Help Me Diagnose and Address Workout Failure

Looking for everyone’s advice/ experience. I’m on a mid volume Olympic triathlon plan, have been all year. Second to last week of the build block. Calendar here.

Had 1.5 hr threshold for today, followed by a 30 min run. Early this week had hard 18x30s hill repeats (run) and 40 min base run, 1 VO2 and 1 threshold swims, and two hard VO2 rides. Lots of intensity, but all from the plan. Trying to fuel right and take it easy in between sessions.

Last evening (6pm)was the threshold swim, had to cut it short as I wasn’t feeling great doing it and wanted to save my energy for the workout today as it seemed like a key session. I moved my other longer intense run (3 min hard repeats) to Saturday after this brick and moved Saturday’s base run to Wednesday to try and keep my legs fresh for the brick.

This week I have been working out earlier in the day, as the heat in the Sacramento area is here. By 9am this morning it was 80+ degrees in the garage. Started at 730 am after a poor nights sleep (<6 hours). I am not really a morning person but faced with this heat I am forced to do it in the mornings. Didn’t have solid food before, but I had my carbohydrate bottles ready and was drinking those down as I woke up and got on the bike. Maybe my first mistake.

When I work up i took a 200mg caffeine pill, which I do occasionally for workouts where I need a boost. Helps in the mornings. I’m not a coffee guy.

Only lasted ~30 minutes into Geronimo. Legs didn’t have the energy. I tried turning it down 2%, didn’t help. Ended the ride and did ~30 min of a z2 train now ride.

Now im sitting here, wondering how to identify what went wrong, what I can control, and what to address. My legs feel fine now, and I’m doubting myself. Did I wuss out? Lol

Best practices for morning workouts for night owls? Ways to deal with heat? Better ways to manage the intensity of the plan? I’ve been through a mid volume Olympic triathlon plan base/build before this year, in 1 week will be my first specialty phase of the year. How do you decide when to absolutely gut it out/vs call it off with the thought of not digging too deep a hole? These tri plans have 5 weeks of loading and then a recovery week. Staring down 4 more weeks of loading played into me calling it off today.

For now I’m focusing on refueling my body today. Debating doing the brick again tomorrow or next weekend, the last weekend of build. For now I’ve moved the brick run to after my threshold ride next week.

Also for context, just got a AI ftp bump yesterday from 252 to 257, but didn’t accept it as I want to push my PLs as I move into and through specialty phase. Been at 252 since April.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

ETA: here are screen caps of the workouts the the rest of my week

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Maybe post a screengrab of the workout or a description for those folks who aren’t signed up to TR. :+1:

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You have been doing a lot of work and did a threshold workout in the pool just the night before. You are tired… you didn’t sleep well.

Don’t try to make up the workout. You would be better off with an extra day off than trying to cram in more. To quote Ted Lasso, “have the memory of a goldfish.” Forget it and move on.


This is my thinking too. Thank you.

What concerns me is I just came off a recovery week where I tried to get as fresh as I could for this 5 week block. I’ll try and keep the long view.

Would it be trying to make up the workout if I move the brick run to next week after my already scheduled 1.5 hr threshold workout? I worry about missing bricks as I don’t have them all too often in the plan.

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This is what next week looks like.

Also, for a threshold 4 workout, ragged-3 looks way easier than Geronimo at threshold 4.1. Ragged -3 is IF .78 vs Geronimo is .89. Geronimo is way closer to dunderburg -4 (which is upped by a few %) but it’s a threshold 6

How are these only .1 PL apart?

As a person who is not very functional in the morning, sometimes a longer warmup (especially on threshold rides, which are my weakness) really helps just to get the brain/legs ready for what’s coming. The warmup on that ride looks like it’d immediately jack up my heart rate to somewhere bad before my body was ready for it.

The heat also really doesn’t help if you’re not acclimated to it. Since you’re in your house maybe you could try to tweak some stuff (drinks/fan/etc) to keep yourself marginally cooler.

