Suggestion for those who find progressions too intense

Ah yes this is pretty much just what I wrote above. Love it.

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Interesting. I’ve always dreaded the threshold workouts more than the vo2.


Wait I’m not sure I understand this…this seems to imply that survey responses change progression levels? I feel like I’ve only seen workout performance do that, and only upwards…

Well and time eventually adjusts them down.

I will always err on ranking a workout harder than it felt. Slow and steady works best for me. And if the next workout looks too hard I’ll try to pick one that’s still progressive but a notch lower.


No, I tried to clarify that above (in text and revised graphic). That was my initial thought / question / proposal WAY BACK when we discussed this years ago. That “new” chart is NOT what TR is actually doing right now.

  • AS OF NOW, PL’s increase to match the completed workout (if they exceed current PL).
  • PL’s only decrease with FTP changes or time without productive workouts in that zone.

I’m fine with rating how a workout felt for me as is now from 1-5. You all need to keep in mind that TR benefits from that correlation to model your power curve / AI FTP etc. (remember that you just need a bunch indoor workout of which none need to be all out)

Just telling how you want to progress might make that more difficult.

I do the same thing, except I don’t actually create the endurance rides in TR. I’m not sure PLs make any sense applied to endurance, really. I never care what level I’m at–I care how much time I have available on any given day for endurance, and I try to fill it.

I like your chart that adds the consequences to the selections. No reason to hide the ball on what will happen if I pick a certain answer. It’s not even gamification. It provides necessary control over progression speed.


For the record, this is the one I was referring to @Abe_Froman. I personally focus on the second line. It’s in my “favorites” and I look at it after every workout.


Sounds to me like recipe for burning out. I’d rate each one step harder.

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Yeah, I considered adding that consequences aspect to my regular chart, but left it out. The rest of my chart was “negotiated” text via exchange with TR and my own interpretation, so I tried to keep it semi-official that way.

But as these discussions seem to repeat, I am considering adding it in there now. I still don’t know if it is the best option because I think the consequences are more complicated than that simple summary above.

Rating an Achievable Level workout the same as one that is Breakthrough Level is very likely to lead to different outcomes (future workout adaptations) than that basic summary. The one above may be appropriate for Productive or even Stretch level workouts, but I have no real idea. That is one reason I never pushed to add the info.


One year in, and so far so good! I think I failed one workout, and it was under similar circumstances to the OP (small jump in my threshold PL was not consistent with how much harder the workout was). YMMV.

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Yep, and that is the one I got from Chad, and started using for my current block.

Assuming your levels and FTP are pretty well set…it seems most workouts appropriately fall into hard or very hard. Hard pushes the pace at a quick but reasonable level, very hard lightly pumps the brakes.

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I think these conversations are often a game of moving goal posts. On the one hand, TR’s target user base are people who are not able to coach themselves and on the other, when the TR approach doesn’t work for people they are told they should “listen to their body” or know how to interpret the difficulty of a workout with long and medium-term consequences in mind. The problem is that TR wants to replace coaches, and that is the work of a coach.

“Listen to your body” is good advice if something hurts or you are about to throw up. But it’s trash advice to half the things it’s dished out for here. The problem is that people who are not experienced athletes don’t know how to interpret how something feels. And TR targets those users. The “onus” is not on the athletes to correct for that. The onus is on TR to not engage in false advertising and on the community to not gaslight people who get burned by trusting “the right workout every time” marketing speak.

I think you overriding AT is the issue. When the progression is too hard, you need to give AT the right signals. Whenever I marked a workout as All Out, the workout next week would be an Achievable one that is lower than the one I did just now.

If you find your progression too hard, just be honest with your post-workout survey, AT will back off. From the way I read your post, you did not do that. Instead, you tried to get into a fight with AT by trying to ignore its recommendations.

Another issue could be chronic fatigue: if you did too much volume and/or intensity, you might need to ease off your training load.

No I’m not. That’s exactly the point I made. I’m marking them harder than they are in order to better manage the progression.

In my mind that’s a fundamental understanding of what TR is meant to be: it is a tool for self-coached athletes, which is easy enough to use for beginners and powerful enough for advanced athletes. We can argue how successful it is, but just like with any activity, improvement requires you to learn more about what you are doing and why. Listening to your body is an essential skill in any sport, and something you cannot offload to a computer.

That’s not the only way to listen to your body, if you are close to the point of throwing up, you are past the point where you should have stopped in training. Endurance athletes need to learn to gauge how much they can take and what they need to do to allow them to sustain a training load. This is a dynamical process, and not something you can offload. TR doesn’t know how well my kids slept last night or the few nights before. Or whether I did not sleep well, because I was worrying about a family member or some such. Or whether I am doing a good job eating healthily.

So yeah, I think the athlete has a responsibility to check whether their training plan makes sense and adjust it accordingly.

You wrote:

Ignoring recommended changes means you were overriding AT.

Re-reading this bit, I admit it is a bit more ambiguous than I first thought:

  • How do you rate tough workouts?
  • What scale do you use?
  • What are your PLs where these problems occur?
  • Are you sure that your FTP is set correctly? In case of doubt, you should test this by doing a few threshold workouts. (For some steady-state workouts such as 4 x 10 minutes at FTP work better, others prefer over-unders.)

Still, I would re-iterate that you should not try to game AT. I tried to do that when I first started using it and I had problems similar to yours. I was overconfident in the beginning, because workouts were too easy, and I wanted to skip some PLs. With the exception of endurance PLs and resetting some PLs after having taken a break between seasons, I found out for myself that this is a bad idea.

You can see the workouts posted above. If you’re asking me to go ahead and do a workout that adaptive training suggests knowing full well it’s going to push me over the edge then I disagree.

Look at the workouts I posted. The first I rated very hard. The following week I really struggled the workout and rated it all out So after that I trusted my gut and err’d on the side of caution.

You do you. It’s worked great for me. Great gains. No failed workouts. No metal or physical fatigue.


I hear you. For what its worth, on an 8 hour/week budget, I’m doing fewer intervals and fewer ‘progressions’ - and from every angle - power curve, health metrics, and speed - nothing but #GainzGainzGainz

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Yeah, and I think Very Hard and All Out are appropriate if I go by the power profiles. (You did not meet your power targets on the last one.)

Still, I think my earlier point could still apply: did you initially progress very quickly or were all threshold workouts very hard from the beginning? When I started with AT, I’d push very hard in the beginning to progress more quickly and then struggle like you seem to have done. (I’m not trying to be right, just trying to diagnose the issue.)

No, that’s not what I wrote. If you are close to what you are capable of, I’d expect failures or close-to-failures. E. g. if you slept well the week before (Mt. Hale -1) and did not sleep optimally for Jacks +4, then those small factors can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

You can clearly tell that you had quite a bit of gas left in the tank at the end of Mt. Hale -1: you tacked on 45 minutes of Z2, that’s not something you’d do when you would be at your limit.

If what you want is to decide for yourself whether the next workout should be easier, the same, or harder, then decide for yourself which workout to do next. Filter workouts by zone and duration, and sort based on PL.