Any tips for this monster? [Long endurance ride inside]

AI kept offering this ride. I declined it several times but it seems intent I do the workout. So when in Rome….

Any tips to get through 4 hours on the trainer? I thought 2 hours was long enough today……

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Take breaks, and don’t be a slave to always turning the pedals. Just like outside. I’ve done 3 hours and took as many breaks as needed to get it done.


Find something to watch!


Have a coke and an espresso (or coffee) halfway through…

Nice sugar / caffeine buzz to get you to the finish.

Have some solid entertainment lined up as well…have it all sorted before you get on the bike. You don’t want to be on the trainer at 3 hours, faffing about trying to decide what to watch / listen to.

When I did my first century on the bike, I watched Avengers: Infinity War back-to-back with Avengers: Endgame. Movies flow together seamlessly and clocked in ~5 hours…just what I needed to get it done.


Old topic with some good info:

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Do something shorter instead :exploding_head:


Vogelsong is a good workout. Back in the days where I did TR workouts sometimes, it was a go-to because you get a lot of time relatively low in Z2 with some stuff that’s pretty close to “aerobic threshold” intervals. Not one I would recommend for everyone, but if you’re comfortable doing 4hrs of base endurance riding, Vogelsong is a good one to add a touch of time closer to notional LT1.

As others have said, the key to long rides on the trainer is having distractions - work, Netflix, sporting events, music/podcasts. Make sure you have plenty of nutrition. Stop when you need to stop for nature breaks. It’ll be tougher than 4 hrs outside, but also a higher quality ride. Stand up periodically. Change cadences periodically - Chad does a good job with in-ride distractions that can help the time go by.

Join a Zwift group ride and just pedal at your own pace. Having the goal of finishing whatever ride it is helps give me a carrot.

I also like to have snacks that I look forward to every 20-30 min (stroopwaffels FTW!).

I remember when a 2hr trainer ride was soul crushing for me. I now do 3hrs on the trainer pretty regularly, 4hrs isn’t a stretch indoors anymore, but it can become mind- and butt-numbing. Once you get into it, it’s really not all that bad and frankly it’s more time efficient. All things are relative.

Dive in and good luck!


Great topic! I used to dread 1.5hrs+ trainer workouts. However, in time, gradually managed to to build it up to 1.45, 2hrs and so on at current max 3hrs. Like the others said, treat it as outdoor ride. Snacks at regular intervals, change position, stand up on the bike, change hand position etc. Proper distraction is vital obviously - like others said - Z group ride, music, podcast. You’ll smash it mate I have no doubt whatsoever!

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Quality is an interesting point to bring up. My opinion is that first principles on quality for a long ride comes down to not allowing any deterioration in your pedal stroke / body position / fueling / hydration. Just ride your bike and go long.


Over last 6 weekends, Sat/Sun I have gone 2:45+3:45 → 4:00+4:30, this weekend comes 4:30+4:45 :slight_smile:

Beside all the other stuff mentioned in topic @mcneese.chad linked, biggest improvement for me have been clip-on aerobars (10cm raisers, 35˚ angle). It gives you one additional position that relieves most serious hot-spot (for me at least). No more saddle sores since then, can do back-to-back long days with no issues.


Yeah, I don’t worry about the power levels and fluctuations like I did five years ago. Just that riding inside on the trainer you can be more consistent with pedaling (generally) than a lot of outdoor rides. Where you are, I see most of your rides look great. Around here, it takes some time to get to places where you can pedal for an hour straight, let alone four!

You bring up the deterioration in pedal stroke, position, fueling, and hydration and all of those things are tied to maintaining a low enough power. As I’ve learned trying to raise my volume up by almost 50% this year, quality is a lot less about maintaining a certain power level, but instead managing fatigue (which is exactly what you’re talking about). Thus, ride a lower power for longer time.

This is why I don’t use TR workouts any longer, because in my opinion going out for a ride like Vogelsong with a specified power level for four hours isn’t optimal. What if that day 60% or 65% or 70% of FTP feels hard? You should back off. I give my athletes a range of 10% to ride within, or if by HR about 15bpm or so to stay in. And most of the time for their longest rides, that range will be anywhere from 50-65% of FTP. Once they’re comfortable with that and starting to run into time limitations, that’s where I’ll build power up a little bit closer to a notional LT1 (say around 70% of FTP for some of them).

Ride to feel such that fatigue doesn’t cause things to break down near the end of the ride. What a difference that has made in getting my intervals right while still carrying 13-15hrs/week of volume.

Basically exactly what you’re saying here. :slight_smile:


Exactly :+1:

This is a great point…for me, my most comfortable bike is my TT bike, A few years ago I did TBHV when it was all Z2 work and more hours. I made it a point to use my TT bike for that since I knew I could stay in my aerobars for hours with no issues.

(Note - if you are going to do this, it helps to raise your front wheel)


Thank you all for your input, it’s not pretty, one power drop out and later my towel hit the phone screen and stopped the ride but the main goal of spending time in the zone and completing the ride was completed.

Next step is getting my gear sorted for the type of rides in the future.


Phew. Well done!
I could NEVER do four hours on the trainer. Well, never again I should say, as I believe I clocked in about 4:00 on Zwift 18 months ago or something.

The boredom is quite palpable, but in my case the most powerful hinder to those long indoor rides is saddle soreness. I don’t get it outside, but on the trainer it’s awful.

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Once equipment is dialed in (indoor-specific bike fit, cooling, fueling, entertainment), it is not too bad. Simply start small and stretch weekends long workouts in 15min increments each week. Soon enough, Gibbs becomes your new Pettit :slight_smile:

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Strade Bianche or something similar on the screen in front and I’ll happily ride for hours without stopping.


This is exactly how I progressed from 2 - 4 hr trainer rides a few years ago. Now? Most of my trainer rides are 3 hours, recovery rides I’ll do an hour, I’ll go 4+ on endurance stuff, but I’m on there 2-3+hrs a few times a week doing interval sets + endurance time.

I actually am writing up a blog on how to make indoor riding more comfortable (not less boring). Quick and dirty from free to expensive:

Wear your best bibs
Raise your front wheel a few inches
Trainer mat
Cooling (!!!)
Rocker plate
Rollers ??? - they’re not for me, but some people still swear by them for the closest to outside riding. I prefer my direct drive smart trainer on the rocker plate, largely because I also do work while on the trainer.


Over this winter season I’ve done 6hrs total over the weekend, I just mess with the distribution over the two days, so I’ll do 3/3, 3.5/2.5, and finally 4/2. I have done back to back 4hr days inside but the bigger challenge is family, so my current method seems to be the best compromise to getting in longer rides every few weeks. It’s just a matter of having the right environment and gradually working your way up in time.