What is AT trying to do here?

I started a plan a few weeks ago and honestly, I’m not following the AT plan much at all. One, because I’m looking for fewer intensity days (2), not (4) and Two, because I have no idea what adaptations it’s trying to suggest and why?

Look at what’s going on below. Thursday is a Threshold day. I’m currently at PL 4.0, so okay, Devil’s Crag seems okay. Warlow on Saturday looks a little aggressive since it’s a full 1.0 in a single week, but cool. Then I look at the following week and it’s downgrading Warlow and Reinstein. I have no idea why it’s caring more about next week and the week after and nothing for this week. It seems it’s been that way. Doesn’t matter because I’ll manually sub out those threshold workouts for Endurance, but still, doesn’t make sense. Next, what is it doing next Wednesday by subbing out my Recovery Lazy Mountain for Leavitt -5, when it’s been feeding me this nice easy recovery workouts for weeks and then for whatever reason wants to suggest an adaptation for something that should stay easy? There really isn’t a rhyme or reason to it and frankly I’m not going to follow the plan anyways because there is way more intensity than I want at this point in the season. Maybe me not following the plan and subbing my own workouts has AT confused, but seems like it should just adapt to what’s there and not really worry so much about what I haven’t done yet.

Do this week’s workouts, complete the surveys and see what happens. There is not much meaning in worrying about next week (OTOH such reasoning could be applied to the AT adaptations as well)

yeah I will, but it has been this way already for a couple of weeks. At this point, I’m just kind of ignoring AT because it’s a) not really relevant as none of the adaptations are in the current week and b) I have no idea what it’s trying to accomplish so the vision is kind of lost of me with this particular plan. Perhaps the fact that the plan I’m on and what I want aren’t really aligning either doesn’t help, but I’m starting to feel like AT and Plan Builder are getting in the way and not adding anything constructive.

AT seems to work longitudinally not laterally, I can’t remember seeing suggested adaptations in the current week.

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AT is viewing the workouts on the 4th and 5th as a stretch based on your current PL and downgrading accordingly. AT will then adapt the workouts on the 4th and the 5th if you complete both the workouts on Saturday and Sunday this week successfully.

My 2 cents, don’t look out that far. Just look to what the next couple workouts are and let AT do it’s thing.


So total opposite to the concept of training? Without clear goal you become “workout checker”. You will get some benefits, just because you do things but as long term strategy - not so sure.

Not necessarily, try to have an open mind. Using an analogy, AT is driving you down a roadmap to your goal. As you’re driving down the road, you’ll instinctively make changes to your route based on what’s coming down the road that you can see, but still end up at your goal because you’ve set the A to B. AT still knows your goal and will help you down the road to reach it, without necessarily needing to be concerned about what you can’t see yet over the horizon.


I think your problem is you are not following the plan.

AT has its goal which is different than your goal. AT wants a certain amount of intensity which is likely based on what plan is picked at this stage. You want more easier rides. AT conflicts with your goals.

I experience the same thing in my own planning and workouts. I thought originally AT would make some PL adjustments and I would just keep tweaking things my own way. What I find though is AT doesnt push my hard days hard. It pushes more intensity over more rides whereas I am aiming for 2 hard workouts in a week. I dont need a .2 adjustment to a VO2 PL when I know I can do a lot higher and I know I am only doing one other hard workout in the week. So I keep subing a harder VO2 workout and change a sweet spot ride to an endurance ride. In essence I am making a mess of the original plan. I really should just turn AT off.


You seem to be fighting AT and it shows. You seem to want a different plan, and you are not adhering to the plan you have now. It is as if you have a coach, but you are ignoring their advice and then wonder why things don’t work out the way you expect them to.

For example, when you wrote:

I cannot see your Progression Levels, but I think since you have replaced threshold workouts by endurance workouts that you have upped your Endurance Progression Level. Wednesday’s workouts are Achievable endurance workouts, and because you have replaced threshold with endurance workouts, this means your Achievable levels are much higher than before. That’s why you get much more difficult workouts on Wednesdays. Once you understand what is going on, it is not that difficult.

My advice: if you want a plan with two hard days, then you should select a plan with two hard days. Since you have used Plan Builder, you can change volume after the fact in the calendar. So opt for a low volume plan and add endurance workouts (and other workouts) as you see fit. But stop messing so much with the workouts in the plan. You should not restructure a plan completely.


Well, there is no plan with just two intensity days so I dont really think it matters what plan I choose, medium or low volume, I’ll have to change it all, which I’m already doing. My confusion was really more with the seemingly random adaptations. I wouldn’t expect them to ignore the current week and then decrease in future weeks. I also thought the Wednesday workout was intended to be an easy day so I actually didn’t think that workout would ever be adapted. But it doesn’t matter. Seems there is confirmation there isn’t a solution for me using plan builder and AT. I’ll just delete the plan, turn off AT and program it myself.

And why shouldn’t we restructure the plan? I think many would agree that the standard 3 or 4 intensity days is more than they want at certain times. It’s November. I dont want to do a full blown build.

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That’s not true.
Polarized low volume has a single day of intensity, mid-volume has two. The two polarized plans are meant to replace Sweet Spot Base 1 + 2 and Build. You can swap them into the existing plan via the web calendar.

