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

Thank you. That clarification helps.

Looking at @IvyAudrain’s descriptions it’s apparent (well to me anyway) that there is one main scale with two or more smaller ones that overlap embedded within it depending on the workout you are doing.

For example: Pettit. Unless something is really wrong with either your stated FTP or you are ill then I wouldn’t expect anyone to respond with anything but “Easy” or perhaps “Moderate”.

Compare that with something like Leconte. Again, assuming your FTP is close to correct then you aren’t going to be choosing “Easy” and even “Moderate” is unlikely so you are left with “Hard”, “Very Hard” or “All Out”.

Simplistically the success survey is the 1-10 RPE scale divided into five slots.

AT has the expected power, actual power and (potentially) HR data all that’s really missing is your mental capacity, i.e. your power and HR data indicate that you should have struggled but you are saying it wasn’t a problem thus you can mentally cope with a workload like this.

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I was confused by the questionnaire and please to find this thread. I like your wording much better. Instead of asking us what we think of the workout, tell us the workout should have been X and how do you feel compared to that level.

All my Z2 like Pettit have been Moderate. I actually went back through and have never rated any workout Easy.

Most of my SS has been Hard; Threshold and Over Unders were Hard to Very Hard; and VO2 max were almost all Very Hard.

It really highlights the variation in how people rate the workouts. I tend to rate things on the harder side apparently. At least looking at Ivy’s post with clarified ratings, I’d be changing most if not all of my ratings moving forward.

To me, I feel like the “new” rating clarification doesn’t fit this so simply anymore. I’d say Easy is a 1-2, but Moderate I’d say is a 3-6 or maybe even a 3-7, Hard 7-8, Very Hard 9, All Out 10.

See the TR responses:

The survey wants to know how the workout felt to you, not how it felt relative to how it “should” have felt. They don’t want to prime your answer by suggesting an expectation.

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This the exact definition I use.
I think most rides should be on the hard range.

Once the ride feels moderate, then the user need higher challenge.

But as i see this is not the official stance , not sure how this is affecting my adaptations

I think this is where some differ. I dont want the majority of my rides to be hard. Hard to me means I am going to be challenged to complete them. I want the majority of my rides to be moderate. I want a smaller increase in difficulty. I tend to do too much intensity as it is. Maybe age is a factor as I am in my 60s. I dont race so my view is more long range increase in improvement.


I think it’s.moatly the same…

What I’m calling challenging may line moderate to you…

When I see a 1 to 5 scale, the middle thing is the average…

Using that them most rides should be average in challenge, until the feel less than average…

Like i said, that how i see 1 to 5 scale systems

I think that’s partly the point: you assess the difficulty as you see it and over time AT learns that your median response value is “Moderate” rather than “Hard”. It does mean that your distribution curve is skewed as you effectively now have:

A lot harder
Really Really hard

Whereas someone who assesses most rides as hard will have a normal distribution:

Really easy
Really Hard

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I agree…my interpretation of what they gave me is


I really didnt see much difference in 3/4/5 until their clarification. My own experience is typically if the ride is Hard…the next step is fail, either due to me turning down the intensity or being unable to complete. This though gets a different survey.

The other part of the survey is if I ignored the words and thought of it as a scale of 1 to 5, I would of looked at it differently. My response would be 3 not the 2 I use. The challenge for me is I read the words…Take away the words and use a 1 to 5 scale would have me using the scale differently.

There are different dimensions of training.
As an example, interval sessions, which many TR are, involves levels of intensity during the interval, which also has duration, and this is combined with recovery sessions that also have lower intensity sometimes inactive and duration, and then you have the number of repeats in a set, and the number of sets, making up a whole duration. So these can be made harder, by varying any of these. Eg increase the Intensity would make it harder, or keep the intensity the same, but reduce the recovery duration would make it harder, etc.

Endurance type workouts all have low intensity, eg, 65-75%. I find them mentally hard because the intensity is so low, and the concentration required not to go harder is demanding, eg, not pushing really hard when climbing or going into the wind, or keeping up with someone else, etc. But they can be made harder by increasing the duration and maintaining the low intensity.

So, you may feel as if you had a hard session, eg, sore muscles, because it was significantly longer than past experiences.

Bike computer, power meters, FTP etc are all great measuring tools. But none are perfect, and the only only one that takes into account ‘you’, is RPE. IMO that is the real benefit of these tool, that over time they help educate yourself about RPE. This was discussed last night on the Tour de France, after one of the commentators noted that a rider doesn’t use a computer, he has reached that point where knows how he feels, and what he can achieve.

Great question, Mr. Bean. I have been wondering the same thing. My biggest problem is that I sometimes go really hard, but by the time the cool-down is done, I forget how difficult it was. Maybe I’m just getting old and my memory is failing. I just assume that over time AT will figure out how to interpret my categorization and adjust accordingly.

I agree with that. This happens to me on outdoor rides. My cool down at the end is longer than the workout and I have forgotten all about the effort by the end.

I’m on a trip and was getting bored so I put together a little visual of what I think the survey responses are. Hopefully the TrainerRoad team has a blog post coming with a more descriptive piece on these responses. As far as I know this is what I understand each response is. Thoughts?

I would use the descriptions Ivy uses in this post (the parts in parentheses). Also, I’m not understanding the use of an endurance ride for your “Very Hard” example.

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I was going for a more visual representation of the levels with the survey and how well you stay on target with the interval. I get what you’re saying tho

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Can people try the following and report what PL behavior they get?

Do a workout that should result in a PL increase, but skip the post-workout survey. And see if the workout and your career page show PL increases (assuming you successfully completed the workout).

I did a workout tonight that gave me PL increases for both Sweet Spot and Tempo without the use of the post-ride survey. I’m experiencing an issue at the moment where my post-ride survey only gets sync’d if I quit the TR app and the relaunch it. Which is the only way I came across this PL behavior.

What I’d really like to see is if for people who would have rated a workout as Very Hard or All Out if they get PL increases if they don’t rate the workout. Or if TR AT is somehow independent of the survey response determining whether or not to increase PL from workouts.

As a reminder, you have 7 days from completing a workout to be able to complete the survey. So once you see if TR AT is giving you PL increases without filling in the survey, feel free to fill it out.

I have been struggling to understand how to rate my workouts in the survey but this really helps. Would be greater if there was a ? Button or ‘score explanation’ on the survey that you could click to get a pop up with these explanations.


YES!! I’m pushing for there to be more of these in-app help features so that athletes wont have to hunt down these explanations on their own. Thanks for the feedback, this helps!


Adding my latest version of my refined list:

Created based upon Ivy’s post above. I tried to make a very simple, bullet point style list that is easy to read and consider right upon completion of the workout. If 3 of the bullet points fit your feelings, that is likely the appropriate survey response.