Additional answer to Struggle survey : Recovery valley(s) were too short [Feature Request]

Sometimes, I can nail the x% intensity for the requested duration but (some of) the valleys are too short to recover. Then I struggle to answer the Struggle survey. At first i answered “intensity” but then I started to use “other”.
Of course, it’s related to the intensity but there are workouts alternates with same ftp % targets for same duration but varying amount of recovery time.

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I think it’s still either intensity or training fatigue. Are the recoveries too short because of fatigue you’re carrying? Or would the recovery be sufficient if the intensity was a little lower? If I’m struggling with 30/30s, it’s because of the intensity. Adding recovery makes it a different workout. My 2 cents.


+1 for this. I’d consider the length of recovery valley to be part of the ‘intensity’ prescription inherent in the workout.


As others have said, that’s still “intensity”.

If the intensity of the interval were slightly lower, the recovery would be right, or if the recovery were longer you’d be able to cope with the increased intensity.

We don’t want it to be a 20 option drop down do we.

For example, the hard start 98% FTP intervals are a prime example. The 98% is easy, but the 30seconds at xxx% is what might make it “too intense”. Marking “intensity” should mean that AT makes the adjustment.

My 2c


Yup, I tend to agree with the above. Splitting the already long list into more finite levels may cause more confusion and dilemas than it solves.

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I think “Intensity” covers the following:

  • Work interval power higher than and/or longer than I could handle.
  • Recovery intervals higher than and/or shorter than I could handle.
  • The above assumes you were properly recovered, fueled & motivated, or you’d likely be better to chose one of the other options.

I think “Training Fatigue” covers the following:

  • Lingering muscular fatigue and/or mental fatigue that prevented me from doing the workout as intended.
  • On a different day with better preparation, I could likely handle it well.

It doesn’t have to be useful to everyone. Currently, intensity captures the duration , the pwr target and the length of the valley. All bundled together. This feature idea would make it more explicit.

What if 2 riders can do 4x12min @ 98% but one recovers in 2 min and the other needs 5min to successfully nail the next ones, I would want in future AT to consider that.

Which one of the current choices refer to repeatability being the reason ?
I’ve heard @IvyAudrain on podcast say her strength is repeatability. For others, it might be a weakness / something to work on.

Here are examples of Threshold workouts where the recovery is the only difference:

  • PL 5.0 Byers Peak -1 is 4x12-minute intervals between 95-99% FTP with 8-minute recoveries
  • PL 5.1 Mount Hayes is 4x12-minute intervals between 95-99% FTP with 6-minute recoveries
  • PL 5.5 Mount Hayes -1 is 4x12-minute intervals between 95-99% FTP with 3-minute recoveries
    It’s easy to find examples in other zones. 30/30 vs 30/15 etc

If the list length has to remain the same, I would combine Sick & Injured.

That’s precisely the point. The variation is already there, and if you put too intense (which it is for the amount of recovery) then you should get served up the better fit next time which would be the one with more recovery at the same intensity.


The feature request is to tell AT which way to change ( target watt for duration vs recovery time)

4x12min 99% with 3min rest to be followed by:
→ 4x12min 99% with longer 6min recovery (same TiZ but with more rest)
instead of
→ 4x12min 94% ( not same stimulus)
→ 4x10min 99% ( not same stimulus)

There’s a reason these 3 workouts exist with different recovery times.

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Varying the length of recover intervals is part and parcel of structured training. If your current workout is too difficult, select Very Hard or All Out in the post-workout survey, and AT will suggest easier workouts for you.

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I hear you, I think I’ll step out and leave it to the TR people. I just popped in as it seems like it’s getting too into the weeds when “intensity” already covers the reason for the failure.

For my final thoughts:

Your example of 4x12 w/ 6min recovery is also a reduced stimulus in the same way that 4x10, or 4x12 at a lower %.

