Endurance Work after Intervals

Hello all, this may be covered elsewhere but I wanted to get a sense from people’s experience about launching straight into endurance work (30 - 35 mins) after a tough vo2 max or surpathreshold session.

Does anyone else find themselves desperately needing a few minutes at recovery watts before launching into the endurance ride? I’m just finished Budawang+5 today and im scrambling over the line to finish the 5th interval, so much so that my cadence drops a huge amount with relief. I have to dial it down to about 60% for couple minutes or I’m done.


There is basically zero downside to taking a few minutes to recover before bringing the watts back up to endurance levels.


All of my interval rides have an extra hour or so of zone 2 tacked on that I either do before or after. When I do it after I just noodle until I’m feeling it again then bring it up to a comfortable zone 2 power. That could be 2 minutes or it could be 10.


Same. After I’m hanging on for dear life to finish the final VO2 interval, I typically pedal backwards for 30-60 seconds to recover my breath as I lower the z2 intensity by 10-15%. Then I play this game of slowly upping the intensity by a few % every minute until I’m at a sustainable z2 intensity.


Have you tried doing your endurance work prior to your vo2 intervals?

Yep, anytime I tack on Z2 work after SST or Threshold work, I always soft pedal (35-50%) for a few minutes to let the lactate clear and let my heart rate drop down a good bit. Usually at least 2-3 minutes or so before I bring it back up to 65%, 5 minutes if it was a particularly difficult last interval.

I usually let the workout get to the end at it’s prescribed watts, which is usually around 40% and definitely in the recovery zone. This is anywhere from 2 minutes to 5 minutes. Usually after that I’ll bump it up to 60% or something close to z2.

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Oh hell yes. Take a break. 5-10 minutes at 40-50% is fine. Hop off the trainer and pee and refill your water bottle. You’ve finished the hard stuff, anything more is just icing on the cake.


Definitely a consensus that people take some recovery time before the endurance stretch so.

I was wondering if it was tactical on TR’s behalf to try and launch you straight into it ‘on cooked legs’ as they say.

I haven’t tried the endurance stretch pre intervals, I think I’d find that mentally tough looking at those blocks at the end of the session instead of getting them done.

I think the legs are still “cooked” in the way that matters for the gains you’re seeking from the extra Z2 work, in that the muscle fibers aren’t going to get any less fatigued from the few minutes of cool down, and I believe this is the idea here, to do some more aerobic work on muscles that are wrecked, forcing greater recruitment of the remaining fibers. It’s a different situation IMO than, say, over/unders, where the “under” work is linked to the over because you’re trying to clear the lactate while still working pretty hard. Others surely know more than I do on this topic and I could be wrong, but that’s my understanding anyway.

I go straight into endurance work (or as quick as I can use the + button) even if I am gasping and max’ed out. Generally then takes me 3-4mins for my HR to get back down to endurance levels.

Not sure if there is any physical training benefit but I think there may be some psychological benefit (climbing a hill and continuing over the top even when blowing)


Agree with this - there’s something satisfying (at least after the fact) about working through the burn and feeling the relief come on slowly once in a while. Knowing I can do that helps a lot in my head.

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I have generally needed a short reco section in workouts like Baird +6 before launching into the endurance interval. I had it on the plan this week and it was the first time I’ve been able to continue straight on. I think there probably IS some benefit to slowly working off the burn at endurance pace. You can see the slower stabilisation of my HR after the final set compared to the previous set in this pic:


But it’s been two years on TR before I’ve been able to do this, so ultimately I’d say do what you can, and don’t be at all worried if you need those few minutes reco before dialling things back up! You can work on reducing how long you need over time.

Seeing improvements like this over time is one of the rewarding things about tracking these workouts on TR and comparing them via the “My Rides” section.

Yup exactly what I do. By the time that few minutes of “cool down” at 40% period is over, I’m good to bump it up again and continue on in Z2.

Agree, there are possibly some mental gains to be had. I actually do this during the Specialty phase and/or as I’m nearing a race. For no other reason than to tell myself that I can still push the pedals when I’m completely smoked. However, I find it unproductive early in training when events/races are several months away.

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