Interval training - short vs longer rides

been training on my commute to work and home

Schedule-wise my ride to work is easier to make longer 90-150 minutes. home I try to keep to 60-70 min.

if I wanna do intervals, which direction would be more efficient in terms of training benefit? the longer ride? or the shorter ride?

1 Like

Whatever one is less stressful for your life, sorry my answer probably isn’t the one you’re looking for.


as a general rule for interval training, do the hard interval sessions when you are most fresh.


tbh your answer is exactly what I’m looking for. the reason I’m considering this is it’ll be more enjoyable for me to do the harder workout on the way home. I like getting home sooner and that would do it. (plus home is more uphill…so even better to go harder).

just wanna make sure i’m not missing out on too much with a longer ride that’s overall harder.


Yup! Would have to agree with @WindWarrior :slight_smile:

I would also consider which route you can more efficiently do intervals on and which one will allow you to complete the specific set of intervals (time wise) you have for the day to get a nice warm up and cool down.


well I am generally stiffer in the mornings but I’d be fresher since I’d have more rest. I’d have at least 12-14 hours rest in the morning vs 6-8 hours at night.

I could plan it on harder interval days to make sure my commute in to work is fairly easy…so I don’t think it would bog me down that much (dunno though)

I guess you can try both and see which one feels better to you :slight_smile:

1 Like

General rules are just that. From an adaptations point-of-view you recover quickly from cycling. That is why if you do both cycling and weight lifting on the same day the rule of thumb is to cycle in the morning, and lift in the afternoon. To minimize adaptation interference from the weight lifting.

I’ve done 2 a days, with the morning 15-25 minute commute pretty much a “fast as I can go” session with intensity factor near 1.0 IF - normalized power close to FTP. Then afternoons I would do a longer 70-90 minute ride home, with a long sweet spot or threshold interval (around 30+ minutes). For example:

9:30am morning commute was .97 IF and ~17 minutes. 6pm afternoon commute was 70 minutes and .98 IF. This was self-coached and I simply listened to my body and would only do the longer afternoon SS/threshold work if I felt it. Otherwise I would do the short commute and usually toss in two hard accelerations.


As others have said, try both and see how it goes. I’ve personally become a big fan of “interval sandwiches” over the last year, incorporating intervals into the middle of longer z2 rides. For me, the intervals feel better after an hour of so of z2 warmup. And after the intervals, additional Z2 feels amazing. I only do intensity on 2-3 days a week, and it’s always part of a longer ride. Any non-interval days are typically just an hour of z2 spinning to recover for the next long day.


I myself am not a morning person. Just getting to work is a struggle (hour commute). But I can easily nail a workout on my way home (though I prefer a third ride to do that).

Most of my workouts are at night.