I was wrong to discount TR indoor endurance rides

20 or 30 podcasts ago, someone wrote in and commented on there being no purpose to small steps in intervals (like Baxter). I quickly mentally disagreed with him. These little steps in Baxter make long intervals so much easier for me, even if it is only 2 or 4 watts up and down. It feels like there are definite markers of time through the workout and it all goes so much faster that way.


Baby steps vs flat intervals is a real deal. Doesn’t impact everyone, but some people really notice the difference and perform better on one than the other. I would guess training history and physiology matter a lot here, but either way, the workouts may be similar on the surface, but functional demands may well be different for a range of riders.

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The good news is that it gets much easier the more you do them. Today I happened to have Petit on the calendar and a 1 hour webinar with a vendor…match made in heaven! Watched my webinar, got my workout in, had a couple carbs, and after a quick shower was back to work. Easie Piese.

You’ll soon learn to love these rides, especially if you’re into watching sports. Nothing’s better than watching a baseball, basketball, or bike race while on the trainer doing 65% of FTP. For baseball opening day I even make a whole event out of it getting a pizza next to me and a couple cool barley beverages in my water bottle holder. Now watching sports by myself WITHOUT doing a Z2 ride feels like a waste. :stuck_out_tongue:

Welcome to the club of the converted.


Yeah those endurance rides are no joke… It’s kinda hard to replicate outdoors when you live in any kind of metropolitan area.

Yea the TBHV is very interesting with them leaning on AT. One of the endurance rides each week is 3 hrs at 40-50% FTP, which I’m assuming you bump up manually to show your endurance to AT? I’m also a high-volume rider, 15-20hr weeks, but it seems like it will be easier to add volume to TBHV for me.

I’ve got you down for Bandeira this weekend then!

After a while doing TR endurance rides, it’ll get to a point where having to stop pedaling is actually annoying and makes the workout more difficult.

Until there is no AT for me, I’ll combine new and old TBHV3:

  • Tue-Fri: use new plan progression
  • Sat: keep old sweetspot progression (North PackBaird PeakAniakchak)
  • Sun: already on my own endurance progression using distance, every week add 20km, coming weekend it’ll be 180km.

Goal is Rapha Ambitious 220 (220mi, ~360km) in 12hr. 13hr is more realistic, though.

I think doing these endurance rides outdoors also is hard. Not so much from the physical perspective rather the discipline. Having to stay in Z2 when going up an incline, or into a headwind, not jumping behind a passing rider you know you can out-ride, having to say to your group riding mates, I’ll miss this one as I need to do some Z2 training. What I find most difficult is riding in heavy traffic, I hadn’t realised how much extra attention I was giving such traffic, all subconsciously, and it raises my HR well into the next zone. The more I do these outside, the easier physically they become, ie, learning, to react under my control rather than the conditions. Z2 is easy.

I have also been experimenting with the ‘Talk Test’. And finding it a great aid when outside particularly. If I can say my mobile number out loud in a normal comfortable conversational manner, I’m in Z2, or say the 1st 10 letters of the alphabet, before the urge to take a breath is signaled. If that urge comes after the 1st 4 characters I know I am between VT1 and 2, if that urge comes after 1-2 characters I’m above VT2.

I’ve posted about the polarized trial plans. I’m not convinced they have the HIIT session sorted out yet, in both duration and intensity. Am interested to hear from others.

Does the ride description say what the purpose of that ride is?

It just seems like it is way too long to be active recovery but also too easy to for aerobic endurance. I’m struggling trying to think why TR would recommend a ride that is at odds with most power-based training information I’ve found (related to zone 1/2.)

It’s because of adaptive training (I’m assuming). People will bump up the rides to whatever they can ride at comfortably, and then TR will make the next weeks adapt to whatever you’ve done. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I just feel bad for the people who do this ride at 50% of ftp, as it’s a waste of time.

IMHO I wouldn’t stress out about this too much- it’s less of a response to physiological output and not necessarily reflective of you being outside of z2 (assuming that’s the reason for the HR cap.)
I have some existing anxiety issues which can make riding on the road a challenge sometimes, and often I’m well into v02 heart rate before I leave the city. Exam weeks give me some hilarious average heart rates. It doesn’t carry anywhere near that level of fatigue/impact though. If It did I suppose I would have to factor in all the other daily heebie-jeebies I get, and also I would be able to hold v02max-level effort for hours at a time…multiple times a day. Actually, that might be handy. :thinking:

Obviously I don’t think it’s quite as severe for most people, but my point is HR is just a proxy for effort which in this case may not be particularly accurate. So I just ride those parts to feel, and laugh at the giant HR drop I get when I finally hit a quiet road.


I’m not at all worried about riding in heavy traffic have done it all my life. It was an observation about riding endurance intensity outdoors vs indoors, that was unbeknown to me. Sub consciously, my internal intensity rises. Something that is useful to know and manage, and hence to stay in Zone.

Do whatever gets you on the bike. Whether it’s nature and exploration or satisfying, steady indoor training. Time on the bike is the key.


Make sure to check for coasting and Z1 time. I’m much happier to do a 2hr endurance ride on the trainer when I know it equates to a 3hr ride outside (at least for me). This also aligns with how my legs feel after each. I always laugh when pro riders say they ride 25-30hr weeks when 5hrs of that is coasting down hour-long descents or sitting at a coffee shop for 30mins.

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I think this is a big reason why people find indoor aerobic endurance rides more difficult than outdoor aerobic endurance rides. Take a look at z1 / coasting time for outdoor rides if you never do and it will blow your mind. On group rides that might be 40%+ for me and even on solo rides on rolling terrain I find it difficult to get below 15% (probably includes bio breaks and lights.). When people tell me their 3.5+hr aerobic endurance rides are easy I either think I’m a wimp / they are a beast or they aren’t looking at z1/coasting time and trying to minimize it.

I’ve done indoor zwift group rides and had 2-3min of z1/coasting in 4hrs. And a TR workout in erg won’t let you go there at all. These rides are unrelenting and I was destroyed the first time I finished Longfellow (?) or whatever the 4hr ride is.

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I mean…that’s still 20-25hr of riding. And those descents aren’t just rest, they’re skills practice. It’s like saying you can’t believe people say they work 40hr/wk when 3-5 hours of that is lunch, bathroom, getting coffee, talking about your kids, walking to your next meeting, etc. Being 100% specific and regimented becomes a bit less important when you are doing such crazy hours.


Thats good that intensity increases into zone 2 / endurance. But 3hrs in zone 1 / active recovery??? I hate the term ‘Junk Miles’ but 3hrs in zone 1 is one of the few things that fits into that category for me. Not short enough for active recovery, not intense enough for aerobic endurance (yeah, I know its a spectrum, not discretely delineated zones, yada yada.) That is why I was curious about the ride description and how they explained the purpose of the ride and any instructions regarding intensity. Maybe I was missing something…

It’s not just the very first week. Every week there is a 3hr ride at 40-50% FTP.

TBHV3 has that ride every Wednesday for the whole block.