Failed a training ride😔. What now?

I Failed a ride for the first time. I’m Super disappointed.

I am more than halfway through “sustained power build LV”. On this mornings ride (Mt Hale) I failed. I gave up 50 minutes in (of 1:15) after already reducing the difficulty.

This is super frustrating for me. This is the first time that I have ever given up… and only the second time ever, that I have reduced the difficulty during a ride (the last time it happened I was sick).

Does anyone have any advice?

I assume (I hope) at this point it is too early to adjust my FTP. Am I right🤷‍♂️?

It happens. Just move on. If it becomes a pattern then you can look at adjusting your FTP or repeating a week or some such.

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Failure is 100% guaranteed to happen fairly frequently in one form or another if you are training hard and the mental ability to deal with it, learn from it, and get back at it so you can fail again is a fundamental part of being an athlete.

If this shit was easy, everyone would be doing it :wink:

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How was your nutrition/hydration leading-up to the workout? How about sleep? Life stress? How long have you been training? Like @ErickVH said, don’t worry about it unless it becomes a pattern. Hale looks pretty tough. Have you done a similar workout in the past? I “failed” a workout this morning, Kaiser +4, couldn’t finish the last 2 reps, even after knocking it back 5%. I had a big previous week and started a new lifting program so I suspect fatigue is catching-up.

I can tell you that I have definitely failed a few workouts over the past year of using Trainerroad. I’m coming from a triathlon background so have a strong aerobic base, where most of the sweet spot and aerobic workouts are challenging but doable. However the anaerobic and VO2 workouts tend to be very challenging…especially the 2nd one during the week.

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I usually ride super early, fasted (provided the ride is under 1:15). I wonder if I should eat first? But it’s pretty hard to eat at 4:30am🤷‍♂️

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Exactly. Failure is expected. If you don’t fail, you’re not pushing hard enough. As a friend said when an (ABC?) camera crew was in his face during a hike-a-bike section of XTerra Hawaii around 2003, “If this were easy, it would be called football.” (Yes, that was broadcast.)

100%, there can be mitigating factors.

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If you’re not ever failing rides then your FTP has been set too low.

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Riding sweet spot, w/ sprints could be pretty tough fasted. Doable but definitely difficult. I don’t think you need to eat much…bread w/ PB and Jelly, banana or honey, bar, gel, water bottle with liquid calories, whatever. You can even eat that while you are warming-up on the bike. Part of training is playing around with different aspects of your training and figuring out what works. Failing sucks but you are still getting stronger. Don’t let your workouts define you!

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Eat on the bike, when you’re doing a hard workout like that. If you can, eat at least a little bit just before you get on the bike also. And eat plenty of carbs for dinner on the night before.

Fueling makes a HUGE difference in our ability to finish hard rides. Save the fasted rides for the lower intensity work, where risk of failure is much lower.

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If you “fail” then fail forwards.

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I failed the last three workouts of SSBLV2, but came off the recovery week feeling like a new man.

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Per the TR podcast about a month and a half ago: Eat early and often. When I started applying this principle a month and a half ago, my performance went through the roof.

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For early morning workouts, if sweet spot intensity or above, I will eat during the workout but not neccesarily before. I usally have some cold brew coffee on the bike during first 30 minutes. If Sweet spot or threshold, then I’ll start eating a Clif Bar or something similar. If above threshold work, I’ll take Honey Stinger or SIS gels. If longer than one hour, I’ll add Skratch to water bottle.

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When we lift weights to failure during an intense workout it is a good thing.

When we fail an intense TR workout it’s taken as a negative. Why?

I am a perfectionist and I don’t like failing at anything but when I lift weights to failure it absolutely feels like I accomplished more than when I lift and have a lot more in me but stop prior to failure.

Interesting how expectations have such an impact on our vision of what is a success and what is a failure.

I’ve started embracing the fact that I’m pushing my limits when I fail a TR workout. The 108% suprathreshold workouts really beat me down and I frequently fail the last interval (sometimes even sooner) but my PR power curve just keeps looking better and better.

If I were failing sub threshold workouts I would be concerned, but an intense workout? Embrace the failure and it will make you a stronger rider.

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I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve “failed” a handful of workouts and yet I’m satisfied with the end result because I gave it my all and still finished the workout, albeit at a lower intensity.

TR is great, but it doesn’t take into account the day to day “things” which can impact our training and make adjustments based on that like a ‘real’ coach presumably would. Sometimes you have to make adjustments; with TR that’s on us to do.

The only reason I would consider a workout a failure is if something was off that is within my control that I know I can fix (nutrition, for ex.). In that case, I’d consider adding the workout back into my plan at some point in the future.

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I’m in the same boat as the OP. I failed Leconte (only failure so far) at the end of SSBV2 and I felt really bad. I think my biggest concern is just the overall progression and that failing one may be a domino. That didn’t happen. I’ve been clean since. I have Mount Goode in a few minutes so hopefully that won’t be another, but this is fear in the back of my mind. In some ways it makes me better though as I push harder. Accepting failure opens the door for more failure.

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I’ve failed a few workouts.

Sometimes if i’m sick and still make the decision to workout, i know to set the expectations a little lower to…maybe i only do 50 or 75% of the workout.

Or sometimes i’m just not recovered enough and it’ll just happen. It sucks. Does get me down a little. At least you showed up and gave it what you could!

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I did Mt Hale +6 today so I have a sense of what OP went through lol I really stunk in the last 9min interval, in part it was physical and losing form, but there’s a mental component to getting through intervals when things get really tough and you’ve had some tough intervals in the bag already. I think a lot of us get obsessive compulsive about wanting to nail every workout exactly as prescribed, but I think people above make good points that these workouts are designed to be difficult, otherwise we wouldn’t get the stimulus to improve.

I think we can either choose to define ourselves by our failures or by our successes, I’d rather see myself at being successful at 3x9min intervals at 315w(105% at an FTP level I didn’t think I could do and just happens to be my all time best 9min power, done 3 times!) than as a failure in 1x9min interval, which I finished despite pausing and did 35mins of endurance after that.

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Don’t sweat it. I was in the same boat last week; I failed Washington +4 which was my first failed workout this season.I spent the whole week questioning my FTP. This stayed in my head all week and this morning I was afraid of Mt. Hale but I made it through all the intervals (doing these around 5am too so I feel your pain). FYI if you just look at the “work” portion of Mt Hale you have a IF of 0.99 for 45 minutes so it’s a easy workout to fail if you are not on a good day.

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The TR workouts are hard, I suspect some of them have a significant failure rate - and that failing them might be expected.

As others have mentioned try and look past a “failed” session and identify other areas which may have impacted your session. Very easy to underestimate other stressors in your daily life (work, family, sleep, recovery, feeding, hydration, session timing - are all obvious ones).

I’ve not failed many - but when it happens I add an annotation to that ride so I can easily see it in the calendar view. Also worth looking back at the notes you made for the previous 7-days worth of sessions to see if there were any subtle indications in your own feedback.

The other thing you can do is check out the “All Rides” section of the workout to see how others have tackled the same workout.

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