Adaptive Training: Low Volume + Unstructured Rides = Reduces TSS/IF

Hey guys,

New to TrainerRoad. Like many have suggested I signed up for the low volume plan with the intention of adding two unstructured rides to fill out my typical 10-12 hour week. 3 TR structured rides + 2 low-key long rides = fast and happy cyclist. The issue I’ve having is after each workout I do AT wants to reduce the TSS/IF factors on subsequent rides. And thus I’m finding myself in the position of either turning AT off, or ignoring them.

For reference, historically my TSS has been 700-1200 a week. Low Volume has me at about 250, and I’m adding about 500 on my other rides. My goal is to train smarter with less volume.

Thanks in advance!

How are you doing the 3 actual LV plan workouts each week, inside or outside?

Are you completing the Intensity Surveys for those specific LV workouts each week?

What survey ratings generally for those workouts?

  • Essentially, I have a suspicion that AT may not be getting completed survey info for those 3 LV workouts. When it sees any form of incomplete or missing workout, it will tend to reduce the pending workouts on each week on the calendar. That seems a lot like what you describe, so I am thinking your workouts and/or surveys may be incomplete in some way according to AT.
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LV rides are on smart trainer.

Yes. Most I’ve rated as moderate to hard with one or two as very hard.


Hmm, then it’s odd to me that AT would be dropping pending workouts based upon that. Might be worth an email to TR support since they can dig deeper than we can on the forum.

And why have you said that they were “very hard” when presented with the choice of explanatory options?
Very Hard for me usually means that it’s time to reduce intensity of subsequent workouts, and AT respects that nicely.

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Looking into this with the team now. Standby!


I like having a “hard” to “very hard” workout at least once a week. Didn’t think it would be counterproductive?

Thanks Ivy!

Also, oddly, someone else posted a similar issues a few hours ago on Reddit..

I’m looking at your account to try to get more clarity, and we noticed you’ve applied a number of plan-updates to your account. This may be contributing to what you’re experiencing, can you walk us through why you updated your plan? That will help us get closer to a solution for you.

Hi Ivy,

I think by updates you mean changing workouts? If so my coach changed them as he felt the workouts prescribed were too easy and he wanted to up my TSS to be a little more inline with what I was doing. That, and as AT reduced my TSS, we were trying to counteract that. Not sure if that’s what you meant? I think he’s changed maybe 4 upcoming workouts? Not sure. I’ve also done extra workouts as mentioned. In regards to changing the plan, I think I added a C race and deleted one.

Thanks for letting us know, that context helps. It sounds like AT decreasing TSS for some workouts is concerning, but TSS/IF doesn’t always tell the whole story. AT has learned from your recent workouts + surveys and your upcoming adaptations are progressing based on that performance.
Those event changes were what we saw when we referred to ‘plan updates’, and Adaptive Training is now dialing you in based on your recent workouts - which you’ve been nailing!

Regarding adaptations with lower TSS: it’s important to clarify that Workout Levels go deeper than TSS/IF alone when suggesting adaptations. Meaning, long, slow rides can have the same TSS as shorter, structured ones, and two workouts of the same length and IF may have vastly different work/recovery structures. Workout Levels factor it all into account to make sure Adaptive Training provides the right workout at the right time, and TSS alone wont speak to the full scope of the work assigned. That said, keep in mind that Adaptive Training is adjusting to make sure you’re hitting those specific systems, rather than a TSS or IF goal. :thumbsup: