Adnan Kadir, co-founder of VeloPro, is a USAC Level 1 cycling coach with nearly 30 years of international racing experience and more than a decade of coaching experience. He writes regularly for Racecenter NW magazine, holds several Oregon state championship titles, and races for Aeolus Endurance Sport/VeloPro team.
We contacted Adnan with some questions about his AI powered cycling training system, VeloPro.
1. An AI-Powered training system? Does this mean that computers are going to replace human bicycle coaches?
As a coach myself and as a company, we believe in the power of coaching as a tool to unlock an athlete’s full potential. VeloPro’s objective is to provide a simplified training tool for cyclists who need help to improve their fitness, but who don’t have access to a live coach, or who can’t afford one — our service costs $10 per month, as compared to $150 per month for a live coach, at a minimum.
It’s our hope that VeloPro will serve cyclists who need help improving their fitness by introducing them to the concept of structured training and coaching. We believe that many of our customers will turn to live coaches as they tackle more complex challenges, or need more in-depth advice on strategy, riding technique, and race-day preparations.
2. How is VeloPro different from just a standardized training plan you could find on the Internet or in a book?
Adaptability and feedback. With books and tools like TrainingPeak, you can get great training plans, and as long as you can follow them perfectly, you will see improvements in your performance.
But life isn’t like that — nothing ever goes perfectly to plan. If you miss a workout with a standard training plan, you’re left on your own to try and figure out what to do. With VeloPro, if you miss a workout or need to cancel one in advance, the system automatically adjusts your plan to compensate. This is one area where VeloPro may be better than live coaches — if one of my athletes misses a workout, they need to text or email me, and I’m not always able to respond immediately. VeloPro is always able to respond.
In addition, VeloPro predicts your performance improvement and then charts your progress toward your goals so you can see these improvements over time. Our athletes find this very motivating.
The VeloPro AI constantly tweaks your plan based on your real-life inputs, so your power goals are actively adjusted, which is a flexibility that a standard training plan isn’t able to offer. The result is that you’re fresher for your workouts, and you arrive at your goal events more confident and in the best possible shape.
3. What kind of equipment do you have to own to be able to use a program like this?
To get the most out of VeloPro, you need a power meter, although you can also use any device that outputs a .fit or .tcx file. The good news is that power meters are more affordable than ever. VeloPro also supports both outdoor and trainer workouts, allowing cyclists to use a power meter on a smart trainer, and one of our most popular features is the ability to ride VeloPro workouts on Zwift.
Regardless of where you train, by uploading workout data, the AI is able to see if an athlete is missing, meeting, or exceeding the training load goals, and automatically adjusts future workouts accordingly — either increasing difficulty, or backing off. Athlete input also allows the system to know if a cyclist needs a rest, and those changes are made automatically.
4. What kind of cyclist would use a training system like this? It it for racers?
VeloPro is for every kind of cyclist. Our system applies well-established, scientifically proven load-based and periodized training techniques, just as a live coach would. Using those techniques, we’ve helped riders prepare for cause rides, fondos, and centuries. We’ve also worked with more experienced athletes training for all kinds or races: road, mountain, cyclocross, gravel event including Dirt Kanza 200, and ultra-endurance events like Swift Summit 200.
We are currently serving a good mix of athletes who represent a true cross-section of cyclists. The majority of our athletes are cyclists who have decided to tackle a goal — an improved time at a favorite fondo, or a multi-day tour that they want to fully enjoy, and not suffer through.
Once introduced to the benefits of structured training, we’ve found that many athletes continue to set more ambitious goals in VeloPro and our most advanced competitive athletes do go on to retain live coaches to help them improve their racing skills.
VeloPro, founded in 2014, is the world’s first AI-powered training system for cyclists. Based in Portland, Oregon, VeloPro’s team aims to make world-class training accessible and affordable to cyclists of all levels who don’t have a professional coach. The system has guided riders on more than 40,000 training rides and VeloPro athletes have successfully completed more than 1,400 cycling events after preparing with the system.