Do I really need the 15 minutes of zone 1 in between intervals and a super long cooldown in something like Hunter?

Can I shorten that to this:

That would probably be galena. Hunter has long breaks but it’s a nice entry point to those 20min sweet spot efforts earlier in ssb2 HV, for example, with later workouts reducing the rest between intervals

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Need… perhaps not. If you’re looking to truncate the length of the workout it’s possible to reduce the recovery intervals, however, I would question this. If you are looking to reduce duration of the workout, you might be better off looking for a shorter variant. Some of them have different recovery structure while still allowing for 60 minutes of work at sweet spot and cutting 30 minutes out of the total duration. The other thing you have to evaluate is where you are at in your plan. You will be changing the intensity factor by potentially .1 and that may or may not be aligned with your progression. You need to ask yourself if you’re looking to reduce recovery because you don’t feel like you need it or if it is due to the need to be more efficient with your time. If it’s the former, perhaps you need to evaluate whether or not your FTP is set appropriately. The recovery periods should be welcomed if your intervals are truly at the prescribed 88-92%. If it’s the latter, you may need to evaluate the structure of your plan to get the desired amount of stress in the time available. I believe plan builder would be helpful in this case. If neither of these is the case, and you are following a plan, I would recommend performing the workout as prescribed to get the maximum intended benefit of the workout.

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Kind of like asking “do I need to listen to my coach?”

You know yourself better than anyone else but usually all workouts have reasoning/purpose to them that take the bigger picture into consideration.

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Look at the IF and TSS of each and decide which one helps you achieve your goal. If you can get through it with less recovery and it doesn’t cause you to fail future workouts, it may be more beneficial to do the one with less recovery.

All the time spent throughout the week/month/year at Z2 builds the aerobic engine. It’s not wasted effort or time.

We addressed this a year ago (kind of):

Really? The 5mins here, 5mins there really contributes in a meaningful manner?

I was also wondering the use of the aerobic portion on workouts such as Baird +6, Bashfull +6 etc.

your call on reducing rest intervals…

its often possible to find workouts that accomplish the same without having to use WorkoutCreator:

I think the point is to have a two hour workout with a tss that fits the plan progression. Its for getting used to sitting on the trainer for that long.

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Just do Cumberland +1. :wink: That will cut down on the rest time for sure.

Or Eclipse. Or Galena. Or Tray Mountain.

Do you need the 15 minutes @ 40% of 75% of MAP? You’ll find out, I guess!

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Depends where you are with your training. These workouts are developing muscular endurance. Early in that process you will want more rest, as you get better you’ll need less rest which is the main principle of interval adaptation. Less rest makes for a harder workout which should therefore come later in you training block - reflected in the higher IF in your second Hunter example

Yes, training is about accumulating time in zone over the week, month, year. Shaving off minutes here and there will result in some hours per month/year of less training.

Jonathon has often talked about tacking on extra pedaling time to his workouts. If you tack on an extra 60 minutes a week of Z2 time to your workouts (could be 10 minutes per workout) then you’ll rack up an extra 50 hours of training per year. 50 hours of aerobic work is significant.

I had hunter scheduled a couple of weeks ago but I was a little time constrained that day so I looked through the workouts and chose Logan -3 (1:45 min with 3x25 @ 88%) It was only 5 less TSS but had more TiZ. I felt like I didn’t need the extra time between intervals either and it went by smoothly.

That (or another similar workout) is good if you are time crunched.

If the issue is that you think it is too easy to spin for 45 min at 40%, then you have a couple of options.

  1. Choose a shorter workout with similar intervals but shorter recoveries between. Then use the extend cooldown feature to get the same total workout time but instead you can choose to spin at say 60-70%. that way your intervals remain uninterrupted but you get more TSS, more time in the endurance zone rather than recovery, and you do more work.
  2. You can find a similar workout (e.g. Wright Peak, Tallac +4, Juneau) that is the same total time but either extends those intervals out to 25 or 30 min so that there is less recovery time or has more shorter intervals (Tallac +4 is 6x15 with 3 min rest btwn).

TL;DR Yes you can do the shortened version in your example. Though your TSS will be lower and there have been studies that show that increased pedaling time (even at low % of FTP) does have a positive effect on endurance adaptation so there may be better options to explore.

And that’s how it works physiologically? The reason I’m sceptical is how we’re told the 3hr+ ride is so important and that deviation from the lower endurance zones on that ride can impact its efficacy. The extention of this is that 30min aerobic in the evening after morning workout is valuable beyond just TSS filler. Understand the TSS / general stress point though.

I don’t know the answer - I’m not sure if it has been studied in that way. I have read a lot and listened to Stephen Seiler and he constantly talks about accumulating time in zone over the long haul. It seems to be a theme as well for Mikael Erikson (That Triathlon Show podcast). And Jonathon has been talking about this for a few months now.

My gut feeling is that if the same athlete logs 350 hours on the bike versus 300 hours he will probably be fitter/faster at the end of the year. It could be a marginal gain as well - 3% faster?

I say this because I’ve discovered that I’m a volume responder. Last year, after reading a lot of Seiler, I decided to do a traditional 12 weeks of base (10-13 hours per week). The increase in endurance was phenomenal. I bumped by FTP by 20-25 points without any sweet spot, tempo, or other intervals. On week 8 of my base period I was breaking all my Strava PRs by 10-15%.

I recently did Hunter as well. I just viewed it as a possibility to watch two episodes of the Netflix show I’m currently watching, instead of one :grin:

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Exactly this. I’m in SSBMV2, and just got off the bike having done Clark - with Hunter on the slate tomorrow, my legs will relish every second of those 15 minute valleys.

I have hunter this weekend ironically again. I will probably be doing the short version since I did that last time with no ill effects (felt plenty recovered for the actual work)

Personally, I do not skip cool down, nor shorten rest intervals. It’s during these low effort intervals that I really focus on my position, breathing, and pedal stroke. I feel that these improvements are a big part of what has given me big gains in power this year- not just with ftp increase, but more importantly to peak power, and lower decoupling in the endurance zones.

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