Adaptive training - should/can I use it with my training approach?

I tried a quick search and there are a lot of posts on AT, but so much that I didn’t really see what I was looking for.

I have not tried adaptive training yet, but I think I understand the basic concepts by listening to the podcasts. It sounds like a promising approach and I want to try it at some point, but I’m wondering if the current AT system is a fit for the way I like to train (and what I’ve found effective in the past).

My general approach to training in the past with TR is to use the framework and general progression of the core plans with a primary focus on the Tues/Thursday workouts for my structured training. I’m typically starting with a high volume plan as the base, but again only using the Tues/Thurs workouts as my “don’t miss” structured days. Beyond that, I supplement with less structured volume (mostly Z2) on some combination of Wed/Fri/Sun (depending on how much volume/TSS I’m able to manage and build). Saturday is a long outside ride with a mix of structure and unstructured. I’m typically targeting 300+ TSS on Saturday and the zone targets vary based on where I am in the build. Often, at least half of the Sat. ride is a group ride (so some junk miles), but I’ll shift to solo/focused rides as my target events approach. My target events are typically endurance-focused (leadville last year and unbound gravel and leadville again this year). My body responds well to the long Saturday efforts progressing up to 6-7+ hours of high Z2/low Z3 (350-400TSS) before tapering for the event.

So, my understanding of AT is that it can’t currently consider/adapt based on unstructured rides. With my long Saturday rides being a cornerstone of my training and the biggest contributor to my training stress, I’m assuming AT isn’t a great fit (yet) for the way I like to train. But, I figured I’d run it by some folks that have actually tried it (and maybe using it in a similar way) and understand it better before I go down my traditional path. Any feedback is much appreciated. I need to get my 2022 plan pulled together, training was supposed to start yesterday and I just did a fun Zwift group ride.

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Just stay focused on the workout level progressions for tues/thurs structure. Pretty similar to what I am doing this year. Feels good to watch those levels rise!

I agree with James. Go Low Volume plan which will give you 3 rides per week. Make two of em your structured rides and toss the third. I suggest throwing out the one that you are good at and concentrate on your weaknesses. The hard part is managing all of that TSS. You will still have to monitor fatigue. If you are doing long outdoor rides where you can dictate pace, find long, high level endurance and tempo workouts. Even if you ride longer than the workout. The system will see it. For example. I went and did a two day bikepacking trip. I put in 4 hour endurance workouts for each day. Both days were longer than 4 hrs but the workout was captured and it boosted endurance level from a 4 to an 8. If I hadnt tied the workout to the ride, I wouldnt have gotten credit.

Thanks. I started playing with plan builder today and didn’t even realize that AT wasn’t optional until I saw the “adaptation pending” status on most of my workouts. I guess it’s optional if I ignore it, but I I’ll probably give it a try.

When you say you “put in a 4 hour workout for each day”, does it even matter what workout you put in if AT is going to evaluate the workout afterwards anyway? To get “credit”, do I have to load the workout on my garmin somehow and use outside workouts? I’ve never used the outside workout feature before, I normally just upload all my rides to TR and use that to track my TSS.

I can normally carry a medium to high volume TSS training load and manage the fatigue pretty well. Other than tue/thur/Sat, I try to keep the rest of it pretty disciplined Z2 work. I worked up to ~850tss 6 week average in 2020 as I was moving into my peak and ~650tss 6 week average in 2021. 850 was definitely pushing up against the hairy edge and might have been digging a hole, but somewhere around 700 is probably my happy place. I wasn’t quite as strong in 2021, but not far off on the reduced volume. I know TSS isn’t the whole story, but it’s been a pretty effective way for me to keep things in check and maintain progression in the past.