Is Adaptive Training broken?

I’m just starting on AT and have changed the sweet spot base to polarised. I’ve noticed that the first VO2max workout is actually a threshold one. Is this a way of checking my FTP from the ramp test is correct for me then?

If you read the reply right under his (mine) you will see that it does NOT have to be a Ramp test in TR. It’s possible to use other tests (even those from outside TR) or simply edit FTP manually.

And in the spirit of “Being Excellent to Each Other”, please drop the snark. Reply with respect, please.


Quick update guys.

I wasn’t going to bother replying after I saw some of the usual ‘helpful’ comments as I really can’t be bothered with it anymore. However I feel it would be unfair not to follow through after highlighting the platform’s shortcomings.

Contacted Trainerroad support and they replied swiftly that I hadn’t actually filled out a post-ride assessment thing and that was the problem. They provided a link to fix this and I did and sure enough the plan adapted itself (again) to something much more sensible and in line with what you’d expect.

Before I get set upon again by forum users please read the following!

  1. I absolutely did fill out that post ride form in the first place, marking it as ‘too hard’ or whatever.
  2. Obviously the adaptive training (which apparently is in beta, even though its being advertised hard as a finished product) bugged out big time at this point.
  3. Trainerroad support was very helpful in fixing the problem.
  4. I had a similar issue with my Trainerroad workout on Saturday, where it again didn’t log my post ride response and I had to shutdown the app then go back into the ride in question and fill it out a second time, which worked.

This adaptive training is interesting but it’s definitely a beta product. I was surprised to find it doesn’t use heart rate data at all as I’d have thought that was almost entirely the whole point of it all.

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I think it’s perfectly reasonable to not use HR, at least for now.

  1. Heart rate can be whimsical. Sometimes it does signal that the workout is too hard or too easy, and sometimes it’s impacted by things that have no bearing on the “optimal” intensity of the workout. Like, I get a high HR when I train too early after a meal, but I don’t think this impacts adaptations in any meaningful way.
  2. Adaptive training is - I sincerely hope - complex enough as it is. Adding heart rate would mean another piece of the puzzle. The more complex an algo is, the more prone to error, and the longer it takes to develop. I’m glad TR have released the open beta before refining the mechanism to death. I’m sure they’ll consider looking at HR in the future.
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Agree but using HRV would be even better

I originally had issues with this because its a “two step” process… you first have to select the difficulty and then slide down to the “SAVE” button at the bottom. I wonder if this is what is happening. I was so tired that I would rank it but I would not save it and therefore they didn’t get my information. I wonder if that is what is happening to you.

I respectfully disagree. TrainerRoad has been very vocal about the fact that the Adaptive Training is still on Beta. In fact, the only way for you to turn it on is to go into the Early Access and acknowledge that you want to turn it on as a feature “before it is officially launched”.
This is not to say that TR has not been making a huge marketing deal about a feature that is a bit buggy still., but just calling a Spade a Spade.


I hear what you’re saying and yes I’ve seen that highlighted blog post.

On the other hand, the adaptive training has been the main focus of the marketing I’ve recently seen, on YouTube and I’m pretty sure on Facebook among other places and furthermore I’m 99% sure they didn’t mention in those adverts that the product is in fact still in beta and hasn’t been officially launched yet.


It’s actually three steps: select the option, scroll, select save. For me this is a UI/design issue – more-step processes are inherently more prone to user confusion/error than fewer steps. When you have a box that doesn’t fill the screen (I use the Web version primarily so haven’t used the UI for surveys in other apps) why would you require the end user to scroll rather than lengthening the box to show all the choices and the save button?

@IvyAudrain, probably not as big a priority as other stuff, but is this on the developers’ improvements log?


Passing this feedback along to the team for sure! I’m sure the intent here was to make sure the options/fields weren’t too small by crowding into one window, but sounds like it’s missing the mark currently. Thanks for letting us know!


Hey Jon, thanks for sharing. I left TR because it tore my legs off - for me it’s waaaaay too much high intensity, even with appropriate FTP.

I’m relatively new to cycling and have since found that a more polarised approach, focusing on a lot of time at low intensity is much more sustainable and fruitful for me.

I think it’s been more fruitful because I’ve never really spent time training the aerobic energy system - my youth was spent doing a lot of short, high intensity sports.

It’s been more sustainable simply because the legs get enough time to recover. Jumping into TRs plan was INTENSE - I went from couch to TR and there doesn’t seem to be much compensation for that.

