Celebrating Triumphs in 2023 and beyond; Athlete stories and Athletica

Athletica Community,

Let’s celebrate our achievements from minor nuances to grand victories together; now and in the future.

I have used Athletica since Spring 2023.

I am 45 years old with a moderate history of amateur athletics; freestyle wrestling, mountaineering, ice climbing, and competitive freestyle whitewater kayaking; none involving running or track & field.

I have completed the 5k, 10k, Half Marathon Garmin “Coach” programs as well as used TP with a purchased training plan. I am sure you will read similar testimonials regarding lack of “program responses” to my session inputs, but that is not what I would like considered when factoring Athletica.ai against the marketplace of options we have available as athletes.

When I reflect back on the various historical graphs of my fitness before arriving at Athletica my progression (Load, CTL, call it what you will) was “rough or jagged” often trending higher but also sometimes drifting negative in terms of progression or my perception of development. Recovery wasn’t even something to consider; it was more a focus on the next session. Athletica has reshaped my focus on the recovery portion of the stress cycle in training.

Transitioning to Athletica I had many similar feelings about what the platform was doing and how it was doing it (I still try to dig into the “magic” of it, to grow as an athlete). The training sessions seemed lighter than the TP/Garmin ones, but they were almost every day which I accepted. The changes in the session were so gradual they were almost unnoticeable.

Now coming up to the end of my first year of actively trying different platforms I believe in Athletica 100%. I started running a mixed bag of sessions on the other platforms with limited progression. Within 6 months of consistent daily effort with the prescribed sessions on Athletica, I am achieving outcomes that I would have set for years of training. I average ~75km a week and growing.
Both Athletica and I, as an athlete, have adapted and improved tremendously during 2023 which I am deeply grateful for. I would like to sincerely thank the entire Athletica team, especially those behind the scenes, for the concerted efforts to continually improve the platform for the athletes’ benefit.

My intent has not changed since I started trying the various platforms: Run Far, Run Long, Breathe fresh air, and Enjoy every adventure as it happens.

I did get quite sick in October (COVID) combined with the Canadian Thanksgiving family time which took me away from my training for ~4 weeks. Athletica drew me out of the reduced training load during this time back to where I was when I got sick; most importantly without injury the entire year.

I enjoy poking at the platform to see how it responds biet a chatty subjective session input to seeing how the new AI coach does to shuffling sessions around during the week to see how it does with what life can through at me as a working father, business professional and aspiring self-coached ultra-distance athlete.
Athletica has taken my poking and prying in stride and still puts me back into the best form I can be at that time.

I have attached my Performance Potential as a testament and celebration of my 2023 athletic journey.

Interesting note: the rough or jagged portion of the right side of the graph is me challenging the platform and consolidating my load into Half Marathons every other day to focus on muscle and soft tissue durability, rather than smaller sessions each day; you can see the change vs a reduced load each day.

My most memorable Canadian adventure this summer was an overland run from Rosebud to Drumheller, Alberta with a close friend. It was 37 km along an abandoned CNR railroad line with ~24 truss railroad bridge crossings; all about 100 years old. My youngest son (10) chose the spot for our supply drop bags the night before. He insisted on having a picture with our dog to make sure his dad wouldn’t forget the spot. It was a glorious day running through the badlands of Alberta and appreciating the history of railroad building along with internal time. My boys made medals for us at the finish. My friend has framed his finisher medal alongside his other ultra medals.
I came away with a profound sense of gratitude for my family’s support of my shenanigans without that support I wouldn’t be able to try as hard as I do. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I also celebrate the opportunity to run ~150km across Belize in November. I was chased out of Mangrove swamps by crocodiles and snakes. I will not forget running alongside police officers, and countless curious strangers wondering what this guy was doing in the middle of the jungle. The Belizean people’s genuine welcoming nature and the countryside are something to behold.
I learned that heat acclimation is a tough thing to try and power through on the first long run day and that slow and easy is the only way :hot_face:

2024 I am registered for my first official Ultra-Marathon along a section of the Klondike Trail and have several endurance adventures planned in the Canadian Rockies and West Coast of British Columbia.

Please post your athletic adventure/memory for the Athletica community to better get to know you.

If you are comfortable sharing any insights/achievements you working to celebrate as we move into 2024 that would be great.
Looking forward to hearing from the Athletica community!

Wishing everyone triumph and greatness in all forms in 2024.

