Overtraining with TrainNow

Dear Fellow bikers,

In the past decades I’ve been overtrained a few times, as my recovery isn’t super and I don’t (want to) use any training plans, as I don’t have any goals, I just wan’t to get a better FTP. That’s why I started to use TrainNow with trainerroad. So my “next” workout would be based on what I did in the past.

But…After getting only getting harder workouts offered (primarily sweetspot), I got fatigued and my FTP went backwards. I couldn’t get the workouts done properly, I contacted Trainerroad and they concluded: Overtrained. A bug in the AI software didn’t detect this, but should.

First thing would to stop with TR as this was the actual reason to start with Trainerroad and to pay 20$ a month to prevent overtraining, but I like the diversity of the workouts, the interface and the ERG option.

So my question here would be: if you have any experience with this or how I can prevent this? Is there something I overlooked?

It seems the AI FTP adjustment only works with trainingplans and not with TrainNow. I have never had my FTP adjusted after a TrainNow workout, alltough it being checked.

Thanks, Rolf

You can manually trigger AI FTP detection in setting tab. Never it will be adjust your FTP automatically even in training plans. Training plans start with Ramp test and you can change this with AI FTP manually.

For the main question, It will be nice to share what is your training regime previously, and how often and what did you do with the trainnow. How you answered the surveys after workouts?

TrainNow is pretty simple - it will just serve up a session to do right now but it doesn’t schedule rest weeks, recovery or the rhythms of a training plan. Using it requires some thought and understanding of how you are training and your recover etc. Even relying on a full training plan won’t necessarily prevent overtraining as nutrition, sleep and life stresses play such a huge part in this puzzle.


By the mere fact that TrainNow does not seem to be able to assess the need for rest and unable to suggest recovery time and/or recovery rides - I feel it was flawed for overtraining from the beginning.

I requested this point/question for the Podcast, but they never dived in on this one. TrainNow seems (to me) to simply push up, up, up with very little guard rails for rest.

One suggestion for the original question: after 3-5 weeks of TrainNow (mimicking a block) simply do a week of lighter endurance workouts - even look at some of the structured plan’s recovery weeks and pick those rides in “Workouts” bypassing TrainNow for a week.


I made this observation, that trainnow doesn’t suggest “rest weeks” in another thread and got handwaved away that this isn’t the intention of trainnow. Of course, I think even if you aren’t on a plan or periodizing, an algorithm such as trainnow should be able to recognize, like in my case, I had done anaerobic intervals for three weeks, so maybe in the 4th week you shouldn’t be recommending threshold workouts. I just look at trainnow for fun and do my own training designs, but I think trainnow should be able to take a longer view of work done and prevent scheduling interval work if there’s a significant recent history.


This is a case of you wanting TrainNow to have functionality it wasn’t designed to have to solve your training use case - essentially planbuilder and adaptive Training without calling it that. Even without a goal, you should either pick individual plans (e.g., short power build) or use planbuilder.

Or as was suggested do a recovery week every 3 or so weeks.


Thanks for your reply.

I indeed thought my FTP would be adjusted automatically with the AI FTP. After every ride I get an pop up which checks if any adjustments have to be made. That’s why. Good to know.

I did about 4 trainings a week, for about 1 hour to 1 hour and a half. I try to plan this a day on and off.

Check. It seems I relied too much on Trainerroad to do this for me. Knowing how the training went and the related data. Now I know :wink:

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Short answer is you shouldn’t trust any of it…IMO

Now more than ever I’m convinced AI cannot substitute a human coach or even your own input (provided you have done enough research on how to train).

I’m still on TR but only to control my trainer and because the calendar has a friendly interface, but that’s it really. If I weren’t on legacy pricing I’d be looking elsewhere perhaps.


I do think this is indeed a flaw, as TR states: “These selections are automatically chosen just for you, based on your recent training history” and I did give the feedback after every workout. But as mentioned by another forum: TR doesn’t know when rest is needed, all tough they have a lot of info.

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I indeed thought TR would throw in an easy week with workouts or some kind of recovery week, as they know what I did the previous period.

It is obvious that TrainNow doesn’t have some polarized training built in.


For me TrainerRoad’s value is in the workout catalogue.

