Insufficient basic endurance in century training plan?

I’m using TR for a few workouts now and am wondering about a detail of my trainingplan (mid volume, century).

Before TR i was training with a trainingplan, that contained lots auf hour in basic endurance training - three times per weer about 1.5 - 2h each session) and one or two interval sessions. I’ve red that these basic endurance sessions are key to a successful endurance training.

Now my trainingplan contains not one of those long basic endurance sessions, just one per week with 30mins duration.

Does anyone see a problem here, too? Should I extend my short basic endurance session in my existing plan? Or should I add an extra basic endurance session?

Thanks for your answers!

Greetings from Leverkusen/Germany


Hi vL.

To me, it sounds like you went straight into the speciality phase of training. Is that correct?

Usually with TR, it’s recommended you do the base phase first, which will have a lot of the sustained endurance/sweet spot work you seem to be looking for.

Depending on how much time you have until your target event, or if you’re coming into TR with a lot of base fitness, you could probably start with Sweet Spot Base II, then do the sustained power build before moving on to Century Speciality phase.

If you do the recommended progression i.e. SSB I and II - 12 weeks, SPB - 8 weeks, Century Speciality - 8 weeks, it’s 28 weeks. But as I said, it’s possible to start with SSB II and cut out 6 weeks.


Endurance for long rides is NOT only built by riding slowly for long periods. Have a look at the numerous TR blog posts on the subject, or listen to the many podcasts that also mention it, but riding at higher intensities, like tempo, SST or FTP and above ALSO increases endurance. It might not get you used to spending 6 hrs in the saddle or fuelling for long rides, but the fitness will come. You should also make sure you do the Base and ideally Build phases first as each programme targets specific focus areas.

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Can totally build the required fitness with shorter more intense rides…but a few longer rides help to nail nutrition and any comfort issues.

Just here to echo you can train to ride a century with little “endurance” training (by that I mean dedicated z2 rides) or even anything over 2hrs. During the spring I did SSB1 and 2 HV all indoors and on July 4th I went out and did 100 miles, no special training, just pacing it at my endurance level. I think there’s a lot of bang for the buck with sweet spot training, especially since I don’t have the time to do much over 2hrs

If you view the weekly tips on your plan you will usually be given a few examples of endurance rides to substitute the interval workouts with.


Aaah I see.

As has been said above, most of the workouts you’re doing are shorter than the typical long endurance rides you’ll be doing, but at a higher intensity. So a workout like Donner, for example, has you at threshold. Working at that intensity for shorter durations will allow you to ride at lower intensity for much much longer.

@zwillis1: At the moment I’m in SSB i - mid volume phase. So technically I’m working on my base fitness.

@Mattias14142: Thanks for the tip, I didn’t recognize these tips at all. I’ll have an open eye to them i the future.

@all: thanks for the fast feedback. It seems that there is no need to worry.


I have seen better results by doing more endurance rides. Like your previous plan. Both TR and endurance focused plans delivered results. The endurance focused plan achieved better results.

You may find the same, or different, depending on many variables.


Another option is switch to low volume and then just add zone 2 endurance workouts when you have the time. I did that successfully last year. In MV this year

If you haven’t listened to the podcast they are great for passing time and learning on the Z2 rides!


That’s what I’m doing. Low volume weekday evenings on the turbo then two 3-5hr easy rides at the weekend, generally one on road, one off road.
Still leaves me two lovely rest days.
Seems nicely sustainable.

You know… I did a century+ in my recovery week of SSB build MV… I came out say stronger going in this week. Long threshold intervals felt easy, while before they felt painful and before I started this SSB round. So I feel I need more zone 2/3 rides for more base. I know sweet spot base is for that, but I really feel my endurance base is slipping in build while my FTP increases.

So I am adding more endurance (2-3h) in zone 2 on Sunday. It increases fatigue, but I think it’s worth it.

Also, I want to train for riding when fatigued, such as at the end of a century in my case. So sometimes I add zone 2 after a threshold training, just to peddle through fatigue (but take appropriate nutrition and recovery afterwards).

When I did the Mallorca 312, my training had a couple of centuries but nothing as long and hilly as the 312 its self. The training mainly focused on sub 1h and shorter intervals but intense turbo session midweek with outdoor rides including centuries at the weekend. Up until then I had always prepared for an event by doing the distance and as similar a climb as I could. On hindsight the 312 training was better.

Sounds like you’ve got what you need from this thread, but I’d also suggest you listen to the podcast - particularly the last year’s worth of episodes. They touch on this topic quite frequently (that you don’t need to train “long” to race “long”, that you train “energy systems” which is a more efficient method).

@grawp: two 3-5h rides at the weekend? My wife would kill me. :wink: But I see where you want me to go.
@tanzbodeli: sounds legit. So my homework from now on is reading training tips in the app and listen frequently to the podcast regularly. At least I’ll try to …

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I get up at 5am, make coffee for her just before I leave the house at 6. Am back by 10ish. Not so bad.