How is Adaptive Training working out for everyone?

Yeah, that may not have come out right, what I meant was: Is it really useful when you’re manipulating the plan so much, adding and deleting a bunch of different workouts so many of them may not be recognized as part of the plan and thus adjusted by AT. I did add just SSB to my calendar now to see how it adjusts, but I’m guessing only the 1-2 workouts each week I keep from the plan will be effected.

I’m curious to see what happens when I do a VO2 block and build though, as I know from experience that the power recommendation for the interval doesn’t need to be hit with ultimate precision to be an effective workout, the interval duration, number of intervals and rest duration between intervals is how I like to pick them and self-select the best power that is sufficiently hard, but not too hard.

Perhaps I am a bit of a simple man but I do* whatever AT prescribes and it works great for me. I was able to maintain my fitness and FTP (4.5 wpkg) in a year stricken with sickness (appendix, thrombosis, flue, covid) and high stress (baby, building a house, big promotion).

*Disclaimer: I follow the low volume plans but add endurance rides to them. I use the alternates function in case I am unhappy with the recommendation (eg too easy or hard). As AT takes that into consideration it doesn’t happen too often.

5 Likes

Ditto for me. I did a few Alternates early, because I was initially returning from weeks off from formal training. I got a low FTP test result, couple with 1.0 PL starts, and knew I could step up a bit faster. But after about 2 weeks, I left the LV workouts alone and just added my Sunday Endurance rides manually.

3 Likes

I am quite enjoying having this feature now, I’m am not a racer so I train to keep fit and for upcoming endurance rides that I’ve planned for the year. I am still unsure of the Survey responses as most of my workouts contain 3 or more answers, yes the Over was hard (especially the first one) but Unders were moderate and the rest easy, I passed the workout easily enough but the next day my body might be like WoW, that workout yesterday stuffed me right up so my delayed survey response might be “Hard”… BUT, I do find that I complete all my workouts now (unless a mechanical issue, phone, door knock etc), I enjoy watching the improvement in different area’s and combined with TrainNow I can influence what direction I would like to work in. I’ve not had a response counter to what I expected from the workout completed so everything appears to work fine for me.

2 Likes

I think all of this gets to the key question: for the vast majority of us who aren’t near our theoretical potential, what matters way more:

  1. Consistency & increasing load over time
  2. Doing the “right” workout in the “right” sequence

I would argue the benefits of 1 vastly outweigh the benefits from 2. But we (and I would put myself somewhat in this camp) get may too caught up in trying to optimize 2 at the expense of 1. AT appears to be an attempt to optimize 1, but the TR library is a massive exercise in 2. I’m pretty sure if TR had to rebuild its workout library from scratch to just work with AT, it could eliminate at least half of the workouts. For example: if you search on 3x15 + Sweet Spot (Zone selection), you get 25 workouts. With AT, do we really need 25 variations of 3x15 minute sweet spot workout?

5 Likes

I’d much rather have 1 - 10 scale to rate workouts by. I very rarely rate anything at the extreme ends of a scale so a 1-5 functions more like a 1-3 scale (Exception for lyft rides and such where rating a person has a direct effect on their livelihood). I realize that’s my own quirk though.

AT itself is interesting to watch though I find it mildly demoralizing. I may turn it off; I like having a general idea of the type of workout coming and just adjust the intensity instead of the interval / rest interval changing due to a substitution. PLs were a nice addition though.

I think that it is great. I was skeptical at first and really didn’t think that I would us it. I then started giving it a try and doubted most of the suggestions, even emailing customer support about them and they patiently explained the results to me. Even then I doubted them until the suggestions proved to be correct while I was wrong. It is probably not perfect all of the time, but I think that it is a really good tool and a big improvement. I have no doubt that if I had it two years ago I would be faster today.

2 Likes

I find myself debating between these two as well. Ask me in the last minute of the last interval and I might say hard. Ask me midway through the interval or after a 5m cool down and I’ll probably say moderate.

Generally it seems like if you answer moderate, it’ll increase your PL quite a bit…so sometimes better to use caution or it’ll ramp up pretty quick.

1 Like

Funny how two people think about one and the same thing entirely differently.
I‘m happy that AT doesn’t give me stretch workouts that burnt me out 2 seasons before.
I mean, I COULD do a stretch workout x times a week. But SHOULD I?
I for one am happy that AT seems to look after me in terms of not wanting too much too fast (I have to admit that I bump sometimes workouts ever so slightly by about .3 though)

2 Likes

I find my pondering between hard and very hard very often.
By my definition:
Moderate: can repeat workout 100%. Not the slightest doubt.
Hard: can for sure take one or two sets more. Maybe even the whole workout again but that would wreck me.
Very hard: definitely can’t repeat the workout. Maybe, just maybe one set more

That leaves me with the question: Is a workout where I think „yeah, after 5mins I probably (but maybe not) can do another set of intervals“ hard or very hard?