I also agree that for me anyway, that amount of work close to threshold seems crazy in the base phase. I heard the TR guys say once on the pod that they stopped prescribing long slow rides because people simply didn’t do them. I’m not sure I agree with that approach - suggesting them, explaining why they’re so important and then suggesting another shorter option if all else fails would be better IMO.

I was myself thinking of jumping back in to see if adaptive training has fixed all of the above but it doesn’t seem that’s the case so far.

I would hold off until its out of beta, although at the rate it seems to be progressing that could be some time off.

Is a Low volume, 3 rides a week, plan too much? Not criticism of your previous experience, but it sounds like you’ve got some practice under your belt now. I’d sign up and use plan builder to make a LV plan.

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I have been on TR since 2016, starting from the couch. I have mostly done MV and dabbled in HV/traditional base. For the beta and this year, I have chosen LV, and adding 1 long endurance ride and/or recovery ride a week. I am finding LV to be infinitely more enjoyable - with the flex to do more (low intensity) volume. And I am finding AT to be very useful (but yes, occasionally counter-intuitive) in modifying workout to workout. Not only the adaptations, but the way it makes me think about / reflect on a workout pre/post.

The original poster definitely is running into some odd behaviors and glad support offered to help with his specific circumstances - it sounds like it could be related to a number of different things - Zwift vs. TR FTP estimations, outdoor workout giving 100% credit for assigned workouts (whether they complied or not(, implications of filling out the post workout survey, categorizing past (incl. outdoor WOs) among others. As someone who has been in the beta for a while I have recalibrated my behaviors to keep the noise to a minimum and it is working pretty smoothly. I am not saying it is perfect, but it has gotten to the point where the good VASTLY outweighs the annoying. I would suggest working with support and giving some time to get accustomed to the features.


Thanks @llmonty. When you add in these long weekend rides, does the rest of the week get automatically updated to adjust for that? If so, could you provide a basic example for me? That would be super useful :grin:


Sure – I add a long endurance ride on Sunday, in addition to the 3 planned TR workouts Tues, Thurs, Saturday. It is usually between 2.5 and 5 hours of steady pacing. I use a wahoo bolt, so the outdoor workouts are sort of pass/fail. I pick from the WO list an endurance workout around the intensity and time I am looking to do, add it to the calendar and load it before I leave. When I come back my outside ride is associated with the WO. And if I answer the survey, it adjusts my endurance PL to match the WO.

AT doesn’t change the subsequent workouts as LV has no endurance rides. And I find AT generally only changes WOs within the same energy system. When I do a Tuesday VO2 workout and mark it easy - it may update the subsequent VO2 WOs, but not the anaerobic or threshold workouts.

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but seems somewhat related:
I’ve been using the MV Full Distance Triathlon plan and just completed IM Wisconsin on Sunday. It was marked as my A race with no events planned for the rest of the year or next year.

For this week’s recovery plan, AT was suggesting a stretch workout today with 20-second all out sprints. I deleted that and checked to see what TrainNow would suggest: Thunder with 4 sets of 2x4 minute intervals at 90-95% FTP. Obviously not going to be doing that.

I’ll be going with common sense and do some easy spinning for 30-45 minutes, but I would be interested to hear of the machine logic or human coaching logic for that matter of suggesting stretch and/or tough but manageable sweet spot workouts two days after an ironman.

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So when you add the long ride of 4 hours, AT doesn’t adjust that week to compensate - by that I mean that I’d expect it to reduce some intensity somewhere and/or remove a workout entirely given the new load you’ve added. Is that not the case?

This was a key issue I had previously using TR, I wanted to add a weekend LSD ride, but had no idea how I should adjust the rest of the week’s plan to compensate for the added load.

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Correct, it doesn’t change the week. In my experience AT is only changing WOs within the same energy system. Others may have different experiences, but I haven’t seen it adjust WOs based on adding workouts, and perhaps not even skipping workouts. Having said that, I have been really consistent for the past number of months.

I have a different view of the Sunday workouts. I wouldn’t want/expect them to change subsequent workouts. I am adding TSS at the endurance level, volume I can handle and recover from well before Tuesday rolls around.

If you think your Sunday workouts leave you less than recovered for the following week, I would suggest you curtail the length/intensity.

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Shame, that would be an awesome feature. I guess the better option for me right now is a traditional base plan that already has some longer weekend rides built in.

That’s just crazy for both to recommend those workouts.