How not to recover from hip surgery - or - Dismayed. Long recovery intervals in a workout are killing it for me

The ride today had 7:30 recovery intervals. I was bored near stiff. My heart rate was dropping to near 100bpm. One workout I did earlier this year had 10 minute recovery intervals. I did it after a hard day, and seemed to literally fall asleep in the second one. The training plan I’m in has 2 hour weekend workout rides, and, like today, OVER 45 minutes of recovery. Yikes…

I dropped it at 45 minutes. (Kabati) What is the whole idea of foisting such large recovery intervals on riders. Like the earlier workout, to have 10 minute recovery intervals? That’s just harsh…


Trying to hang on, but it’s getting hard. (My last week seems to be mostly endurance too, not Sweet Spot. What am I missing, what am I supposed to do with such long, low output, intervals.

Yeah, I have the same issue….I’ll usually bump up the wattage to low Z2. Then with a minute or so left in the recovery interval, I’ll drop back to the prescribed wattage for a “full” recovery before th next interval.


I had a bad day. New pedals, new saddle, plumbing problems…

I know I’m not the only one experiencing this, and I guess my post comes under the category of a rant, but something that has kind of bothered me for a while. Is it ‘important’ to do the LOOOOOOOONG recovery? I don’t know. Is it beneficial to do a LOOOOOOOONG recovery interval, over and over again? I don’t know. To me, it seems like a waste of some amount of time. To spend a large percentage of a workout ‘burning time’, at this point, me not knowing, is burning a lot of time. I guess I am like every other ‘student’ who feels they ‘know it all’, and wants to get out and burn some rubber…

Just frustrated. Seat post clamp was slipping, cleats aren’t quite adjusted properly, plumbing is sucking time. ‘Life’…

Just looking for some insight that I’m not wasting time. Thanks…


We are missing some context here:

  • What type of plan are you doing? Kabati is a two hour so if you are doing a TR plan this workout might be deliberately there to add more volume without adding too much intensity.

  • What are your PLs? It could be that your Sweet Spot is too low. If that’s the case why not use alternates to see if you can do a higher level sweet sport workout and keep the volume?

  • Ultimately what are your goals? Do you have a specific race or event you are training towards? If so is your feeling that more volume would not help you towards said goals?

At the end of the day the best training plan is one that keeps you motivated and engaged. You absolutely are empowered to not stick to the workout TR gives you and do something different but I assume there is a reason you picked the plan you did.


It is common at the beginning of a phase or a plan in general to have lengthy recovery intervals……they become increasingly shorter as you progress.

I personally have found that I don’t need to recover at very low wattages……as noted, I can do low Z2 and still recover just fine (but quick recovery from efforts has always been a strength for me).

So whether you “need” the length of those intervals or not is personal….try moving the watts up and see how you feel.

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  • I think it’s the high volume sweet spot plan. It ends in the last week of October.

  • PL’s? My FTP is 205. I also had no idea that I could do alternatives. The calendar shows the rides, and any adjustments that were made. I can choose a different workout? Do I just go to ‘Workouts’ and pick one?

  • Goals? Not die, yet. Oh, riding goals… Build up my FTP again. Deal better with my health issues, hip replacement. (Stretching is proving to be a problem. I was told to ‘stretch differently’ so that it doesn’t dislocate.

  • Motivation and engagement. Having the long ‘recovery’ intervals, and them being part of, for me, really long rides is sucking my will to ride, to be honest.

I’m used to more punishment (pre-replacement). I feel I need to get back to where I was. I have been cleared to rip, but need to feel I’m getting somewhere. I bailed on Zwift workouts because the ones I had were not feeling like they were being ‘productive’. I thought TR could help me shake the cob webs out and move the meat and get back to an ascending track, rather than feeling like I’m dog paddling. Maybe I’m just feeling the general frustration everyone is feeling, but I seem to feel like I’ve slipped pretty far. (227 to 205 (Zwift says 210) FTP) Someone said I should hire a trainer and let them help me dig out of the hole I feel I’m in. (And now I have plantar faciitis beginning too)

Now I sound like I’m whining, and I guess I am. Getting old(er) isn’t for sissies, yep… :crazy_face: :man_shrugging:

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I was doing rides on Zwift where the ‘recovery’ was in the 170 to 180 range. Yeah, punishment. I was floored that the ramp test said I was down 22 on the FTP. Maybe an off day?