I have done the 6-week Polarized plan as a pre-season starter — I also wanted to try what that polarized jazz is all about. Polarized is exactly what it sounds like: easy days are easy, albeit long, and hard days tend to be harder.

Your excessive alterations were breaking the plan and destroying the progression that those plans are based on. TrainerRoad plans are meant to be adapted, but within reason. You wrote in your initial post that you wanted 2 days of intensity per week, but opted for a plan with 4.

You should, but within reason. If you want 2 days of intensity as your default, you should select a plan with two days of intensity and then add in workouts as you see fit.

I think you are jumping to conclusions here. My suggestion is that you go to your calendar and swap out your base plan for the Polarized plan. Consider going to low volume.

Consider the scheduled workouts as must-do. Stick to them. And if you feel like it, add other workouts, e. g. endurance, recovery or even a bit of intensity. But you must stick to the workouts in your plan. All others are extra credit and thus, optional. And just let AT do its thing. Resist the temptation to “go harder than this”.


Isn’t by definition an adaptive plan one that should be able to adjust for deviations?

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No, the main purpose of AT is to adapt your progression. Yes, it is also designed to adapt to other changes like you becoming sick or taking a vacation. But it is not designed to handle consistently taking away 2 out of 4 days of intensity.


I guess my question then is what is the AI doing then if it’s not adapting the contribution from related energy systems to a progression in other energy systems in training? OP is not simply skipping two days of workouts, they are replacing them with other workouts that train the same energy systems in a different way

Maybe AT is simple at this point and merely adapting future Workout Levels (WL), primarily based on past completion, post workout feedback, and per zone target WL ramp rate


No, the OP was replacing threshold workouts with endurance workouts, i. e. workouts for different energy systems. From the original post, emphasis mine:

That completely messes with the progression the workout schedule implements. AFAIK the only workout you can replace without altering the essential structure is the Sunday sweet spot workout. (The weekly instructions tell you that you can alternatively do endurance work rather than easy sweet spot.) I guess your Sweet Spot PL could drop a tad, but that’d correspond to what happens physiologically and the bit that you lose there you gain in endurance.

Sounds reasonable.
However, I’d say that if the OP were doing that to a coach (i. e. lack of adherence to the coach’s training plan and constantly overriding their decisions), he’d also run into trouble. A good coach could adapt more readily than TR, humans are still better at dealing with other humans, but still it wouldn’t be ideal.

Are you saying that only threshold work can increase the threshold “energy system”? Don’t we have decades of data and studies that show endurance work can increase threshold power and TTE? How does adaptive training not take that into account in progression?

I think we are talking past one another. I never claimed such a thing.

It does. For example, this morning’s sweet spot workout raised my threshold and my tempo progression level. VO2max workouts will frequently nudge up my Anaerobic PL.

However, if the power zones are too far apart, the benefits of e. g. more endurance rides are not easy to quantify when you are working in other zones. To leading order, spending time in a specific power zone will make you better at riding in that power zone.

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I really think people have WAY too much expectation on what AT can do.

It was said above nicely - AT adapts the progression of your workouts. If you found 4x10 @98% ‘easy’ this week it will make sure you get a harder workout on this ‘threshold’ day next week, and vica versa. Its NOT a coach looking at what you did across a whole 2 or 3 week period and what you changed etc and then re-writing a whole new plan for you. In the AT blog it even says ‘….if you struggled with a Threshold workout, it will decrease the difficulty of upcoming Threshold workouts. On the other hand, if you easily breeze through a VO2 Max workout, Adaptive Training will increase the Workout Level of future workouts in that zone.

Its very clearly stated that AT adapts to 'your changes in fitness’ and ‘relative strengths and weaknesses’ but it seems many people think it means it will adapt their plan according to their desire to skip or move days around or remove workouts. Thats clearly NOT what its designed to do.

If you want a plan adapted to a different schedule, like only 2 days per week of intervals, a weekend group ride with your mates and the rest easy rides etc, then you need to get a plan from a different coach/source etc as TR dont offer these types of plans, and right now no amount of AT is going to create one for you either. Currently.


Hi - my view here - I always do LV and top up (averaged 10hr/week this year).

On LV you won’t have to change it all to do this, in fact what you are describing is quite similar to what I am doing. I then add Endurance rides (usually whatever TrainNow recommends - usually Achievable Endurance rides) on top of that.

The way SSB LV1 (which I am in now) is structured seems to be 2x sweetspot workouts midweek and 1x 90 min Threshold workout at the weekend. Dropping out one of those midweek workouts (which I have done a few times for Zwift races) makes no discernable difference to the plan. Dropping the Threshold weekend workout causes the future weekend Threshold workouts to be adapted downwards, but since they’re in different zones to the midweek Sweetspot workouts that hasn’t been an issue.

With MV you add in another 2 rides a week and AT wants to keep adapting those rides, which is why you’re seeing this behaviour as it wants to keep those other rides in line with whatever the plan goals are for those days (Productive in X energy system etc).

TLDR; doing LV and subbing out one of the workouts will likely work better for you than MV and subbing 3 out.