Endurance or SS?

Question :

Is endurance better than SS? I read it somewhere here but can’t remember which thread.

I am stuck like 3.3 - 3.4. Which training plan do u guys recommend? I have been doing SST for many months already. I can complete SST workout no issue but threshold workout always hurt for me.

moving forward, if i want to up my performance to 3.5, do i continue with SS or do i switch to endurance?

why some think endurance is better?

Thanks !

3.3 - 3.4 what? W / KG?

We need more details of your training plan and history….are you on a LV plan? How long have you been training / riding?

Most people benefit from more volume (usually endurance) because they still have not sufficiently developed their aerobic engine. Adding volume accomplishes that……cycling is an aerobic sport and needs a solid aerobic base.

have been riding for 10 yr, but those were cafe ride.

Rode zwift and sufferest for 2 yrs.

then started TR since last October.

If you have the time, nothing beats endurance rides imho.


That’s a big “If” though. I think in most cases someone’s idea of a long ride might only be 2 hours. The traditional understanding of cycling training needing many many hours of long slow rides might be based on the assumption that because a pro might need to be able to race a 257.5 km monument then that is appropriate for normal people.

I have had a lot of success with Sweet Spot. This gets me through centuries and IM as well as being very time efficient.

The OP’s post suggested that higher intensities might be the problem. Certainly Threshold is supposed to be fairly difficult as you’re dancing along a line where an actual physical limitation exists so it takes practice to physically and mentally be able to operate there. If you want to get better at Threshold then riding in easy Zone 2 isn’t going to help you much.

Follow the plans, it’ll give you enough threshold and intensity workouts to get you into them…


IMO Endurance will get you strong and sustainable (if you have time for lots of it) but won’t elevate you above that plateau like SS or Polarised training. SS can be good if you are time constrained and if you are less time constrained augmenting it with Endurance rides can be good.

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Better for what? And better when? One does not exclude other. SST has it’s place and I like to do it instead of threshold when I am not in mood for harder session. In my personal opinion Z2 supplemented with periodisation based on sst, threshold and vo2 max works the best. But excluding z2 and replacing it with sst is a bad idea.

If there is one term in cycling / training that needs to die, it is that one. It should really be long, steady rides.

And for people who lack a goood aerobic base, 2 hours of LSD is a very beneficial ride.

Based on what little we know so far from the OP, it would appear he is a prime candidate for adding more volume and getting a fitness boost from it. Would still be helpful to know what type of plan they are on (low / mid / high volume) and how many hours / week they are training.


Let’s assume that you aren’t already training 20 hours a week (or whatever is your personal physical ceiling). To improve, you can ride more or you can ride harder. If you are doing 2 hour endurance rides, increase them to 3, 4, 5 hours etc. Or start doing 30 mins sweetspot in the two hour ride, then 45 min and build up until to 90 mins and beyond. When you can do that, do a long endurance ride AND a long sweetspot ride each week. Eat well, sleep well and make sure you recover properly. At some point the rest of your life will limit your training and recovery and you will reach a ceiling, but I bet you aren’t there yet.

Neither is better, they’re just different tools, which one is best for you depends on your individual situation and goals. And it’s not really an either/or, for most people it’s going to be a mix.

If you’re stuck on a plateau after months of SST then definitely need to change something. But the fact that you’ve been doing many months of SST is a bit of a red flag - are you following a TR plan? If so then the simple answer is to stop repeating SST plans over and over and do a Build plan, if you don’t have any specific target events and just want to increase fitness then General Build is probably the best. If you’re not following a TR plan then time to start following one! As even just following a SST plan instead of picking your own SST workouts should see progression - if you can complete SST workouts with no issue then Adaptive Training should be ramping up the difficulty until you’re being challenged.


Hi , i am on mid vol SST plan now.

btw, what is LSD?

LSD = Long Slow Distance by most definitions. Swapping ‘Slow’ for ‘Steady’ happens and is preferred by some peoplw (me included).
That’s because the “speed” aspect of the first term is not entirely accurate or representative, but it persists as the original term.

In short, LSD is what most call long Endurance rides these days.


Agreed that more cycling will always make you a better cyclist. But the OP was saying that he struggled with threshold. Doing longer easy rides isn’t going to help him with threshold at all. There is always the problem that being out all day on the weekend riding around slowly for 6 hours is pretty boring and tends to piss your family off. Also people can make the mistake of thinking that they can avoid the hard stuff and magically become a faster cyclist with lots of easy riding.

Doing a build plan is probably the best idea, containing some harder threshold sessions to lift the ceiling and HTFU


That isn’t necessarily true….plenty of cyclists have successfully raised their FTP by adding volume. Is it the most “effective” way to raise threshold tolerance? Maybe not….but the idea that endurance training only improves endurance is not accurate.

No one is saying you need to do 6 hours days. If most of your rides are 1-1.5 hours long, doing 2-3 hour rides will be beneficial.


Are we conflating Threshold with FTP?
If your FTP is 300W through loads of LSD riding but you cannot actually ride at 300W because you never “ride at threshold” then the answer to the

is to do more threshold workouts.

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Well, it is called Functional Threshold Power……

You seem to be thinking I am recommending an “either or” scenario. I am not….but adding more volume helps build a better aerobic engine which is beneficial to the entire system.

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I might suspect an overly optimistic FTP. If he can do, say 2x20 at SS then 4x10 at threshold should easily be easily achievable. It’s only a 5-10% difference in power. The OP has probably been doing threshold training even though he thinks it was sweet spot.

OP, you need a balanced plan with all intensities. If you’ve never done the 2-5 hour endurance ride then think about adding it to your training. Endurance riding is constant pressure on the pedals for hours, not a coffee stop ride. It’s a proper workout.


You improve your fat oxidation (and TTE), makes fast twitch fibers more oxidative, builds mitochondria to clear lactate. Doing Z2 is doing a lot for ability to do threshold and above. It may not push your FTP but gives you ability to do more work and recover faster from it.


Pushed mine up.

In the summer of 2017 I was fed up with the bike and structured training I had a long break FTP dropped dramatically.

After the break I just did 2 - 5 hour rides outside nothing above low Tempo for a few months… guess what… my FTP went up and I regained all that I had lost, within a few watts, and not a VO2max or Threshold interval insight, might not have been optimal but it was easy and fun, it did require a lot of time though.


This needs to be mentioned more often.