Whats the consensus on failing workouts?

The calendar (web view) has a week push feature - it backs all workouts out by one week, leaving your races (if any) where they are. That’s the way to handle resets (“I’m failing all my VO2Max workouts, I need to do something about that”), illness/injury, and travel. You can then insert whatever you want in the now-empty weeks, from nothing to a mini-plan to recovery week(s).


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That’s exactly what I needed to know, thank you!

Well, If you are pausing your training plan due to illness, business travel - that is not what I’m talking about…

What (I think) I meant by this, is if that there is too much intensity in your progression such that you are failing a bunch of workouts…literally stop what you’re doing. And do something like:

Day 1: Sweet Spot
Day 2: Sweet Spot
Day 3: Endurance
Day 4: Off or Endurance
Day 5: Sweet Spot
Day 6: sweet spot or endurance
Day 7: Off

Once you get yourself up to 3x20 at sweet spot, resume your plan…but be aware of how the intensity bogs you down.

Me, personally, at 45 years old…I will do only one Vo2 workout a week. On the off chance I do 2, it will be for a specific reason (trying to raise the roof) but then I will adjust accordingly the next week. Oh…and if I do Vo2 workouts during the week, they will be different types of Vo2… for instance, I will do 4x6 at 105% FTP60, and then do my other one with something like 30/30s…so I’m touching both ends of the intensity spectrum, without driving my fatigue through the roof.

Focus on filling out your “time in zone” vs. worrying about raising your FTP…and when you reference your FTP, make sure it is a power you can truly hold for a minimum of 45 mins. Ideally it’s your FTP60.

If you want to know what your FTP is, listen to any of a myriad of podcasts with Seiler…he says it over and over again…your FTP is the power you can hold for an hour. Period. And adhering to this method will prevent you from over-training if you follow a thoughtful plan.

If you want to follow TR ramp tests as your FTP marker, cool. But then take the ERG and set it to that number and make sure you can hold it for a minimum of 45 mins…and hold it as long as you can. If you can’t hold it for at least 45 mins. Use the TR FTP number to calibrate your Sweet Spot, and go until you can hold 3x20 at 88% or - even better - 3x30 or 2x45 at 88%. Once you can do that, try your hour power again and see if you can hit your TR FTP for an hour. Once you can…test again. Rinse and repeat.

I call this method “raise the roof/furnish the home” - and it is based on N=1

This is probably more than you asked for.

Good luck :metal:


Great read, thanks.

Googled failed workouts Trainerroad and it brought me here. I guess that’s how we learn from failure. :rofl:

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I am Discouraged after badly failing Carpathian Peak +2. I didn’t even get thru the first interval and blew up about 11mins into it. I paused, took a 2min break, and tried again but I couldn’t even turn the pedals. I can’t determine if it’s a, “Bad Faiulre” and I was overmatched or if it was, “It’s not your day” Failure. I have been very consistent and this is my first failed workout. Any advice on how to proceed? Or if this was option 2 or option 3? Thanks All.

Imo O/U are mercyless at revealing an optimistic FTP. My guess is that your FTP is somewhat inflated. There is nothing wrong in nudge it back some. Might even save you from overtraining in a near future.

Did you recently update to the new app? as in one of the first rides since getting the new app. When I updated I didn’t realize it changed which trainer I was using (virtual power). So it was still a cycleops but changed from Fluid 2 to the Jet Fluid Pro, which was there “recommended” setting. So for 2ish weeks I was blowing up on workouts and could not figure out why. More of just a PSA to check all your settings in the app.

I personally find over-unders to be among the most sensitive workouts to variables like fueling, bad sleep, and even just general life stress. You can fake your way through some workouts, but if anything is sub-optimal for the day you are going to feel it during over-unders. Swap out your next similar workout with a slightly easier version and make sure you’re on point with rest and nutrition. See how you fare, and go from there.

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Hi @SeanHurley, my next scheduled workout is Juneau-1 and I feel fairly confident I can complete this one but not as confident after today’s total mess :grinning: My next similar workout is Mary Austin-1, any recommendations on what to swipe it out with? Here is my schedule next week. Thanks everyone! This forum is great and I read it everyday! Fyi…I am new to this structured training thing so I appreciate the advice.

Hi @TomasIvarsson, this may be the case and if I fail an O/U this badly again I will certainly reevaluate and lower the FTP.

