Quick reference Guide for those new to structured training? How rides should feel?

Hi guys,

I’m an avid reader of the forum and post some questions myself. And one question that keeps being repeated is is my FTP set right? Is my workout intensity giving me the intended benefit. I can’t finish my workout or they are too easy. I’m as guilty as anyone on this.

So I thought it would be nice if seasoned TR users could share with us what different intensities feel and how that relate to max HR.

What should a recovery ride feel like. Benchmark would be Recess or Taku?

What an endurance ride should feel like? Benchmarck would be Andrews or Baxter

What shoul a tempo ride feel like. Benmark would be Echo or Leavitt +2

What a Sweet spot ride should feel like. Benchmark would be Antelope or Eclipse.

What a Treshold ride should feel like. Benchmark would be Kaweah or Mary Austin-1

What O/U should feel like. Benchmark would be Warlow and Palissade

What a VO2max should feel like. Benchmark would be Spencer +2

It would be good if you could include. average HR compared to Max, burning leg sensation, breathing for intervals sessions maybe add what it should feel for the first and the last.

I know for most of this it is highly subjective and dependant of the individual. But I think having a range of percieved and number based benchmarks would help a lot of newsbies out.

Think of it as "I know i’m working at (intensity) when …

Thanks all

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It depends - recovery should be just spinning less than 60% MHR - I never do them - if I’m to tired I have a day off and go for a walk outside. Endurance - Baxter - I average about 120bpm against a max of 179 - should feel easy. Tempo - mostly keep out of this zone on the turbo - do it in longer road rides or segments there of. Sweetspot - can be different - Antelope is easy - even the + versions the intervals are short - shouldn’t tax you much - 135-40bpm. Eclipse+ versions, Tallac+4 Wright Peak -1 or full that is the real SS - needs focus - I get to 150-160bpm - tough near the end. Threshold - I’m a tt er so find Kaweah pretty easy - needs about the same focus as long SS. O/U - I find anything with 105% spikes pretty simple - so Palisade/Mcadie/Avalanche/Carpathian etc ….but I have a pretty narrow band at threshold so Warlow I actually find tougher than some of the previous despite the lower IF and TSS - Spencer+2 - never do it - rips my legs up to much - stick to Mills/Dade/ Bluebell for a bit of extra top end ….but it is horses for courses - ALL my racing is steady state and I can cruise a 50m tt at 95% threshold much more easily than a short 10 at 105%! - we are all different…I suppose I should work on my weaknesses…but that might hurt :face_vomiting:

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This overall concept is something I would like to add to my FAQ that I am developing.

And I am trying to group the most common stuff together for easier access.


Here are some existing articles that address some of the questions above:

Misc:

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Chad I would have added two thumbs ups but that’s not possible. The first two resources seems to indicate I never really worked a treshold more like the higher end of SS and Over/unders were little off. So that’s good to know. The downside it seems I’m not suffering enough :slight_smile:

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LOL, glad to help.

One way to look at hard intervals…

  • if you aren’t afraid that you won’t catch your breath… ever again…
  • If you don’t hit a mild panic when you hit the first seconds of a VO2 or Anaerobic interval towards the end of a set…

You might be under that goal effort :stuck_out_tongue:

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I hear you! FTP was definately set too low just did a zwift race, too see how much I could push with enough motivation in race context. I averaged 161 watts for 27 minutes zwift set my FTP at 155. Compared to my last ramp at 136. No wonder I felt the workouts were easy and could discuss with my wife while doing Donner even with a 5% bump.

Be careful with the Zwift auto-set FTP from races and such. They simply take your best 20-minute effort times 0.95 and set it from that.

The 0.95 multiplier is related to a “normal” 20-minute FTP test and includes appropriate “burn-off” efforts prior to the official 20-minute test effort.

This matters in some cases because those “burn-off” efforts are aimed at reducing the anaerobic contribution to the 20-minute effort, that can over inflate the resulting FTP.

Most Zwift races are shot from the gun and you may well get an overly high value. So, take those with a grain of salt and be sure that training based on that FTP are “right” for you and not higher than prescribed.

Yeah I know that’s not a proper FTP testing. I’m due for recovery next week. I’ll ramp test in two weeks to have a proper training intensity set for the end of SSBLV2. Golden Cheetah gives me a FTP of 147 which seems consistent with my last week of training.

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My benchmarks, which may or may not apply to others:

What should a recovery ride feel like. Benchmark would be Recess or Taku?
A: Ridiculously light. If you did this effort outside, you would pray nobody you know sees you.

What an endurance ride should feel like? Benchmarck would be Andrews or Baxter
A: Boring enough for your mind to wander, and not make it back anytime soon. Your butt hurts because your legs aren’t actually pushing on the pedals very hard.

What shoul a tempo ride feel like. Benmark would be Echo or Leavitt +2
A: Not quite boring, but not quite exciting. Mostly annoyed that it’s not easy enough for your mind to wander.

What a Sweet spot ride should feel like. Benchmark would be Antelope or Eclipse.
A: This is work, and you need to focus to keep the power on target. But not spirit-crushingly bad; if an extra work interval got thrown in at the end by surprise, it wouldn’t break you. Butt doesn’t hurt.

What a Treshold ride should feel like. Benchmark would be Kaweah or Mary Austin-1
A: You start breaking up the time into 2-minute chunks; need mind games to keep things together. Breathing hard, but no Cujo-style drooling is involved. You wish you had eaten a bigger breakfast.

What O/U should feel like. Benchmark would be Warlow and Palissade
A: As above, but with short bouts of grunting. Pedaling form requires concentration. Breathing too hard to give instructions to Siri.

What a VO2max should feel like. Benchmark would be Spencer +2
A: Grimacing; bewilderment that you’re working this hard to not actually go anywhere; breaths are very forceful, and exhales regularly carry more than just air. Swearing. When it’s over you just stare at a blank wall for several minutes because you don’t want to deal.

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This is like the advice i gave to my young daughter for a cross country running race the other day. She’s new to it so doesn’t really have pacing down yet. I told her that if she feels that she might die just before the end then she’s going about hard enough. If she thinks she isn’t going to die then run slightly faster.

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See I think that this approach will be flawed from the start and won’t really give you any real reference. As this is all based on feel then you can’t really expect someone else to have the same feeling of a workout. As en example @pkwell mentioned that a benchmark tempo ride like Leavitt +2 should be more or less easy-ish, whereas for myself doing it actually today I found it to be mentally taxing. All the time during it I was like fuuuuuuuuuuu when will it end!!

As we are all different in the type of riders we are (physically) this approach won’t be helpful. As someone who can put down 750watts for an entire minute, 1 min vo2 intervals @ 120% are a stroll, but a 10 min threshold or UO interval will make me want to jump out of a window. They are mentally very difficult for me to do. Another way to look at it is that a vo2 workout with say an intensity 85 will be fine by me, but a threshold workout with the same intensity for me will be murderous.

A better way of comparing these rides IMO would be a database based system for every workout which would indicate to the overall failure or completion rate of all the riders doing them. So for example, if you would undergo say Tunemah, in the info section of the workout it could say that x% of users did the workout to 100%, then say another x% did it to 90-95% so on and so forth. With that you would be able to pinpoint where you are in terms of finishing a workout and by extension you would know how difficult the workout more or less is.