I looked ahead on the calendar, and it does get better, but it’s not remarkably better. Kabati shows up four or five more times. (Yippee)

Monday is my ‘official rest day’. I’ll probably go ride outside. :thinking: It’s supposed to be the last day this new week that will be anything close to rideable.

TR tutorial


Robcow, are you filling out the post-workout difficulty questionnaire? Kabati is only a PL 3.0 workout. If it was easy you should select easy after working out and your next sweet spot ride will be more difficult. Depending on the plan you’re running and how often sweet spot rides come up it will be totally dialed into your ability within a week or two. Go look at Sloan +3 or Atitlan to see what you’ll get to soon enough. Note you should rate each ride as how it felt, if you just mark all of them as easy you will quickly get to rides you cannot complete – you need to be honest with the system

I normally bump the recovery back up to the warm up level - generally 125% gets me back up to that. However, it does always play on my mind that I remember Coach Chad saying back in the podcast glory days that the recoveries are as planned as the intervals. So my compromise than full on endurance - n=1 is that it feels like still working, but my heart rate still gets down before the next interval.

Yes, and am probably being too honest. The first 90 minute workout really was ‘hard’, mainly because it was longer than I had been doing. The first 120 minute workout was hard because I haven’t done a 2 hour ride in quite a while. I should have been more measured in evaluating those rides. Hard needs to be the intervals (DOH!) not the length. The ‘brain’ behind the workout programming could have been effected by the ‘hard’ and gone towards lighter rides. But the whole ‘2-hour weekend’ is interesting, the whole WHOPPING HUGE RECOVERY bent is killing it for me. I have plenty of things pulling at me daily, and to spend every weekend riding 2 hours a day is something that I am having a problem doing. How can I tell the ‘brain’ that 2 hour workouts are consuming too much time. I’d rather have a shorter workout in ‘wall time’, and get slaughtered, than spend 2 hours getting bored senseless with ‘filler’. It’s the filler that is killing it.

And that is my concern, that I am spending so much time at a lower heart rate that I am kind of wasting my time. (Well, I am, but speaking from a different angle) Is having ‘hard’ intervals followed by languishing on tea and crumpets really doing anything productive? But then on the flip side, does punishing myself for 90 minutes, emerging from the foggy drenched ‘pain cave’ really do anything productive either. Fight or flight is what the average American is missing, finding the remote in the folds of your belly doesn’t count.

I’ll see what I can get away with. The weather isn’t really rideable like they were predicting, with high winds and worsening air quality. Yippee…

Thanks everyone. I’m learning… Should there be a manual letting people know what they can do during a training plan?

Quit being a slave to someone’s workout prescription meant to satisfy the general population, not you as an individual where you are in your training on this particular day. You know when you are recovered, how would Chad know when/if he wrote this 8 years ago? Take it out of erg mode and ride to feel or bump up the recovery. If you are recovered, you are recovered.


Agree with other suggestions of subbing out similar PL workouts with shorter and/or higher intensity recoveries. That is what I do when one of these come up - which isn’t that often for the plans I have followed.

I also find these longer recoveries to occur at lower PLs / earlier in plans. For me these are the worst times for long recoveries. Early in training my body is much more sensitive to contact point fatigue during recoveries - crampy, numb, and just uncomfortable given the low pedaling force puts more pressure on sit bones and hands. I also haven’t dialed in my mental focus this early, so it is easier to get bored/distracted as minutes crawl by.

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Just a word of warning as on onlooker… It sounds to me like you’re heading for burnout.
-The idea that less(edit; more) recovery is a negative and not a feature is flawed.
-You’ve jumped straight into a High Volume Sweet Spot plan.
-You’re then complaining about the amount of volume(aka time) in the lower zone during the workouts. You simply can’t achieve a “High Volume” of training at a high output level. This goes back to the time in zones and what’s sustainable. If you can ride 8 of your 10 hours during the week at “Sweet Spot” or higher, then your FTP is set incorrect. That kind of volume of intensity isn’t going to work well in the long run, so inherently you’ll be spending a large portion of your time at a “recovery” type output. If you’re not looking forward to the recovery periods in a workout, then you’re not riding hard enough during the actual work interval, which again is a sign that you’re FTP is set incorrect for proper training. I’m not saying that Sweet Spot work should be all out, but it shouldn’t feel like you could just hold it through the rest period and onto the next work interval.
-You’re talking about replacing your rest day with an outside ride.