I admit to wanting more features in this regard for planning, i.e. I’d like a switch to push FTP intervals out, instead of up. So I feel like I can relate to what you’re saying. It’s just my belief that “intensity” already answers the reason that you failed. for example a 5.9 might be too high. Now the 5.5 that it serves you might be a reduced intensity with the same format, but you could use alternatives to choose the 5.5 that’s closer to the original structure but with the rest you need.

The permutations required would be immense. Some people needing shorter intervals, some longer rest, some reduced %ftp. All achieve the same purpose but it takes some understanding of where you fall in terms of ability and limitations to pick the right alternate once AT has changed your PL down a touch.


Yep, more rest is a reduced stimulus as it’s spread over longer.
It might just be what a few of us need to complete a given amount of time in zone. For those strong in repeatability, they wouldn’t use this answer so they shouldn’t care.

All the choices in the survey, except intensity, are about extraneous factors!
If I was talking to a coach, I wouldn’t just say “intensity”, there would be a discussion about what I perceived made me crack and what to do next.

We’ll see if TR people like the idea.


Here I am just hoping for a toilet break survey answer.

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In my mind, that is pretty much the definition of an intensity fail. Sure I could have done another 8 minute threshold interval…with an added 15 minute break. Sure I could have done 16 30/30s, if they had been 30/60s. It’s the intensity that makes you need more rest.


No one asked me but I think this would fall under intensity as well. 3x4 VO2 max with 2 minute rests is more intensity than 3x4 with 6 minute rests in my mind.


Agree intensity.

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Related question:
Currently doing rolling road race specialty and I suck at certain types of VO2 workouts but can nail others.

I’ve was able to complete VO2 5.7 Bolton Brown -7 and 6.0 Julius Caesar (both with 4x2 mins @ vo2 followed by short over unders.

But I blow up spectacularly doing VO2 6.0 Baird +1, 6.4 Gawler -2 (both on the second set).

I know these are very different types of VO2 workouts, but I finish the first two and they could be labelled moderate/hard, but then can’t even come close to finishing the second two of similar levels. When I do my survey, should I label the Bolton Brown/Julius Caesar type workouts to be harder than I feel so AT doesn’t give me a much harder traditional VO2 workout as my next workout?

Each workout needs to be rated on its own after you attempt it. Nevermind its PL.

Hopefully the TR’s AI ML model consider the details of the workouts but they won’t reveal if it does. The Workout finder shows subcategories for each zone already so TR has that info available along with the precise details. Even if TR just use the PL value today, they could improve the AI ML model in future and consider the details of the workouts and the neural network could learn to give you a PL 7.0 Bolton-ish and a 5.0 Baird-like workout.

So you crack when there’s not sufficient time to recover. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one challenged with repeatability. Maybe roadies have that skills pat, i sure don’t. I suck at VO2max too and I suck differently depending on the type of vo2max: I nailed English PL 5.8 and could have done many more of these 60/50s. I blew up in the first group of floating intervals like in Apple Orchard PL 3.8.

Given feedback so far, if more granular struggle choices are offered, it will need to break down Intensity into some yet to be named aspects ( target power, duration of intervals and duration of valleys).

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Agreed it should be rated on its own, and that’s my struggle. Both these types of workouts are VO2max workouts in the same week, so when I rate my Bolton Brown workout to be easy/moderate (which it is), the Baird becomes too difficult (and vice versa if I label Baird to be very hard/all out).

I’m not suggesting another subset of VO2max category for AI to capture, but seems like I have to accept one workout per week will either be too easy or too difficult.

I agree that splitting the long list to make a longer list of options would be bad, but I feel like they need to add sub reasons to each pick (new list to pick from after you pick from the first list). Partially as values to help with training the machine learning (type of intensity is important) but also to allow the person to be sure they picked the right option (in general, not just this case)

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Getting that finer grained detail has to be balanced against getting people to actually complete the survey, though. If you double the number of actions required you’ll lose a certain percentage of people to I-can’t-be-bothered-ness that would probably be non-negligible. The lost value from capturing their high-level responses might outweigh the gain you’d get from the fine detail responses from others.