Not Compliant = Zero Primary Progression?

Hi -

I bit of a bit more that I could chew today, especially after a Sprint Running Workout yesterday (legs still sore and somewhat fatigued)

I took on Bird + 3 with a progression level of VO2 Max 9.4when my current VO2 Max Progression is only 2.6
I was vaguely following along on the Mid Volume Olympic Base Plan Week 5 (although I had not subscribed to the plan so obviously no adaptive training etc…)

Despite my questionable choices, and only completing 9/15 90 sec VO2 Max Intervals 100% I was somewhat disappointed/confused that post ride analysis reported zero Primary progression. (Despite spending 17mins in my Anaerobic Zone)


  1. Is this because the intervals were in my Anaerobic Zone?
  2. If because of the Zone, why no Anaerobic Progression?
  3. Is this because I failed miserably at this workout and simply did not progress any training zones?


I believe progression levels are pass/fail. I think you raise an interesting question as to whether they should be. Partial credit might just be a slippery slope and more trouble than it’s worth to implement.

I’m interested in what the approach is, often in completed workouts I’ll be credited for “Secondary Progression” levels outside the primary progression zone/workout type

I’m surprised that my VO2 Max and Anaerobic PL did not even qualify for a +0.1 increase :man_shrugging:

Older example of Secondary Progression below

Whilst not a scientific answer, I imagine that TR are keen to avoid their users training like this. The past few years have seen TR work hard to make the platform more intuitive. My understanding is that this work was undertaken in-part to stop users getting mauled by workouts such as this.

If users see their progression levels increase after partially completing a workout such as this, where is the incentive to build and progress? You can just throw a match on the gas and hope… What AI spits out at the end is a bonus.


Because at the moment it’s just the workout as designed that is scored for PLs, not the workout you did. So simple pass/fail as above. I would guess that as and when TR is able to analyse non-TR rides and derive PLs from them then the same functionality should also be able to get PLs from a partially completed TR ride.

Yes, that would make sense. Not the first time I’ve underestimated a workout/ overestimated my ability :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Maybe this will teach me to trust the recommendations :+1:

When I first joined Trainer Road I had already started a CTS 12 week plan.
I stuck to the plan and and simply imported the structured workouts from TrainingPeaks and associated outside rides with them, or created workouts for indoors.

Progression Levels were attributed in both cases.
I had assumed (incorrectly I guess) that PL were calculated by time spent in zone and or the duration of the synced Structured workout associated with actual ride

Interestingly, If I build out my workout in Training Peaks then import it and match it with my recorded garmin .FIT file it does calculate Primary and Secondary Progressions based on the Created workout in Training Peaks…
Although I feel like this is “cheating the system” as I was obviously not compliant and certainly don’t deserve the attributed increase in progression level…

It is “cheating the system”. This hack has been used for good and bad results for nearly 2 years.

TR outside workouts are essentially pass/fail on the honor system. If you associate and rate it as you did, you get full credit no matter how you actually did.

TR and their planned Workout Levels V2 is the planned resolution for all you’ve touched on here. It aims to do a more thorough review of all cycling workouts and credit Progression Levels appropriately.

Until then, using the system within the recommended ways is best.

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Yes, I appreciate that outside workouts are credited for the prescribed workout, regardless of actual work completed, however, in this case I created a custom workout in Training Peaks based off the actual work completed, imported workout using sync and then imported the inside .FIT file and associated it with the custom workout.

In this case there was no reference to the original TR Workout ( that I failed) - the Primary and Secondary Progression Levels were calculated from the Training Peaks Synced Workout.

Still, I failed the attempted TR Workout and I certainly did not achieve the perceived training stimulus - so makes sense that the calculated PL from my custom workout do not align to the designed TR System , and obviously not reflective of how they should be used.

Look forward to V2 Adaptive Trainings :grinning:

Oooof, that was bold!!! :hot_face:

At the moment, your Progression Levels will reflect the difficulty level of the Workout, if you successfully complete it as prescribed. If you do not achieve the goals of the Workout, your Progression Levels will not change.

I wouldn’t put it quite as harshly as this, but effectively, yes :joy:.

As @mcneese.chad mentions, this will change when Workout Levels V2 is released :dancer: .

Primary Progression Levels refer to the training zone that the Workout primarily targets. For example, this workout was targeting your VO2 Max capabilities. Because you weren’t able to achieve the goals of the Workout, your Primary Progression Level didn’t change.

Your Secondary Progression Levels refer to the training zones that a specific Workout may also touch on/ improve but are not the focus of the Workout. For example, the goal of a Workout may be to improve your VO2 Max capabilities. If you had successfully completed said Workout, you may have subsequently touched on your Threshold abilities. Not all Workouts touch multiple training zones though, so you may not always see Secondary Progression Levels updates, even when you do successfully complete a Workout.

Does that make sense, @thomas1? Please let me know if I can clarify anything!

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Thanks @SarahLaverty and all much clearer now👍

I made the mistake that PL were calculated on the actual work performed during the workout, not tied directly to the prescribed workout, with a simple pass/fail

I’ll take care too follow the recommendations more closely and trust the recommended intensity👌

Thanks again, look forward to developments, but loving the value that the community, app and podcast already provide.

Keep up the good work team!

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