Failed workouts question

Have a question about “failed” workouts. I’ve been perusing previous similar posts, but am looking for some advice from some of you who have many more years at structured training than I do. Thanks in advance.

This go round with TR has been my most successful to date after a few failed attempts over the years. I started back using a training plan and AI FTP back in November. Have been steady increasing, albeit slowly, since. Some workouts are more challenging than others, but I’ve been able to complete nearly all up until a few weeks ago.

My plan usually calls for one threshold and one VO2 workout each week.

My last successful threshold workout was on 2/2 - (Moose’s Tooth +1, PL 3.3). No scheduled threshold attempts since.

My successful VO2 was January 30 - (Cloud’s Rest +6, PL 5.4). Two unsuccessful VO2 since (5.8, 6.5).

Couple observations.

  1. My last successful VO2 and successful threshold were both the same week (four weeks ago!).
  2. I find it interesting that the plan upped my VO2 PL workout to 5.8 after completing a 3.3. Then, after failing the 5.8, it prescribed me a 6.5! Which, of course, I also failed.

Does anyone have any insight into why these two things may be? If so, I’d love to hear it. I must admit its starting to mess with my mind and motivation a bit.

Some relevant information that may be helpful:

  1. My nutrition has been about the same throughout. No drastic changes.
  2. My work schedule did have a change about the time of my last successful workouts. On February 4, I went from an all day shift schedule to a hybrid schedule. The new schedule is one 24 hour shift per week (on Tuesdays) and a few day shifts over the two week cycle. If I’m being honest, the 24 hour shifts are not my favorite, but I have been prioritizing sleep over just about everything else before and since.
  3. I switched to a high volume plan right around this same time. Went from about six hours a week to about nine (I can already hear Jonathon groaning with disapproval). In my defense I have been reducing occasional workouts to help ease into the increased training load.
  4. I have not been ill or injured in months (knocks on wood).

Am I an idiot for switching to a HV plan? I honestly feel I can do nine or ten hours a week. But admittedly, have never done that much structured training before.

And please don’t hold back… lemme have it if you think I messed up.

Are you feeling fresh going into these workouts that you failed or are you tired and dragging?

1 Like

I do remember feeling like those workouts would be very challenging when I looked at them prior to riding. But I was surprised just how quickly I pulled the plug on them. While im doing a better job these days, I’m pretty terrible at monitoring my fatigue level. Thanks for the kind reply.

A few thoughts:

  1. Clouds Rest +6 is a 5.4 workout, not 3.3. There doesn’t appear to be a 3.3 version of Clouds Rest. Can you confirm what workout you did, what your PL was before and after it, and what you said in the post-workout survey?

  2. I agree it’s surprising that completing a 3.3 workout (if that’s indeed what happened) would immediately lead to a 5.8 workout, and having failed a 5.8, it really shouldn’t have gone up to 6.5. This sounds like a bug to me and would be worth checking with TR support. When you failed the 5.8 (and 6.5) did you select “too intense” in the struggle survey, or something else?

  3. Different people have different physiology. I am anaerobically strong, and so I find short VO2 intervals like Clouds Rest relatively easy - but give me long VO2 intervals with the same PL and I struggle much more. So that might be a factor to consider.

  4. If I were changing work schedule, especially in a way that was going to mess with my sleep, I would probably look to reduce volume rather than increase it, at least until I was settled into the new routine.

  5. Have you experimented with RLGL? This may give some additional insight as to your fatigue levels going into the workouts. But it won’t be able to account for your new work schedule and sleep patterns.

ETA: 6. Don’t feel bad about not completing these workouts. They were just too much for you at the times you tried them. It’s happened to pretty much everyone who’s been training long enough. Once you figure out why you can recalibrate and keep going!


Thanks for the excellent thoughts, Phil.

  1. You’re correct. I’ve edited the original post to correct my mistake.
  2. I shortened the 5.8 for time (did not remember this until you asked). I do remember that being a very challenging workout and in my journal entry I wondered if I would have been able to finish it if I had the time. For the 6.5 I chose “fatigued”.
  3. I’m definitely noticing VO2 is easier than threshold, but longer intervals of either are very, very hard for me.
  4. Agreed and I saw this immediately as I was writing my original post. Not my smartest move.
  5. YES! I’m very excited about this new feature and have found it helpful. Have only had a few red days. Two of them were toward the end of my first higher volume week, but I just did endurance both days, then it corrected to yellow, then green.
  6. Thanks for the good advice. I’m very much trying to learn the art of re-calibration in my training. I tend to be pretty stubborn, but the failed workouts lately are really making me take an honest look at some of the external things I can control.

Thanks again!


If I were still using TR I would probably do a LV plan and extend the cooldown by 30 minutes and add 1-2 low progress level 1-2h endurance rides to that instead of the high or mid volume plan


I definitely agree with others that moving from MV to HV at the same time as a pretty big shift in your work schedule isn’t an amazing idea. I’d probably drop back and add in low intensity riding to fill in the time.

You also don’t mention what your work is. Or at least how physically/mentally demanding it is. 24hour shifts are already pretty brutal, but add in something like firefighting, EMT, or any other demanding job and it can take at least a day to recover. And if you’re awake for all/most of that shift then big changes to your sleep schedule and be super disruptive to your body’s ability to recover.

However, I’d probably lean toward having your workouts be as far after these shifts as possible. Have a day off the day after, then an endurance day, and then (if you’re feeling up to it) do your workout the next day.

Don’t beat your self up about it. Those training plans assume a pretty steady schedule and will take some tweaking to fit a schedule like yours.


Hey there,

Plenty of great advice in this thread already!

We’d agree with what other athletes have said regarding your plan’s volume – it may be worth lowering it back down to at least Mid Volume given your work schedule. As @ArHu74 mentioned, you can always add in some extra endurance riding if you have the time and energy available to do so.

It looks like Adaptive Training may have given you those higher-level VO2 max workouts because you cruised through the first few, which were marked as “Stretch” workouts. I checked out your survey responses, and it looks like you called those workouts “moderate,” which triggered Adaptive Training to ramp up to more difficult workouts a bit more quickly. For clarity’s sake, there’s nothing wrong with that – just explaining how you got up to those higher-level workouts in the first place!

Your last completed VO2 workout was a 5.4, so it does seem like you’re capable of getting through those tougher sessions – now, it’s just a matter of making tweaks to your plan/life schedule around your job changes. For the time being, I think backing off on the volume while you adjust would be a smart move.

Hope this helps – and feel free to let us know if you have any additional questions!


In my experience, a failed workout marked fatigued does not ring the same alarm bells for AT as failed because of intensity.


Thanks very much for the good thoughts.

I’m a paramedic, and we sometimes don’t remember how stressful our work is. I’ve tried to do a good job of spacing things out. I just work one 24 each week on Tuesdays. Then every other Friday, Saturday and Sunday but those are 12 hour shifts. My long endurance is on Monday. Threshold is Thursday (two days after my 24) and VO2 is Sunday. I make sure to be very flexible on Wednesday if I’m not feeling caught up on sleep.

Again, thanks for the comments and advice. Very helpful.

Thanks, Zackery,
That does sound right. I remember feeling good through the intensity workouts at first, until I didn’t. Sort of snuck up on me, I guess. Sounds like I may have underestimated the impact of my new schedule combined with increasing volume.

Will look at going back to MV with extra endurance as tolerated would be my best course of action.

Thanks to all for the kind and thoughtful responses. Most appreciated.

1 Like