ERG or no ERG with Adaptive Training?

While the output is essentially identical I’m curious if they are in reality identical as far as AT is concerned. I know the link above about changing intensity does state that it can impact adaptations but has there been any comment from TR that just riding above a lower target does the same? I get in theory we’d think it should, curious if that is actually what happens. Since you have been more active in AT discussions maybe I missed it.

If I was the OP and trying to use riding slightly above the workouts prescribed power level I think I’d bump intensity and use ERG not just try to ride slightly more in resistance. I just have a feeling that while they should have the same impact on you, they might not have the same impact on AT.

Sean has been the one answering these questions and has never dissected the over power questions between trainer modes or how it’s achieved. If there was a difference, I’d have expected him to state it. Baring that, I see no reason to question the impact difference on the trainer mode or how you exceed the targets.

Additionally, I’ve worked specifically with support on super pass and other related times I chose to exceed targets. In most cases, I was in ER mode and using WI adjustment. They never mentioned that mode and use in any way as a problem. I just don’t see trainer mode as an issue here based on those 2 different interactions with TR.

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I don’t think AT cares if you go over via erg or you go over via resistance for it’s calculations, not what I’m saying.

But AT may care if you go over via just making more power than prescribed vs going up in workout intensity and then matching that. There seems to be no documentation of just going over changing how AT considers the workout but there is documentation that increasing intensity does.

So if just going over say 5% on your own does have the same impact on AT as increasing workout intensity then it can matter what mode your in if you’re unable to maintain that 5% increase via erg but you can via resistance.

Since it sounds like for AT to consider your extra work you need to increase workout intensity, then it doesn’t matter what mode you’re in.

I get what you’re saying. But it’s super simple.

AT is not looking at the WI setting at all. It’s comparing Actual Power to Target Power (at 100% WI according to FTP at the time of the workout).

WI got mentioned initially as an answer to the perceived limit that there was no way to exceed power targets in ERG. It is the main way to alter workout power in the moment, and is the equivalent of shifting or altering cadence when in RES or STD modes.

The wording in the support article could be made more clear if it focused on power. Might be worth an email to them.

That’s not at all what the faq says. It says nothing about actual vs target just increasing intensity. If it’s meant to be the same then yes an email to support to fix it seems to be necessary.

While I don’t doubt that there is some consideration for going over or under the target power, it may not be considered in the same way as changing workout intensity.

Your stating it is the same, what is this based on?

It is based on numerous discussions with TR since March 2021, with heavy bouts back whenever I attempted a super pass and did not get results I expected.

If you want more, I’d suggest you email them at this point.

I’ve emailed them. The automated response in the meantime is a link to the same one above about increasing workout intensity.

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I personally have noticed a 10-20w drop in sustainable power at threshold with erg mode… but only if using the small chainring and large gear. If I use the big chain ring and a small gear the difference goes away. I think the difference is due to higher fly wheel speed with the latter gearing. I can’t see this causing an 100w drop though.


I’ve noticed that too. It was causing me to not perform as well on the hills on group rides. So I’m now training exclusively in the lowest gear (small chainring, big sprocket). Side benefit—it’s much quieter too!

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The Tr training plans you’ve been on must have had you do a couple of ramp tests already. How did those ones go? What has been the result/progression?

My FTP has been slowly declining since June 2021.

Not sure if you have gotten any info from TR, but there is a question and very short answer from Amber related to this discussion. More detail would sure be helpful, but this seems pointed in the direction I mentioned.

Just started podcast a few minutes ago, forgot to listen last week so was getting caught up.

And sorry did get a reply, thought I came back and posted it but apparently forgot:

"Without getting into too many specifics, AT looks at your workouts as “how well does this athlete hit all the interval target powers”? So to answer your question, AT will consider the fact that you’ve done 220w for a 200w interval the same, whether you bumped up the target % or just manually upped it. In AT’s eyes, there’s no difference. "

"AT will consider both of these cases a “flying pass” and will adjust the workouts accordingly. This is not to say that AT will actually think, “OK, maybe this athlete actually went into a different zone, and let’s reward them some progression levels in a different zone”. This is something that might get addressed in the new version of the system that we are developing at the moment. "

So yeah reply is in line with what you were saying. :+1:


Good to see the official reply. It does align with my takeaway from discussions with them.

But it does point to the fact that they could do a better job of covering it in the related support article, to better address the questions you and others raised.

When I thanked them for the help I mentioned that the articles were not entirely clear, they followed up in agreement that it could use some more info. Not sure that means they’ll get updated but at least someone knows.

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Nice. I went ahead and made a separate reply in the thread linked above, to Amber to try and get it covered from that direction to be safe.

Thanks for putting in the questions (here and to support) and getting the info for everyone :smiley:

Do you still have the peloton (or do you know someone who does) and can you run your PM pedals on them? If so then would recommend doing a workout and dual recording. The same on your kickr. Then analyse results using Zwiftpower analysis tool to compre power.

My guess is peloton overreads significantly. Any outdoor segments you can compare?

Considering all the potential variables that came to light, I doubt that comparison is worthwhile. There are simply too many changes and uncontrolled variables between the times mentioned to gain anything useful.

The “drop” claimed is suspect and even a quick comparison with the PM and P bike is potentially flawed considering they seem to be more like random number generators. The delta now may not be the same as the delta then (garbage in, garbage out).

Looks like we might get some changes:

All true and I’m not suggesting it would be an accurate scientific experiment. If it was me I’d feel a bit better jumping back on the peloton and seeing a number closer to 300w then moving on, which seems likely would happen.

Agree that 100w drop probably not the case and certainly not because of ERG.

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