Getting started

Hi all.

I’m the new guy. Haha.

Just looking for a bit of help. I’m on the 14 day trial at the moment and can’t wait to get stuck in, but I was hoping for a quick run down of how to use Systm after that time.

Individual training sessions - how do I know the level they’re pitched at and whether I’ll be able to do one? I see they show TSS and IF in the descriptions. What are these? Will these help me decide?

Training plans - I have no current cycling specific aims as such. I want to get fitter and burning some fat would be a plus and due to work commitments just now I don’t have loads of time to think too much about a plan. Are there pre-set training plans I can sign up to that I can just follow that would help with this? How does getting a plan together work?

Finally, longer terms goals and aims. I would like to maybe aim to do my first event in summer 2022. That would be so good. If I pick an event, is there a way I can form a bespoke plan based on a distance and time I am aiming for? I don’t know much about training plans, but if there was a sort of calculator to just input a distance, a time and a feasible training period and see what plans are suggested, that would be genius!!

Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you and looking forward to getting stuck in!!



Hi @Peghead and welcome the first thing is to do a 4DP Full Frontal Test, this will give you your 4 specific Training figures NM 5-15 second sprint, AC Anaerobic Capacity - 1 minute power, MAP Maximal Aerobic Power - 5 min Power and your 20 min FTP once you get these figures all the workouts you do after this will be based on these figures, I’m sure others can go into greater detail about what plans you might want to look at or do but in the meantime your first port of call would be to do the Full Frontal Test it is hard and you might find it bloody awful but it’s the only way to get the most out of your training. Then once you start training and maybe choose a plan for what the System thinks you need to work on you can redo the FF again in 10-12 weeks to see if there’s been any improvement


Welcome, @Peghead. We were all the new guy at one point. Even @David.McQuillen.KoS was the new guy when he got this whole carnival rolling.

To your questions:

  1. I agree with @Shaned1972. Your next step should be the Full Frontal Prep Plan. It’s a week long, and it’ll set you up for the test that will determine how the app adjusts all the rest of your workouts. We mythologize how agonizing it is, but it’s really just a hard workout. If you were afraid of hard workouts, you wouldn’t be here.

  2. All of your training sessions will be pitched at your level once you complete the Full Frontal.

  3. Training Plans: you can’t go wrong with “All Purpose Road Plan.” It is, after all, “all purpose.”

  4. Once you choose that Summer 22 event, you’ll be able to select a plan that’ll help you crush it. There are plans for long distance, plans for hilly terrain, plans for gravel, and the list goes on. Or you could identify your weakness as a rider through the FF and choose a plan to help you work on that.

  5. One of the big draws of this place is how helpful and nice everyone is. Ask all the questions you want. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll fabricate some plausible-sounding guesses. :smile:


Thanks so much, guys. @AlexEllermann your answer 5 :joy::joy: Great! Can’t wait to get started!! So, just to clarify, should I do the FF before I even do the 14 day intro plan that comes with being a newbie?

Thanks again.

Yes…do FF first

1 Like

The 14 day intro plan kicks off with Half Monty to get an idea of your starting numbers and then gives you a bit of time to ride a variety of workouts and get used to things. I’d recommend finishing that first and then load up the FF prep plan.


Welcome @Peghead! Awesome that you found Wahoo Fitness SYSTM!!! Isn’t this an amazing community?!?! I echo the advice from @AlexEllermann and @JamesT. Continue with the 14 day intro plan and then continue with the FF prep plan followed by an all purpose road plan. When you are ready for a race specific plan there will guaranteed be one to match your course.


Hi @coach.jinger.g - yeah, absolutely great community support.

Guess what!? I actually did the FF test early this morning…a 20 min FTP test after pedalling like crazy for 5 - oof!! Feel great for it now though and already given me loads of focus. Can’t wait to get further along with the training. Just hope ERG works where it should. It’s been problematic on another app within training sessions.

Anyway, thanks for all the help everyone!


