My zone 2 for this week was killed by adaptations

I am truly puzzled by the logic behind this week and it’s not the first time something like this has happened, which really makes me question if I should actually continue following TR, even though I got a year’s worth of subscription.

I’m following an adaptive training plan at 6h 30min per week. I’m currently in what is called “General Base - Mid Volume II - Week 5”. This week looked liked this initially:

  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: VO2 Max (productive)
  • Wednesday: zone 2 (1h, achievable)
  • Thursday: sweet spot (stretch)
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: threshold (over/under; productive)
  • Sunday: zone 2 (2h; productive) downgraded to 1h recovery

I did some weight lifting on Friday which is definitely debatable but I didn’t have any muscle soreness from it. On Saturday the over/under session felt hard and that’s also what I answered for the survey. As a result, my Sunday workout was downgraded to recovery.

The end result is that I’m getting 5h 30min of riding this week, with only a single 1h of it being zone 2 endurance. The rest had some zone 2 sprinkled in between intervals. I’m not an expert on training but I’ve read enough studies to lean towards the conclusion that this is not an effective way to train and might actually cause more harm than good. Saturday often has a threshold workout, and I’ll often rate this as hard (which doesn’t seem unusual, it’s threshold after all). This will then often kill my longest zone 2 ride, effectively leaving me with a best case scenario of weak base but OK endurance for short races (?) and a worst case scenario of overtraining. By the way I told the adaptive training plan that I’m training for Gran Fondo events.

In this case I would have expected it to realize that a zone 2 ride followed by a rest day should be enough for me to recover and that rating my threshold workout “hard” after a week where I had VO2 max and “stretch” sweet spot isn’t cause for concern.


It’s not a personal trainer. It does have some quirks that you might have to adjust too.

You don’t have to accept the adaptations.

You could try rating your Sat workout as medium and see if that allows for a Sun long zone 2.

I know it supposed to be adaptive and this kinda defeats part of the program. I have done these things a few times and it works for me. It’s a good program, I just find I need to make a few adjustments here and there.


I am guessing you read some hype about zone 2 riding, but it lacked the context that you need to apply to your situation.

At those hours, Zone 2 is not the end all be all. At 6:30 per week, I would prioritize higher intensity training, and fit in as much zone 2 as you can, while recovering for those intensity sessions. So feel free to add more zone 2 if you think you can handle it. And if you were going to increase your hours per week, I would absolutely start with more zone 2. But I disagree with your assessment that AI is serving you poorly.


I understand that there’s different opinions about the cutoff for when more zone 2 starts making sense and I agree that it’s not the end all be all at my volume. But especially at my (low) level and in the base part of a plan I’d argue that it makes more sense to keep the zone 2 ride and downgrade a harder session to a zone 2 ride (or skip it) than to keep throwing 3 hard sessions at me. It just doesn’t follow what my bodily intuition would have told me, nor can I really line it up with any scientific research I read on the subject. It’s not like I suddenly can’t ride anymore because the threshold workout from yesterday was hard. It’s just that I know I don’t have another threshold in my legs today, but I could certainly get in some quality, base endurance, which I thought this part of the plan was about anyway. So that I can develop those lactate clearing fibers

During exercise, lactate is mainly produced in fast twitch muscle fibers, which use lots of glucose for energy. It is cleared mainly by slow twitch muscle fibers.

I think I expected too much from the AI claims and that it would in the end maybe be better to just coach myself with some spreadsheets.

Especially since TR warned me about picking a mid volume plan (because it has so many intense sessions?) and because they, as far as I recall, advise against declining adaptations. I think I recall reading that they specifically advise not to answer post-workout surveys in the anticipation of adaptations but to just focus on what the last effort feels like. So it feels like it’s trying to pigeonhole me into a very specific approach, rather than adapting.

TL;DR: I don’t want this to turn into a discussion about exercise science. In case it got lost in my long message: I’m basically complaining that I don’t trust an algorithm that removes a ride that, in my opinion, would have been totally fine and worthwhile. It’ll lead to me answering post-workout surveys purely to game the system.


