Impacts or changing alternate Workout 'style' - same PL

I’m still pretty new to TR, going through SSB LV1 and i have a question on Altenate workouts.

How much of a problem does changing the type or style of a workout, all other things being the same. What i mean is, a tempo/SS session, and swapping out something that has 3x 12 mins @ 85% (like mount field) for 5x6mins @ 88-94% (like Abbey).

I come from a weightlifting back ground and much much much prefer shorter harder efforts so Abbey appeals to me much more.

How am i impacting my development in endurance sports by doing this?

Is there a general guidance to picking an alternate workout so you don’t move outside of the overall intention of the plan?

I think i will stick with the prescribed but it would be great to understand this, not just for the SS stuff but Threshold, VO2 etc.

Unwritten rule #361:

The workouts and intervals you don’t like are usually the ones you need to do.



Thats not the answer i wanted hahaha.

But its the one i needed.

Still curious however. I would like to think in the background on TR systems/AI/code, there is some logic that pushes you in a certain direction based on your history, training status, previous scores on workout typres, training phases.

For example, im new to TR, im going through SSB, so it will give me some work to improve my ability to hold a wattage for an ever increasing period of time.
Going back to shorter punctuated intervals now may be against the intention of the plan at this point?

If you pick an alternate, you should address the same energy system with the same difficulty as the original workout. I usually pick workouts that are easier mentally, eg 5 min each 102%, 101% 100% 99% 98% is mentally much easier for me than 25 mkn 100%. But when you start swapping out a workout for a different type then of course you do not benefit from the intended effect for the plan

Thanks. I might be overthinking it a bit but is the above actually the same in both instances - physiologically? Im thinking the continuous effort is different due to the lack of a short break between (assuming each of those 5s has a short break).

Or maybe its more psychological and the actually physiological adaptations are the same.

eventually you’ll end up in the same place if you keep progressing: the work either gets harder, longer intervals, more total time in zone, shorter rest intervals or a combination of those

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For Sweetspot I think the plans will tend to progress you primarily by increasing time in zone. Secondary progression based in interval duration. Tertiary progression based on recovery interval duration. Quarternary progression based on intensity.

If it was me and the 90 minute version was a 3 by 15 at 90% with 5 minute recovery intervals, I’d be looking for something like 3 by 12 at 92% with 3 minute recoveries for a 60 minute workout. The good news is that Workout Difficulty means you don’t need to worry about it too much. Just choose a shorter alternate of suitable difficulty and all should be good.

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Yea, i trust by keeping the difficulty the same when changing time should cover it, but i always like to understand a little more.

As a newbie to endurance training i think ore time on the bike is better overall so i will keep the sessions as prescribed where possible (i.e. do 90 when it says 90) but if i have more time, just ride z2 after to fill me available time.

Cheers for the tips guys.

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In addition to the energy systems, “alternates” also takes into account how you address this system based on what training stage you are in. As an example, yesterday I needed to change my 90 min O/U Threshold wo to a 60 minute wo. At the requested PL I could only select Picket Guard-2 as O/Us are typical threshold intervals in SSBI. However, if you look in the library there are options in the threshold category at 60 minutes and the same PL. But they are either pure threshold (i.e. intervals at FTP) or suprathreshold (i.e. intervals slightly above FTP). Depending on your discipline these are more likely to be on your plan during build or specialty.

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Thank you. This is what i was getting at with my question, sorry to others if I didn’t put it across very well.

So its fair to say that anything Alternate workouts offer you would be applicable to the phase, and workout style you should be doing.

Answers the question, so thanks very much.

I would phrase that with more specificity :

within the same difficulty level

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Yup, missed that bit.

Thanks again everyone.

I think you’re highlighting a big opportunity for the future of TR. With AI FTP they’ve done something amazing. It would be so cool if they could next show you what the changes to your plan MIGHT do to your fitness.