Adaptive Training Closed Beta Update

I’ve adjusted my mindset and I now rate my workouts according to how much I want to see the adaption change. It initially has all my levels FAR lower than what I’ve done historically, so I’ve been trying to push them to the right levels. They weren’t moving up fast enough for my liking, so i changed my thinking to “how can i best impact my next workout?”

So, if I’m doing a VO2 workout and when I finish I think to myself, “I expected that to be way harder based on what I normally do in a VO2 ride”, then I would rate it as “easy”. Boom, the next workout will be way harder. If I’m at my limit and I don’t want to fail the next one, I would rate it as “Hard”, expecting to see a smaller adaptation.

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This parallels the list I made this morning, based on the TR support comments about the Pass survey ratings:

image

This may not be right or what TR really intended, but from the experiences we are having and TR’s support info, this seems closer than anything else I have seen.

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The only thing here is that I’d probably never choose Hard or above if I completed the workout. If I hit a workout, I want the PL jump. So if I based my survey response with this, 99% of my completed workouts would get Easy or Moderate, and I’d rarely choose Hard. But I’d probably never choose Very Hard or All Out. Which to me sounds wrong.

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Yeah, to a point this leads me to what I used in my own personal 3-point “effort” rating system that I used for years before AT.

1 - Low: This was a rating for many Endurance workouts under 2 hours, and any workout that felt easier than expected. In some cases, I might have adjusted my planned workouts to be a tad harder if I was expecting a 2 - Medium.

2 - Med: This was my typical rating for a challenging workout, but one I completed fully with no “cheats”. This usually meant a “hard” workout (like Thresh, VO2, Anaerobic) went as planned, so no change in planning.

3 - High: In my system, I used this for super hard workouts or “fails”. This likely lead me to consider adjusting my plan.

  • TR’s system uses it (5-All Out) in the Pass survey, and has a separate “Struggle” one.
  • So when I use “5 All Out” now, it is because the workout smashed me and left me in a heap afterwards.

In a way, a simpler system with 3 basic outcomes:

  1. No change in planning, or a slight increase in difficulty if a “hard” workout was “too easy”.
  2. No changes, steady as she goes.
  3. Likely changes to decrease difficulty in the near term.

What TR seems to have now is a lopsided bias (2 as the middle in their scale), that may well be leading to limited or slowed adaptations for people that are judging workouts based on “feel” given the rather short words/definitions we were given (and a potential 3 middle). The additional “gray areas” that the 5 point system added from my 3 point version only muddy the waters IMO.

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I think hard is still OK, though. The plan will bump up PL the following week. If you always pick moderate and bump the PLs for workouts that feel hard, it seems like that increase plus the PL progression built into the plan will soon lead to failed workouts.

Am I thinking about this right?

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Possibly. We are guessing here, but essentially the survey response is used to leverage how much (if at all) to alter our Progression Levels, which then leads to potential adaptations to the plan workouts on our calendar.

Effectively, it seems possible to choose your progression level. Pick “1-Easy” for everything, and you may well be in trouble in a week or even a few days depending on the related PL and pending workouts in that week.

Likewise, those of us that used 3-Hard or 4-Very Hard with any frequency, may have had delayed or limited progression in workout difficulty, and potentially “de-rated” plans that were below our actual abilities.

Ironically, it’s almost like we have a 3 or 4-point system since the top 1 or two are potentially “negative” in ways that are not fully intended.

  • Personally, the 5-All Out might as well be a “Struggle” since you get that survey at the end anyway. It’s essentially the fact that you barely survived enough to avoid triggering the actual “Struggle”, but darn near failed anyway.
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Thanks. I got in last week, and haven’t had much chance to experience the joys and frustrations of AT.

