Can you add too much endurance work?

Currently doing Sustained Power Mid-Volume. My A event is in October and will be somewhere in the 16-20 hour range. I am extending the Thursday workout with an extra 15 minutes of riding at 65-70%. I am adding an endurance(Pettit, Bald Knob, Beech, etc.) ride to Fridays. Lastly, I am extending my Saturday workout with additional time at 65-70% to stretch the workout to 2hrs.

I am curious, is this beneficial or is it diluting the signaling I am sending my body and costing me gains? Would I be better off to split the intervals from the endurance work by doing a morning endurance ride, then intervals in the afternoon?

Don’t know scientific reasoning behind it but it should be beneficial. If you look SusPBHV plan, most of high intensity workouts there have added Z2 time after intervals.

The question, and answer, has to take into account the fatigue, recovery, rest and nutrition.

Then, is the work already enough to get the adaptations you need? If not, then, is the additional work adding the desired benefit?

There is an implied assumption that you need to do a lot of work to get better, you may in fact find MV alone or even LV provides optimal stimulus.


From what you are describing, you’re doing just fine. I believe Nate was doing this for a while.

You can certainly add Z2 to your rides.

Z2 really is the best way to add volume if you can’t step up from a medium volume to a high volume plan consistently. I personally add in some long Z2 rides to my training plan when I have the time. I feel like it helps in the long run. I like to put a really big ride near the end of training blocks when I will have a recovery week following it.

In my opinion you can add Z2 work in judiciously into your training cycle with a lower risk of over fatiguing than the other zones.

It isn’t providing a negative impact in regards to fatigue, recover, or nutrition.

I could handle the HV plans most likely but I Like to have the room to add long rides on the weekends if the weather is good, which I don’t think I would be able to do if I was doing the HV plan. I was just concerned if adding 15-45 minutes of Z2 was sending mixed signals and disrupting potential adaptations.

If anything, I’d think you’re not adding nearly enough endurance work.

What kind of event is this? Solo or relay?

Fatigue from the saddle time is going to be a huge limiting factor, IMO. I’d want a few 8-10 hour endurance rides under my belt to prepare for something like this.

And it could be, but for perhaps reasons not expected. More is not always better was my main point.

However, very generally speaking, I would say that more easy effort, aerobic exercise is almost always beneficial.

I am making sure to add a number of 6-10 hour rides between now and October, It’s the only way to test/prove my fueling strategy will work, IMO.

I seem to remember the TR Team discussing this in a recent Podcast. Think it was three episodes back.

Coach Chad did say that additional endurance doesn’t benefit or play nicely after certain types of workout. Might be beneficial to hunt this info down.

That said, we’re doing the same plan with personal tweaks here and there. It sounds like we’re both aiming for a similar goal too :+1:

We’re you able to find this info? I’m interested in how much endurance z2 is best. I currently doing SSLV and I line the work outs mon, tues,wed and then the rest of the week is open for outdoor rides and or endurance rides on the trainer. Seeing it’s winter most of the time is spend on the trainer. So Thursday Friday Saturday are 1-2.5 hrs each day for endurance with Sunday and maybe Saturday being a rest day

Mix in a bit of Z1 or low Z2 on recovery days but you probably can’t do enough endurance riding. This is why pros ride 20-30 hours per week. Some people respond favorably to volume - the more the better.

For us amateurs, it’s do the one or two intervals days and then add in as much endurance work as one has time for. But if we have more time, we usually don’t do more intervals.

Honestly, I completely forgot to look. As @AJS914 said, I think you’d have to go-some to add too much endurance.

I do need to find and reference that Podcast though. Coach Chad did, to my mind, raise a couple of interesting points and I don’t want to misquote him.

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So, I’ve managed to find the Podcast snippet that I was thinking of. Listening back to it, I might have got the wrong end of the stick…

Here it is 51:44 Why training all your energy systems in one workout is not efficient training

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It won’t downregulate the training stimulus of aerobic training at all (maybe slightly if you are doing something anaerobic/Z6-7), but even then you’d need to do a fair amount of it). It will only make you fitter.

More of the issue is recovery. It will add some additional fatigue, so you have to ask yourself if it is affecting the quality of your next interval workout. If not then keen it up!

