Dummies Guide to Progression Levels

Is there a dummies guide to progression levels? I assume there is a thread or guide, but could not locate it.

I have not paid any attention to progression levels or AT since it fails to incorporate outside rides, runs and swims. However, there is so much chatter about it here and in conjunction with the FTP estimation tool that I want to at least understand what they are and how they work so I can somewhat follow along. Also, if TR ever gets it dialed for outside rides, runs and swims, I’ll want to understand it better. (breath not being held)

@mcneese.chad feel free to kick me to the correct thread if I missed it!

I might leave this for now, but we are getting quite a few separate PL topics at the moment, so it might be appropriate to merge when I have more time. For now, searching on the TR support site is always worth a look, and here is what you find for PL’s.

Also, these are closely related when looking at the actual use of PL’s.

For future reference, here is how I searched to find those topics above. The TR support site is pretty handy with just one or two search terms and can usually get you to some great info in short order.

And finally, there is the TR blog, also searchable and result in this for PL’s.


And let’s not forget looking to the future…

Yeah, I deliberately skipped that topic on purpose for now… :stuck_out_tongue:

But it shines a light on at least some of the issues with PL’s and is worth look for some people.

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I think the links above already go too deep, and its best to start from the top:

The basic idea here is that TrainerRoad recognizes the need to adapt training. Coaches do this, and some off-the-shelf plans do this, and now TrainerRoad does it with Adaptive Training.

To support Adaptive Training, all workouts are assigned a Workout Level from 1 to 10 (there are some above 10, ignore that for now). Level 1 are easier, and level 10 are the hardest workouts. The workout scores are by Coggan power zones that you already know about - endurance, tempo, sweet spot, threshold, vo2max, etc.

As you complete workouts, your Progression Levels (PLs) are updated zone by zone. Some workouts impact more than a single zone. Progression Levels decay over time, after two weeks of doing no workouts in a zone, your PL for that zone will start to decay.

At the end of each workout you complete a survey. Together with PLs, Adaptive Training will pick more appropriate workouts and you have the option to accept or continue with original plan. These adaptations happen within a training block.

To use Adaptive Training you must add a TrainerRoad training block to your calendar, for example Sustained Power Build, or use Plan Builder to generate a plan on your calendar.

The TrainerRoad app will use your PLs to suggest alternate workouts, if for any reason you want or need a different workout.

Knowing your PLs is not necessary to use Adaptive Training.

Along with the Intro to Adaptive Training blog post, I hope that helps.


Most of my progression levels never go higher than 1.0 and I have no idea why. My FTP is recorded accurately and I do a lot of work in zones 4 and up, but I can only get PL’s greater than 1.0 for endurance, tempo and sweet spot. My coach monitors my work and provides a training plan, so PL’s are not essential for me. Even so, it would be nice to have meaningful numbers to help me assess my fitness. Any ideas what might be going on?

Unless you are performing TR workouts inside and/or outside per their app and processes, you won’t be getting PL changes at this time.

If you are doing custom workouts or other non-TR work, it wont count in PLs. Ao that qould be my guess based on qhat youve mentioned.

TR is working on a revised syatem that will includes the non-TR work, but it’s not released yet. Once that is in place, you should see PL changes.


That makes sense, since 3/4 of my rides are non-TR. I know I’m getting plenty and anaerobic work. Thanks.

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Can someone please enlighten me on how progression levels increase

Below i’m on threshold level 2.4 My next session indicates Threshold 2.3

Does that mean i will go up by 2.3 or stay on 2.4 ?

You’ll stay on 2.4. If it was 2.6, assuming you complete it, you’d go up 0.2 to 2.6.

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