How is Adaptive Training working out for everyone?

So far, I’m not sure adaptive training offers much improvement as it doesn’t seem to be “individual” enough. There can be many particulars as to how a workout goes for someone training using the TrainerRoad workouts. It seems a bad day on a workout can change your progress in a negative way based on the recommendations.

I just completed my first block with it and have found it to be a solid step in the right direction. I trained last winter on the old, ‘un-adaptive’ system. I’m really looking forward to see how it performs in the Build block as that’s where I got super burnt out last time… the VO2 progressions were too much for me. From what I can see with adaptive, it should solve this problem… time will tell.

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I’ll continue using it and see. What i don’t like is that there are workouts I have completed successfully in the past, before adaptive training came on, but now Adaptive training is labeling those workouts a “stretch” or seemingly above what I’m capable. That doesn’t help me mentally.

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sounds like your PL’s haven’t caught up to your actual abilities yet. Try some of those stretch workouts and answer the survey honeslty. It’ll take a bit to get your levels to where they should be, if you’re new to adaptive. I (like everyone else) wishes it took into account non-scheduled workout rides.

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I like it although for example I did an extra interval on a workout last week and it didn’t even notice. So it still has ways to go, but step in a right direction.

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It’s definitely still rough around the edges. My most recent “WTF” moment was that I did a 3 hour 5.2 Endurance ride on Friday morning, riding above target in spots due to following along with the Zwift Fondo and the climbs involved, then did a 1 hour 4.1 Endurance ride on Sunday, that I ended up riding below target for a chunk of it as I was bumming along in Zwift with the C. Cadence group to finally get my Bigger Than Jensie achievement, which then brought my Endurance PL down to 4.1… I shouldn’t have to contact support about simple things like this at this point.

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This. My second season with AT is better than the first. And the first wasn’t bad after I did exactly that.

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Did you get the “struggle” survey and respond “I didn’t struggle”?

If you did, then it is curious why AT down graded your PL

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I think it’s kind of interesting that most of the issues with AT are that it’s make the workouts too easy. Whereas all the complaints before AT were that TR plans were too hard!

Also I think people look at the short term, the immediate adaptation. If AT makes the next workouts too easy, and you rate the easy or moderate, it will get harder. It’s a continuous process that should be viewed over the course of a full training block or even season.

Just my $0.02.

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I am so better focused now with AT. So much better to be able to actually “see” the progression as a metric. Its has been really tough to do all the work and not see much change in FTP. Progression level improvements are big motivator. In the past, my FTP would go up but I would crack in the next block. I am skipping the Ramp Tests and focusing on Progression Level improvements. When I bump 8s in Build, Ill test. I know Level 8s will have indicate repeatability and longer durations. Heck I still might skip the Ramp Test and manually bump the FTP a bit and see how the workouts go.

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Good for me despite some hiccups. I’ve nailed 2 rounds of SSB at the regular 5/1 work to recovery week schedule, vs my altered version I ran for 2 years.

This season, I tested low on my ramp, but let survey responses drive up levels and still got decent workouts.

As noted, I think the default that happens now are the “easier” options vs what may have been overly hard trends in the past.

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In general, I’m really enjoying AT, but there are a couple annoying things that I’d love to see addressed:

  1. Its insistence on adapting alternate workouts back to what they originally were, multiple times, which drives me nuts and makes it hard to plan my week (I end up using annotations to remember which alternate I want to do, and swap them in right before starting the workout). I wish AT ignored alternates altogether, or I had an option to tell AT to ignore a certain workout, or it’d let me refuse certain adaptations (instead of it being all or nothing).
  2. I still find the survey at the end confusing, and I feel it might make more sense if it tried to assess if the stated difficulty level matched my expectations, e.g. if the workout was classified as “achievable”, did it feel that way? If not, why? (I appreciate Chad’s survey response cheatsheet that’s floating around the forum, but the fact that it’s needed at all seems less than ideal).

My experience is the opposite, I’m definitely getting harder workouts, although I do tend to frequently swap my workouts with harder alternates when I feel I can handle them, so I’m probably to blame for that. I do like that I have the option of letting AT do the driving, or choose my own workouts using AT as a guide.

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Yeah, I suspect you are spot-on. I did the same initially, and AT and I clashed a bit. After resetting my levels, I gave AT a shot without constantly overriding it. And that worked a whole lot better.

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A significant number of the “problems” seem to be people fighting AT rather than going with it. It’s a bit like having a coach and ignoring their plan and advice then wondering why things aren’t working. I think people are looking for/expecting instant and continual changes to their plan, that instant gratification we’ve been conned into thinking we need, whereas AT is looking longer term and might offer adaptations based on the last three workouts not just the one you finished, i.e. three “moderate” responses in a row for a set of workouts of increasing difficulty might mean you need something harder to push you.