I get the same type of adaptations and usually ignore them, especially if I have a rest day the following day . I also don’t follow TR endurance rides all the way. I keep my endurance rides between 60-70% of ftp and usually ignore power anyways. I ride an easy pace for endurance. I look down at my power and heart rate if I feel I’m pushing too hard, adjust from there.
I always try to keep my volume up being a lower volume rider and if I’m trying to ride more the next week I make sure I keep my endurance rides easy, again basically ignoring power.

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This would be incorrect, unless you can’t recover from the intensity.

More, is more. If you can handle 3 hard sessions a week on 6.5 hours of volume, you’ll get more out of them overall than downgrading one to Z2.

Now, if you can’t handle 3 intensity sessions, that’s where Z2 comes in. You can do a lot more of it within your “Recovery Budget” than you can intensity.

Edit: If you want less intensity, more Z2, you can try a masters plan.


Very simple solution. Don’t accept the adaptation and keep the Z2 ride. You don’t have to accept it. Over time, you will learn and AI will learn if you can handle it.


Agree to not accept the adaptation if you think you could do the Z2 ride. TR and their AI is a great tool, but you still have to accept some responsibility as your own coach. It is feeding you recommendations on what works for most athletes and maybe what it has learned from your history. But that isn’t enough. Clearly, if you could have done the Z2 ride. All of us are different. So don’t just blindly accept AI, test and learn what works best for you.

Going to be blunt here… two hours of zone 2 vs. 1 hour recovery is not going to move the needle very much. You did a hard workout (your survey assessment) so recovery is the right thing here.

Personally, I would (ignore the adaptions and) do a true endurance ride, at least 3-4 hours based on your current training plan you outlined. If I didn’t have time for that than I’d do the recovery and crush the next workout.

Sounds like you would rather just turn off the AI adaptations, which you can do. If you think that you can handle more load without rest, it’s possible that AI isn’t exact to your situation yet or it doesn’t have enough of your history, so you’ll have to teach it what your limits are. That being said, not sure exactly what your original post was for, if not for asking why your recommended adaptations were to rest after a hard interval session, but if you aren’t looking for answers behind why the changes for more rest are there, due to it being a discussion on exercise science, I’m not sure you’ll find more answers other than do what you feel is best.

If you don’t trust the science behind the AI adaptations, turn it off or ignore them, and trust your gut.

The TR default behavior is to keep you very far away from the edge, safety railings all over the place. Prior to the current adaptive training model, one of the most common complaints about TR was that people would burn out from too much training stress. So, the current system errs on the side of caution (particularly when starting out), but the system is very easy to adjust to get closer to the edge if you want.

If someone was totally new to training, I’d probably advise they just trust in the system for the first few months until they get their legs underneath them. But if someone is coming from a background of structured training and knows how to structure a progressive training program and listen to their body, I’d absolutely suggest that they tweak the plans and workouts as they see fit. The TR training system can work well whether you want everything spoon fed to you or if you want to cook everything from scratch.

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You could try messing with this slider. Go to Account, Adaptive Training, and then you’ll see it.


Thanks for all the replies. I was not aware of that slider, or had forgotten about it.

More, is more. If you can handle 3 hard sessions a week on 6.5 hours of volume, you’ll get more out of them overall than downgrading one to Z2.

That’s probably the key thing here. I can get through 3 hard sessions, but the third won’t be very effective, since I’m so tired from the previous 2. Why it then decides to kill the zone 2 workout I don’t know.

Very simple solution. Don’t accept the adaptation and keep the Z2 ride. You don’t have to accept it. Over time, you will learn and AI will learn if you can handle it.

I’ll just have to trust that this is the case, I guess, and see how it plays out.

Only thing I’d add here is how much training history have you fed the machine? If it can’t see much or you’re doing seemingly more than it can you’ve done in the past then it will suggest more rest as it can’t know what you may be able to handle, unless the data is in there already.

You’ve had some good answers here.

On the point above, there’s no need to game your survey responses; there’s the slider setting as already mentioned, but aside from that if you are experienced and don’t agree with the workout that’s being suggested, believing something else would be more appropriate for you to do, then just do that different workout/ride instead.

Listen to your body and override the plan as/when appropriate.

