Red Light Green Light question

Hi Everyone. I didn’t see this particular question out there, but I do apologize if it’s been asked/answered. On more than one podcast, I’ve heard that the body doesn’t know the difference between training stress and regular everyday stress (job, kids, sleep, etc.), so my question is, how accurate is this feature when it doesn’t know any of the other stressors in your life?

I like the smiley faces you get before each workout. Wondering if there is a way to put in a similar feature to how stressed you really are. There have been days when my Garmin says I had bad sleep and a low body battery, but TR shows a difficult workout? Either way, I love TR, and I hope I’m just missing something. Keep up the great product and podcast.


Hey there and welcome to the TR community! :smiley:

Red Light Green Light works based on the activities you upload to TR. At this time, RLGL will be impacted by cycling and running workouts.

You’re correct that RLGL won’t necessarily know if your life outside of training has been stressful. Those smiley faces before each workout that you mentioned are part of what we use to help with this – if you indicate that you’re not feeling up to a given workout on a given day, Adaptive Training will switch things around for you.

In the future, we’d like to add more activity types to be supported by RLGL and to improve on monitoring how athletes feel outside of their workouts! For now, though, if you had a rough night of sleep and RLGL doesn’t know that, we’d advise using Workout Alternates to find a less challenging session for that day – or even just going for a recovery spin or taking the day off completely to rest up if needed.

Hope that helps! Feel free to let us know if you have any additional questions.

This was a few years ago now but Steve Magness posted about this on his blog, The Science of Running. He analyzed an experiment by Hans Selye that formulated how we respond to stressors: Selye found is that if he removed the stressor soon enough, the mice would adapt and become better able to resist that stressor. If he left that stressor there too long, in many cases the mice would die or become less resistant to that stressor. So the key was giving them enough of a stressor to adapt but not too much.

In this experiment it didn’t seem to matter whether the stress was physical, environmental or emotional, the body responded to stress in the same way. It seems the body can only handle so much and it doesn’t matter the stressor. I see this all the time. If an athlete is going through a tough time they are not going to be able to adequately handle a hard training cycle. Something has to give.

Unfortunately I don’t think it will ever be possible to monitor all stressors and ultimately this is where the “art of coaching” comes in. (Though it would be cool if we had RLGL for work telling you when to take a day off!) And maybe that’s why having a coach is always going to have value. We need someone who will see where we are at, not just in training but in all areas of our life.

For me RLGL is a “warning light” when it comes to the training stress. The rest… is up to me.