Does MED vary with different workouts?

Background: Yesterday, I completed Tallac + 2, which is 4 x 15 minutes at 88-94% FTP, with 6-minute recoveries between intervals.
Today, I completed Monitor + 4, which is 10x6-minute intervals (or rather 5 sets of 2x6 minute intervals) at 88-94% FTP and 1-minute recoveries separate the intervals and 2-minute recoveries between sets of intervals.

Even though both workouts include doing Sweet Spot work at 88-94% FTP and total in 60 mins of work at this intensity, I completed Monitor feeling much better than Tallac. I was struggling quite a bit after Tallac actually, and I was feeling ok and ready for more after Monitor.

Question: with described feelings, does Monitor (or more shorter intervals in general) yield the same benefits for me as Tallac (less longer intervals), since the total workload is the same, or should I work on longer intervals?
So is the MED (minimum effective dose) of shorter intervals different than the MED of longers intervals and should I concentrate on longer intervals or doing more than 10 shorter ones?

There are benefits to be gained from doing longer SS intervals like improving TTE. Really, the shorter intervals are typically there to allow us to progress to the long versions eventually anyway.

MED is a pretty abstract concept, you’d have to be a very analytical rider to discover what your MED for a single given workout.


This is the “not all TSS is equal” factor, not MED. If you are building muscular endurance, then longer intervals are the way to go. 4x10 @ FTP is a stepping stone to 2x20 @ FTP for example


And can change from day to day, week to week, and block to block. 5x3 VO2 might be enough early in a build but you might need 6x4 heading into your A race. After some time off 3 hour endurance rides might improve your aerobic capabilities but at the end of base it might take 4 hour rides with some tempo efforts.


MED? ELI5 plz

Minimum Effective Dose. Basically only do the minimum required to get the desired adaptation.

e.g. Don’t do 6x5 VO2 intervals if 5x4 will get you most of the benefits with much less fatigue.

1 Like

I understand that MED varies from time to time and that the ultimate goal is to complete longer and longer intervals at Sweet Spot, I’m just wandering about the means of achieving this goal.

So in this case, Monitor +5 (11 x 6 minute intervals with 1 minute rest) is practically less effective than for example Geiger with 12 minute intervals and longer rests between them, or even than Antelope (1o minute intervals); Antelope and Geiger are less effective than Tallac, Galena, Eclipse etc. - as long as the work load stays rougly the same?
Surely a 3 x 15 session cannot be more effective than 11 x 6? OR can it be?

I think it would depend on whether you are looking to push out your TiZ or your interval length. Usually you would sort of build both in sort of a stair step way. Maybe something like:

4x15…3x20…2x30…Then drop interval length and add TiZ with 6x15…4x20…3x30

So I don’t know if one is more ‘effective’ than the other. Though 1 min rest between those 6 min intervals is pretty short. So it may be a bit harder than the 3x15 but I think they are relatively comparable and it might depend on your goals or where you are in a training cycling.