Okay - let me bother you one last time (p.s. probably not the last time). So, this morning I did the Getting Away With It session, but I’m confused about what setting I need to be in. It defaults to ERG mode - is this the correct mode? I notice there are also different levels you can choose from and for the FF it told me not to be in ERG mode (so I just stuck at level 0, whatever means…) Anyway, hitting cadence alongside power was really tricky regardless of gear in ERG mode. In fact, I thought in ERG mode you didn’t need to switch around through gears and ERG changes resistance so you can hit the power vs cadence ratio. Can someone please explain? Any help would be great because I’m hoping to get the most out of my workouts. Thanks again!!!


Welcome to the party.

There’s a chart of whether you should use ERG or level however as a general rule if the efforts are 30 seconds or longer I’d use ERG (that seems to be where my trainer comfortably manages it).

The other thing with ERG is it struggles on huge jumps and low power in my experience. I’d suggest using a low gear e.g. Inner ring and top of the cassette, this means that the flywheel is spinning at a lower speed (and across a smaller range of speeds) which gives the braking more of chance to smooth the curve.

Second point is possibly look at elements of style and try smoothing the stroke out. If you jam down hard then coast through the rest of the circle you will be adding pulses of acceleration, this can also make your trainer chase the correct resistance.

Have fun and remember the top of the hill is just over the next horizon.

Erg mode is best for just about all the workouts. It’ll let you know in the description if not!
Erg lets you concentrate on turning the pedals smoothly at the given pace. Develop a good pedal technique at the beginning and you will reap the benefits forever!
Elements of style will help hugely no matter what mode you choose to ride in

Okay. Is my idea of what ERG should do correct though? That is, I should be able to stay in a pretty central gear on the back cassette and ERG should change resistance to allow me to hit suggested cadence and power in that same gear? If so, I wonder if there’s something wrong with my trainer because I had the same issue on another app where to try and get the suggested cadence and power in line I had to be up and down through the gears, which is a nightmare on 30 second intervals - impossible to find the gear, hit the correct cadence/power before the 30 seconds are up. I could feel the resistance change in line with the route (i.e. increase of climbs), but I’m not sure if that’s all I should be experiencing.

My set up is Tacx Flow + either BT or Ant+ + windows or android.

Any help, again, would be fantastic! Sorry for all the newbie questions! I just want to get the best out of my set up.


Yes, that is exactly how ERG mode is meant to work. I have a 15 year old Tacx Flow trainer that I have “made smart” using the FortiusAnt software you can find on Github and it works like this. FWIW I tend to use 39 up front and 19 on the back. Sometimes 17 or 21.

I only rarely change gear, generally because I find there is a minimum resistance the trainer can apply and for easy efforts it’s still too strong hence a need to change to a lower gear. Apart from botttoming out issues, it makes no difference what gear I’m in.

Thanks John. Sorry, mine is meant to be “smart”. Tacx Flow Smart I meant to say. I might ping Tacx and see what they have to say.

Yes, sounds like something isn’t quite right.

Thanks, John. I agree. I was putting it down to being new to all this, but I think I’ve tried it enough to know now that something isn’t working.

I think it might also depend on your bike gearing setup. I own a Tacx flow smart as well. And even in ERG mode I still have to shift. I use my old mtb indoor, so biggest front chainring is 36t. So using the middle of the gear on the back and big front ring, does not work for me. Depending on required cadence and power I do have to shift. I just shift a few seconds before the interval starts.

I agree with the knowledgeable replies- ERG mode is ideal but if it is your first time doing a specific workout, check the description… and a quick exchange with Tacx may be helpful especially if you communicate about your specific bike/gearing.

Thanks all for your responses. I think, unfortunately, I might have to return my Tacx smart trainer. I use my Triban RC500 for my workouts. If I part ex my Tacx for a Wahoo Kickr (wheel on), can anyone tell me whether I can expect ERG to work here or whether I would likely just anticipate the same problems? Any help would be great. Thank you.

Dont give up on your tacx untilbyou have deleted and then reinstalled which ever app you are using. I’ve recently had ERG issues (tacx flow s, windows on pc) and reinstalling seems to have solved it.

1 Like