I wouldn’t split the ride up if you can complete it in one go comfortably. That being said if it suits your schedule to break up the day like that you will still benefit for an additional hour of Z2 in a separate workout. Splitting days like that are useful if you are doing a lot of intensity (so you can get some recovery and refuelling in between), or else you have work or something in the day which stops you from riding 3-5 hours in one go (how rude!).

I’d also mention Z2 is a range. You get much better bang for your buck (stress:aerobic gain) at the lower end of the zone. So maybe ride 55-60% and see how that feels?


I have read both sides of the argument and I really don’t know if this is true.
Very strong guys like @brendanhousler argue otherwise, I also read Coggan arguing for steady rides 75% of FTP is not so high since when defining the zones he was conservative.
Finally if you check the “Pro/Elite training”, “ISM training model” and “Dr. Ferrari training model” threads all started by @sryke you can see strong arguments for a high endurance/low tempo pace (75-80% of FTP - maybe? Exact definitions are always debatable)

Yes I am familiar with this line of thought. However if tacking additional work on to interval workouts I think additional high zone 2 work could quickly overcook someone.

There’s a reason most world tour pros don’t ride at 300w for 5 hours regularly. The torque and energy requirements would be enormous.

Muscle fiber typology could also be relevant. More fast twitch/sprinter types may want to polarise their training to preserve those fast twitch muscles from being converted into slow twitch (their recruitment changes quite a lot at a high 2/tempo pace compared to steady z1/2). Also a more slow twitch dominant athlete may be better suited to higher workload in this area and do more work there without overreaching.

Also it is worth noting that you should increase calorie intake (mainly carbohydrate) to match any additional training you are doing


Thanks, I have been training with TR for about 2 years or more been through all the steps. I recently come to realize that my base fitness is not where it should be. At lease to my opinion. As well as moving from the flats of Florida to the mountains of North Carolina, it’s been a shocker to how poorly I climb and get exhausted to a 20 mile ride with 3k of climbing… which here is nothing. currently I’m a stay at home dad with kids doing virtual school all week so I have the time to rack up 10+ hours of training a week. So I’ve been hitting the three interval training sessions Monday Tuesday Wednesday and then filling the rest of the week up with endurance rides of an 1: 30 minutes or more with one or two rest days. I was just wondering while doing sweet spot intervals throwing in a lot of endurance work how that would affect adaptations from the SSLV plan and what’s the limit…

I don’t know anything about you, but generally, it depends on the power output relative to your power profile. One can ride that at an endurance pace, maintaining IF at 0.7 or so, and not be tired, or one can press hard and push IF up to 0.9+ and be completely exhausted. In other words, manage your watts and your surges/attacks.

You also probably need to rethink your gearing relative to Florida and having usable gears. Ex: unless your FTP is 400W, a standard crank with 11-23 probably won’t cut it in N Carolina.

LV would be perfectly fine to do additional Z2 work. The limit is about managing fatigue and being fresh enough to not impact your intervals. I would look at your historical volume, TSS, CTL, etc. and slowly start to increase volume. Your body needs to adapt to the work. 2 additional days may be just fine, but it may also be too much (for now). One can’t really say without looking at your historical data.

Take a look at LV plans and compare to MV. If you take the workout days as T, Th, Sa, and MV adds W and Su. You can add in the time there, but also ramp up volume, on W. 1.5hr may be a bit much. Maybe start with 30min and increase from there every week. You don’t want to do so much such that Th is impacted. Su, you can add a longer Z2 ride as you have M as a day off to bring fatigue down. That doesn’t mean make it a 6hr ride, but start at maybe 2hr and go from there.

Ex: Nate of TR had real problems trying to do SSB HV + additional endurance work. He was fine for a bit (IIRC a few weeks or more), and then fell off the horse with too much fatigue and needed recovery time.

Overdoing it is a real issue for many, in general, and you see this a lot on various cycling groups.


More is not necessarily better :+1:

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yes sir, I am a big fan of 75%, that extra strain adds some muscular endurance (or something!) that is so valuable in long rides. I know I’m doing it right (for me at least) when endurance starts to sting a tad at 2.5h. Goes away a bit, sometimes it doesn’t.

And sometimes I can’t hit 75%, and its 70%, and i’m okay with that. The higher someone’s FTP, obviously the bigger that window gets, and every % point means much more.

The fatigue goes away and doesn’t seem to hamper any other workouts IMO. also, the added KJ’s is something I heavily believe in, a great way to increase workload if someone is only riding at 60-65%

have a great day Eduardo!