Additional time - alternate workout, z2 before, z2 after?

I am finding that I have some additional time in the morning that I can extended my workouts with. Following a Low Volume plan I am able to extend one (sometimes both) of the 2x 60 minute workouts up to 90 minutes. I am unsure how best to make use of the time and figure I really have three choices:

1 - pick a 90 minute alternate
2 - add z2 before hand
3 - add z2 after the intervals

I do add an additional 60 minute z2 ride to make 4 rides a week. And then I am currently strength training twice a week.

Wondering what the TR brain trust has to say about adding time?

If it was me, I’d pick the alternate. If you find it’s too much and you’re struggling to complete the longer version and/or recover from it, I’d do the original workout and use Extend Cooldown to add Z2.

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I do this frequently. My older body needs about 15 minutes to warm up before that first 85+% interval so I’ll add time to the 50% so I can step up my power to 75%. I then add Z2 at the end. See below for an example.

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Now that light during non-work hours is at a premium I have thought about this as well (but a slightly different scenario). Getting home from work I could ride outside til dark then finish up with the final bit on the trainer. Or if riding in the morning start on the trainer then go hit the trails.

I prefer the “negative split” type of feel where you get faster and increase effort at the end. Though I could also see benefit in a “hard start” and teaching the body to ride tired and clear lactate. I am interested in what the science says and personal experiences on what is best as well.

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If you want quality Z2, do it first. If you want cool down do it after. ISM recommends both. It takes some time for your system to settle down to profit from Z2 work, off hand I think its about 20 min. ISM stated in a podcast that they found with

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This has been my initial thought. I just wasn’t sure if there was a reason to prioritize z2 over the additional intervals and time in zone the alternates give.

I’m generally ok with the first intervals so it’s not a must to extend the warm up. And I’ve also done the additional z2 at the end before. At this point I’m trying to make the most of my time. I couldn’t find another discussion on alternates vs z2 time with additional time.

I realistically have the “time” to do a MV plan and have toyed with the idea of going strict MV instead of the LV+ that I’ve done. But I do my rides M-F and not sure I’d be able to handle the 4 days of intensity without a break in the week and for family life M-F is best.

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I’m generally ok with the first intervals so it’s not a must to extend the warm up. And I’ve also done the additional z2 at the end before. At this point I’m trying to make the most of my time.
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If you are trying to get the most of your time you answered your own question… choose the 90 min workout.

However an extended warm-up is as much for the later intervals as the early ones. The harder you work early on due to not being warmed up enough can result in the last few hurting a whole lot more than they should.

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Posted without completing. ISM Stated in a podcast that 20 min of Z2 on the trainer after a stage lead to greater muscle recovery, and that the massage therapists on the team immediately noted a difference in the riders muscles later in the day.

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Since you also do strength training, I‘d be careful with intensity on the bike and go with additional z2 (at morning in the beginning).

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Additional Z2 at the start to get that benefit but not committing to more intensity in an alternative workout.

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