Suggestion for those who find progressions too intense

  • I use Moderate with some frequency, even on Threshold and higher zone workouts.

  • For these higher demand workouts, AT tends to offer a recommended adaptation that “kicks up” the pending workout in that system. Below is a loose memory of what I see with some regularity:

    • Before doing a “Productive” Difficulty Level workout, the pending workout for next week has a Workout Level 0.5 increase as currently scheduled in that same zone.
    • After completing the Productive workout and rating it as Moderate, I sometimes see that pending workout kicked up to 0.8 or 1.0 higher than the workout I just completed. That effectively “accelerates” the progression from the original 0.5 Workout Level step.
  • This is just a rough example, but I have seen that basic increased adjustment for any of the Easy/Moderate ratings I’ve had for “Productive” or higher level workouts.

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Same experience

He rates it as it is and the following workouts are too hard. Quote “I’ve run into excessive exhaustion multiple times and end up taking time off or scaling way back.

I had the same experience. I err on the side of rating one up and the workouts are now perfect. Why would you recommend he do otherwise?


That’s essentially what I’ve seen too. Hard and below set a positive progression level increase, very hard and above set a negative progression level adjustment.

I just wasnt entirely certain if EVERYONE saw that…meaning perhaps that hard/very hard split happened based on my previous responses. It doesnt seem to be though.


Yeah, it’s possible that result vary between users. Been a while since I saw it stated by a TR rep, but they when AT got introduced, they frequently said stuff like “rate the workouts consistently and the system will learn you and your ratings and adjust appropriately…”.

They stressed the consistent aspect and claimed that would sidestep the questions and confusion about what each rating “actually meant” and the fact that we all may see or think about these words a bit differently. If that statement above has merit, the results any of us get may well be unique to some degree.

I just don’t buy the idea that lying about your post-workout feelings is the answer. If “your coach” is making it too hard, then ask the coach what to do. I’m not using TR, but I’ve seen posts and thought the answer was “honest feedback, and if too hard/easy then pick alternate workout and send email to support.” I’m of the belief that for your own development, nothing good comes from gaming your feelings to play to the audience.

However, if you honestly believe that after a year (or whatever) of rating workouts, that your RPE meter could use permanent adjustment, then make the change and stick with it. I’ve been using a 10 point scale for 3+ years now, but if I was forced to use a 5 point scale there are 3 basic settings in my mind:

  • 1 = ez / super ez spin
  • 3 = majority of workouts, somewhat challenging but it was ‘git er done’ and dusted
  • 5 = repeatedly went to (near) max / all-out / full-gas and I’ll probably be feeling the ‘after glow’ for hours (for me that means 2-3 hours later my HR is still elevated, legs are barking a bit, and my core temp is elevated and I feel like I’m burning up)

That would be my simple 1-5 gut reaction scale. Most workouts are a 3, and if it felt harder than usual (for any reason) then I’d rate it a 4.



Except, there IS no lying. It’s not possible. The questions arent cleary objective ones…did you throw up? Did you sweat? Did you finish your sandwich while riding?

They’re all wildly subjective ones that are going to get a wild range of responses by different athletes, even when they perceive exactly the same thing.

  • This thread (and many others we’ve had for nearly 2 years now) discussing confusion about the Survey are essentially doing that, right? More than a few have asked TR directly for help and clarity about this whole survey related process.
  • I really dislike the “lying / gaming” connotations here. From all I have read, users here aren’t trying to get something for nothing or somehow trick their way to fitness.
  • For most, they seem to be having less than ideal results with continued difficult in workouts from AT adjustments, even after trying to “keep it simple and rate how it feels”.
  • I think people tried the straight and honest approach and got burned in small to large degrees. That results in them questioning the process and the ratings (definitions and consequences) so they can get a better experience and more successful training progression.

It’s clear that some people are legitimately confused and/or struggling with the current process. I personally think it’s a bit tone deaf for TR and others around here because of the repeated “feeling…” drum beat while giving minimal recognition that this does work well for many, but it is a problem for others.

It is something like skinny people telling people that struggle with weight that they are doing something wrong. Or someone who excels at math or other skills lacking understanding that not everyone sees and thinks about these things in the same way or level.

It sounds like TR at least tried one option that give less than ideal result, but there still seems to be a real issue here that goes unresolved.

