Suggestion for those who find progressions too intense

At some point, using adaptive training, the jump between intensity from one workout to the next is too steep.

At first I would muscle through until I was mentally and physically taxed or to the point where I would fail a workout.

My initial attempt to resolve the issue was to ignore adaptive training but I found TR would constantly re-recommend changes when I logged on. I found that kinda annoying.

My fix to this is not to rate a workout as moderate unless it’s Z2 or it’s super super easy. I always err on one up. If it’s moderate I rate it hard if it’s hard or very hard I’ll rate it very hard.

I’m not suggesting adaptive training is broken. But for me I’ve found a slower progression has been more sustainable and most of all more enjoyable.

When I look at an upcoming workout I generally have a sense as whether it’s going to be too hard. If so I don’t mind using alternate workouts to find something more in my wheelhouse. A little tougher than the previous workout but not too tough I’m gonna break.


When you mark as very hard do you ever use training fatigue or intensity? I am asking because every time I use those reasons the future workouts in that zone are adapted down. Most of the time they are adapted down at least 1 full PL, sometimes I have seen it go down 2.


If you rate a workout moderate, I’m finding it hard to believe you can’t complete the next workout. Can you provide some examples of where this happened?

I do think if you are rating it hard and unable to complete the next workout, then the prior workout probably wasn’t just hard, it was probably at least very hard. Very Hard should slow your progress.

Next I would say, what’s wrong with failing the workout? If you fail it, mark it as “All Out,” AT should dial you back. I think folks are trying too hard to avoid failure. And that avoidance of failure leaves you in a bit of a purgatory where everything is just a little too hard to complete, but you aren’t going anywhere, neither forwards nor backwards.

If you are at your limit and cannot progress to the next workout, I don’t think a slow progression is the best answer. It’s just keeping you stuck where you are. I think you need to change something more dramatic. Take some rest, change your FTP, do some other kind of intervals, focus on your aerobic base or focus on your maximum aerobic power. Switching it up to something intentional that you can work on I think will break through a plateau better than just continuing to pound away at the same thing.

  • Why? What adaptations was it offering and how do you think they didn’t align with your survey responses or training progression?
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It’s usually not suggested. It just accepts the workout and doesn’t increase the following work to a harder one.

Brilliant. It reads so simple but it’s so hard to actually implement. :smiley:

One thing about adaptive training that has really surprised me…athletes really want to comply with AT suggestions. I did not expect comliance would be as ‘sticky’ as it is. But, yeah, it seems obvious that if a workout is too much…if intensity is too much…then don’t do that workout. Do a workout with the same intensity as the last workout you completed. Or less intensity.

No problem! It’s much more important to consistently do work throughout an extended period of time. A year from now you will not be able to detect the difference in your performance that resulted from working 18 minutes at 105% FTP vs working 18 minutes at 110% of FTP. But if you push yourself over the edge and take two weeks off the bike, FOR SURE you will notice the difference in your performance.


I’ve rated a workout out as hard and the following workout has been too big a jump for me to complete.

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You probably already saw this, and I am not claiming it’s absolute or the same for all riders, but this has been my experience:

If you had “Productive” level workouts and set them “Hard”, TR will likely stay the course. From that info, it may be that your shift to “one harder” rating may be appropriate in a way of manipulating the future adapatations.

I expect TR will return with their standard “keep it simple” rating guide, but this still seems to be a sticking point no matter how basic they treat the approach. This rating dilemma seems common enough that they should really evaluate their stance and or handling of the topic, IMO.


It’s not the moderate workouts that are in question. It’s the hard to very hard. And it’s not that I can’t necessarily complete some of the following workouts but some may skirt me too close to the edge.

Here’s an example. First workout felt great. Added Z2 at the end. Rated very hard. The following weeks workout broke out.

You seem to be a serious athlete and you are stretching the limits of the cookie cutter approach.

I’m not sure what that means?

Yea, I’ve noticed that in terms of workout difficulty acceleration, it seems to be:

Very hard = slowly reverse
Hard = pretty fast forward
Moderate = Rocket Ship


With only a 0.2 Workout Level delta between these, I partly wonder if one or both are not properly set for values?

There is a total of 8 minutes more at the same power level. And the redistribution in Jacks +4 is 2 minute shorter intervals but much shorter 2 minute recovery duration vs 5 minute in Mt Hale -1.

Looking at the IF of 0.90 to 0.93 as an additional considerations makes me question the TR ratings here.


I swear I’m not being a smart-ass, but how/why are you adding work in a workout and then marking it very hard and expecting the next workout to be easier?

I wonder if TR is noticing you going above and beyond in workouts and that is factoring into the next workout? I’ve also seen people talk about getting very difficult workouts and reaching out to support where they find something is “stuck” and are able to resolve it.


Definitely seems one or both are rated incorrectly. Are you on the updated polarized plans by chance? Considering they just released new workouts for those, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some of these issues to iron out. If not… still looks like it needs to be fixed.

Agreed. And I went into the latter thinking this is gonna be tough. And I was right. Those last two sets wrecked me. And when that happens adaptive training tends to over correct and make the following week too easy. So now I err on the side off very hard when workouts are on the higher end of hard.

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Climbing road race. Those workouts were a few months ago leading up to an A race. I had to back off quite a bit after that to ensure I didn’t do more harm than good.

Honesty…instead of this nebulous quiz and corresponding plan adjustments…if the onus is going to be on the athlete to decide if they’re doing too much or too little, I think each workout should essentially just be “TR recommends a 0.2 increase in progression levels for this workout,” and you then can just move a slider to increase or decrease workout difficulty for that day. If you’re not feeling it, select -0.5 or something.


Yeah, I think the “masked” quiz and pending adjustments aimed at “making things easy” may need a rethink. The current AT state seems to be working at least for some users. I am liking it overall and prefer it to the prior “fixed” system.

But like just about any approach or subject at hand, not everyone handles these the same way. It may be there should be an advanced or alternate approach here that more directly handles things. Perhaps a survey that is more of a direct “consequences” poll:

Should your next workout be:

  1. Easier than this one.
  2. The same difficulty as this one.
  3. Harder than this one.

Within the range of Productive and other Difficultly levels, I have been burned by having a realtively “easy” one that was just 0.1 harder than my PL while I got whipped by one over 0.5 ahead. Both times I just took “Productive” at face value while the actual demand was notably different between them. Again, this might be a place where a more direct numerical callout is better than the generic name grouping.


I like that. I’ve always felt that the survey should be something on a range like “this workout was: a) easier than expected b) about what I expected c) harder than expected”. Seems like that’s what the current survey is trying to assess anyway, by comparing the given answer to the hidden “correct” answer TR expects for that workout.