Finished "Grassy Ridge" with 148bpm HR avg, too easy?

Getting off plan a bit with this one, today’s scheduled workout was supposed to be an endurance workout. But I did two endurance rides this week, one of which was on a rest day this week, after my first planned workout was really too easy. Today I wanted something different and so, using the “train now” feature, I found the attack workout Grassy Ridge. I modified the workout +25% intensity on my cycling computer (was an outside ride), and so my target power was 250-285. The real difficulty for me was staying in this range, and not pushing into the upper 300s to 400s watts.

Back when i started my plan, i took a ramp test and got much lower an FTP than i thought i was at. I got a 194 and last year at a much lower fitness level, i did a 20 minute test and averaged 220 watts for the test So i’ve been adding intensity to most of my workouts.

My heart rate zones at the end of the workout were:

Zone 1: 2.8%
Zone 2: 53.2%
Zone 3: 36.2%
Zone 4: 7.8%
Zone 5: 0%

According to my plan, this workout was productive, with a 0.6% increase in VO2 max (now 1.6). I gave this workout a “moderate” for the survey response.

This is maybe my 6th or 7th trainerroad workout total so far, and I’m wondering if I should have felt more tired after this one. In general, all of my workouts have felt easier than I would normally push if I were just going out for a ride. Am I doing this right?

You don’t have to feel wasted after every workout, in fact you shouldn’t.

Grassy Ridge is a pretty easy VO2max workout, it gets a PL of 3.1, plus short efforts like those don’t get your HR up very high and then you get a rest. As an example here’s my effort on Sleeping Beauty which is a similar style of workout - look at my notes where I’ve noted the power and HR

HR: Z1 - 43m31s, Z2 - 16m27s, Z3 - 3s

Yep, just three seconds in Z3! This was done indoors.

thanks for the feedback bob. What is a PL of 3.1?

If you can add 25% intensity to a vo2 max workout and find it that easy then I’d be tempted to think that you have your FTP set far too low.

Was your ramp test done with the same power recording device?

Have you tried TRs new FTP detection yet? :slightly_smiling_face:

Essentially it’s a number “progression level” that describes how hard a workout is 1 to 10.

I think you must have done the -3 version of grassy ridge - that’s a level 1.6

This may be hard to get used to, but every workout is not designed to empty the tank, especially if you’re a new athlete in base phase.

There’s also a reason we dont recommend reading into HR alone as a metric of your effort. More info here!


PL = Progression Level. If you look at a workout in the workout library all workouts are assigned a PL which is in the range 1 to 10 (there’s a few outliers but ignore those for this discussion) Each energy system has its own PL range which aren’t comparable across systems so don’t assume a VO2max PL of 5.0 is equivalent to a Sweet Spot PL of 5.0. Allied to PLs are Difficulty Levels - these are the Achievable, Productive, Stretch, etc. labels and are different for everyone but are basically Workout PL - Your PL in that zone.

Train Now will usually offer you Achievable or Productive workouts so as not to overtax you.

Have a read through the articles here -, there’s a lot of info in there to get you even more confused :rofl:

Yes, but surely you should be at or very near VO2max during a VO2max session?

The workouts like Grassy Ridge are introductory workouts to VO2max work, there’d be a massive outcry if you started off on something like Rattlesnake.

To be fair it is a PL 3.1, I would say introductory VO2, not actual VO2max. Personally I get no time at VO2max unless greater than a PL of 6.

I just commented the same thing.

I think we were writing the same response at the same time!

A PL 3.1 turned up 25%.

Stop saying “Energy Systems” no such thing (even regarding PLs), there are ONLY 3 energy systems, say Levels, Zones, Okay.

If you are turning up any workout by 25% then you need to do a ramp test and get a more accurate FTP against which to base your workouts.

No need to tell me. I was just pointing out something you seemed to have missed when telling OP that PL 3.1 workouts should feel easy.

Sorry, thought I was replying to the OP.

I would 99% agree with you but with the caveat that some folk have phenomenal short term power and find a power based VO2max work out easy but they would struggle or find their FTP just right on other longer term workouts in other zones.


:point_up: Nailed it!
Re-test, or enable AI FTP Detection!

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Not sure if you meant to reply to me?

Not necessarily, to categorically say that (nailed it) shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the training zones.

That might be the case, but no necessarily so (for a fair few.)

Plus 25%…
That is 30 seconds on 30 seconds off, with the on at 143% of FTP and the float at top end of Z2… personally I don’t know anyone that would be over tempo HR during that (although there might be some, new to structured training)
It certainly is not an indication that FTP is out, although it might be. Grassy Ridge is not actually a VO2max workout.

PS anything above Threshold is not anchored to FTP anyway. :+1: