Adaptive Training - Progression Levels of Past Workouts and Future Planning

I just enabled the adaptive training (AT) tool to see how it compares to my own training plan and workouts. I’ve been training and competitive for 5 years now so I believe I have a pretty good feel for how to build a plan and what I can/cannot accomplish.

My first question though is about the progression levels. The last three months I’ve been working on improving my sprint and FRC, which according to WKO5 are pretty highly developed compared to other areas like threshold. However, my progression level shows sprint and anaerobic to be 1.0 and 1.1, respectively. I can tell you that I just hit multiple all-time PRs for 1-minute and Pmax within the last two weeks. Do progression levels build off of like one workout, or many? This was outdoors, no associated ride, more than a week ago, so is AT even considering these rides?

The other question is how to see ahead for what AT wants. Admittedly, I haven’t been following TR’s coverage on AT so I’m still very underexposed to it’s function. I was expecting AT to look at all past rides and tell me what I need today as well as like two weeks from now. The only thing I came across was to use plan builder, but it just shoves the normal TR plans into my calendar like it always has. I was kind of expecting tailored workouts that progressed to my personal achievements, like 2x20 to 2x22, 2x25, 3x20, etc, not just a bunch of standard TR workouts.

Do I just need to give it a try and let it build? Is TrainNow the only way to see what AT wants (even though this was available prior to AT beta release)? I want this to be awesome and useful but for right now I don’t see it changing the way I plan my training schedule.

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AT seems to start with a fresh slate, so use Plan Builder to add an overall plan to your calendar - this will work as before using TR’s existing plans (or parts of them) to fill in the time available.

Start doing the prescribed workouts and respond to the survey at the end as truthfully as you can. It’s likely that you’ll find the workouts easy in which case AT will ramp up the difficulty until you start telling it that they are the right level.

What you’ll see suggested are similarly structured workouts to what’s in your plan so something like Bluebell (VO2max PL of 4.5) might be replaced by English (PL=5,8). Sometimes you get suggestions/adaptations after nearly every workout, sometimes you don’t get suggested adaptations for a week or two. I’ve had whole weeks replaced multiple times due to how I’ve performed in the previous weeks leading up to it.

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AT is not considering a ride not associated with a TR workout.

You have to use Plan Builder or AT will not adapt any workout.

AT does not provide tailored workouts to you other than selecting an existing workout that has the correct Workout Level to match what it thinks you should be doing on that day.

For me, knowing the workout levels, that gives me a lot better info for me to make decisions about what workout I want to see substituted for what was planned. So even if you don’t like the TR plan, you can still make better decisions about what to do yourself.


Okay so I see now that I would need to use Plan Builder to have it take the wheel. I guess I kind of disagree fundamentally on TR’s plans so looks like this feature won’t work well for me. Thanks for the input.

This makes sense. It would be nice for AT to read a user’s power curve within the last like 6 weeks to build progression levels instead starting fresh.

That would be nice yes. But you could always start with a PL 4 or 4,5 if you feel like you are sure to complete it. When starting fresh you’ll have to give AT a bit of a push in the right direction.

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AT works with the standard plans too. Not just plan builder. I’ve just deleted my plan builder plan, added a base plan and then done a Train Now and AT has adapted the plan accordingly. Which I expected and I can see the adaptions make sense based on my current career/progress level.

Replied to wrong thread. Meant to reply to @russell.r.sage post not yours @bobw. Sorry. New to this forum platform. Hope that all makes sense?

Train Now and AT are not the same. They use the same logic (or similar) behind the scenes to determine the best workout for today, but the “adaptive” part of AT requires a timeline that doesn’t exist with Train Now so technically Train Now is not AT.

Sorry. To be clear. I was just saying that AT works with any plan, not just plan builder. In my case today, I messed about with the calendar - deleted plan builder plan (race cancelled) and then tried adding a plan without an event, I didn’t like the look of that because I don’t want to build and specialise so early in the season, so I just dropped middle distance base to start Monday and take me up to my holiday. I then did an unplanned workout using Train Now. When I’ve gone back to my calendar AT has adapted the basic plan (considerably). Hope that makes sense?

You’re still using plan builder though even if you “add a plan without an event.” If you click the red button that says “build your plan,” that’s Plan Builder.

The alternative would be if you clicked on an individual training phase, like Base, Build, or specialty and selected a block manually and scheduled that. That used to be how we scheduled plans before Plan Builder. However, this decidedly doesn’t not use AT.

That’s what I did. I went into training plans, base, middle distance tri, added.
They must have made a recent change to adapt those plans too.
I thought I heard them say that on the podcast, but not sure. Listened to several podcasts in a random order.

Yes, it was mentioned in the latest release notes, that “ad hoc” plans added the “old way” are now handled by AT. It just happened this week, and not everyone has learned that yet.

  1. Progression Levels are not a fitness metric. They are an index for workout difficulty. Some people like to equate them, and in a backwards way some might see value in doing that, but I find that POV confusing and misleading for several reasons.
  2. Progression Levels currently only update if you associate an outside ride with a TR outside workout. That is a regression, for several months you could associate a custom workout too, but that changed a few weeks ago. Unfortunately that applies to both TR WorkoutCreator custom workouts, and imported workouts from Training Peaks.

They are! Progression Levels are a dynamic, real-time representation of your fitness and ability to express your FTP across each training zone.

Workout Levels are the index for workout difficulty. :v:


That is TR’s opinion, and I wish you luck with having PLs being accepted by other coaches and physiologists. Currently, PLs only change in response to Workout Levels, they essentially mirror workouts completed, don’t respond to max efforts, and in the last 3+ months I haven’t seen consistent decay rate behavior and can’t comment on that aspect. Let me know when PLs replace standard fitness metrics within the broader (non-TR) cycling community. #notConvinced

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Progression Levels aren’t meant to serve as a catch-all universal metric, they’re meant to speak to the breadth of your training within TrainerRoad.
We won’t be developing a standardized fitness metric, such as FTP. Hope that makes sense!

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Increasing Progression Levels can certainly be great motivation for anyone that doesn’t think in terms of time or power.

Wouldn’t Progression Level show you time and power?

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If you use your own plans, the TR Progression Levels etc. can still be helpful.
Most plans have a standard scheme for every phase like 3xz2, 1xVo2max and 1xSwSp per week for example.
When Vo2max is on schedule, you could open the “workouts” tab, use the filters for duration and vo2max and choose a workout that is “achievable” “stretch” etc. based on how you feel on that day.
It will not tell you, which workout you’ll hit in 6 weeks. But since the process is tailored individually on you, that information wouldn’t be that helpful (it could change every day).
That way you could have your preferred training philosophy and still benefit from workouts that fit to your abilities. The only downside is, that your progression level considers only planed workouts or workouts that are associated with a TR workout.