Building endurance with no long rides!

Hi ladies and gents, first time poster, currently in short power build low volume!

So, basically I’ve no option of long rides for the near future between other family/work commitments, but I need to work on endurance and building an aerobic base

In terms of goals, I’d like to start some circuit/crit races in the spring, possibly track cycling too. I’m a larger guy, 183cm 100kg with a peak sprint power over 21w/kg but ftp is 2.9w/kg. I can kick, but sustaining power isn’t my thing. Currently training approx 6-8hours a week + 2-3hours running as I have a half marathon coming up

For endurance, would adding 60mins of z2 at the end of 1-2 regular weekly workouts be a viable alternative? Would it be a case of adding the extra time whilst fatigued at the end of intervals eliciting a higher response that at any other time? Am I looking at things wrong? Il be switching back to sweet spot base once this build phase is up.

TIA for any insight!

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“Long” z2 rides are beneficial because as type 1 muscles fibers fatigue type 2 are recruited. In general the more fatigue the more recruitment. So…yes doing z2 after the main workout makes sense and is what I would do if I couldn’t do long rides outside.

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Cheers, it’s all I can think of at the mo, between kids/work/farm etc. I’ve been adding some Taku-1 here and there but the logic of and hour intervals > Z2 > 20min bike commute > 20min run seems logical to get most bases covered

I have similar problem, I attacked this problem by doing two a days, early morning is intervals, afternoon/evening is Z2 endurance and I stack that with low cadence work.

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This will be an unpopular comment, but if you can maintain that training schedule and drop 20-25kg your endurance will be off the charts (by comparison of keeping the same weight and having more training volume at your disposal). Just my $.02…


if you want to sustain your power, I think you are on a wrong plan.

You need to sign up for Sustained Power Build plan followed by Century Plan which can help you too keep your power out put for longer times.

just to give you an idea, you need workouts such as

Good luck

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@a59a2e9a2645dbb Honestly, I totally get it, but I’m not sure 75-80kg is viable for me. I’m an ex strongman/power lifter and unless I lose a lot of muscle I only have 10kg left to lose (I’m 13% body fat at the moment when I had Vo2 and body comp testing) as I’ve dropped from 125kg bodyweight. The aim is 90kg before spring, but I’m pretty “stuck” relying on output

@Thebigred, good point I think I’ve been looking at this arse backwards and forgetting that the target is 6 months away! Il continue with short power for a couple of weeks ( the rest week coincides with me half marathon) then re assess. Would you go for sustained power build or drop back to sweet spot base?

IMHO, Finish this plan than take a week or two off. Then start with Sustained Power Build HV and continue with Century HV. Try to substitute one long indoor with fast outdoor group ride. You will be fine.

I was 115kg once upon a time, and was exactly in your position. I lost quite a lot weight - around 30kg.

You can do it, just free your mind, your legs will follow!

I think the jump from Short Power low volume to Sustained Power high volume would be absolutely brutal. 6 months is 26 weeks, and it only takes 28 to do a full Base Build Speciality cycle, so I’d go back to SSB. If you have the time (and can recover properly given endurance isn’t your strong suit), moving to mid volume in that will really push your endurance. Also, make sure you have enough cooling - bigger people need more than smaller people.
Good luck…


Ye, I’d prefer to stick to low volume, unless it’s viable to double day most of the workouts. Even though I can get 6-8 hours a week (sometimes upto 10) it’s really sporadic, just taking opportunities here and there. In my mind doing low volume + more was a bette routcome than missing half of a high volume plan

6 months out why would you be advising build plans right now? If endurance is the name of the game sweet spot base is the best bang for your buck, especially this far out. All you are doing by building on a shaky foundation is putting bandaids on the flesh wound. Address the base properly, it will grow endurance, so that when he actually goes and does a build plan the gains are even larger.


I may have understood wrong but I thought he wants to sustain his power.

Sustain power still relies on the aerobic capacity engine being strong, otherwise you’re just going anaerobic and that can only be sustained for so long. Hence foster and grow that aerobic capacity foundation, then build upon it.

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@RONDAL basically yes. This is what I’d like to achieve, it’s just knowing how to get there! Aerobically, my sustained power test (20min with lactate) came back at 242w keeping below 150bpm for the 20mins. Lactate came back at 4.7, so that was deemed my “tolerance”. I’d like to bump that higher to allow me to recover easier between efforts and how have to push as hard (relatively).

Stay low volume. You can always add workouts … like a Z2 ride. But once you start skipping workouts, there is a whole negative down spin w that.

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I disagree. Get as big a base as possible and then add Sus Power Build. Straight into build would be a recipe for disaster without a decent aerobic base, a quick fix sticky plastic approach IMO. Those sticky plasters would soon fall of after a few races / mid season at best as the fitness will not be built on solid foundations.

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Totally agree 100%+, just commented below before reading this.

Ok, cheers all, I shall revisit sweetspot base once this phase is over and keep adding some z2 after my current workouts

If you can’t do long rides then simple answer is get in as much volume as you can through multiple short rides! It’s not ideal, but it is what it is and you can still get some great results. I did an 81 mile sportive a few years ago (Etape Caledonia), our first child was 1 year old at the time so my training was made up almost entirely of commuting to work. One solitary 45 mile ride in the previous 12 months, next longest was about 25, and then a whole bunch of 15-16 mile commutes. But had managed to do enough of them to clock up ~4000 miles annual volume, and I hit some of those commutes pretty hard.

Went into the event with no real expectations other than enjoying my first race (sort of) in over a year. Assumed I’d blow up at some point but figured I’d get in the fastest group I could and see how long I could hang on. Ended up surprising myself with a respectable time comfortably under 4 hours and not just hanging on the back of a group but doing more than my fair share of work pulling it along. Hit a bit of a wall in the last few miles but that was more down to not fuelling enough than lack of endurance.