  • Precisely my point and the reason I find the “gaming” comments unnecessary. My chart or any other method that some people have chosen as their way to cope with the mess is necessary from what I can see.

  • TR has not done anything more than offer their official support article and related definitions. To top if off, at least one TR rep seems to question those definitions in the first place, and seemingly would prefer them removed to further strip the system down.

  • Maybe that would work, but from all I have seen in the years with this, even a simple system can still fail users that don’t fall into whatever plan or process they defined. All that said, I just wish there was more effort to understand and help those people who are having issue with this than getting labeled in a negative light.


Gaming doesn’t imply they are trying to trick their way to fitness.

From my point-of-view TR has been clear - answer honestly and if AT doesn’t adapt as you think it should, pick alternative workouts and discuss with support.

Out of frustration, some have thrown their hands up in the air and given up on answering honestly. If it was me, I’d double down and be firing off emails to support basically saying “I tried answering surveys by your rules, and its not working, HELP ME PLEASE.”

yeah, I’ve spent 3+ years developing a system. If you look at what I posted above, my RPE rating system is closer to Garmin than CTS/TrainRight.

The first point of the exercise is to develop your system for rating workouts, and the second point for TR is to try and use that as an input to AT. You control the first, and if the second isn’t working the way you expect, then I’m saying you are better off as an athlete to double down on your system and be the squeaky wheel with TR support.

They told you to rate honestly and consistently. If that seems to fail you, then the ball is clearly in TR’s court and while its a pain, it is in your best interest (and TR too) to report to TR support as many times as it takes to get it sorted out.

Ohhhhhh no, 100% disagree. If using trainerroad requires me to get in touch with support, I’m going elsewhere. I’m not reaching out, not even once. Not only am I lazy, and dont want to…more importantly it would mean trainerroad is broken and not the right platform for me.

Sorry, I admit I misunderstood your point earlier. I get what you’re trying to say now.

Posting on TR forum. Good.

Sending email to TR support. Bad.


EXACTLY! Submitting tickets is stuff I do at work while I’m getting paid. I pay trainerroad to provide a useable training plan. If they want to have a conversation, they’re more than welcome to reach out. But I’m not interested in figuring out how to contact customer service, and expend the mental energy to follow up with them.

If’s honestly easier to just sign up somewhere else. Takes 2 minutes. This isnt like applying for a mortgage.

TR have told me more than once, that forum posts for support & related discussion are a GOOD thing. I had a habit of directing what I saw as “support” issues to the email or web portals. But they said that was not necessary and they actually like having the visibility and discussion around some support issues, just like this one.

I happen to use both process in many cases, but it’s acceptable to TR the last I was told, to focus on the forum portal, rather than forcing the other support channels.

Hah. And here the whole time I just thought I was yelling at the internet…

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y’all are too funny. If you aren’t too lazy to post on the forum, you aren’t too lazy to take 1 minute to send email to TR with a link to your forum post and ask for help. Forum good. Support good.

Eh. They can troubleshoot their own stuff…hire more people, then let me know when it works. I’m not trying to makes things more difficult, but this is very solidly a “their” problem. I mean I think I’ve figured it out, but if I’m wrong…as noted above I’ve already got a fix in place. No need to get support involved.

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Hard for me to articulate but in my mind if you’re rating them consistently and honestly, I cant see how it leads to it not working and/or burnout.

You rate them your way which leads to either over fatigue or too high intenstity, which would then cause you to have to rate them as harder and harder at which point the system adjusts them down to compensate. If your fatigue is too high or the intensity/load is too much, how could you not rate them as very hard or all out? If you’re not rating them that high, and you genuinely don’t feel they are that hard, then how can it lead to where you are now?

No offence intended, genuine musings/curiosity :slight_smile:

#1 Problem - I dont think anyone truly knows HOW the system works.

I personally dont think it can account for different people answering in different ways. But even if it does (big if there), it’s still broken because people have no reason to trust it, if there is no explanation of how it works.

These arguments will continue until the end of time until it’s either scrapped, or trainerroad explains things in a transparent manner.

How COULD you honestly rate an indoor workout as all out if you’re ever done a race? Or been shot? I bet that was harder that your VO2 work.

Or done Leadville on a super hot day. How could you honestly rate a workout even within 2 levels of how you would rate leadville, when you’re doing it in AC with a giant fan right in your face?