Adding endurance work with adaptive training

I have been thinking about adding 30 minutes of zones 2 to the end of my 90 minute ride on the weekend. Not sure the best way to do this so looking for advice. My concern is that adding 30 minutes to the end of a ride might yield different adaptations possibly from just picking a 30 minute endurance ride to do when I finish my 90 minute ride. Is AT “smart enough” to recognize that a 30 minute endurance ride done immediately following a 90 minute ride with more intensity is different than doing 30 minutes of zone 2 by itself?
Hope this is clear.

No, AT really doesn’t look at additional volume. Do extra endurance whatever way you want, it has zero impact on adaptations


Adding a 30-minute Z2 workout after another workout a great idea and one of the best ways to modify a bog-standard TR plan. Does this yield different adaptations? Yes, but in all the good ways. Just make sure to not overdo it by adding too much stress, though.

These rides will effectively not count towards your endurance PL, because short endurance rides have very low progression levels (1.8–2.3, I think). That’ll most likely be lower than your endurance PL, so you won’t see any gains in endurance progression levels. But. You will see improvements in your fitness, which will likely raise all your other progression levels.

So overall, I have done what you propose for the third season now, and have seen great results. Another piece of advice: keep the extra Z2 workouts as extra credit. This way you don’t feel bad if you don’t have time/energy/whatever to do them one day.


Thanks for the advice. So no difference at all then to AT if I extend a 90 minute ride by 30 or do a separate 30 minute zone 2 after the original ride is done?

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Is an additional “2nd workout” after your prescribed workout get factored into adaptive training? It seems to recognize workouts I’ve snuck in. I understand that simply extending the cooldown doesn’t get factored it.


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There could be a slight difference between the two options if you rate the combined workout higher (more towards the all out side) than you would have rated it without the extra endurance. Since today AT doesn’t give you credit for exceeding the prescribed workout, exceeding the workout and therefore rating it harder than you would have for not exceeding it can actually be a negative

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Thanks for the insight into how AT may handle these two scenarios.

It does, but AFAIK it will not raise your endurance PL. I think it is a limitation of AT v1.0. But it’ll raise your fitness and it might raise your other PLs indirectly, because e. g. you recover faster after an interval.

Depends what they mean there - if you exit the workout and pick a new 30 min Z2 workout then it will factor into your endurance PL, although as noted above it probably won’t make any difference as the 30 min endurance ones are all low rated.

If you just add 30 mins onto the back of a workout without exiting the workout then it’ll have no effect at all unless it leads you to change your workout response from what it would have been based on the extra volume (I would suggest not to change your response though, because AT won’t see the extra 30 mins you’ve tacked on and will just see the harder than expected workout response).

Thanks. That’s exactly the impression I got from the other responses in this thread.

OK that all makes sense but isn’t adaptive training more than just pushing up your progression levels? I mean…out of all of the things that adaptive training can track, I’d think overall volume is one of the very most important. So even if your progression levels don’t increase, adaptive training has more info about the volume you have been doing and might be able to glean some insight on your individual physiology over time. Or maybe not, all I know about AI is skynet.


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Lots of great commentary in here.

There is a lot of stuff that is important that AT doesnt keep track of. Pretty much all of it has an implicit impact, because what AT is most about is identifying an evolving comprehensive fitness profile, but much of it is not explicitly input.

There is definite room for improvement (endurance PL is basically useless for most right now), but it’s best to start as simple as possible and build up to what is needed.

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I was going to respond and write something like that. But you did a much better job and put it much more succinctly and eloquently than I would have. :+1:

I’ve been wondering this too. Does proximity of workouts matter at all, or it only cares that you’ve done the specific individual workouts and marked them a certain way.

Ex. If I do two 7.0 sweet spot workouts only 12-16hrs apart, and rate them both moderate, and then do petit the next day and rate it easy…do I get more ‘credit’ towards my future PL/adaptations as compared to doing a SS 7.0 workout, petit the next day, and a SS 7.0 the following day (rated the same way). It’s 3 workouts in 3 days either way, but one is way harder than the other.

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As of now, best intuition on AT that it doesn’t have the ability to analyze workout combinations, and is limited to analyzing a workout on a standalone basis.

For example: today, AT couldn’t look at the fact you’ve “failed” three straight workouts and change the week you are in from an active to a recovery week. It would only see that you are supposed to do a sweet spot workout, and would recommend an easier sweet spot workout - it wouldn’t even change the sweet spot to a recovery ride.


I don’t think that extra load directly affects your training plan under AT in its current form. However, there would be some second order effects, if doing extra load results in you finding your plan workouts harder and therefore ranking them as more difficult than they might have been. 30 minutes of endurance on its own is not likely to do that - but you can see how that might happen if you did a lot of extra load.

One area where it definitely will make a difference is TrainNow’s recommendations, which are partly based on load.

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