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

FWIW, i mod all of the workouts to have a 15 min warmup and increase the recovery intervals to 65-70% if they are longer than 2 minutes. It’s something my very first set of training plans did and i carried it over to TR. You can checkout my calendar to see examples.

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This is actually really smart and I may steal this.

I’m about to start SSB 1 mid-volume after Thanksgiving. I see Hunter in SSB 2 mid-volume which will follow the SSB 1 mid-volume plan. Looking at its position within that training plan, it is the first introduction to 2 hour sweet spot workouts, which probably explains those long recovery intervals. Those long recoveries may not be necessary for those with more experience, and those with more experience are probably more likely to substitute such workouts for something more appropriate for their experience level. However, TR has to consider the new athlete (who may be less likely to substitute workouts) when putting these plans together. From that perspective, the long recoveries make sense.