Speed and Distance and why it matters, or doesn't

I’ve seen a number of posts from folks who are genuinely upset when their speed and distance calculated or displayed in the app doesn’t match their expectations or their efforts when workouts have been done in the past.

To me, similar to elevation, since the workouts in SYSTM are NOT an attempt at a simulation of the outside world (though arguably some of the pro-rides could be seen that way) these metrics are meaningless and I never show them on screen when doing SUF/SYSTM vids nor am I fussed by the results reported post workout and synced to Strava. However, it is obviously really very important for some people to see these metrics and to have them recorded, reported, and as accurate as can be calculated.

I am wondering, if any of the Coaches or SUF/SYSTM/wahoo scientists could weigh in on this issue and maybe even write a post of their own on the topic. I think it would be welcomed.

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I do not show them on the screen either.

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Yeh, it’s not for me, more of a public service for those that do. I AM curious what the scientists and coaches take is on it though.

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I think it’s a ticking Strava boxes etc more than a science thing, so not sure the coaches can help.

If someone did add elevation gains, I wonder if there’d be a rush to do a Sufferfest Everesting?

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I appreciate Suf speed, in that it helps me gauge rough performance and distance (for maintenance).

I find suf speed fairly accurate for me in flatlandria, so it’s useful as a rough gauge of what my expected performance will be when I come out of winter hibernation next year.

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I’ve done a few virtual Everestings and the only apps that are officially recognized are RGT and Zwift even though Rouvy and some others actually sim real world climbs. Also, Knighthood is, imho, a tougher challenge cuz you’re only allowed 10 mins between breaks. Don’t get me wrong, vEveresting is hard AF but it’s just a different kind of challenge.

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I never look at distance/speed. Time is a much better metric to track, but that only tells you so much. I’m not sure which, but one of the podcasts discuss that mileage isn’t the best metric to track training volume. That said I can see how it’s frustrating if your speed is crazy out.

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My two cents: I also never look at speed or distance during workouts. Power, cadence and HR are all I use.

I can see that Suf Speed (assuming it is somehow calculated based on power) could be meaningful. I think bike wheel speed on the trainer is pretty much meaningless as you can change it by shifting gears, and the trainer adjusts resistance to maintain constant power.

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I am with you the first thing I did with the new app is remove distance and speed from the progress bar. All I need is current watts, target watts and RPE.

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I only ever used to have HR, cadence, and power but after listening to the podcasts I’ll be adding RPE.

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First, thanks @Coach.Rupert.H!! I was aware of the article. I guess the official answer is that with your new formula, you are trying to give a reasonable approximation of what speed and distance would be covered over the course of any cycling done within SYSTM. I get that.

What I am wondering about specifically though, is whether it “matters” at all from a training/coaching/sports science perspective. If it doesn’t then maybe that can be noted. If it does, then maybe that could be explained. Like I noted in my original post, I’m personally not invested in the topic but it seems there are a lot of folks, especially recently, who are and I thought it might be worth quelling their fears with how SYSTM captures and reports speed and distance with an explainer post in the Forums.

There is SOOOOO much great info on the Support and Blog sites which I myself regularly access but there are a lot of peeps who come to the forums or FB before looking anywhere else. Thanks again!

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Heck I don’t even look at speed IRL!

:grimacing::wink:

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Got it, I’m with you! Leave it with me and I will see if we can put something together for you about speed.

People do find speed and distance useful though if training without a power meter it gives something to measure agains on indoor vs. outdoor workouts.

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Thanks @Coach.Rupert.H. I think the community will appreciate it and once it’s done, I can always link people to the post, and the support site article.

This explains why my speed and distance have gone up so much from before the switch to SYSTM and why there is such a discrepancy between the Wahoo APP and the SYSTM app for speed, i.e. when putting out 132 virtual watts Wahoo app reads about 20km/hr and the SYSTM app reads about 25km/hr. Glad I read through the forum before posting it as a bug.

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