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Quit judging yourself so harshly, if you aren’t feeling it then go easy. TR recently gave an update on the polarized plans, and compared to TR’s other base/build plans delivered the same results. I’ve been saying the same for years now… before TR, I trained harder than TR for 2 years, and the last 2 years have been super easy. And with only an extra hour per week (7 hours vs 8 hours), I ended up with the same fitness.

If I’m reading correctly you didn’t fail, you stayed on the bike and did an hour+ of work. Consistency, frequency, and volume are first order drivers of fitness.

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This is all in a TR plan? To me it just sounds like way too much intensity. You seem to have VO2 work in every sport. If I did four vo2 workouts and two threshold workouts in one week, my legs would be like jelly the next week.


Yes, as I was starting I was thinking that warmup sucked. I added a few minutes to it but I don’t think it was near enough.

I’m going to play with some things in the garage, I’ve got a lasko fan and a shop fan behind me, I did move the shop fan to the front next to the lasko after the first interval but I don’t think it was enough.

I have a portable ac I think I’ll try to set up kit there and have that blow on me too.

I wish they had a polarized option for the triathlon plans. I could build one myself, I suppose, but I like not having the cognitive load and worry of coaching myself like thst.

I did stay in the bike for about an hour, something is better than nothing.

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Yes, week five of the Olympic mid volume build. It is a lot of intensity. I hope they reformat these plans to at least have more recovery weeks. I think the 5 weeks of loading with one recovery week is too long to load with this sort of intensity. Base and build are six weeks plans with recovery week 4. So moving from base to build and build to specialty there are 5 loading weeks. Seems like it would go better with 3 loading weeks and then recovery.

I try to give myself grace especially on the runs, and default to z2 runs when the legs aren’t feeling up to the intensity. Swims are next on the chopping block if the intensity is too much, I still do the distance just at an easy pace.

I try to leave the rides alone and let adaptive training handle it. Maybe should’ve toned this threshold down. The week before my recovery week last week I did Dragontail -1 and that was just below all out.

Looking for an advice on what to do after yesterday workout failure, first time it happens on TR.
Should I repeat it today or move to the next one?
I lean towards the first option.

My analysis:
I identify the reason in being heavily underfueled.
Lunch at work was only 40gr of plain cous cous and loads of vegetable as I forgot the rest of the meal home. No food in the afternoon, just a cofee.
Office work, no body stress, even tough I walk a bit in the plant (yesterday around 7000 steps)

Arrived home I ate a mango and drunk some heavy sugary orange juice.
After 3 min of the Tempo section I felt legs were weak and no energy but i hope that the mango and juice, which i was drinking also on the bike, would kick in.
After the second over intervalsm heart rate went above what I normally see at this intensity and energy were almost zero.
I made the huge mistake of standing up lowering the cadence, when I sat down i could not re-up the cadence (ERG mode) and i simply had to stop.
Rested for a minute or so, re-started but after 20 sec back in, I understood I was hurting myself more than anything else.

I did not deserve them, but i went for some tacos afterwards.

As you indicated - probably a nutrition issue. Put this behind you and move forward with your plan as is. No reason to go back and redo the workout.


Take it as you will, but in my opinion, you are doing way too much intensity. I’d replace at least one of the bike workouts with something with less intensity. I’m talking Endurance type ride, and maybe bump up the time by 30 minutes or 45 minutes to get you nearly the same TSS(~70tss looks average for your workouts). There are dozens of workouts that are sub 2 hours, over 65tss, and yet don’t get over 70% of FTP. Just looking at your calendar of solely on the bike workouts(not to mention all the intensity listed during runs and swims), as a cyclist and non multi-sport athlete, I wouldn’t want to do those combinations of workouts for any sustained period of time, its simply too much work, without any time to absorb it, and zero attention paid to the lower zones. I honestly have very little doubt that you would be “faster”, and that it would be more sustainable, to delete any one of those bike days, and replace it with a rest day…