Help with the math.... TrainerRoad Staff / Developers?

Let’s ignore things like progression levels, AT, and all the other noise of the day.

Can somebody from TR staff provide some insight into the math behind Flinders vs. Troll. They are not the same workout, but extremely close cousins. What is the scoring process that causes Flinders to be “Threshold” and Troll to be “VO2” ?

Flinders is basically 3:00 at 105% with 30 second rests. Troll is 2:35 at 107% with 30 second rests. I really don’t need to know ‘intended adaptations’ and all the other stuff. I just want the math.

Threshold 95% – 105% FTP 8 / Moderate-Hard
VO2 Max 106% – 120% FTP 9 / Hard


Yeah, I get it. It feels like there’s something inconsistent. Flinders is PL 3.x in threshold, and Troll is 5.x PL in VO2. Using the power range posted above, Troll is the bottom-rung of VO2, and for pretty short intervals too. Seems odd that its PL is in the 5.x range.

But whatever. After a year of the current ‘noise’ (and many many years of TrainerRoad), I have concluded that my lame-brain works best when only thinking of I.F. and TSS within the context of a 1-hour workout.

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I agree, it doesn’t make much sense. However it seems that they have set the distinction between threshold and VO2 as mentioned in the blog post above and therefore AT sees 2.5 minutes VO2 intervals much harder than 3 minutes “threshold” intervals, even though Flinders is definitely more difficult IMHO.

It’s worth writing to the support though, maybe they recognize that as a mistake.

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my complaint all along was the seemingly disparate scales for the zones with Threshold clearly being stingier than SS and VO2, but everyone else disagreed with me. I’m over it at this point.


Perhaps one clue is in the workout name?

Ok, bye.


@russell.r.sage it’s funny (well, maybe not), but yesterday I changed my browser’s TrainerRoad bookmark to now default into the Calendar instead of Career (which shows PL). The “Career” page was a worse mistress than my Garmin scale.

I found that all I did was obsess about those red bars and and ‘balanced’ PL – and even though they’re nicely balanced now, it sucked the fun out of my morning workouts. I felt like I was being driven by an unfamiliar master instead of my trusty friends Mr. TSS and Mrs. I.F.

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The obvious issue with the threshold assignment is that it - quite obviously - was intended to provide a VO2Max progression level. But since it is categorized as threshold, it will never be suggested as an adaptation for a VO2Max workout.

There’s more worrying ‘bugs’ related to those wrong assignments. E.g. Yellowjacket has the same issue. It was intended as a VO2Max progression, but since the intervals are at 105%, it is categorized as threshold. The high volume criterium plan uses it in its template. In unadapted form it has Yellowstone as the week 5 thursday VO2Max workout. But because Yellowjacket is categorized threshold, it will prescribe other Threshold workouts after adaptations. E.g. it prescribes Mount Goode +2 for me for that day. That’s intervals of 18 minutes at 97% so not VO2Max, and nothing like Yellowjacket. A completely different animal.

perhaps, but you’re assuming all workouts have to be considered by AT. I would imagine there are many workouts that AT doesn’t consider for many other reasons than the issue you describe below. I don’t mind the idea that there is a workout for every duration and every FTP percentage. I would probably not look for this one, but I do find myself hand-picking my workouts based on my own ideas of progressions and the previous workout that I completed. That makes the TR library so valuable (to me) that I can generally find most interval durations and intensities regardless of how it’s “categorized.”

Absolutely possible from a programmatic standpoint, but your statement leaves me with a gigantic “uhhhh?” in my head.

Same here.

Was that in answer to me? Because I don’t see how that relates to the issue I raised. I am assuming that the Thursday in the high volume criterium plan is intended as a VO2Max day, so should not prescribe workouts like Mount Goode +2. And I’m pretty sure that assumption is right, and the mentioned issue is an oversight of the trainerroad team, originally caused by Yellowjacket being categorized as threshold.

I would assume there is likely a flag on workouts that determines whether it is considered by AT or not. Explains how something like Disaster isn’t included. I’m just guessing that in a catalog of over 3000 workouts, there are some classes of workouts that TR doesn’t intend to be part of a plan and thus not something they want plan builder to pull in.

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Primarily I was responding to your point that the OP’s original concern was justified because AT wouldn’t pull such a workout in.

Your concern about your own plan I’m not sure is related. The week five workout defined in the stock plan is a workout called Pinnacle+1. This is clearly intended to be a Threshold workout. Specialty is a weird phase where you can’t count on the workouts to be quite as rigidly aligned to systems as they are in previous phases. Perhaps its a screw up and TR put a Threshold workout in that slot when they meant a VO2 workout, but they put an Anaerobic workout in that slot two weeks later, so I presume they are just trying to make sure you hit each system during specialty, so none of them atrophy before your A event. The fact that your plan adapted to Yellowstone, which appears to be “like” a VO2 workout, but isn’t, I think is a red herring because I think it’s actually meant to have a threshold workout on that day, which Yellowstone is. So if that is the case, Mt Goode is an intended workout.

From what I’ve seen, it might not be that there are some workouts that AT doesn’t look at but rather within each PL there are many other categories that are used to adapt the workouts. e.g. you probably won’t have a 5x5 VO2 workout subbed for a microburst even if they are both VO2. Just like you probably wouldn’t have 15min @97% subbed for 5 min @ 104% since those are two different types of workouts within the ‘Threshold’ umbrella.

It’s worth noting that I think TR is now using your AT levels to ‘pre-adapt’ the stock plans so what you see under the ‘Training Plans’ tab won’t be what someone else sees. So I don’t see Pinnacle+1 anywhere in the HV Crit plan.

But for that specific plan there is an interesting anomaly that the Thursday of Week 5 is Threshold while every other week has a VO2 on Thursday.

Yeah, I figured as much since that explains why his was originally Yellowstone, but I just used that as a reference that suggested Threshold was the intended system for that workout.

No sorry the intended system for that workout was VO2Max, it was added to have lower PL level alternatives to the type of VO2Max workouts you see in e.g. week 6 of that plan. When the plan was designed Yellowjack was actually still categorized as VO2Max.