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.
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.
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.
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.