Completed workout as prescribed by Smart Coach - load different than target

Today, I had a Z2 Aerobic Development ride, and I followed the synced workout on my Garmin watch. The Smart Coach chose HR - which makes sense for Z2 - and I rode briefly below, then in and up to Z3a HR for the duration of the ride.

What surprised me is that the load for the my workout (67) is just under 84% of the prescribed load (80). Why is that? It seems strange that I followed the workout very closely (94% Z2, 3% Z1, 3% Z3a, average HR just below the top of Z2), but then got feedback that I could have tried harder. I could have tried harder, but then I wouldn’t have been following the workout…

I just assumed that if I followed the synced workout target as chosen by the Smart Coach that the load would be closer to the target.


Hi @nathanchristenson,
Thanks for reporting that and you made a great point. AI Coach got the feedback wrong ultimately and I’d give it a thumbs down if I were you. You followed the plan correctly by following HR. That kept physiological stress at back alongside aerobic development which is the purpose of the session. The load however was calculated through pace which wound up being lower than prescribed. Ultimately in this case honestly you need to say who cares and move on to the next workout. Sorry our AI coach isn’t yet up to snuff but at the same time we need to recognize that these types of LLMs are only 1 year old or thereabouts and therefore not yet perfect. You’ve found such a case here.


Thanks @Prof!

Not stressing about the workout feedback at all - Z2 training has always been HR based in my experience. I will give the feedback a thumbs down.

But in one sense, the feedback coach is giving the correct feedback - my workout load did not match the target load. I think the weirdness is from the target load being calculated from a different metric from what the Smart Coach chooses as a workout guide.

If HR is the recommended target for Z2 / Aerobic Development, why isn’t the workout “target” load based off of HR? It seems to me that these things should be aligned. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to just do my Z2 training and ignore the difference between target and achieved load and not lose any sleep over that, but if Z2 work is HR based, I would think that the target load for Z2 workouts would be calculated off of HR.

Agree that some of your thinking there @nathanchristenson should be built into V2 of our logic… definitely will keep in mind. Thank you.