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The masters plans have fewer hard rides a week (2 vs 3 on LV), which could be an idea. I have been following those since they came out as I find it works better with running (obviously if you’re also trying to follow run training then 3x hard bike workouts can be a bit much).

If it’s adapted downwards because it’s a yellow day (I guess so) and you have a rest day the day after anyway I would probably just ignore the adaptation anyway if I was feeling OK. I don’t think RLGL factors in that you would have a rest day the next day, I think it only looks at what you have done recently and therefore whether you’re ready to train today. And TR said themselves that there’s occasions when you might want to train anyway.

To summarize what I’ll do now: I’ve switched my base blocks to polarized which includes two really hard sessions per week and fills it with endurance rides for the rest. I’ll answer surveys truthfully but then freely reject adaptations if they go significantly against what my body tells me. I’ll also add in as many zone 2 rides as I can fit so I also get some outside fun and upload those to TR. I’ll see how that goes. The last time I did structured cycling training was 10 years ago so sticking to 2 hard sessions per week is probably the more prudent thing to do.

Basically try not to rely entirely on AI to do The Right Thing™ and instead incorporate some of my own ideas as well.

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Hey there,

Sounds like you’re on the right track now!

I think the Polarized Plans sound like a better fit for what you’re looking for. As @BCM and @bobmcstuff mentioned, you could also look into Masters Plans, which won’t have as much intensity.

I also like the suggestion from @K42 – adjusting your Training Approach slider might make sense if you think you can handle the volume/intensity you’re at right now. You can find that slider here.

@Crownan brings up a good point as well – RLGL and Adaptive Training function based on the data you feed it. I checked out your TR account, and it looks like you had a couple of months at the end of 2023 and the start of 2024 where you were averaging about 2-5 hours per week, then you had a few weeks of no riding at all before you started back up again more recently. RLGL can see this, and it’s thus suggesting adaptations for you now so that you don’t ramp up with too much intensity/volume too soon. Basically, RLGL is acting as a warning sign, letting you know that you might want to slow things down or you could risk overtraining.

As you continue to train, RLGL will learn what kind of volume/intensity you can manage. This can also be adjusted with the Training Approach slider, as discussed above.

From my view, the adaptations suggested to your plan seem to make sense to me. If you ignored them or tried to game your survey responses to change what kinds of adaptations you might get, you would risk overtraining and burnout.

Like @BCM said, more is more when it comes to volume. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to get a ride shortened or even cut out of your plan if you’re accumulating too much fatigue too quickly. Adding in extra Z2 riding for the sake of adding in extra Z2 riding is only going to add more total stress to your plan, which is what would lead to overtraining. RLGL/Adaptive Training is trying to prevent you from doing too much here.

All that said, again, it sounds like you’re on a plan that better suits your needs now – I just wanted to explain what RLGL/Adaptive Training was doing in your case to try to clear things up on how the software works.

Hope this info helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions.


I was a little perplexed by early RLGL suggestions, but I turned it on after coming out of a month of low volume due to being sick.

A combination of building my volume back up again and changing the training approach slider to the step between Balanced and Aggressive has me trusting RLGL suggestions far more now.

It’s also worth remembering that a Yellow day doesn’t necessarily mean you must do a recovery ride, it’s just a suggestion to take it easy. You can train as planned if you feel good, particularly if you have a rest day coming up / not near an important event/session.

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This is what you’ll have to play around with. If you can complete them and recover from them, then you’ll get more out of them. It’s downgraded the Z2 to recovery because of total training stress from the last (and prior) workouts and your recent training history. Over time though, it will adapt as you get used to more training stress.

I’d say try the 3 intensity + the Z2 as scheduled. But, make sure you’re recovering well - sleep, fuel, all that. If it starts to become a slow slide and you start to have very hard, all out, failed workouts - then you have to let adaptive training do it’s thing and scale back workouts, or maybe switch to a masters plan with less intensity, more volume.

I personally am 46 y/o right now, and there are times I can handle 3 hard workouts a week, and there are times when I’m skewed much more to the volume side. Z2 Volume and intensity is also something you have to let work up. Most of my Z2 workouts are not what TR classifies as “Productive” - they’re usually “Achievable”, they all put an amount of stress on you.

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