When I read these posts I never know if the poster is trolling or serious. Like you mention you refuse to do a plan that then use train now as your plan? You have no goals… but have the goal of increasing your FTP? Makes no sense. I have never used it but I believe they have a plan meant specifically to build your FTP. But you don’t want to do that?

Train now to me is… “hey, want to do a workout… here’s three you might like. Don’t like them… here’s three more.” YOU are picking the workout. YOU need to have an idea of training to piece together the right workouts to improve your FTP.

Totally agree with the poster who said TR can’t replace a coach. And I know that’s ultimately their goal but I do think it is a good alternative for 99% of the population and the do it yourself crowd (due to age, ability, life schedule, etc).

In the end if you overtrained on train now… well that’s on you. If you over train on a program, that’s on you. You need to know when to take a rest day, when to back off, when to move a workout or delete it. An algorithm can get you close but ultimately YOU need to listen to your body, and make the right choice.


I fully admit that TrainNow can be improved with more “smarts” and even some guardrails, but if people are able to hit TN workouts with a frequency that can lead to “overtraining”, they should probably be on an actual training plan.

Recognizing that TrainNow is about “training now” with the only current function a short look backwards to your recent training, it will apply easy, moderate to hard workouts with respect to that history. It’s not looking ahead to any rides or future workouts you may have in mind or even on the TR calendar. That is one place TN might be improved.

But TN is really just a workout picker at the moment and should not be considered even close to on par with a training plan. Each of these items are merely tools, with things they do well and some they don’t. Use them as intended to get the most from them for your training.

  • Ok, clear. I had too high expectations of TrainNow :slightly_smiling_face:
  • And yes, I do understand that a personal trainer and a training program is the way to go.
  • I thought if I do random workouts during the week, why not increase my FTP? But it is clear to me this isn’t possible and TrainNow isn’t a solution for this.
  • Of course I need “to feel” when I’m overreaching. But clue is, I’m not good at that. That’s why I choose TrainerRoad in combination with TrainNow to do this for me with all the data.

Thanks again for your input :grinning:

Have you tried one of their training plans? They aren’t perfect, but they do handle almost exactly the use case you’re describing and work really well for a ton of different people


An app/program designed to be a “coach” with periodization that fits any user can not do everything. I think there is some onus on the user to recognize fatigue (“I feel really tired, maybe I shouldn’t just keep doing harder sweet spot workouts or a V02 workout”) and either just ride the easy train now option or not workout at all.

The plans eithout a goal event will give you rest weeks appropriately and that is ideal for people who train all the time and want an “FTP boost”. I think Train now is better for individualized who can’t be as consistent but still want to improve when thy want to do intervals. And these type of people probably have lots off “off” time due to life stress/inability to ride all the time.

TLDR: listen to your body, no training plan is perfect without a human overseeing it and making judgments based off the client’s feedback.

How many TrainNow workouts have you been doing per week? Youngsters can handle 2-3 “workouts” per week and it’s probably better to stick with 2 for most people. Older folks probably need 1-2 workouts per week. If you are doing group rides or big weekend rides, you need to count those in as a “workout”. If you lift weights, that is also a “workout”. You also need 1-2 rest days per week.

As you are your own coach, you throw all of that into the mix and manage your training load. Also, go by how your legs feel. Are you tired? Are your legs sore? Are you sleeping? Then take days off or extra super easy days. If you manage load by feel, it should be hard to overtrain. If you are going day after day with sore legs and feeling tired, then you’ve been doing too much.

Honestly I don’t think you can actually overtrain on 4-6 hours a week. But you can do the wrong type of training, and get yourself tired and have your power go down. What type of workouts have you been doing? Specifically, how often did you pick an endurance workout?

As others have said above, TrainNow is not a coach. If you want to rely on TrainNow for your workouts, you have to do the planning and scheduling of load and rest yourself.

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Agree with all you stated. I’ll just add that regardless of whether a person uses TN or a plan they have to have some perspective of their own fatigue level and life stress and dial things back, take a rest day/week if necessary. AT only knows so much based on your workouts and survey responses. It doesn’t know if you’ve been sleeping poorly or maybe you’ve got some other stress in your life that’s going to contribute to your fatigue.

There can definitely be a fine line between challenging yourself with tough workouts/plan vs absolutely burying yourself each and every workout.

Whether it’s TrainerRoad or some other app, I don’t think anybody should just 100% blindly do all the workouts without pausing to truly evaluate your fatigue level.

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