Endurance training and outdoor rides

ok i glanced above and I’m gonna completely ignore it all lol I’ve done high volume sweet spot plans, and to be honest, I’ve gotten just as much if not more by reducing my workout days to twice (or at most 3 if I do something more tempoish) and fill my remaining time with endurance. generally I do 14hrs a week, but this past block I did 14-15-16hr weeks, with 1/3 of the time being intensity (which for me this block was threshold/sweet spot). There’s only so much intensity one can do, and yes sweet spot counts as intensity despite what TR wants us to believe. Z2 is not recovery, but it is a way to add volume without overly depleting you.


^^^ this on 8-12 hours/week. Endurance sport, volume is king.


“Time in zone” doesn’t mean very much when applied to power data.

I don’t think that’s really possible.

If your training doesn’t result in some degree of fatigue, it must be because you haven’t challenged the system. If you don’t challenge a system, it won’t adapt, at least any further.

As an example (since folks here like to WAAAAAAY overinterpret studies of molecular signaling):

Dear Coggan,

then what is the point of Z2 for 1h30 or longer?
And, what changes between a week with only 4 Z2 workouts according to AT (my last week of June) and a week of rest?

In the first post you associated a 4.25h ride with a TSS of 362 with a TR workout that had a TSS of 162. Did you account for the additional 200 TSS anywhere?

Expecting the current version of TR’s training plan builder to take account of outdoor rides is already a big ask.

Giving it duff data by telling it a 4.25 hour 0.82IF ride at 362TSS was the same as a 4 hour 0.64IF ride at 162TSS is just going to knock it over.

“Essentially, lets say I do 2 or 3 1h indoor workouts/week + those outdoor rides I mentioned (625min/week + 2 1h30/week + a 3-4h ride every 2 weeks). What should those workouts look like?”

As an example of the 3 x 1 hour workouts: Baxter-2 twice and Queen once would be a combination I would try.

As part of an ~11h or or so average week where the outside work has a lot of intensity, something like that combination could be a good starting point.

I’d schedule a rest day before that bi-weekly 3-4h ride too… to prepare to dish out some pain to my friends :slight_smile:

No, I used that workout only because it was the only one that I found that was 4h long.

I am happy to change the association if you have any ideas. I do not think you can associate multiple workouts to a ride, or can you?

Thanks! So do you suggest I ditch AT for the time being (summer) and manually schedule the workouts? Or use a plan? If a plan, which plan?


And when is maintenance needed? And how different is maintenance from regress?


Maintenance is needed when you don’t want to regress.

Around my house, an endurance ride of an hour or two used to be referred to as a “moderate intensity filler workout”. It’s the glue holding the training plan together between the days off/recovery rides and the really challenging intervals, races, etc.


but then why schedule 4 days of endurance rides in a 4day workout week? This is what AT proposes for end of phase week? Isn’t that recovery/regress? Or maybe I got the terms wrong.

I understand your questioning, but I’m not the person to ask.


It’s a recovery week, designed to allow you to shed fatigue from the last few weeks of hard work.

The TR default way of doing this is by giving you no intensity / all Z2.

My personal preference for recovery weeks is more like:

Mon: off the bike
Tues: 45 mins Z1 super chill
Weds: off the bike
Thurs: Z2 with some openers for fun

And then back into it. If you’re not doing 20 hour loading weeks, it’s debatable whether you need a full recovery week, but …

… recovery is very individual, so experiment :+1:


I manually schedule my own TR workouts because, like you, I prefer outdoor rides with groups. By their nature they tend to be at the harder end of the effort spectrum (for me) and they don’t always neatly fall on the same days each week.

Multiply that, in my case, because I choose to ride outdoors without any means of tracking power / HR / speed etc. In summer I do two or three such rides per week and backfill with TR workouts on other days (one hard, the rest easier - I am a fan of the variants of Baxter for instance). In winter I usually only do one such ride per week and count it as the hardest day of whichever plan I am tinkering with at that time.

If TR gets good enough at incorporating outdoor rides in future, I might even go so far as to look at getting something to record mine.

I get the impression overall though that you think Z2 rides are a waste of your time. They are not. But if you don’t you accept that, stick with doing whatever feels right for you.

Hi I do not think they’re a waste of time, but I’m trying to understand two things (see also the other thread I’ve just started).

Essentially I’m currently doing tow to four, but generally three, 25 minute commutes per week. On two of those days I’m doing 1h45 min group ride.

The commutes tend to be high intensity due to the terrain and the fact that I need to get to work and back home in time.

The group rides are lower intensity drafting interspersed with short climbs in which I’m almost always way above threshold and some descents in which I’m either recovering in Z1 or staying at or above threshold to reconnect with the bunch.

I also try to do a long weekend ride 3-4 hours when life allows. This is either group or individual depending on my schedule.

I have tried to follow a workout during an outdoor rides, but I probably did not find the best workout. What could work is an anaerobic workout. But my intervals would be off different lengths and with possibly long and possibly short recovery between them.
Would that be possible?

You are already doing a lot of intensity, probably too much. Those two group rides where you blast up every hill over threshold are “unstructured” interval workouts. The long weekend group ride with your friends is probably a similar smash fest. And you say that your commutes are high intensity.

Where are you going to fit in even more intensity? Sometimes one has to forsake the group if they are going to follow a structured plan. It’s often not as fun.


Good point. Another training principle is having only two or three hard days per week, depending on the athlete.

I don’t consider that a training principle, certainly not on the same order as specificity, overload, etc. Everyone’s tolerance for training is different, but many successful endurance athletes train intensely more than just 2-3 times per week.

1 Like

agree, I ‘got fast’ training doing intensity on most rides, about 6-7 hours/week. At fifty five years old. And six years later I got fast doing endurance on most rides, about 7-8 hours/week.

Fair enough, a rule of thumb perhaps than fundamental principle.

It helps people who are smashing their weekly commutes and club rides to think about not smashing every session, easy rides and recovery between rides.