Increasing the % of work outs...what happens?

First off sorry if this has been asked before.

I am on a recovery / taper week, I have been doing my workouts at 105% while still in my endurance zone this pushes it to the limit. Now I don’t feel extra fatigued doing them at 105%, my question.

Does the extra 5% increase the ability to push a higher FTP (over time), my thinking about it is that I am pushing my zones up by 5% while keeping the training load easy and manageable, getting my muscles use to having that extra 5%…Will this increase the ability to make harder workouts “easier”?

Or should I just stick to keeping it at 100% and not hinder my performance? I am currently training with my highest ever FTP.

recovery and taper weeks are meant to allow your body to shed load and adapt to the stress you’ve put on it in the previous block, so adding 5% to these workouts is inadvisable.

5% can mean drastically different things across the different zones, in z2 5% isn’t that much, but if you can raise your threshold and vo2 max workouts 5% then that would say your ftp is too low.

If you find that with the current workouts you have the ability to do more especially coming off your hard days I would first look at adding in more volume like pettit or baxter -1, something in the z2/z3 nature. Or if you’re on the low volume plan move up to mid volume.


Recovery week is after a hard 3-5 weeks of structured training. It deloads the body and mind of both intensity and time in the saddle. Taper week keeps intensity but lowers duration as a lead up to a race/event. You’re shedding some fatigue but keeping race ready.

Increased intensity during a recovery week may cause you to not fully recover and thus negatively affect the upcoming training weeks. When in doubt error on the side of caution and recovering “too much”. As @pcort mentioned, if you feel you have more to give add that to work weeks and not recovery weeks.

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agree with these responses.

it’s also not as simple as “push 5% higher in every zone, FTP gets higher”, as some sort of blanket rule. You really have to approach each workout in the context of the overall plan or training week, and your goal for each workout is to get the training impulse that you are looking for.

Like, if you are going out to do a very long endurance ride and you bump 5% up off your target, you might end up fatiguing early and only getting in 3 hours instead of the 5 you were shooting for. That’s bad, will not result in better results.

If you are doing a super easy ride because you have an important and hard workout the next day, why would you risk not having as much to give during the hard day planned for tomorrow?

If you are doing a sweet spot workout and you push up 5%, you might be above threshold (on that day). If that makes you more tired and compromises the quality of your other workouts that week, that also could be bad.

On the other hand, if you’re doing Vo2max intervals and find that you are feeling really good and strong, and the purpose of the workout is to work on power (instead of capacity), and you push the intensity up, that can be very good (if working on capacity, you’d push the duration up, not the power up).

So it’s really a judgment call, you have to listen to your body but also think about it in context of the overall plan.

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