I’ve settled somewhat on using clock watching as an additional input into how I rate workouts:

  • If I don’t look at the clock, or barely look at the clock the ride is easy or moderate
  • if I’m clocking watching, but only for the end of intervals, it moderate or hard
  • if I’m only getting through the interval by playing time games (e.g., just get to 5 minutes, get to 3 minutes, etc.) then it’s very hard
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This is why we badly need objective guidance on this…

Hard or Very Hard are my default responses to pretty much all my interval days - surely any interval session (z4 and above) should be hard to achieve or you’re essentially doing the wrong session completely??? For me ‘Hard’ is about the need for focus and effort to get it done, while ‘Very Hard’ means there were moments I wondered if I’d get through it or would need to take a cheat break…but I didn’t. ‘All out’ would mean falling off the rollers at the end, needing serious recovery time before I even got off the bike itself and probably needing a lie down on the floor before I even contemplated rejoining the human race (benchmarked by the memory of a parachute regiment medic crouching over me offering first aid as I lay on the side of the airfield perimter track, still clipped into my TT bike after finishing a 10 mile TT…). So now I’m thinking I’m doing it all wrong :rofl: :rofl:

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Agreed. I’ve never in my life done a VO2 max workout that would be rated less than a hard, and I’d say most would be Very Hard. Which messes with the current system apparently. Which is why we’re trying to get clarification.

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I guess forwarding you the mail doesn’t work? Got it yesterday but was sick of waiting for it so cancelled 2 months ago and found another home :wink: :joy:

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I get the point of all who are saying you have your own definitions. I did the same at first, but when I realized that didn’t work, I changed my method and followed the one I mentioned above. Why waste time worrying about the definition of “hard”. Just adjust to it being a “leave it the same, make it harder, make it easier” survey and everything will work fine, right?

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  • Maybe?
  1. That approach goes directly against what TR told us to do in the beginning, not to mention the “face value” present in the “How did this effort feel?” question, along with the super simple answer options.

  2. Even with the additionally, and contradictory info shared to some people via TR reps, that is still not as direct guidance as your summary above. Their “How did this compare to what you expected for this workout?” approach is new, different and still “unofficial” as of now since there is no actual documentation in a regular TR source stating that.

  3. We are all taking some reasonably educated guesses to reach the basic approach you list, and are still unsure if it is fully the case. I suspect it is more accurate than any other theory at the moment, but it’s still a guess until we get better info from what I consider to be a more direct source (widely posted info direct from TR via this thread, the blog, etc… not random TR support shared with single members).

At this point, we have a hack solution that I don’t consider concrete in any way.

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Circling back on something that was an issue for me a few months ago.

I have two bikes with two power meters. I’ve tested on both and they run around 15 watts different at my FTP (360->375), so when I swap between bikes I change my FTP settings.

Most of the time this isn’t a huge issue because one is a dedicated trainer bike and the other I only use on the trainer very sporadically. However, when the trainer bike requires servicing or I am traveling but want to use the trainer occasionally, I like the ability to update my FTP.

Since I am about to head off on a trip with my bike and trainer (will do some outside and some inside workouts) I updated my FTP to match the other bike’s settings. This does not represent a change in my fitness and is only a chance in measuring device. However, when I did so all of my PLs dropped significantly and AT is trying to adapt my entire plan to be crazy easy

I rejected the adaptations, but it keeps nagging me to do it.

I would suggest that we should have an option to have our PLs recalculated or not when FTP is updated, whether manually or via a test

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Absolutely agree with all you say. I’m concerned that I’m getting less than optimal adaptations in my training due to me incorrectly responding to the survey so I decided to do something about it and change my way of thinking. I just think this is the simple solution for me until we get clarity from TR.

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Does your power meter allow you to change the bias? My pedal power meters and my Neo are off a bit, so rather than maintain 2 ftp’s, I just changed the pedals to give me the same watts as my trainer. I recognize this could mean the readings are too high or too low, but I don’t really care because I just need a number to train against.

Power match?

I’ve never used it because I have a dedicated trainer bike, but you’re right, that would work if he’s using the same bike (or power meter) for indoors and out.

Nope, neither of the PMs supports this

I am using power match - that’s the issue. I could stop using power match and use the trainer power, but that introduces a third variable to my FTP as that tracks differently than either of the PMs

Well then you get to buy a new power meter! Win/win! :rofl: