I need tips on Endurance Ride

Hi all,

I am working on my endurance(100-160km) ride. Endurance range is between ftp of 55%-75%. I can hold around 65% for century ride. But I face issue when riding at top range ftp(75%). I am talking about non stop, no break ride here.

1: Any tips working on that?
2: How does the tdf pro do it? I understand they do lot of endurance rides. Usually they are riding on what range?

Thanks !

How many hours a week do you ride? How is that broken down by day?

And what kind of issues? Fueling, aches, etc?

Because top of Z2 is not equal lt1 which is individual. To hold 75% of FTP for such distance is very hard work.

Recommendation? Probably more volume, longer rides to train it and more aerobic work to push the power curve into right.

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  1. Follow a TR training plan, eat/drink well and get good sleep. Do long indoor rides too.

  2. No idea. As an amateur on your long rides you’ll want to focus on minimising efforts above 75% or below 65%, set yourself a power cap for going uphill and work on keeping the power on over crests and into the descents.

65% FTP for a century is good training. Anything higher and you are burning yourself out. If you want some 75-80% FTP rides in the tempo range cap then at 2.5 hours. Then you can add some SS@85-90% FTP in segments of 15-30mins. Plus threshold/VO2 work. All this would be part of a balanced training programme. You would only need to ride a century@ higher than 65% as an A event - 100m TT, Grand Fondo or IM bike leg or the like. Don’t burn yourself out - long rides easy/steady, save the intensity for intervals and races - you only have so many matches.


From different perspective, here are 2 almost identical non-race solo rides one year apart

  1. last year, with HR cap (~60% of FTP): 180km/6h30m/144bpm → avg speed 27.6km/h
  2. this year, with 70% of FTP: 177km/5h50min/154bpm → avg speed 30.3km/h

For you personally, is additional speed worth the push and prolonged recovery?

I myself enjoyed first ride way more and recovered quite easily from it. Second was lovely too but not much time to smell the roses and enjoy the views :wink:

Also, I did almost all Z2 rides last year second half like (1) + single Z4 during that ride period, and yet, TTE at FTP still improved really well.

EDIT: have to mention that gains from last year high volume + very low intensity rides plateaued in 2-3 months. I still continued through 1st half of this year but gains are now very tiny. Now pushing again by power, not limiting HR anymore.

First question would be whether being able to ride at 75% for long rides is a useful goal. Only really relevant in events if you’re doing very steady solo efforts. E.g. long distance triathlon, long TTs or maybe something like a gravel event where you’re expecting to be solo a lot of the time. In any event with hills and/or groups you typically do more over-under efforts going harder than 75% when on the front or climbing and then getting recovery in the draft and on descents. Pushing 75% for 160km is likely to take quite a bit out of you in terms of recovery so if you don’t particularly need to do it for a goal event then your time and energy might be better spent elsewhere. E.g. if you can raise your FTP by doing higher intensity training then your long ride power will naturally raise anyway, might still be 65% of your new FTP but at some point that might actually exceed 75% of your current FTP.

Assuming that riding 75% is a good goal, then tips would be:

  1. Nutrition and hydration. Probably the single biggest reason people fade on long rides
  2. Fit, position and strength/core. Second biggest reason people fade on long rides - hard to sustain power if you’ve got a sore lower back, neck, hamstrings, hips, etc. If you’re getting these sort of issues and are happy with your fit then worth looking at some off the bike core/strength work.
  3. More volume. I find the more volume I do overall the better able I am to go strong on long rides. Even without that much long ride training. E.g. there was a point at which my weekends were really full with having young kids and I couldn’t go out for more than 2 hours. But I could ride to work every day which was an hour each way, so I was able to get 12-13 hours/week of training in. Entered a century event which I thought would go pretty badly with my longest ride in the preceding 12 months being 40-something miles. But actually went great and I was able to sustain power really well. Helped that I had plenty of experience doing long rides from previous years so knew my position, kit and nutrition were fairly well dialled in and weren’t going to be limiters.

monday : gym + run
tuesday : zwift an hour
wed : off
thursday :zwift an hour
sat : bike 3 hrs+
sun : bike 3 hrs +

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i can’t do 75% for 100km. muscle tired.

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the reason why i brought this topic up is because in the event i join(zwift) there are few cat.
cat D is 1.6-2.4.
cat C is 2.5-3.2

i wonder how people hold Cat C, which is above 75%-88%. i simply cant…too painful.even for 100km

People hold those powers in those categories because they have higher FTP and/or FTP/kg than you. It’s not really useful to compare or consider as it seems you are doing.


Hi Chad,

So do you have any tip on improving z2 riding on higher range like from 65% to 70%? Thanks.

No, I don’t have any real guidance for your original question. I am no coach and try to avoid those types of questions specifically.

I was just pointing out the specifics hiding within what seems to have lead to a least part of your question.

If you’re specifically asking about Zwift, the easiest way to improve your w/kg is to buy a cheap wheel on trainer and/or lie about your weight.

So many people’s numbers on Zwift are just WILDLY inaccurate. I honestly wouldn’t compare myself there.

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With 8hrs available, it’s certainly achievable.

The question is just, how much of that time are you willing to put into a plan of progressive overload?

I did 76% for 100km on Sunday, in real life. I’m just over 3W/kg.

If you’re enjoying the club rides too much, maybe wait until autumn then get onto sweet spot base, sustained power build then century ride?

I think the goal of holding a % of FTP for a certain time/distance is misdirected. Your goal should be to increase power for specific distances/durations.

Option 1) hold 75% of FTP for 100km at 150 watts
Option 2) hold 200 watts for 100km at 66% of FTP

I’d choose option 2 all day

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Well, a TdF pro will have 30 hrs./week to train. So, I question the wisdom of trying to emulate what they do. Plus they are all genetic freaks. :slight_smile: But anyway…

Workouts that I have done, (and I am no coach either), include:
Adding long z3 intervals into an overall z2 long ride and progress the length of those z3 efforts. For instance, add 2 10 minute z3 efforts, add 3 10 minute efforts, add 2 15 minute efforts, and so on.
Doing a medium to long ride where you ride all of the climbs in sweet spot.

The polarized model has made us all deathly afraid of z3 (tempo) efforts. But I’ve noticed pros on Strava (like Alex Wild) when training for long events do a lot of tempo, especially on long rides. Their z3 efforts can be hours long.

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With Sat/Sun long rides stacked together, you’re already working on your fatigue resistance. Just keep going gradually longer (progressive overload). When running out of available time, push intensity higher.

EDIT: and do not expect results soon i.e. rather months/years than weeks


Long rides at the edge of z2 are my favorite. Fueling, cooling, and fitness are all factors that must be trained. I’m sure someone will chime in on how to do it on low volume, but for me it takes volume. Pretty much every Saturday is 5+ hours at upper z2. That might be very disciplined steady state or it might include group riding with surges. Super useful zone for racing long endurance stuff. Unbound gravel was over 13 hours w np of 70%. Racing isn’t steady state, but having the ability to motor at high z2 deep into races is invaluable.

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