Adding Endurance work to end of workout

The classic Harm and Hickson study:

https://www.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/jappl.1983.54.3.798

The bottom line is that my first coach (who said some old-school Dutch dumb stuff, and some time-proven smart stuff…the hard part was filtering out the first to get the second) used to say “the more contractions, the more reactions,” and in the case of adding volume, he was right.

Doing the extra endurance harder – say 70% rather than 60% – after you’re done with the intervals is not going to enhance the endurance adaptations – it’s just going to increase fatigue. Add endurance, but no need to clobber yourself in doing it.

  • Do the zone 5 intervals or higher on fresh legs, and do the endurance “fill” after.
  • Some some sweet spot or threshold intervals on fresh legs, but also do some in the 2nd half/last hour of the workout for the “tired 20” benefits discussed above.

Doing the zone 2 harder drives up CTL, but remember that CTL is just a metric for training load, not for fitness. For zone 2 watts, more time at the lower % of FTP will be of more long-term benefit than less time at a higher %.

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Similar adaptations but more fatiguing.

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Doesn’t the second line here contradict the first line? Or am I reading it wrong?

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That’s what I thought too!

Nice topic.
I’ll follow it closely, since I’m planning to add 30’ of endurance work after all my 60min workouts during my IM prep. My fear is just add too much stress and don’t gain anything back.
So, let’s see

I agree. The statements don’t seem to line up. @RobertK, can you clarify?

See above edit. That’s what I get for speed posting, trying to beat the first period bell.

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I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. I try to add ~30 min of endurance work after interval/vo2max sessions, and the difference over the following 48 hours between doing it at 60% and 70% is massive. I usually follow a vo2max workout with sweet spot intervals the following day and at 60-65% I hardly notice the extra stress, but 70-75% forces me to convert the next day’s ss workout to a recovery ride or scrap it entirely.

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