Aron Devauld


Wow. That was simply amazing @Cubicfunction. Thank you so much for sharing! :star2:

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inspirational story Arron , nice work and all the best for 2024

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What an amazing journey! It’s great to see how you’ve used Athletica to even out your training and bring you to new accomplishments.
I’ve been using Athletica for the last several months and already I’m seeing significant progress in my fitness and health. I had some heart issues with surgery last September so Athletica has been instrumental in helping me recover and build for my 2024 goals.


@Pablo_ie Is there anything in particular that you would like to share with the community moving into the 2024 New Year? Perhaps an ah-ha moment with a newfound pair of favourite socks or a proud moment of any degree sport-related or otherwise?

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@SimpleEnduranceCoach That is a fascinating application of Athletica! With the integration of HRV (hopefully in the future), it may even take your application to the next level of avoiding any post-surgery challenges while you are out there Givn’er and getting fitter.
Are you focused on Triathlons, Running, or Cycling?


I know Athletica is working to bring HRV onboard soon. I’ve been riding bikes for a lot of years and will be getting out today on New Year’s Day for a long ride. What about you?


I sure am going to head out for a run today at some point. What better way to bring in the New Year. It has been warmer than usual where we are in Canada. Hoping for some snow for some skiing/snowboarding.

Does anyone else do anything special on New Year’s Day to bring in the new year? Any form of tradition or something you always wanted to do?


Well today was a recovery day due a party in the house last night to bring in the new year. One things for sure is I can still party as good if not better than the younger crew but don’t recover the next day as good.

So tomorrow will start with the planned hiit bike session, ice bath, hot yoga then a good walk with my better half in the afternoon.

Really thankful for the fun last night and for another day tomorrow to start again.


Triumph for 2023 was not getting a run or cycling injury for the first time in I can’t even remember how long. I forced myself to stick to the Athletica program and credit this for my healthy build and performance.

I also completed my first swimrun, which was a blast.

Looking forward to a solid 2024.


Amazing @MartinM :slight_smile: Thank you for that! All the best for 2024.

@MartinM Being able to train to a higher level and be injury-free is an awesome triumph to be celebrated every day; especially looking back over a whole year. This is one of those often overlooked triumphs until it is too late and we are peering back through the lens of injury waiting to get back out there again.

It reminds me of a quote I remembered recently:

“A healthy person has a thousand wishes; an unhealthy person has only one”
-Indian Proverb

Congrats on your first Swimrun!
I had to look it up and oh man does that look fun! I am going to have to see if there are any in the area where I live. It looks like it would be a blast!

Thanks for sharing.


Absolutely love this :heart:


Amazing story! thank you for sharing. You are an amazing role model to you kiddo (s)! Well done!
I’ve been challenging myself with Ironman full and half distance racing, and although I am by far not accomplished what I want to accomplish, I am looking forward to add some epic adventures into my bucket list. One of them is of course Norseman, which I’ve applied three times already. Patagoniaman is another. I also want to return to Nordic Skiing in the Masters level. there’s a whole bunch of racing to be done on skis as well! But really, just making my own adventures both in Canada and US is something I want to do with my kids and friends. So much fun to be had!! Thanks for this inspirational story!


This sounds a little bit like your training journey to and with Athletica rather than simply 2023. I’ll respond with that in mind.

I’m a lifelong active person. Walked to the very first school I went too, cycled to school from 11 years old, hill walking progressing into mountaineering then alpine and Himalayan as I headed through my teens and twenties. Cycled to work. Never stopped.

Until 2017 I never trained. I used to be quite proud that I didn’t train, I just did. But I did it a lot and thus could be said to be training, it just wasn’t structured.

In 2017 my wife wanted to get fitter on the bike. But she wasn’t a fan riding outdoors. A turbo seemed the right answer. I’m quite technically adept / savvy, and my research turned up smart turbos. They seemed the answer.

We got a smart turbo in 2017 but we only used it sporadically that year and I didn’t really know how to get the best out of it. In 2018 I bought Joe Friel’s Fast after Fifty. That gave me a few ideas and I soon had a few workouts built in the tacx app for the trainer.

In 2019 I had fallen down the rabbit hole that is called Exercise Physiology and read far too much of the research for a layman. I was in particular taken with Ronnestads 30/15 VO2 max intervals. I spent a month doing 3 x 13 x 30/15 for 5 days a week. Because of my lifelong active lifestyle I’m pretty resilient and didn’t have a problem doing that. But the next month I didn’t touch the turbo. No real structure or consistency

Now a little about the kind of events I do. Ever heard of those 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km, 1000km, 1200km, 1500km, 2000km single stage cycling events? Yep that’s me I ride brevets, it an older non competitive version of ultra cycling. Been around as long as the TDF.