@matthubbs, I have been using the new app on my iPhone from the beginning with no issues but thanks for the suggestion. I’ll keep that in mind for when the next updates get pushed.

Right or wrong, I never really fail a workout. I adjust intensity to always finish it (before I’m finished :slight_smile:)
This has done that I never need to adjust FTP and it is still getting higher…


No judgment here, Carpathian Peak +2 and Mary Austin -1 are both very tough workouts! I’d consider something like Moose’s Tooth-1 if you want to preserve the length, or Avalanche Spire if you want to shorten things a bit. Remember too, you always have the option of lowering a workout’s intensity if you’re having a tough time. Sometimes just a couple percent can be all it takes to totally change how you feel.

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I came across this old thread and found it very interesting to read.

Yesterday I attempted to do the V02 Max-workout “San Joaquin +3”. Afterwards I felt a bit deflated (apart from begin wrecked by the workout :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: …) for not being able to nail it at 100%. Should I consider this as a failure?

During the three final sets I had to dial down the intensity with 5 %. The recommended cadence for this workout is +100, but that was also too hard to maintain throughout the entire workout. Performed most sets at a cadence somewhere near 95.

The result being that I ‘only’ reached a TSS of 90 (instead of 94) and a IF of 0.95 (instead of 0.97).

I guess it’s all in the mind whether to consider this a failure or not. This workout is by no means easy (especially for a 49y old guy like me with only 4 months of TR-experience), but I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I want to consider this as a “good failure” (as very nicely described higher up in this thread), but the word “failure” tends to stick more to my brain than “good”…

I’m trying to consider my “struggle” with the concept of failure as an extra bonus of TR. During the past four months, I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot more to be gained from TR than just riding faster on a bike. It also sharpens mental resilience, discipline and perseverance.

Are you in the Adaptive Training Beta and if so, what is your VO2 Progression Level?

Regardless, San Joaquin is a hard @$$ workout. I created a thread long ago specifically about it. I would not feel bad about not completing it 100%. Looks like you did pretty well to me. Just look at the failure rate and you’ll see plenty of people struggle with it. It’s a 7.9 for a reason.

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Thanks, Russell!

I’m not in the Adaptive Training Beta. Am I able to check my V02 Progression Level when I’m not in it?

And how can I check the failure rate of a particular workout?

Sorry for the questions and thanks in advance. I’m a relative newbee here and still have a lot to learn.

Unfortunately you can’t check your progression level if you aren’t in it, but you can look at the highest VO2 Max workout level you’ve completed lately. San Joaquin +3 is a 7.9, so if that prior workout was lower than 7.4 or so, it means San Joaquin +3 probably was a stretch for you at this FTP.

You can view the other completed rides for this workout by going to the San Joaquin +3 workout page and then clicking on the “All Rides” tab. It doesn’t appear that this workout is part of any plans now, so curious how you came across it.

Prior to the new plans being released, SJ +3 was part of general build so many people had it scheduled. The prior week’s workout was Ansel Adams -2, which was hard, but was only a 6.4. It’s no wonder many people struggled to jump from a 6.4 to a 7.9 and this explains part of the reason for the new plans.

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Spot on! Thanks, man.

SJ+3 is indeed part of my Generald Build-plan. Since I had no particular goal when I started with TR 4 months ago, I just picked a low volume plan and did all the workouts that TR suggested. Started with Sweet Spot Base 1 & 2, followed by General Build. And indeed, last week I managed to get through Ansel Adams -2 fairly comfortably at 100 % (tough but doable).

Only two workouts to go before I complete General Build, so probably no use in changing plans now, I guess? After General Build, TR has got some kind of Speciality for me in store.

I’m very curious about those ‘new plans’ now :slightly_smiling_face: … I’ll investigate that further. Thanks for the insight.

IMHO this or evaluating by progression level are in general the wrong way to evaluate workouts. You completed the intervals with only a small reduction in power. That is a success. There are coaching rules of thumb as to when the power reduction is to large and you should stop.

A fail would be failing to get on the bike and train if you are not sick or need extra recovery. You only get faster during recovery. Train hard, recover hard. I’m breaking all kinds of forum group-think training rules, and getting stronger and stronger. Individual response to training is, well, individual. Captain Obvious reminder :wink:

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