Workout Codes

I mentioned a few posts back when I announced I made the TrainingPeaks team that I was going to write the occasional post with a TrainingPeaks tip.  This is the first of those posts.  I have no plan for them.  I'll just throw out the random tip from time to time.

Now that I'm getting into coaching, I had to create a new TrainingPeaks account.  You don't just upgrade your personal account.  You create a coaching account and then you can link your personal account to your coaching account.  Talk about the ultimate in self-coaching.

Having a coaching account means my workout library was empty.  I could have shared my personal one with "Coach Mike" but I opted to rebuild it instead.  This was an opportunity to clean things up and set up a better system.

We all have workouts we repeat.  They're workouts, but they're also tests.  These workouts help us track our progress, and can sometimes be a better indicator of progress than official tests because we only test occasionally and if the test doesn't go well, for whatever reason, it doesn't provide a good data point. 

The problem can be finding these workouts, especially if you want to compare current data to previous years.  How do you quickly and easily find all of your 2x20 workouts?

That's where workout codes come in.

Trainingpeaks.com and WKO+ come with search and filter options that help you find these workouts quickly and easily, but you have to set things up on the front end.  If there is a workout you do often that you use to track progress, I recommend giving it a workout code.  Then you can search by that code and pull up all of the times you've done that workout.  

Rebuilding my workout library has had me thinking about workout codes.  I came up with a system and I think will work well.  I'm starting the codes with letters that indicate the type of workout and then I'm adding a dash and numbers to some workouts to add a little more detail.

Here's an example:  BTH-220.  That code is for a 2x20' at threshold workout.  The "B" is for bike (run workouts begin with R, swim with an S).  The "TH" stands for threshold so that indicates it's a threshold workout.  The "220" after the dash stands for 2x20.  

So now that I have a code on that workout, I can easily search for that code and pull up all the times I (or an athlete I'm coaching) have done that workout.  You can also search for partial codes, which is part of the reasoning for my system.  If I want to pull up all threshold workouts I just type in "BTH".  Adding the "-220" to the code allows me the option of narrowing the search down even more and comparing just 2x20 workouts. 

You don't need a code for every workout, recovery workouts probably don't need a code, but I recommend them for key "breakthrough" workouts.  I'm adding them for every workout simply because I'm rebuilding my library and it's easy enough to add a code. And your codes don't need to be as specific as mine.  You could just type in "Threshold" for all threshold workouts. 

Here's a screenshot where I searched for all 2x20 workouts within the last 3 months.  You'll see down on the lower left of the screen where you can type in workout codes.

Searching for all 2x20 workouts in the past 3 months.

Here's a search for the same workout in WKO+.

Searching for workout codes in the calendar view of WKO+

If you're in trainingpeaks.com and you want to add or change workout codes to existing workouts, you can easily do that in the calendar list view.  Just click in the workout code box and add or change a code. 


Below you can see where you can add codes (at the top) to the workout builder.  You can get there by either creating a new workout for your library or clicking on an existing workout and then clicking edit.  Once you have workout codes for your library, you just drag and drop those workouts onto your calendar and the codes will be there when you upload your workouts.  Quick and easy.

You can add workout codes next to the title in the workout builder.