In 2020 I was training for a 2,100km event. Fittest I’d been in a long time, lightest I’d been in 20 years., felt great. Then the pandemic hit, one by one my target events shut down. With no targets I drifted, nothing to train for.

Fitness dropped, and my speed with it, and by late 2021 I was struggling going beyond 4 hours let alone the times of the longest events which can last more than a week with the timer running all the time.

I decided on a reset and spent 4-5 months leading into 2022 just focusing on base. Lots of zone 2 and no intensity. That brought me a long way, a solid endurance base, but then what to do?

I was on the Fast Talk forum and asked just this question. A coach called Steve Neal recommended I try Athletica as he thought it would solve the challenge for me of what now.

Cycling for me is as much about being in the outdoors enjoying the sensations and environment as the actual activity. I’m not an indoor exerciser at heart. It’s one of the things that attracted me to Athletica. I could do the planned workout / training in my preferred environment outdoors . I could also do by power or heart rate. I didn’t have a power meter on my bike, but I did have a heart rate monitor.

I signed up in June 22 for the free trial. VO2 and Threshold I’d do in the turbo twice a week, an acceptable compromise. The rest outdoors. I like the way it adapted and I like the simplicity of the sessions and that it gave ranges rather than fixed power or HR. Soon enough I converted that into a month’s subscription.

At the end of the month there was a discount offer on an annual subscription. It wasn’t clear how to convert my monthly subscription to annual and for the payments to work. I dropped a note to hello@athletica.ai and Paul himself responded and helped sort it out.

I’ve now been on Athletica just over 18 months and they’ve been the most consistent I’ve ever had in my short training history. In the Black Friday sales of 2022 I bought a crank power meter for my bike. Now every workout including Threshold and VO2 max is outside unless it really is too icy / snowy to ride. The turbo feels neglected but my training doesn’t.

Now you’ll go hang on, Athletica doesn’t have an ultra cycling plan on offer. You are absolutely right. But one thing ultra cyclists know after a number of seasons is how to do the endurance side, how to go long. What we are not so good about is the VO2, Threshold, Strength Endurance etc. I follow the cycling all rounder medium volume adding in my long sessions when I want to practice my event pacing, nutrition, hydration, clothing and equipment choices etc.

I’m feeling in great shape off the back of this consistency. and progression of my training. Plus I’ve had a good 2023 with not a single sniffle or reason to back off what’s proscribed. I hit 649 hours of cycling in 2023.

The platform’s capability and interface has grown a lot in those 18 months and I know there’s more to come.


Hi @Phil

What a great contribution to the thread! Thank you so much for that. :partly_sunny:

I sat down real quick as I was changing to head out the door for a club run in the nearby city and found myself smiling to myself as I read through your post.
I am working on integrating my self-created long-runs into the platform without derailing the current/following week’s load dramatically.
I thoroughly enjoy learning about other athlete’s journeys as they are as individual as we are.
Being a believer that information is empowering I, too, tend to go deep into aspects that interest me. I can certainly say that is the case with distance running; my wife reminds me often that I have stacks of physiology and kinesiology textbooks beside the bed for evening reading. :crazy_face:

649 hrs in the saddle is something to be very proud of!
Cant wait to hear what 2024 brings.

Best of luck in 2024 with all your goals; both long and short!

Thanks again for sharing your journey thus far; please come back and update the community when you can.


@Phil, that’s a great story. It seems having a solid training structure helped you build the training habit and you did the work from there. I’ve read stories from people who’ve done brevets: that’s some crazy long distance. I can’t imagine the mental and nutritional challenges that come with the physical work of pedaling for that long. I’m amazed by your tenacity and willpower. Kudos!


Super big shout out to one of our own Athletica Athletes! @Jesse

What an awesome athlete showcase!
Thank you so much @Marjaana for highlighting Jesse in his athletic journey.

Posting it here as a 2023 Triumph and Celebration of Jesse.

As a wise athlete once said:
“I have gained perspective: This is what I do for fun. Let’s keep it that way.”

If there are any new Athletica Athletes that have joined and want to share 2023 Triumphs, stories or other endeavours or perhaps post a goal and make it “real” for 2024.

Please do so we would love to hear from you and support your journey aswell.


Thanks for the shout out @Cubicfunction ! Great to see Jesse’s journey being appreciated :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: