Endurance rides feel absolutely useless

Hey all. In my 3rd week of an adaptive training plan. It’s mine volume, so I have 2 endurance rides per week, one for 2 hrs and one for 1 hr. My HR barely gets above 100 on these (of a 194 max). And I’m not building any fatigue at all in my legs. It keeps upping the “intensity” but I can’t help but feel like it’s not enough. I can’t bump up my FTP manually though because the interval workouts are spot on and I’m really happy with them. I recognize that endurance rides should not be too taxing, but these don’t feel taxing at ALL in the slightest. Does that sound right? I’m going to stick with it if that’s the way it’s supposed to be, but it’s hard to get motivated to spend half my training time doing something that is way too easy.

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What power level are you at? Can you give some examples of recent endurance workouts?

Welcome to the community @silock! A couple thoughts come to mind…

  • Choose an alternate at a higher WL and/or longer duration
  • Increase the intensity on the intensity slider to bring up to power output higher!

At the beginning of the program (assuming your Endurance PL is in thr 1.0 -2.0 range) those workouts WILL feel easy, but if you stick to the plan (or increase the levels manually via the above suggestions) you’ll find they get much more taxing over time.


I’ve been training with Zwift for a couple of years. I’ve been training at 265 FTP for Zwift. Been dealing with a lot of injuries lately, so I wanted something that was a little more tailored for me.

I flubbed my ramp test and it gave me 240, but looking at the workouts it spit out, I knew I could do more so I manually bumped it to 255.

So, this week the 2 hr ride was Gibbs-1, so between 130 and 150w. Trainer always reads slightly lower than the power required by 2-4 watts, so power ended up at 137/140w, avg hr of 106, mostly because I was talking on the phone because I was so bored.

Today was 1 hr Jumba Kang, averaged 143/146w, avg hr 102.


Does messing with the intensity slider screw up the adaptative part? I was afraid of throwing off the algorithm and trusting it to just do its thing.

I do not believe so, no… but I’m not an expert on such things… I believe it only affects THAT workout, but I could be mistaken.

About the only time i’ve touched the intensity slider is to turn it down when I am struggling badly in a workout, but that’s several percentage points AND stopping and everything else… so couple that with the survey at the end, AT knew I failed and downgraded me. Not 100% sure if you go the other way (10-20% increase and EASY on survey) how much it may or may not change the adaption…

For best results, I would use option #1 I wrote above, so if (for instance) you are PL 1.8 for endurance and AT gives you 2.2, choose an alternate at 3.0+ (or whatever you THINK you can handle). If you do that workout and fill out the survey, going forward AT would serve you higher level workouts…

Make sense?


I mean both of these are lower level (PL 2.4 and 1.8, working in lower wnd of Z2). Try a workout alternate with higher PL or look through the workout catalog and find something where the IF feels more in line with prior endurance training you’ve done. Not every ride needs to be a slog, but if you’re not breaking a sweat and the ride isn’t aimed as active recovery, you probably just need to pump up your Endurance PLs


Bump it up a few percent so that you are in what you feel like your endurance (all day pace) feels like and do that. Otherwise you are doing Z1/recovery rides when you aren’t even fatigued.


Pretty sure you are wrong. Your PL would increase significantly and then AT will usually adjust


Here are some of my-go to’s in the 1-2 hour range:
Bald (60 min @ 65-70%)
James (90 min @ 74%)
Bays (60 or 90 min @ 75%)
Boarstone (120 min @ 65-75%)

100 bpm for me is a brisk walk… definitely might be worth trying some endurance rides with higher intensity.


Hit up James


Look at the alternatives and select one that is in the middle to higher of Productive and the bottom 0.1 of stretch if your endurance sessions are far too easy.

Try that and see how you go. Then your productive workouts will be in a higher range going forward. Only do this once or twice otherwise you’ll start working at endurance levels that are too high.

Using my numbers, if I was in your situation, I would be picking something like a 6.2 - 6.7 PL, your numbers will be different / lower (but I’m good with my range of about 4 - 6 and my heart rate as it is)
I am guessing you might be picking some around 3.0 - 3.5 but look and see what your ranges /numbers are, there is element of risk in this if you are unsure where your levels should be based on experience.

You can just keep doing the sessions you are given and marking them easy if they are? Over weeks they will start to be in a more appropriate range, this is the safer option, but it takes a few weeks.

The main thing is to keep hitting your key interval sessions though.

Hope this helps.


Pettit might be a good one to try…

An hour session 12 minute steps at 60%, 65%, 70% and then a step down to 60% (plus warm up and recovery) You can see where your HR settles in each of the 12 minutes steps 60% 65% 70% this might be inciteful.
It used to be in most plans before PLs as a standard session between interval days.

What would the difficulty level of this one be for you based on your current levels?

Do you know the PL ranges for each of your difficulty levels? Achievable, Productive, Stretch, Breakthrough.

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Try the Phoenix, Cumberland, Pioneer workouts which are -3, they are all at 70-75% FTP all the way - I find them a good workout without being that fatiguing. If you find them easy then your FTP may be due a bump or you have a very narrow power band if intervals are still challenging.

I agree with everyone recommending you select a different workout. Look for something that is .6 to .7 IF.

I know people want to just let the AT adapt, and I know it’s what TR recommends, but if you’re barely breaking 50% of your MHR, you’re not even close to the spirit of the endurance work you’re supposed to be doing. I don’t see any point in waiting multiple weeks (or even months) for AT to catch up.


TR user for 5+ years so hopefully I can save you some trouble that took me years to figure out. Don’t be afraid to change workouts, in fact I’d say it’s a requirement. Now with Alternates just pick workouts that you believe are appropriate and rate them honestly at the end. Your PL will catch up to get you on track.

You are your own coach and know yourself better than AI/ML, so use the plans as a guideline not a blueprint. TR will progress you conservatively until you give it more data. Look at the workouts and if it looks too easy simply pick a higher PL particularly if it’s z2. I’ve done plenty of “Stretch” and even “Not Recommended” when I haven’t give TR the data (finished TR workouts in that training zone). Then TR just adjusts future workouts accordingly.


I hope this comment/question is related enough to this thread because I’ve had some similar questions to OP. I’m doin a lot of Z2 right now with a couple SweetSpot workouts thrown in (1 or 2 a week). The SST workouts feel spot on for my current FTP based on previous years. I just did 1x65 minutes at 92% the other day and RPE was around 7-8/10 at the end. Most of it was mental rather than physical. So I feel like my FTP is correct. So the question is how hard to do Z2. I did 3 hours yesterday at 60%. 3 hours at 70% would have been difficult. I’ve read that Z2 shouldn’t be that hard. But then people say they do 4 hours at 70-75%. That for me would be hard. Or at least harder than what I think of for Z2. So if I drop down to what I feel Z2 is, not too hard, HR in a good zone (115-135); I’m riding at 55-60% FTP. Is that doing anything for me? Said another way, if I ride by feel and HR, and that happens to be around 55-60% FTP, does that mean my FTP is too high? Even with what I can do with SST and Threshold efforts (WKO5 gave me a mFTP based on a 50min TT effort on Zwift, then I did the 1x65 @92% based on that FTP).

TL;DR - Similar to OP, is 3 hours at 60% FTP useless for Z2? What about 55%?


All good questions and have sparked numerous debates. Strong and reasonable opinions on both sides. Rather than get a few tidbits here, you’ll get a much better understanding by reading the z2 threads, to which there are many.

In short, the answer is always it depends. What it depends on is many factors and likely you’ll have to experiment with yourself to see what works for you. Anecdotally I’ve found little to no improvements doing z2 much at or under 60%. That being said YMMV.


I do a lot of Z2 work and my IF is usually between .65-.7. As mentioned above, there’s a lot of Z2 talk here and lots of different strategies that work. You’ll have to find the one that’s best for you.

How is your HR % on those rides? I try to pay attention to keeping my HR in Z2, although it’s often riding the Z2/Z3 line. If I get much into HR Z3, I’ll back off.

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I do lots of easy endurance, about 10-12 hours most weeks, and I always do 50-60% FTP, with most days falling into the 55-58% area (190-200W at 340W FTP). It’s nice to finish the workout feeling quite relaxed. If I were to push the endurance rides into something like 65%, I know I would just gather excess fatigue and wouldn’t perform as well on my hard days.

That said, why not try slightly harder workouts if you so wish? That HR does sound very low. Then again, endurance as a percentage of ftp is very personal. I have a friend who has a 320W ftp and his easy endurance is 210-220W, which would be pretty tough for me despite my higher ftp.