What is considered by TR as successful completion/ meeting the proscribed standards of a workout?

What does TR consider to be successful or unsuccessful completion of posted standards of a TR workout. For example, 1. making all power targets within x number of watts, 2. what % of decrease of intensity is considered failure or How many intervals must you complete within power targets etc.

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Would you care to elaborate? I’ve not seen TR use the words successful and unsuccessful?

The only time I’ve heard failure mentioned is in the workout text in the context of “pushing to failure” as is commonly used in workout language, where it’s advised that the rider shouldn’t be pushing that hard.

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I’ve heard this discussed over various podcasts but generally they say that: 10-30 sec Backpedals if you need, reduce the intensity by a few %, take a longer break during intervals or do the minus version of the workouts. This would be dependent on the type of intervals your workout has you doing as well ( a 30 sec backpedal during a 3 min VO2 interval would get you less time in zone vs 30 sec backpedal during a 20 min sweet spot interval)


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Firsr, let me say that your name/handle “onemanpelotton” is kool two thumbs up!

Okay back business at hand, in a 2019 podcast TR trifecta(or just Nate)said they were looking at what determines successful completion of a workout. I think they looking at this as they were gathering data about something and I dont recall the podcast or what they were trying to measure but at the time it made sense.

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A couple mentions of “compliance” as one possible metric for workout / plan review:

Much of this relates to the discussion on bailouts:

As an overly simple comment, Coach Chad has mentioned that aiming to hit 90-95% of the workout (I can’t remember the precise value) is a decent goal. IIRC, this has been mentioned for inside workouts, but also goals of reaching adherence when doing outside workouts.

Individual workout compliance is highly dependent on the type, intensity and duration of the work and recovery intervals. There are clues in the bailout article, but the exact “pass/fail” is fuzzy.


The link provides insight to as what they define as a "Bailout " and that answers part of my question but let’s say you work the intervals but miss the power target by 2,3, or five watts,? For example, you are rocking thru your workout hitting and missing power targets by just a few watts. So from what I read in the link you are a GO for the workout as you did not change the intent. I think?? Check or Hold?

I think anything with +/- 7 watts or so is still in range. And that is what you are training basically. A 90s vo2 effort at 325 will still work your system like a 330w would in the grand scheme of things. Yes those small changes do matter a bit, and in ERG mode I can definitely feel a difference in my legs. But I would still consider that a good and successful workout.

I think a % range is much more appropriate than a wattage range.

Also, it varies among workouts.

  • A 6% decrease in a 94% sweet spot workout puts it at 88%, which is still sweet spot.
  • VO2max workouts vary even more among individuals. Someone with above-average ability to hold power at threshold might not be able to hold 3 minutes @ 120%.

In order words, it’s complicated, and the variation IMHO can be far greater than +/- 7 watts.

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Failure really is a terrible word to be using in the context of indoor training. % compliance is a more reasonable metric. Even then, having that number staring at you all the time can be quite detrimental. Look forwards, not backwards.

I ignore comments from folks who say, “I failed a workout because I backpedaled twice”. That’s just ridiculous and misses the point of the workout, and probably misses the point of cycling in general.

Workout failure is when you’re fresh and have plenty of free time, but don’t bother getting on the bike because of laziness.


Think of it this way as well, 2-5 watts is well within the margin of error for whatever device you’re using to measure power as most power meters advertise 1-2% accuracy.

You’re right. Was thinking of an example from my own point of view but a % is way more logical.

I asked a similar question some time ago and got similar answers to you. However one reply, from a particularly well placed forum member, did actually address my specific query and indicates that, yes, there are criteria and at some point we may find out.

NateTrainerRoad Team

Dec '19

It’s very hard to describe, but easy to see. We’re working on a more robust system for this. Once it’s out you’ll be able to see how we classify failed vs non failed.


Somewhat related blog post just issued today.

I’d suggest a “successful” workout would be one that falls within the recommended adjustments, if any are applied at all. More than that necessary to complete a workout seems to indicate an issue. Thoughtful review of your current state (and the related build up to the current workout) are necessary to get a real picture of your training status.


Chad, thanks will read the other links later because i started to read one and wanted to jump in the conversation. However, I am commiting the cardinal sin before bedtime dicking around on the computer :joy: :sleepy: but I like looking at in terms of %age, I was using watts because when I do my post workout notes I refer to the number of pwr tgts achieved or missed based on watts missed within 3 and 5 watts. % is a better way to measure it. Thanks!

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Yup - been there - done that :flushed: