Alan Couzens - 1/hr rides are not enough to improve unless coming off the couch

Alan seemingly disagreeing with TrainerRoads approach to getting faster.


TR asked a question and he answered. I don’t see any disagreement.


I’ve often wondered if there is any performance benefit to the wed 60 minute endurance ride other than burning some calories. If anyone knowledgeable has an answer I’d love to hear it and the why behind it.

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The title is a misrepresentation of the question asked and the answer provided in a very big way


After further analysis the following equation has been confirmed: 60 min > 0 min.


Click baited

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Here’s a good take on the subject:


I’ve seen a few of his recent takes and generally disagreed with most of them…


At first I thought it was referring to 1-hour Z2 rides but it just says workouts. I got really strong on 1-hour workouts. But I also did long rides.

If we really want to get technical, the question asks “are 60-min workouts ALL you need to get faster?” Meaning nothing longer than 60 minutes. And I’d say for many people and probably most of the users here, the answer is no. So I agree with him. I’m not saying you can’t do it. But it probably isn’t the most effective way to train. Rides longer than an hour are super beneficial. I guess for crits or CX races less than an hour maybe. But I don’t think I’d want to do any longer races with only doing 60-min workouts.

Well even TR has workouts longer than 60 minutes on every single plan so…


Yep. He said 60 minute workouts are not ALL you need. I don’t know how anyone could disagree with that.


It seems Alan does not like TrainerRoad :

I generally can’t stand Couzens, but his initial comment is not incorrect. Greg Bennett just interviewed the humango creator this week on his podcast and he noted very similar in that AI only knows what you feed it. So, for Alan to say it’s limited to the creator’s knowledge seems reasonable and appropriate to me. Based on his thumbs down, it appears he’s opining on the TR folks knowledge.

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“Don’t play well with others” is all you need to know, it seems….

Another crotchety old guy that thinks his way is the only way to train. :roll_eyes:


I totally understand why people don’t like him, but his constant drum beating of the “you should do way more easy stuff” was a real eye opener for me and has completely changed my training from something I regularly dreaded and burnt out on to something I love again as an aging athlete. My CTL is the highest it’s been in years, and yet my training is the simplest it’s been in years, in large part thanks to him.


Same, however it wasn’t because of him. I now use TR workouts, loosely PL and FTPd along with my own simple training plan. It’s been pretty recent for me though, below is the last day I used TR plans (never again) and moved to my own programming (today)


He’s kind of an a-hole. He uses Twitter as marketing. He’s blocked top coaches who tried to debate with him. His Twitter feed is more of a one-way message. He’s often selling something as well. My guess is that he may make more than other coaches as the marketing will work for the target population.

And I believe the target population is triathletes. They usually train too hard and need to slow down for much of their training so I gather that his message is spot on. And if you are doing tris, then an hour a day isn’t going to cut it.


On the subject, I mostly ride an hour per day. Often, under an hour per day. I’ve reached 95% of my previous high FTP on half the training load this year. That previous high FTP came with doing a lot of 2 hour and 3 hour rides.

So one has to decide how much time they want to put into the sport. Sure you can only get so good on low volume, but it takes a lot more time to get that extra 5% and then a lot more time on top of that to get another 5%. Low volume, consistency, and a good training plan can get you pretty far.

Personally, I don’t even want to ride 15-20 hours per week even with unlimited free time. I have other stuff to do!

Edit: I was also going to say that I’ve learned to take my endurance intensity down a notch. I used to often ride endurance at 68-70% of FTP. It’s easy enough but I noticed that I don’t recover quick enough from previous interval workouts. It’s like the fatigue would just stay and only dissipate ever so slowly.

Now when I want to ride endurance and recover from previous workouts, I do the easy rides at 55-60% of FTP. Yes, it feels ridiculously easy but adaptations between endurance at 55% vs 65% are going to be essentially the same. And at the lower endurance intensity, I recover quick enough for the next hard workout. HR wise, this is like 120bpm vs 110bpm for me. WKO5 says I’m still within my endurance zone, just towards the lower end.

I imagine this is what Couzens and Seiler are getting at. People riding around constantly at 75-80%. It feels good and it’s reasonable fast but you end up always tired and stop progressing.


Agree, he has specifically responded to a Q on TR, but from looking at all of the app options that “adapt” via ai, they all have similar limitations based on the workout/training themes the builders prefer. They’re all still sort of if this, then that.


What was your main impetus for change? You have been a big advocate for the High Volume plans until relatively recently with (what I saw?) good success.


Yes 1h better than none, but there is also quite universal consensus that volume is driver of adaptations - like it or not not and you cannot increase volume and intensity in the same amount so doing more, easy rides is the only way to not burning out in a long term.

The other question is where is the point of “good enough” and “cannot do more”. I know that for me it’s around 10-11h and only when life is calm and good (covid time was amazing for my training, my riding is 98% indoors). For other person it would be 15-20h for third 5-6h. It all depends and the results will vary.

Can you be fast doing only 1h rides? Probably. Will you be better doing only 2h workouts (and doubling the volume) - yes. Not necessarily with your FTP but your endurance will be better and recovery after hard efforts.

Afger doing tone of fun analysis and correlations for my training I see only one relation - increased volume leads to better results. And in WKO their TiS chart (aerobic especially) is the best way (for me).

So do as much as you can - if it’s 1h, do 1h. Does TR has some magic formula? Definitely not. Can it help you to become faster - yes, to the certain point till you hit plateu that is probably caused by your time limit and volume. Then you try all the tactics and discover that simplistic approach works the best.