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Adaptive Training Overview

What is Adaptive Training?

Whoever you are and however you ride, Adaptive Training makes you faster and fitter by treating you as an individual.

Whether you build a custom training plan with Plan Builder or choose workouts as you go with TrainNow, our Machine Learning system continually monitors your performance and intelligently adjusts to your needs.

Every day, Adaptive Training responds to fitness breakthroughs, real-life scheduling surprises, and your constantly changing abilities, so you always get the right workout for you and your goals.

With the flexibility of a coach, the power of an unprecedented data set, and the value and track record of TrainerRoad, Adaptive Training is the next evolution of cycling training.

How to use Adaptive Training

Updated Training Plans

To take advantage of Adaptive Training, you'll need to be using a custom plan created via Plan Builder.

Pre-existing plans will be compatible, but if it was created before May 2021, you'll need to update your training plan first.

Survey Responses

Each time you finish an indoor workout, Adaptive Training automatically analyzes your performance and prompts you to complete a short survey. This qualitative data is used to individualize how your plan responds to your needs and provides you with an opportunity to track subjective feedback. 

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An intensity survey being served after completing a workout.

These only take a few seconds to complete, but you can submit a response up to seven days after the ride is completed if you are in a rush. To do so, go to the Ride Analysis page on the website, or the Workout Details drawer in the app, then click or tap Missing Response.

Outside Workouts aren't automatically followed by intensity surveys, but you can add responses for them in the same way—by heading to the Ride Analysis page or Workout Details drawer afterwards and clicking Missing Response.

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A missing survey response being added via the Ride Analysis page.

Read more about Survey Responses at our support page linked below:

Adaptations

Adaptive Training will switch out upcoming workouts in your training plan to ones it judges to be more effective based on your recent performance.

We'll automatically check for any necessary adaptations every time you complete a workout, visit the website, or open the app. Sometimes your training is still on track, and adjustments won’t be necessary.

If you're following a Triathlon plan, adaptations will be recommended for your Swim and Run workouts too. Any Swim and Run workouts in your training plan that aren't marked as completed will be considered skipped by Adaptive Training and trigger adaptations for future workouts.

When you do have adaptations, you’ll see an "Adaptations Pending" notification. Just click or tap on the notification to go to the Plan Adaption Overview, then "Accept Adaptations" to apply the changes:

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A preview of what adaptations will be made to the training plan.

Automatic Adaptations can be enabled from the Account tab and will accept all pending adaptations as soon as they are suggested.

Read more about Adaptations at our support pages linked below:

Related Features

Workout Levels

Workout Levels are a metric within TrainerRoad that provide a way to easily compare the difficulty of workouts within each zone. They range from 1 to 10, with 1 representing an easy workout and 10 being difficult.

Read more about Workout Levels at our support page linked below:

Progression Levels

If you've used TrainerRoad before, you're likely already familiar with how we define different power zones and how they relate to training.

Now with Adaptive Training, you'll see an individual Progression Level for each power zone displayed in your Career.

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These are dynamic, real-time markers of your progress and reflect your capabilities at your current FTP. They are determined by the Workout Levels of your recent workouts and how successfully you completed them.

Progression Levels help Adaptive Training choose the best workout to help you reach your goals.

Read more about Progression Levels at our support page linked below:

Difficulty Levels

Workouts are now tagged with Difficulty Levels. These will give you a subjective assessment of how challenging a workout will be in relation to your current Progression Level in the respective training zone.

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From least to most difficult, a workout can be considered:

  • Recovery
  • Achievable
  • Productive
  • Stretch
  • Breakthrough

Read more about Difficulty Levels at our support page linked below:

Workout Alternates

Workout Alternates are workout recommendations with a similar difficulty and profile as your original workout. Alternates can be used to find workouts that are longer, shorter or the same length as the original workout.

Read more about Workout Alternates at our support page linked below:

TrainNow

TrainNow gives you the flexibility to complete structured training on-demand, when and how you want, with intelligently recommended workouts (influenced by your training history).

It’s not intended to replace a training plan, but it’s a quick and simple way to choose workouts at the duration of your choice, perfectly suited to your abilities.

To access TrainNow, open the TrainerRoad app and access the Workouts tab, and select TrainNow from the top of the screen:

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From here, select your desired duration and type of workout. You can also use the refresh button to receive a separate set of recommendations.

Read more about TrainNow at our support page linked below:

Time Off

Every athlete experiences interruptions. When you need to take time off the bike -- be it due to illness, injury, or simply taking a break -- Adaptive Training will automatically make the proper adjustments to get you back into action the right way. It also gives you new options to proactively schedule time off.

Skipping Workouts

While the options below will allow you to pre-emptively account for scheduled time off, simply skipping a workout will still prompt the necessary adaptations with no extra input needed.

Annotations

Athletes have always had the option to add notes to their Calendar in the form of annotations, and now these same annotations can also be used to plan time off and specify a reason.

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Planning time off via annotations will cause adaptations that you can see before the workouts have been missed.