I’m not sure if it’s just because the AT driven plan is a change or it’s genuinely better (how do I tell with N=1?) but I did feel I was getting stale repeating the old Sweet Spot Base & Build plans - lockdown didn’t exactly help here as I missed the summer getting out doing long rides so repeated the same plans again. My main criticism with the old plans was that there was no ebb and flow across the year: my main event last year was in November and in the couple of months leading into it my CTL was in the 85-90 range, I backed it down to 75 prior to the event, it’s now at 55 because I simply don’t need that level of fatigue at this time. If AT can manage that for me that would be a big win.

AT is definitely conservative as a system and an underlying aim seems to be not to leave you smashed after every workout. So there’s a balancing act between that and you actually making progress. The metric that TR seems focussed on in this regard is the longer term trend of skipped or failed workouts, they’ve mentioned in the podcasts that this figure has reduced with AT, definitely fits in with the theme of consistency. Looking back at the last quarters of 2020 (old plans) and 2021 (AT plans) I failed/skipped twelve workouts in that period in 2020 but only three in 2021. CTL also dropped from mid 70s to mid 50s from November to January for both periods so a similar overall workload.

For now, I’m sticking with AT. Occasionally I’ll swap out a workout using Alternates but tend to do it on the day depending on how I feel, multiple short intervals rather than steady state or vice versa. I’ll rarely stray more than 1.0 from the workout level of the scheduled workout.

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There are definitely frustrations, I took a longer than usual off season and my FTP dropped off a cliff. I accepted it and did the workouts even though they felt easier than they should and I was probably just lazy in the test. Halfway through the current plan, having upped the intensity a couple of times and felt good, I manually changed my FTP which completely reset my levels and so now everything is a “breakthrough” and I need to fight the adaptations the plan wants to make until I have done the first week of workouts to “reset” the levels to where they should be.

But I have enjoyed the way that the plans arent as stagnant as they were in the past. While its all variations on the same theme the fact that I can repeat the same plans over and over but also have different workouts each time makes me want to train more.

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The level of workouts seemed OK for me so far, with an one odd thing which happend on my last block:

I’m on low volume half IM plan and the build phase was rather skimpy on SST and Threshold workouts, so my SST PL was in mid 3s until the very last workout right before ramp test, when AT gave me Breakthrough SST of 7+ (and brick Run on top of it!)

I ended up with Very Hard rating of that workout and AT did well this time (i think) adapting my future block to rich of SST workouts between 6.5 to 8.5 as this was clearly my weakness.

Still, I would wish it was better balanced in the previous block and that i didnt have sore legs for the ramp test which i „failed”, testing 12W lower than FTP level i was succesfully did the previous block.

I’m digging it. I’m on an LV user but it seems to be selecting good workouts for me and my fitness is good considering I’m only on LV.

I think it thrives on consistency, when you start missing and skipping workouts it needs a couple of sessions to realign itself but once you’re “on it” again its back to greatness :slight_smile:

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I’m enjoying the AT experience.

Primarily I’ve found the progress levels to be helpful and also to a certain degree an incentive.

The adaptations (so far) have been spot on for me and I’ve found the AT seems to hit that Goldilocks zone of making workouts tough but just about achievable.

Importantly I’m enjoying the challenge of the adapted sessions and am making steady progress.

Caveat to all this is that at the moment I’m doing 95% of my rides indoor on TR. I do wonder how the AT will cope when I start swapping the longer Saturday planned workouts for an outdoor hard group ride when the weather improves in a couple of months.

If they can solve the assessment (for AT and PL purposes) of unstructured outdoor rides then I think that will be a true game changer and move everything to another level of benefit.

As it stands I’m happy with how it works and tolerant of the infrequent nuanced oddity that happens now and then.

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I love AT as a tool. I go along with it as a “you are your own responsibility”–it is a reactive system, since it only adjusts workouts AFTER you’ve completed them. If something in my job is overly physically demanding, and I need more recovery–I simply change the workout, or knock the level of the workout down a point or two and reject future changes unless I need to knock something down more than once in a row.

The downside is that types of workout progression levels happen in a vacuum. I’m a SS level 6.9, but my VO2 max and anerobic workouts are 1.0 because I haven’t done any of those yet in SS Base 1. I guarantee I’m a 3 or a 4, maybe higher. Same thing with tempo work–I don’t do much tempo so it thinks my PL for that is low… So I’ll simply select a harder workout to give AT the initial feedback that harder workouts are feasible. After that little burp, it gets on track which is really nice.

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I got tougher workouts as well on AT. Prior to starting SSBMV I was doing a few SS interval and as it is a strength can complete rating 6-7 pretty well i.e 2 x 20 at 94% or 2 x 30 at 90-92%. What this did was make all SS intervals in the plan around that level which if doing a 2-3 a week is fine but when it is 5 workouts with a threshold one thrown in isn’t sustainable. In SSBMV II it had me doing workouts such as 3 x 16,17,18 at threshold which for SSB seems mad. I’m always honest with my assessments of the workouts but it seems well off for me.

I turned it off and went back to the standard plan and it is much more inline with previous years, probably easier as there is no longer a massive 2 hr SS workout on the 5th day, just a 90 min easy SS ride.

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