Failing or quiting

Started using TR recently (a step test and four workouts). I’ve already found myself pushing myself harder in trainer workouts than before, but today I started but didn’t complete ‘Bago’. It’s 12 3min intervals at 110-115 FTP. Chad’s messaging on screen talked about the diminishing returns of digging too deep to complete the workout to the detriment of further training. I got to 1min into the 2nd last interval before I found my posture failing and my cadence dropping to where I was mashing, not spinning. I stopped the workout (having spent 32 mins in my Vo2 zone). I’m interested to know whether others think this is ‘failing’ or ‘quitting’. Are these the signs others use to decide whether to stop and fight another day? What other signs are there? Do other people actually stop workouts or soldier on regardless? What are the risks of just holding on with poor form/cadence to simply finish?

Don’t worry about it. There will be other days. Keep yourself healthy in mind and body!

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Don’t worry about it. Looking at the ride history for Bago it looks like a lot of people find it challenging.

Those are cues that would cause me to reconsider as well. Another thing you could try is lowering the workout intensity a little to see if that helps. And your goal for next time can be to get further than you did this time.

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Yeah - I am sure that I wouldn’t have made the rest of the interval I stopped on (or the next, of course), but, for some reason I didn’t consider the intensity slider. That’s a good tip!

I will lower the IF if I really really need to. Or if I know I’m fatigued and my legs are heavy and I need to swim or run the next day, I drop the IF and use it as a recovery session. However I try avoid quitting or failing at all costs! I just feel so guilty afterwards that I didn’t complete the workout. Even the ramp test I feel guilty haha! I push myself hard and sometimes the mind wants to quit earlier than necessary.

Yeah - been eating at me all morning. I have never quit one before (on other platforms either). Bago is an interesting one. As I said, the coaching text regularly warns you not to overdo it and consider the signs that this is not paying off in an adaptation/fatigue sense. Dropping the intensity is def something i’ll do in future.

It’s amazing the difference a small 2-3% decrease in intensity can do.

Other options to consider are extending the break between intervals by pausing the workout for a short extra break or taking a quick 5-10 second backpedal break in the middle of the interval.

Obviously none of these options are as good as finishing the intervals - but taking a short break does give you a quick cut in your HR without dropping you too far out of the VO2 max range. If you agree with your brain that you’ll take no more than one per interval you can make real progress by cutting them down, etc


It probably won’t make 1 iota difference in your overall fitness. I think we are more likely to over exert ourselves than do too little, especially running. Just look at all the overuse injuries people have.

Several ways you can deal with this.

  1. lower intensity
  2. skip 1 interval. Sometimes that gets you through the rest.
  3. just finish the workout at aerobic level and ignore the vo2 intervals.
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I think other members have given you great advice. I would recommend that you mentally draw a line under this session, take the advice given on the forum, and get ready for the next challenge. There are no medals at this stage and we’re all trying to achieve the same goals. Be faster, get stronger whilst being more efficient.

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I’d say this is more ‘damage-control’ than quitting, albeit a failure, which itself is no bad thing.

Quitting, to me, is ending a workout out of laziness or intimidation.


Thanks. Yeah, that’s how I felt at the time. Felt like my form was blown and I’d done some serious time in the zone I was targeting. Just wanted to see if others ‘failed’ many workouts. And, if they did, what physical signs are to be listened to as a sign of detrimental fatigue and which ones were just the body’s reaction to the effort required for improvement. I guess it’s a judgment call either way.

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I fail workouts occasionally. For me it is almost always a VO2 interval where I reach my failure point. I personally go until I feel like I cannot keep the legs going any further. For me, my head is almost always my limiter as I can realistically only push myself so deep inside on the trainer, so I try very hard to ignore the signals from my body and push through as far as I can. I can ride until I have insufficient blood flow to see when I’m outside, but inside my brain won’t let me do this and it shuts me down well below my actual physical failure point

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I’d really not see failing a VO2 interval or having to adjust intensity towards the end as a bad thing.

After all this intensity it is not sustainable and ultimately you are trying to force adaptation.

That’s not to say burying yourself to the point you can’t complete a workout is productive nor is comfortably “un-comfortably” completing a VO2 session each & every time is unproductive.

Bailing on tempo or lower end sweet-spot would be a little more odd in my opinion. Again though this comes down to a judgement call. We all have off days or underlying issues which can affect our performance from time to time.

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How does the TrainerRoad data bank define a “failed” workout? @Nate has alluded that the higher ups can keep track of workout completion, so how do they register failed workouts? If I skip the cooldown does that register as a workout failure? Or if I drop the intensity % for one or two intervals? Or is it how well I comply with the set workout as a % of the total time or total adherence?

In my mind it’s something about what percent of intervals you did within “X” average watts. We’ve got some rough parameters around it but we need to keep tweaking these.

As a human, you can look at a workout and tell right away, but it’s harder to describe to a machine.


Some metrics around failure rate would be interesting to see before a workout (even though that might set some excuse in your mind before first pedal stroke…).

@Nate To me it reads as if you try to program some classic code with some formulas to find that metrics. But with the latest development around machine learning an alternative (and maybe quite promising) approach could be to feed workout graph images (with actual and ideal watt curve) into image recognition machine learning and classify those as failure or success (or even more options in between) until the machine has learned to classify itself correctly.

Overall I suppose that problem should be a straightforward use case for ML.

It wasn’t failing or quitting. You completed as much of the workout as you could and will have derived a training benefit from it.

Lots of good advice above as to how you react to it during a future workout, but I also think it’s very important you see it all in a positive sense.

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You could just use the raw data instead of the graph, but there is still a huge issue with this: you still need to classify all the training data yourself.