Our Training Plans are Improving

Love this idea!

One request I would have (for peace of mind and goal setting): even if you don’t publish the process to measure failure, the masochist in me would love if there was a tag or note for ‘failed’ workouts.

The logic being that there are some workouts (VO2 max lately) that I end up turning down (5% or more) in order to complete each interval, often with more than a few backspins. Does that count as a ‘failure’ by TR standards? (See Spencer: Log In to TrainerRoad ) I would love to be able to see a ‘failure’ clearly marked, so I can note a need to revisit/repeat that workout, measure improvements, and see target growth over time on that specific area through a season.

Is that something that’s in the development plan?


:frowning: I’m not a big fan of this idea… I take great pride in finishing workouts and when the toughest ones come, I do what it takes to make sure I’m on my game with rest, nutrition, hydration, etc… to give myself the biggest opportunity to knock it out.

I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I finish rides like Spanish Needle and can look over “All Rides” and see that there’s a large percentage of people who just didn’t take it seriously enough or weren’t there mentally… or just had something come up where the couldn’t finish the ride… and I gutted it out.

Ya, there’s rides that I can’t finish for one reason or another too. Those are just ones for me to reflect and figure out where I failed.

I understand the desire to get workouts in that everyone can finish, but with that, aren’t you kind of catering to an average rider who will end up with average gains?

It kind of reminds me of college physics. There were always these test questions that seemed pretty much impossible to decipher, so I approached the professor and asked about them. He told me those were the questions that separate the good students from the cream of the crop.


Harder does not always equal better


If it’s in my plan and I can maintain my power and cadence targets and not miss or skip workouts, I think harder generally will equal better.


One training method which has been spoken of of lot lately is the Polarised method. Any plans which will basically incorporate the 80 - 20% (Easy - Hard) method?


@Nate_Pearson if I have a plan in my calendar should I delete and readd? I have my year planned out but I’ve only just begun, and about to finish SSB 1 next week.

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I think you are missing the point, they aren’t making workout changes so everyone can finish. But say you have a workout for example (Spanish Needle) where 85% of users modify (lower intensity, duration, back pedal, quit, etc.) is that really a well structured workout? Workouts should be difficult, challenging and sometimes down right impossible to finish based on what you brought into the workout. However, they should be able to be finished by at minimum the majority (51%) as long as the user properly followed a structured plan. Workouts are meant to grow your fitness, not demoralize and destroy.

I’d say you’re doing a disservice to 85% of their users, or possibly 100% of their users. Even if you finish that workout did you pay for it over the next following workouts? TR has the unique ability to perform 10’s of thousand of “studies” on their subjects (users) to determine the effectiveness of their workouts and plans. Chad is amazing, but that doesn’t mean that every workout every created is perfect and has been perfectly placed in each plan. Tweaking is growing and one should never assume that their work can not be improved upon.


This is coming as part of a larger future feature. We’ll have an auto-detection as well as manual set/override.


This goes back to the “hard rides should be hard”. We view that there should be a good amount of failure going on, just some workouts were outside the norm.

I also think you’ll really really like some of our upcoming features :smiley: .


No. I can’t find anything that backups that 80/20 is better. The data shows that the best riders don’t train this way.

Sure, 80/20 can work, but the question is what is the best bang for your buck for your training volume.

That being said, if I’m aware of new data we can always change and adapt. :muscle:


There’s only a few workouts you’d have to change out, check out the linked posts. It might be easier to switch those out. You could just push through too.


Since you’re using Spanish Needle as an example and Nate said that one’s changing - just a quick look at the last 40 ride attempts shows well over 50% completion rate, soooo…

I don’t backpedal because I personally don’t feel like it helps me, but I wouldn’t consider someone who does to have failed - at least in the recovery periods.

It would be nice too, if more people who didn’t finish their workouts left notes regarding the reason for not finishing. I have a feeling physical capability vs things coming up that require aborting the workout are fairly close to equal, but we just have to assume they all failed the workout due to physical ability since there’s no other resource to refer to to tell otherwise.

I understand what you’re all saying. I just disagree :wink:


Thanks @Nate_Pearson, I’m sure of it! TrainerRoad has completely changed how I ride! Part of that is realizing that I can actually suffer through more than I ever thought possible, haha.

In general, I’m loving all the innovation and thoughfulness you’ve all put into the whole TrainerRoad experience. Looking forward to what you guys do next for sure!


I’m all for tweaks and improvements.

Just thinking of the best way to communicate the changes. Maybe email? Or at least an option of “subscribing” to a plan to be informed when the plan is updated?

It’s easy to miss stuff here in the forum.




I looked at the past 100 Spanish Needle workouts available to view and 47% were modified. So 53% completion rate. Not sure if that’s representative of the overall attempts, but if so I say some tweaking is in order.

We will just agree to disagree on this issue :thinking:

With about 8-10h[1] (incl. warmup adn warm down) of training time it makes no sense, at least for what I know, to do a POL training.

[1] IIRC the typical weekly time of a TR user is about 9h.

@AgilityRay I spent a little bit of time looking at whether or not riders who complete EFI of all workouts tended to be top performers. I would say it remains an open ended question!

After looking at a ton of data I kinda started to think that a lot of folks who were completing 100% of 100% of workouts were possibly sandbaggers. Think about it…if you’re doing tough VO2max workouts you want to be right on the edge of failure to get the most out of that workout. That means that once in a while you won’t have the legs, or life will catch you out, or maybe you’re more dehydrated than you thought.

I think I’ve convinced myself if you see a rider that never, ever fails a tough workout…well then maybe they aren’t trying hard enough. On the other hand, I don’t want to make a big deal out of that because expectation of failure increases failure! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Or more likely really good riders can’t accept their real FTP so they manually enter something too high. Then they bail on all their hard workouts because they’re getting crushed. In any event, seems like some really good riders have a really high fail rate.

BUT THE MAIN THING I WANTED TO SAY is that failing the occasional workout doesn’t put you in bad stead.

PS: thanks for letting me scrape your website TR! Don’t block my IP like those farging iceholes at the SEC.


Not to belabor the point, but my intention was to point out the 50% completion rate compared to the 85% failure rate you were saying should justify a modified workout in the plan - no worries though :slight_smile:

I’ll be writing a blog post when they happen in the future, so you could subscribe to our blog at blog.trainerroad.com. You’ll get a weekly summary email with the information.


@Nate_Pearson with auto-pause enabled (Settings > Pedal to Resume/Pause) I’m unable to see breaks during a workout. Reason I’m pointing this out - auto-pause on my Edge 520 correctly shows a timeline in TR, Strava, etc. But auto-pause in TR app does not so that is unexpected behavior.

On Wed I “finished” Ebbetts but due to sickness/stress there were waaaaayyyyyy too many breaks to consider it compliant (completed, but not totally compliant). Now that it is Friday, the only way for me to remember my Ebbetts compliance problems is to look at drops in HR.

In retrospect I could have added notes or annotation but was feeling really crappy and forgot to do it. I’d really like to see breaks in the timeline – is the only workaround to disable “Settings > Pedal to Resume/Pause” in the TR app?