Backpedaling/adaptive training

Question about how backpedaling affects adaptive training:

I did a tough 6x5x30 on/15 off workout today at 135% FTP. In the 4th set, I began extending my breaks by backpedaling, and probably added on 70-80 seconds of rest by the end.

I rated the workout Very hard, but TR gave me credit, raised my Vo2 max, and said no changes were required.

Is this the correct action? Didn’t I “fail” the workout?

If you thought you failed the workout, why didn’t you choose All Out rating?

Here is my unofficially rating list, but it uses info shared from TR. Based on this, I’d say All Out would be more likely. That change might lead to more reduction in pending workouts vs the Very Hard rating. You can edit your response on the workout and see what AT does after to learn if that difference makes more sense.

As of now, when you complete a workout, you get “full credit” even of you fall short on some elements. That may chance when the finally release the new levels system.



I was looking at your list the other day Chad, after needing to drop the target a couple of % to get through part of the last set in a threshold workout.

I wasn’t sure how to score it and I went with Very Hard in the end. That scenario isn’t in your table , so i’m interested in how you would treat it.

This isnt something I’ve done in the past…but based on that chart, it seems like ‘All Out’ to me, as there was a reduction in intensity.

I assume Chad will chime in at some point…I’m curious as well, as I’ve been a bit enlightened as to how off my ratings were before lol

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Great question and one I can only speculate with respect to TR’s thoughts.

As mentioned above, I give my self a max of 3% change on the Workout Intensity in “normal cases”. Meaning I just rate the workout like any other per the feeling of it overall, regardless of an change I made.

If I have to exceed that 3% change, particularly if I have to drop it for a notable amount of the workout (30% or more?), I would likely consider that as one of the “bailouts” mentioned in All Out. But there is certainly a gray area there and likely some drops to Intensity could still be in Very Hard realm.

We’d have to try and get a specific answer from a TR rep to nail that down more so I could consider adding that as part of the lower level considerations in my options.

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I didn’t see reduced intensity under all out! Thanks


I am here to serve :joy:

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Yeah, I should have mentioned it is actually there already, but would state that a drop to 99% is sure different than something even in the range of 90-95%. So I think there is some real ambiguity despite it being “covered”.

My bass-akward reasoning for my 3% limit up or down is that I feel that is within a practical range of personal variability in conjunction with all the other things that can change (power measurement and such). Once you swing out from there, it likely means that something is really off and in need of review. Much like needing to pause or backpedal in excess.

Subjective to a point, but I do think there could be more of a “hard number” worthy of a reference vs wide open as I have it now.

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Thanks for the clarification Chad.

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As an aside…a chart like that should really be given with the options when the software asks for responses. I’ve done hundreds of workouts assuming I needed to throw up, quit the workout, or have my wife call 911 to classify something as ‘all out.’

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Hah, yup, I’m the same way. To me, an “all out” workout would be something like a 2K from my rowing days, or a cycling FTP test.

Everything below that is “Very Hard,” but apparently I need to adjust that for TR. :slight_smile:

Right. I wouldnt have classified something as all out if it wasnt to failure…

TR actually had their own version as “Tool Tips” on the survey at one point. But it had errors in it that I identified, and they pulled the option vs fixing it for some reason.

These instances repeat the reason TR should really add at least the basic info from their own support doc about the surveys:


I say all that because despite “solving” this question years ago after lengthy discussion with forum members and TR, we still run into these questions often enough to show that TR is leaving the door too open for misinterpretation.

I am tagging @ZackeryWeimer here since this might be his first exposure to my concerns about the survey ratings and ongoing confusion about them.

Absent of them taking further steps, this shows why my chart gets referenced and even printed for quick use by a number of TR users. There is room to make this better and more beneficial to many users.

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I’m sure very recently a TR rep said to rate the workout as it felt to you, AFTER any intensity changes.

I’m only 80% sure though :sweat_smile:

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Yes, the core questions is about total feel, including any and all changes you applied. That means stuff like backpedals as well as intensity adjustments.

I will add a personal recommendations, that when you are stuck between ratings, swallow your ego and pick the higher/harder rating. Worst case, you review the potential changes offered by AT after some time to reflect on the workout, and you can always re-rate to the lower one.

From the few time’s I’ve done the “rebate” rating, I got new adaptations that seemed to match what I would have expected if I had picked the easier rating initially. And even if you don’t do that, we always have Alternates as an option if we get to the next workout in that zone to tweak as we see fit.

Essentially, nothing is set in stone and we can serve ourselves better by taking these survey questions a bit less seriously and go with the flow (stated from an OCD person working to be less focused on the numbers the last few seasons, and being happier from that change… food for thought if nothing else).

Thanks. Yea I mean that TR list is plenty informative enough I think as well. It’s just if left to peoples own imagination…one persons all out of VO2 3 levels above what they should be doing is another persons zone 2 Wednesday ride with a lighter breakfast than normal…

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Indeed. This like so many other support docs they have do a great job of addressing the majority of questions and use cases. The issue is access and making sure people know they exist.

It’s the reason I have their support site as a dedicated tab and have used the search to pull up articles a few thousand times over the 4+ years in the forum. Great info, conveniently hidden within easy reach, but most people have no idea that the support site even exists. :stuck_out_tongue:

Erm. Support site??

This is the TR Support home base:

  • It’s also accessible from the TR website under the “Support” > “Browse Support” options from the TR web.


  • I start there, throw in a single word into search and usually hit my goal topic within the first 10 results.

  • I found it long ago one way or another, I spent several hours browsing the topics starting at each of the 4 boxes there, and into the many sub-topics. I got a sense of the type of info it provided along with reading many of the ones that I wanted. It’s worth some time to at least skim the main categories so people have a rough idea of what they have direct access to, since it really is useful info.

  • Outside of that, searching is the main thing I do because there are MANY answers to FAQ’s right there.

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