Endurance block instead of a recovery week

Just curious if any of you have followed up your 3rd and biggest week with an endurance block of similar hours but no intensity instead of a regular recovery week. My past week was 14.5 hrs and ~900 TSS with about 9 hrs of riding outside and the rest inside. I was thinking of doing some 2-3 hr easier (60-70 FTP) rides and getting in about 9 hrs or so. If so, any thought/warnings? Thanks for any help.

First question, why?

What do you hope to gain vs following the planned recovery week?

How will this change impact your subsequent week(s) of training?

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If indoors just because, don’t bother. If outside because you like to ride and it will be mentally relaxing? Sure go ahead

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Thx for the reply. I’ve been trying to polarize my training, with lower intensity and longer rides interspersed between harder interval days. The results have been good; I’m fresher for the HARD sessions and recovery between bouts has really improved. I’m prepping for 'cross season and the thinking is that I have the time now (I’m a teacher, so off) to build up an aerobic base and bump up CTL to set me up for the higher intensity and CTL draining weeks down the road. This is an experiment, so I’m not sure how it will affect next week, but I can ride in the morning and then chill the rest of the day.

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I would say this is more or less a recovery week. Just skip at least one hard session if you made two by default. If you make normally one, just make less repetitions or skip entire HIIT session.

Is always a good idea to start into the CX season with a good aerobic base. Due to weather and light is hard even hard to maintain the aerobic base. At least here we also have a tight race schedule with a race on most weekends.

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Isn’t this similar to what the plans already do? Recovery weeks aren’t that big a drop in hours (seems to be ~10-20% in the plans I just took a quick look at), but it’s all endurance level riding so TSS drop is more significant.

So if your plan is for a total of 9 hours of endurance riding from a peak week of 14.5 hours then that’s actually a bigger drop in % terms than the TR plans and should be no problem at all. If you’re thinking 9 hours outside and another 5.5 hours inside to maintain 14.5 hours total then I’d modify that down to ~12 hours or so. All of this is assuming that after your 14.5 week you’re feeling good and not too beaten up of course.

I think the polarised approach is great if you can throw enough time at it. I definitely find that the more hours per week I’m doing then the more polarised my training needs to be (conversely the less I’m training the higher % of that training can be intensity work). Been digging through the last few years of data recently and trying to work out the best balance for me.


9 hours at super low intensity, is more controllable when done on the trainer. Don’t know about you but “recovery” rides outdoors tends to develop into 30 minutes of warmup followed by some ripping off of legs. A week of long slow trainer rides feel like winding up a rubber band. And the following week you get to unwind it!

I take the Forrest Gump approach to TrainerRoad programs: I do whatever Coach Chad tells me to do.

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If you’re coming off a proper training block you wont want to rip your legs off outside, and if you can still ride that hard then you either didnt need a recovery week, have no concept of listening to your body, or had an incorrect set ftp prior to that block

yip, specially if you train polarized, like @tkruger, then you are happy to perform pure LIT :slight_smile:
After hard HIIT sessions I have absolute not tendency rip my legs off. On the esay rides outside one can enjoy the nature. This not only recover the body but also brings back motivation for the HIIT session or block.
Once the power is back, short sprints between 5 to 10 seconds don’t hurt you.

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I hear that. Riding at your own pace is liberating and energizing. I don’t think it hurts anything training wise to ride. Some riding, like downhill, is about bike handling and less so cardio fitness. Bike handling is good and riding that builds that up has got to be good even if it’s low intensity, right?

I’m a teacher too and I use my weekends and holiday time to get lsd rides in but i find I need a half recovery week on returning to school and usually wait to do my first interval session until Thursday