Managing Failed Workouts

Today, I began the second week of LV SSB II. I failed Saturday’s Kaweah (although I managed to ride until the end with copious amounts of backpedaling).

This morning, I was unable to finish Taylor -2 because I had some issues calibrating my trainer. Essentially, I exerted way too much energy trying to recalibrate my trainer multiple times and gassed myself about 20 min into the workout. Although, I was feeling very good before that and have no doubt that I could have completed the workout.

In light of these two failed back to back workouts I’m worried that I’m pretty off trajectory for succeeding in SSB II. I want to do a short VO2 max workout to make up for my lost TSS today. Any suggestions? Is this advisable or should I just drop it for today and resume Thursday?


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The process of trying to “make up” for lost TSS is not a productive way to go about dealing with failed workouts. You said yourself that you have no doubt you could have completed it, so when that workout type comes around next week, prove it!

For now, just focus on completing your future workouts to the best of your ability. Don’t let a failed workout here and there cause you to lose sight of the big picture :+1:.


That’s how I am feeling now. I want to prove to myself that—had the e-trainer mishap not occurred—I would have finished the workout in good shape. So, I think I’ll do a 45 min VO2 max workout early tonight to make up the training I lost this morning.

Thanks. I know it isn’t all about TSS. As Triathlete said, half of this is mental battle. However, I am new to structured training and don’t want to miss out on any early VO2 max work, as I suspect this is a zone that I am very poorly conditioned in.

I’ll do a quick workout tonight and update later.

I have to agree with the others. Trying to make it up now does nothing to change the fact that you failed the workout, regardless of the reason. The past is in the past. Squeezing in another short VO2 max workout will do nothing to change that past, but it could leave you less than fresh for your next hard workout setting yourself up for another potential failure. The wise thing to do now is to look to the future and make sure you are going into your next hard workout fresh and recovered, ready to kill it. Best wishes.


As much as I don’t want to for the sake of my ego, I better listen to all of you. I’m taking the night off and licking my wounds.


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It’s one of the signs of growth. You fail a workout, take it as a semi rest day, stock up on water and nutrition and nail the next one.

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I posted in the daily workouts thread but also wanted to update here. After listening to your advice and taking it easy for the rest of Tuesday, I completed Donner this morning. Absolutely brutal. According to Strava, this was my most intense relative effort today, clocking in at 114 units. Did some backpedaling during the recovery intervals. Is that okay? Or do you typically mark backpedaling during recovery intervals as failures?

You’re basically extending the recoveries. It’s not a failed workout but you’re not doing Donner. You’re doing Donner -1 which is fine. There is no science that shows 5 min recovery is better than a 7 min recovery. Nice job! Darwin and Lamarck next.

Whether something is a failure or a success is really just a matter of perspective. One is generally a negative perspective while the other is generally a positive perspective. In almost all cases, maintaining a positive perspective (within reason) will yield the more positive results. Personally, I don’t find any failure in your workout. Even though you needed to back pedal some during the recoveries, you completed the work intervals as prescribed. Well done. That being said, what is more important is how YOU perceive your workout. If you choose to see it as a failure, how will that effect your mental approach towards your upcoming training? How do you think that would compare to how you would approach upcoming training if you choose to see it as a success or in a more positive light?