When an effort is getting too hard, should we Backpedal or Reduce Intensity?
What’s the best way to go?
How will Adaptive Training interpret backpedaling?
Per video How Does Adaptive Training Work? (Ask a Cycling Coach 298) - YouTube reducing intensity triggers AI to recognize the workout as a “Fail - Power” (minute 8:19), but what about backpedaling?
There is also this guy who says that backpedaling is the worse advice from TR.
Don’t believe in some random guy on the internet — says another random guy on the internet
As a general principle, you get more training benefit when you can consistently finish workouts. Both are legitimate strategies for trying to finish a workout, but they work very differently for individuals. When I am at my limit, reducing intensity is counter productive for me, most of the time, it will directly deflate motivation, and I am done. Back pedaling works much better for me. Also, I probably have emptied my tank just to get to this point.
Another strategy I use is what I dub “best power”: I do not use erg mode for anything above tempo, so if I don’t manage the power, the trainer doesn’t put on the screws. Would it be better if I could hold the prescribed power? Yes, of course. Even if I just manage 110 % rather than 120 %, I am still in the same power zone (VO2max) and benefit from that in the long run.
Overall, my advice is to try different strategies for yourself and see how you react. And to recognize the difference between mental and physical fatigue. If my mind is not into that kind of workout on that day, no amount of reduction of intensity or back pedaling will help. When I am physically fatigued, but I manage the last interval at “best power”, it is still a win in my book.
We covered this when it was originally posted.
And for reference, here is the official TR article related to this issue.