Oh and this relates to my above post.
Since AT I had not a single workout that left me crushed.

1 Like

Finding AT very good personally. If I’ve not trained for a bit or been doing non TR work and hence feel my PL are too low I just do one ride at each of the training zones I’m interested in at a level I think I’m at either (ideally) the week before starting a training plan or (worst case) first week of a plan (usually my using alternatives for each of the first week’s workouts to a level I think I’m at if PL too low) to ‘set’ the PL at a reasonable level then after that just answer the surveys honestly and let AT do its thing…been excellent. I especially like a couple of times I’ve been tired due to excessive training or life, answered that in survey and it makes next 1-2 workouts a bit easier.

It helps that 99% of my riding is done indoors on TR though. Pretty much only ride outdoors for races.

1 Like

So far I’m happy. It’s been quite a switch moving from Zwift to TR - admittedly I did this bc repeatedly I was blowing up in Zwift programs in the last 2-3 w of a program as volumes and intensity really seemed to accelerate in a way good for a 24 yo but not a 58 yo

Now that work is shut down again for a couple of months (gah) I’ve moved from low to mid volume as I’ve been worried that 3.5 h a week of structured training isn’t enough. Although I was using ride now on nonscheduled days that felt more like bike riding than training. Hopefully I won’t regret this

I wish the interrogation at the end of workouts was a bit more thorough. The scale doesn’t seem really to investigate adequately - I know it asks more questions if you are all out or fail but it seems that a couple more questions to distinguish characteristics. If a 90 minute ss workout is moderate intensity for 65 min and 25 min are hard - how do you answer? If 1 interval in a VO2 workout is impossible - but I managed the rest - again same question

I’ve tried to answer the query on an overall rather than specifics. 80% of the workouts are hard or less. Probably as it should be. I also have started taking the adaptations suggested and it seems more are upgraded than downgraded

1 Like

I think @mcneese.chad has mentioned somewhere earlier in this thread (or on one of the other AT threads) that you rate the workout on an overall basis prior to the final cool down, so could you do another interval/set/workout etc. as per his diagram.

Borderline workouts, i.e those I might think are too hard for “moderate” but too easy for “hard” I’ll answer in a way that tries to second guess AT (I know you shouldn’t) so I’ll answer “moderate” if I think I can handle a higher ramp rate, “hard” if I think I can’t. Hope that makes sense.

Something I’ve noticed since starting AT is that I’m getting much fewer cramps than before. I don’t believe my diet and sleeping/rest habits have changed significantly since last year so not sure what to put it down to. My training load is very similar, the only significant change is being on AT. :man_shrugging:

1 Like

I have a mixed feeling.

Cons: I’ve been on HV since I joined TR a few years back, and with AT for the first time during SSB2 I need to take a recovery week before the usual 5 week period. The progression stalled at PL10 after week 3 and this week (4) it has been a real struggle and should have recovered instead of trying stubbornly to complete the intervals.

Pros: workout levels allowed me to push and complete workouts I perhaps wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

Summary: AT works for those who know themselves as it requires constant adjustments to make it work. I actually think this goes in the opposite direction of what it was intended for namely getting rid of coaches.

Edit: my TSS last year during SSB was much higher and was completing all the standard prescribed workouts. Probably the difference is that those workouts were more accomplishable and I was able to go through the 5 week interval block as the plan prescribed.

Looking at the failures from the AT managed period, the biggie failure was Leconte but something was definitely wrong as I struggled on West Vidette immediately afterwards, that kind of workout is bread and butter to me.

I think I’ve swapped out a couple of workouts using alternates, usually on the scheduled day, other than that I’ve stuck to the plan.

  • What adjustments and how often?

Yup, you should rate based upon the “whole workout”.

Do take note that TR ignores the warm up and cool down, even if you alter them. So the main body of the workout is what the AT survey aims to evaluate.

I’m liking adaptive training - it hasnt served up a workout that I haven’t been able to complete yet, which certainly wasn’t the case pre-AT.

3 Likes

I think once you reach a certain PL say above 8.5-9 the proposed plan becomes too taxing even though you generally could complete those workouts given sufficient rest.

In the case of SSB the workouts I’m generally asked to complete are Leavitt +3 or Phoenix +2 (this is PL 11.3!!) on Tuesday whilst Deception or Deception -1 is the Thursday workout.

Weekends I’m served with three fools (PL10) on Sat or wright peak -1 and with other easier variants (PL 9 or so) on Sunday.

I get the progression makes sort of sense and perhaps the limiter is doing these workouts indoors. Hence I would need to tone down a bit the weekly workouts and modify the weekend structure a bit even though in the past years I was able to complete the prescribed HV plans.

The problem also is that I hit level 10 during week 3. It’s kind of hard to progress from there given time constraints (too cold to ride outside) and without increasing intensity (I did not feel my FTP increased significantly during the period).

2 Likes

That’s a very interesting case and well worth sending to TR to see what they say about it. Thanks for the expanded details.

1 Like