Is it me or is Arrow WAY harder than Frissell? Threshold 2.9 vs Threshold 3.0


On a few occasions on this forum, i’ve noticed that TR developers like the feedback about the workouts. So here is my input.


Arrow vs. Frissell, threshold 2.9 and 3.0 workouts, both are 1h30min. When you look only at the numbers both are different in structure but average out to be pretty similar workouts. Arrow has less time in Threshold, but more time in Endurance, