Backpedaling/adaptive training

Yo! Good discussion going on here.

It looks like the consensus this thread has come to is that your workout was an “All Out” effort, which I’d agree with based on your description.

In general, we like to think of Very Hard vs All Out as:

  • Very Hard: This was very difficult, but I was able to complete all intervals at target power without stopping.

  • All Out: This was extremely difficult and I had to backpedal or drop the intensity of one or more intervals.

Outside of that distinction, though, we want athletes to answer the survey responses as naturally as they can without overthinking things too much. The post-workout surveys are all about listening to your own body and sensations during the workout and less about specific numbers and values.


Thank you. Ultimately though…the metrics that you guys use for all out vs very hard (and all the other categories) are the ones that matter, not mine (mine being: is there puke on the bike?).

I know what you’re getting at, but really the software isnt using MY metrics for “all out” to adjust my workouts, it’s using trainerroads.

Thanks I changed my rating from “Very Hard” to “All Out” and TR changed my VO2 max workout next week. I’m no longer dreading next Monday.


When you say “backpedal”, do you mean during a work interval or during rest intervals also? I’ll usually rate a workout “very hard” if I get through it even if I do some backpedaling during rests.

Pretty sure I think #2, 3, 4 & 5 at some point during every tough workout. It may not last long but it’s there! :rofl:


I sure have ridden the “+1” wave more than once. Had some workouts where my expected rating added a step at the completion of each interval set :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Per the basic info from TR’s Bailout support article, “it depends”…

  • If you do a relatively small number of backpedals in the recovery intervals, I’d say that may be fine. Specifically using one at the end of a set and rolling into a main recovery is probably ok and not to the level of a “cheat” or All Out flag.

  • As you start adding them between intervals within a set, like 30/30s, 60/60s or other shorter intervals, I think there is a limit to what is “acceptable” Using one BP at the latter portions of latter sets may be fine. But if you are applying them to several mini-breaks in more than one set, I’d say that trips the All Out flag.

In short, the total count matters as well as exactly when you apply the BP’s. There is no hard and fast rule, but we can probably make a reasonable call as to why we felt the need to BP vs continue forward, especially if this occurs within a recovery interval.

I can say from experience that trainerroad doesnt seem to recognize backpedaling or other breaks from the workout. I’ve had to get off the bike some over/under workouts after every interval and sit down for 5-10 minutes to recover, and the software clearly counted it as a win and raised thethreshold levels for the next workout.

Were you given the normal survey at the end or a struggle survey?

I ask because they have made specific mention that they added tracking for the types of breaks you mention, because they never did that for a long period of time. It was mentioned in relation to looking at workouts in greater detail to “catch” these types of hidden bailouts.

I have no idea what TR is doing with that new knowledge, but it may be conditional about when it does/does not get applied within the context of AT.

Not sure they can give us more details, but I will tag @ZackeryWeimer to see if they can shed some light here.

Just a normal survey.

In my original post, it was during the rest intervals. 30 on/15 off gives very little rest, so I was extending it so that I’d occasionally do 30 on/30 off.

It should be mentioned that backpedaling will be two very different things based on whether you have TR set to pause when you do it or not. It seems that in OPs case it pasused the workout giving longer rest intervals, but if you have it set to continue it only gives you easier recovery. I would say that doing the latter a couple of times during a workout doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be rated all out.


I love this chart and have it taped on the wall next to my trainer so I can quickly figure out which rating to use even while still waiting for the oxygen to return to my brain after a workout. Thanks again for this excellent aid.


You are very welcome :smiley:

I would say that backpedalling during full recoveries, as opposed to within a set as per Chad’s second bullet, should not in any way affect your scoring or count as a fail or upgrade in perception. I think this was covered in one of the podcasts, but the science of active recovery vs full rest is not that clear cut. So, backpedalling, stepping off the bike or noodling should all be fine. If the recoveries are marked higher than perhaps 60%, my point is null and void - these are work periods.

Jonathan definitely said the lines in a podcast, along the lines of rate it how it felt and let the system do the thinking :+1:

1 Like

It’s in his all out scenario

Still confused by this system. I did Cypress, an Anaerobic workout earlier this week. 3 sets of work with breaks in between. I ended up failing/backpedaling/decreasing the workout 2/3s of the way through the second set. At the end, I put “All Out” on the survey, and said it was too intense. TR still gave it to me and I progressed. Should that have happened?

Probably not, contact TR support.

Can you defined progressed please? I did the very same thing not that long ago, but during a threshold workout. My results were as follows…

  1. Progression level (on the PL chart) INCREASED to match that of the current workout, which I considered failed BUT still finished it, so not surprised it increased the level on the chart.
  2. Subsequent threshold workouts DECREASED in workout level… which I would expect to happen given the struggle survey and reason provided

I would say if this was your results, this is likely intended behavior (and makes sense in my mind), but if it INCREASED/progressed your subsequent anaerobic workouts it definitely sounds like a bug and something that support should look at, as per @MI-XC suggestion

1 Like