Read more about Calendar Annotations at our support page linked below:

Plan Builder

Plan Builder now includes a step to add and plan around time off the bike when you're building a new plan.

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When you add the new plan to your Calendar, the time off you added via Plan Builder will automatically display as an annotation there:

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Read more about Time Off at our support page linked below:

Adaptive Training FAQs

Does Adaptive Training account for my training history? 

Yes. Adaptive Training will factor in your recent training history to get a more accurate starting point for your Progression Levels.

Does Adaptive Training take into account outside rides? 

Outside Workouts that are part of your training plan are supported by Adaptive Training. Adaptive Training considers outside ride files that have been associated with a planned TrainerRoad workout. Eventually, we plan to incorporate all workouts, both structured and unstructured—indoors or outdoors. Read more about using Outside Workouts with Adaptive Training at our support page linked below:

Can I use Adaptive Training if I’ve never used TrainerRoad? 

Yes. As soon as you begin your training, Adaptive Training will be analyzing your performance in each training zone, influencing your Progression Levels.

Does Adaptive Training take into account heart rate data? 

Currently, Adaptive Training exclusively uses power data. As the system develops, we are excited to eventually incorporate more data sources for an even more nuanced understanding of stress and fatigue.

Does Adaptive Training change the structure or intensity of individual workouts? 

Adaptive Training does not modify workouts themselves. Instead, it adjusts which workouts your training plan recommends based on your progress through the plan. Your training will always keep pace with your abilities while making sure you maximize your potential.

Does Adaptive Training recommend adaptations for Swim and Run workouts? 

Yes, if you're following a Triathlon plan, Adaptive Training will recommend adaptations for your Swim and Run workouts. Any Swim and Run workouts in your training plan that aren't marked as completed will be considered skipped by Adaptive Training and trigger adaptations for future workouts. For more info check out our Help Center article here.

How Does Adaptive Training Recommend Swim and Run Workouts? 

Adaptive Training does not adapt Swim and Run workouts based on performance in past workouts. Instead, it recommends adaptations based on any missed Swim or Run workouts in your training plan. For more info check out our Help Center article here

Why do I occasionally see different questions on my surveys? 

Some workouts are harder than others, and sometimes life happens. We’ll deliver a survey based on how your effort in that particular workout went, and your response to the survey can help affirm or correct that information. 

How should I rate my workout on the post-workout survey? 

  1. Easy
    This workout felt easy and non-taxing, requiring little effort or focus.
  2. Moderate
    This workout was somewhat comfortable but required some focus to complete.
  3. Hard
    This workout required effort and focus and was challenging to complete.
  4. Very Hard
    This workout was very difficult to complete.
  5. All Out
    This workout was extremely difficult. It pushed me well beyond my abilities and took a massive amount of energy and focus to complete.

How should workouts of different difficulty levels feel? 

  1. Achievable
    Achievable workouts are workouts with a Workout level below your Progression Level in the workout's training zone. They are comparably easy relative to other workouts you've recently completed.
  2. Productive
    Productive workouts are at or just above your Progression Level. They’re great for consistency, maintaining the balance between growing your fitness and not overloading yourself with too much fatigue.
  3. Stretch
    Stretch workouts are further above your Progression Level than Productive ones and will be tough in relation to your current fitness. While doable, they are challenging to do consistently and require additional focus on recovery.
  4. Breakthrough
    Breakthrough workouts are even higher than your Progression Level than Stretch workouts, meaning that successfully completing a workout of this type will be very difficult.
  5. Not Recommended
    Not Recommended workouts are far above your Progression Level, and attempting them will likely add significant fatigue and do little to improve your fitness.

Do I need to be following a training plan to use Adaptive Training? 

To take full advantage of Adaptive Training, you’ll want to have a TrainerRoad training plan on your calendar from Plan Builder. If you manually added a plan, you’ll be prompted to convert it to a custom one.

If I edit my training plan by adding and removing workouts, will adaptations still take place? 

If individual workouts are modified or replaced in advance using the “Alternates” option, Adaptive Training will view the replacement workouts as a part of your training plan and will consider them for adaptations. If you simply add workouts to your Calendar within the timeframe of your training plan, these will not be considered part of the plan and will not be adapted, but their completion will still affect your Progression Levels.

Will my custom workouts have Workout Levels? 

Yes, all TrainerRoad workouts and custom workouts should have Workout Levels assigned to them, but at this point, we can’t endorse the Workout Levels of custom workouts. Currently, Workout Levels are calculated uniquely for custom workouts and are not comparable to the Workout Levels of workouts in the TrainerRoad workout library.

Will the system get confused if I take a break to stretch/fill bottles/etc. during a workout? 

During a workout, Adaptive Training makes allowances for short breaks between sets. If you take breaks during work intervals, Adaptive Training will interpret it as a sign that you found the workout challenging to complete. Luckily, if you ever disagree with Adaptive Training’s conclusion on the outcome of a workout, you can easily overrule it on the post-workout survey.
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