Pretty much this!! Nearly in entirety.

So I’m wondering if I’m in the wrong track. Could it be that I chose a path I don’t need to be on? Sure. Hmm… I have to admit it I guess. I had thought of going ‘lower’. I can’t imagine my boredom if I had chosen ‘endurance’… I see rides I’ve done with massive recovery intervals throughout the rest of the plan. Maybe jumping to a different one is what I need. Go big, or go home!!

And that’s feeding my idea that my FTP is low. I mean, aside from the shock of it going down so low, I’m thinking that it’s a bit low.

I hate testing, who loves it. Post replacement, I dropped my FTP (myself) by 15 to 20 watts. I had been off bike for a couple of weeks, and just didn’t feel like I was able to do the work. I was getting burned out with the Zwift workouts I was riding. (Well, and maybe just getting burned out with life) Back pre-pandemic, I was doing the Tour of Watopia, and other events, and even races but it seemed that I wasn’t getting the announcements somehow. I liked 60 to 90 minute punishing rides (I used to run like that too) and I guess I miss that near bonking feeling :man_shrugging:.

I need to reevaluate things. Change paths…

The idea that less recovery is a negative and not a feature is flawed.

Did you mean ‘more recovery’?

I guess I ran, and rode, to avoid my life. Having so much time to think about it on the bike is not helping. :flushed: :laughing:

Maybe you should change to mid or low volume, if you don’t want 2 hour weekend workouts and if you want workouts condensed down to be short and sweet, that you can add volume to if you want.

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Good catch, that’s exactly what I meant… more rest, not less.

I think a test of some sort is in absolute order… With Ramp Tests being so prevalent, it’ll at least get you closer than plucking a number out of thin air. And seeing as you already have a baseline FTP number that you’ve been assuming, I’d recommend covering the wattage number during the test, otherwise you might be subconsciously holding a bit back in a way of self-actualization. The fact that you hate testing is also a bit of a warning sign… You find Sweet Spot intervals not demanding enough to warrant a thorough recovery, but yet you hate riding at 10% higher wattage for 20 minutes, or even 8 minutes. This is a mental thing from the sounds of it, and is probably worth spending some time addressing. I’d be wondering if you’re averse to actually doing the hard work when its warranted, and more content to do some work. Don’t get me wrong, the pain isn’t pleasurable, but its what provides the results in the future.

At this point in your training, heading into what I’m assuming is your “off season” as it is for most of us in the northern hemisphere, it sounds to me like you’re a perfect candidate for the “Train Now” feature, even if just for a couple weeks. You can dig yourself a hole by doing intensity(even Sweet Spot counts as intensity) day after day, especially early on in the fitness building process. But the alternative of being bored by the actual structure and not believing in the process will only be a bigger detriment. By using “Train Now” you can just do the efforts you’re interested in doing that day, and add volume where you feel like it.

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For the record, it’s not the higher demand intervals that I am not liking, it’s the really long recovery intervals. On a ride where I feel ‘recovered’ in 2 minutes, having to do an additional 5 and a half is just a waste of my time. Maybe I don’t understand ‘training’, and DO realize that lower demand intervals are useful, but…

Oh, whatever…

I will try to quit this path and change to a different one. I am forarmed with the knowledge of how to choose alternates and will see what works in the future. I need to be LESS honest in the evaluations at the end. I realize the usefulness of the recovery interval, but there has to be some context in the use of them. I feel that I recover faster than perhaps I should, and wish that vertical yellow line was a ‘scrub bar’ where I (riders) could jump forward to the next interval. (Imagine the mess that could cause for evaluating the patchwork at the end)

Thanks all…

EDIT: One of my favorite songs is ‘Pacing the cage’, and I feel like I’m doing that whenever I ride a roller coaster workout. I guess I’d rather have a longer recovery interval at the end, when I’m cross-eyed and gasping for breath than have big ones sprinkled throughout. Say a 10 minute warmup, multiple 8 to 10 minute harder intervals, and 3 to 4 minute recovery intervals, and a maybe 10 minute cool-down with maybe a gentle rolling idea…

Yeah with an ftp of 205, unless @robcow weighs significantly less than 51kg, he can probably still makes significant gains with MV or even LV

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Just move to the start of the interval