Feature Request: Dynamic interval levels

I’ve been thinking about how AT works and how it will use previous workouts to influence your next workout. I was wondering if this same principal could be applied to sets of intervals dynamically during a workout.

For example:
I’m doing Brasted workout (https://www.trainerroad.com/app/cycling/workouts/364714-brasted). After the first set of intervals I am really struggling, so the next set gets dropped from a VO2 Max 5.1, to a VO2 Max 4.5 so that I can complete the workout. I think most people do this manually by changing the percentage, but it would be cool if it did it magically.

I think this would require each set of intervals having a workout level, rather than just the whole workout.

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I think the idea of the levels is that the entire workout is achievable. There is more value in you completing an entire workout at a 4.5 or perhaps a stretch of a 4.7 rather than drain your stores and have to back off the intensity. By changing levels between sets, you are fundamentally changing the effect of the workout. You are better off selecting an alternate like Bluebell or Gendarme that is within your ability to complete as prescribed. In the situation that on the day you are too fatigued to complete the sets as prescribed and do not know that until you’ve completed the first set, then that is where using the bias adjustment has utility. You still complete the workout and get some of the intended benefit and have learnings to carry forward into future workouts. The levels are built around a function of time and intensity, very similar to IF. Parsing a 12 minute set into its own level is likely not as simple. Essentially you would be changing the entire structure of the workout e.g. reducing from 1 minute intervals to 45 seconds, or changing the working set to rest ratio, or most simply, reducing the percentage of FTP within the zone being utilized - which is most easily accomplished through the percent bias.

The purpose of AT is to serve up a workout that is within your capabilities. A stretch or Breakthrough has the potential for failure but is not outside your current capabilities. It would be really tough on the day to make that appraisal intra-workout. After the first few weeks of using AT, it does a pretty fine job. In terms of scheduled workout adjustments, it would be very tough, and probably not desired, to make those adjustments during your scheduled workout. It is very common for people to perform the first set poorly and improve for the remaining sets as the muscles become stimulated and prepared for work. You wouldn’t want the program to deprive you of the benefit of future sets based on a situation like that, and I know I personally don’t want to be futzing with answering questions during a hard workout. If I need take an interval or even a whole set easier, I do it. In ERG mode I turn down the bias and in resistance mode or outdoors, I give the interval what I have. In some instances, it is better to just scrap the workout entirely, come back and fight another day.

I don’t know if you are currently in AT yet, but I would recommend evaluating your progression levels and how the workouts in the plan align against them. Use the alternates feature in advance of your workouts to choose something within reach. The Achievable/Stretch/Breakthrough markers are a great tool if you are trying to nudge up performance.

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This idea has been mentioned a few times. Nate addressed it on a podcast a while ago and said he does not like the concept.

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I’m not in the AT beta, and I don’t think this is a feature that should/could be implemented easily.

My thinking was that the whole premise of AT is to select the correct workout for you. At the moment this is based on past workouts, which I think would fail to account for outside factors since previous workouts. By using the most recent interval set AT could adapt the remaining intervals automatically to create an achievable workout. It would also allow changes to the length of an interval/rest as well as the amount of power for each interval (which is currently the only thing that % changes does).

I think for now selecting a different workout is fine, but IMO encouraging users to manually change workouts defeats the purpose of AT.

I would imagine that feeding stress scores/HRV/etc into AT would make this feature request obsolete.

I must have missed this.

:crossed_fingers: for more data inputs in AT and faster iterations in training plans.

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There’s been a lot of workouts where I struggle in the first set and then the next ones are better, so I don’t like this concept as it essentially lowers the bar prematurely.

Going to defer this to Rule #5

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I’m a big one for finding the first interval the hardest, and then finding the rest of the workout gets progressively easier until the 2nd to last interval, then the last one’s a doddle.

If my 2nd interval was made easier because of how I felt in the first one, I’d never get past that ‘first interval sucks’ mentality.

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