Adding an extra 30 minutes

I tend to ride outside rain or shine on a Saturday for about two hours. This winter I have decided do the Trainerroad workout.

Plan Builder has made all of my Saturday rides 90 minutes. Where there is a two hour version I have swapped that in. Some are only 90 minutes. What would be the best way to add 30 minutes?

Should I just extend the cool down, but up the target and do some sweet spot?

Adding 30 minutes of Sweet Spot at the end of a workout makes it a completely different one and you may not even be able to do it.

TR recommends to add Z2 (65/70% of FTP) at the end if you want to increase volume, try that first and then you could experiment with higher intensities or longer cooldowns at Z2,


That’s exactly what I do, extend the cooldown and up the intensity to whatever watt’s I need. For eample I added 15mins of endurance at the end of todays ride.


I’m also experimenting with tagging on 15 mins of Z2. Sweetspot would be far too taxing, especially 30 minutes of it. Some 1 hour workouts barely have 30 mins of sweetspot.

This was discussed on a recent-ish Podcast.

I seem to remember Coach Chad saying that adding additional work (Z2) didn’t always ‘play nicely’ after certain types of workouts. I’ll try and find the Podcast but I’m almost 100% certain this was discussed.

I find this works quite well. It’s quite easy to add an extra 40-50 TSS per week.

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I also add 15 - 30 min worth of Z2 (65 - 70% FTP) to most of my TR mid volume sessions. Like what Chad suggested in his podcast a while ago.

Have been doing this for the last 1.5 years. I used the TR workout creator program to create these. For example:


Have a look at my profile, I think I have done what you have in mind: I started with mid-volume and created a training plan between mid- and high-volume. I have done that by adding zone 2 workouts (e. g. Taku or West Vidette -1), and replaced some of the workouts by +1 variants. I can definitely feel the difference compared to mid-volume. Even Z2 workouts after a sweetspot workout aren’t as mentally easy anymore — which is exactly what the doctor ordered (in my case, I want to build some more toughness).

Extending the cool down is not appealing to me, it feels too easy. So I might create a custom 15-minute zone 2 workout, which cuts the warm up and goes straight into 60-70 % of FTP.

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An extended cool down and a separate workout at 60/70% of FTP are the same thing, why would the cool down feel too easy? Personally, I think the cool down it’s more convenient so I have everything in a single ride.

Yeah, I just add 15 mins to the cool down and increase the intensity to Z2 power


I guess it amounts to the same thing, 15mins of extra riding.

Personally I find the beneifts of extending cooldown is;

  • I can add as much time as I have (longer if I get up earlier :smile:)
  • I can adjust “on the fly” depending on how I feel
  • For Vo2max or threshold I don’t warm down, just straight into Z2 with no break (mentally harder). see above today’s example.

For me the cool down usually selects 100~120 W, which is about 33 % of my FTP. That’s about half of what a Z2 workout is for me. (Of course, I could ignore the power recommendation and do my own thing, but that’d feel wrong. :slight_smile: )

You can increase the intensity as much as you want as soon as the cool down starts.

Great feedback. Thank you. Zone 2 seems the way to go.

I have a dumb trainer, so I can change the intensity to anything I’d like. :slight_smile:

But I prefer a little structure to break the monotony.

Zone 2 probably right.

The other way to think about it is, what are you trying to achieve, because each training should have a purpose.

So if you think of it that way, you’d rarely be ever wanting to do above z1 or z2 post workout. Like for example if you finish a bunch of hard intervals, either you went hard enough and got the stimulus you wanted, or you didn’t. If the former, why do anything harder than “easy”? You hit it hard, got sufficient benefit, just be done. Every once in a while you might want to test yourself and really empty the tank, but that’s rare and I think it’s best to approach that intentionally. And if the latter—if you didn’t bury yourself deeply enough—again why do sweetspot? Better to add another interval or go harder in your intervals.

Training a variety of durations and energy systems in the same workout, I think you can do it and probably helpful sometimes as you prepare for race season, but I wouldn’t do it regularly because load and recovery time get harder to predict and manage. And the more variables you toss in, the harder it is to identify the impact of each one.

Some people will be like “oh but TSS normalizes and you can compare apples to apples,” but I don’t think that’s true. TSS and CTL are not your fitness, they are proxies for estimating it.



can always jump on the pull up bar and go all out for as many reps as possible - afterwards you’ll just want to sit the heck down :slight_smile:

Extend cooldown at 65% is what I do - most workouts since I’ve been remote and my NEAT. I tried the +1 versions - too hard for me.

I like the advice of doing zone 2. I don’t race, but I do like long rides and doing Gran Fondo’s. I treat this extra time as just time in the saddle and being used to it. I think the backside needs saddle time :slight_smile: