AT: Easy vs Moderate vs Hard vs ... [Pass / Success Survey Responses]

Maybe they are still figuring out how to make AT work best for more users… and just go with it was all they had at the time, and later realized it led to inferior adaptations

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Yeah, the two different comments seem to contradict. To me, the easiest way to have set this up would have been to simply use the traditional RPE scale, but based on the feedback I got that does not seem to be the case. We just need some clarification at this point, because we are getting different apparent answers from TR.


Yeah, sure could be the case. If so, that is great they are learning and working to improve.

But we need actual guidance from them if those prior instructions are not correct any longer. And that should be shared wide and far as opposed to the few people getting it via direct contact with TR Support. We only know what we know now because beta users are sharing (and I am thankful for that).

We need a clear and direct set of instructions (be the more clarity on the “old” system or whatever “new” system may be in place) via TR in these threads, the FAQ and such.


When I was trying to figure out which scenarios supported progression level updating, someone from TR was going to write up an FAQ. Did that happen?

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I think I saw it posted on another thread that a 4 will slow and possibly even slightly reduce your progression rate.

Coming off of a rest week this morning I jumped backed into SSB-HV II with Antelope. Prior to riding AT adapted my plan to my SweetSpot PL (8.3). During the workout I needed a little extra rest between the last two sets so I rated it a 4. AT adapted the plan after the ride and made the subsequent workouts a little easier (PLs 6-7).


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Maybe you should revisit the notion of “threshhold”. By definition, threshhold is the hardest effort you can make in a given time frame. If it’s easy, it isn’t threshhold.

All in all, I wish the post ride poll was in terms of expectations - i.e. easier than expected, as expected, harder than expected, etc. THAT would be clear as a bell. No second guessing involved.


@mcneese.chad , as usual great observations and nice work jumping in the the chart. Thank you!

I was one of the posters a while back asking for FAQs, users’ guide, etc from TR. A beta would be a very good time to leverage participants in providing input and feedback so it’s ready to go when AT goes into production.

And yes, the survey ratings seem to be a key factor in helping people get faster quicker and more consistently so should have appropriate attention.


I think the problem is they do not have a “best practices” yet. I think they have way more issues to figure out than they anticipated and one of them is communication around the surveys.


I agree.

I, and I think plenty of other beta users, including yourself, have been responding to the survey in accordance with the simple, specific question being asked, which is:

"How did this effort feel?"

The question isn’t “how did it feel compared to what you expected” or any other variation that’s possible or been discussed, it’s: "How did this effort feel?". There’s no wiggle room there - it’s a simple question and I think many of us have been answering (correctly :wink: ) in accordance with the straightforward question being asked.

It’s enlightening that a few people have posted up some of the feedback they’ve received from TR support staff, because if those support staff are correct (and perhaps they’re not on script and have made an error?), it’s implying that the question we’re currently being asked in the survey is perhaps nonsense and needs to be re-worded. And, it feels a little like the rug has been pulled from under us.

The question wording is crucially important so that we know what question to answer - doh! - and not have to attempt to game our responses in order to engineer an outcome that we think is correct. Pretty fundamental stuff…

Responding to the survey should be straightforward without requiring any over-thinking, second-guessing or gaming. The wording needs to be aligned with how TR interpret our responses and it needs to be clear, otherwise our responses are just feeding back garbage.

Hopefully this issue will be clarified, and if TR really is asking us something different to the (current) simple “How did this effort feel?” then they need to (a) inform us of that and (b) they need to change the wording of the question so that we know what we’re being asked. This is - or should be - basic stuff.


Great post!!! :+1:

I added the actual survey question into my Google sheet, because I think stepping back to that reality is important!


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I don’t think I know my cycle-self enough to know how I expected it to feel. I always answer in respect to RPE. I hate RPE.
Imagine asking someone new to exercise “How did you expect it to feel?” Huh???


Hence the reason I made a bit of a joke,

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and another one,

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Looking for some clarification from the team on if/how we’d like to best provide an update here, stay tuned!


There are clearly problems here.

AT is a system that says “If this [workout + survey response}, then that [particular kind of adaptation.” But if we game the system to get the result that we want [eg, we mark a 2-hour threshold workout as “easy”] because we want a faster progression, then we are doing what AT was meant to be doing. What will AT’s response to this kind of behaviour be? Can it react sensibly?

What we don’t know is whether AT’s adaptations are “linear”. For example, if we mark an Achievable workout as very hard, then we are likely to see a reduction in out Progression Level for that energy system. We’ve heard examples of this. But if we mark a Stretch workout as hard/very hard, would we see a similar reduction in PLs? Our examples do not indicate an example to this question.

FWIW, I follow @mcneese.chad’s scale. Comparing the workout to my expectation is contrary to the question asked [thanks, @AldridgePrior for this clarification] and could only really be meaningful if the question was posed as: “This workout was meant to be easy [or moderate or hard] for you; was it easier/harder than or the same as that?”


Yeah this is key. Assuming the recent responses from TR Support are accurate, and Moderate actually means as expected, it sounds like this is the question AT thinks it’s asking. If we all answer the question that’s actually displayed, AT’s not going to function properly for us even though we’re Technically Correct™.

Also I love your wording. I can SEE IT NOW


You took the words out of my mouth, this is exactly how I feel about this. And why I’ve been frustrated with the lack of and/or the proposed adaptations based on my survey responses. I have yet to give anything besides Z2 and recovery rides a Moderate, and have not given anything an Easy. Most of my rides have been Hard or Very Hard, because that’s how they felt to me. It would never even cross my mind that I should rate a VO2 max workout as Moderate. So now I’m getting downgraded adaptations and I think I’m going crazy because I’m hitting my workouts but still getting adaptations to decrease the workout levels.

So I either trust AT and pick a lower workout (sometimes by a full point or more), which would still probably get a Hard or Very Hard rating if it’s VO2, and I create a spiral of never getting harder adaptations because I never rate Moderate. Or I continue to decline adaptations and progress based on workout levels, and keep rating Hard or Very Hard. But then I’m in the situation where I never accept adaptations, and AT isn’t doing anything for me and I’m just picking my own workouts.

Either way it’s frustrating. And it seems that there hasn’t been a specific answer.


Ivy’s working on it :slight_smile:

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According to this blog post (How to Use Adaptive Training - TrainerRoad Blog), it should be RPE based and not how it was expected to go.

“You will see different surveys based on how your effort in that particular workout went. The most common survey you will see is the one pictured above, which asks you to rate how the effort felt on a scale from one to five. When answering the survey, consider the entire workout, and don’t worry about how you expected it to feel based on workout type.”

It literally says to base the survey on how it felt, NOT how we expected it to feel. To me, the TR support answer is the complete opposite of this blog post.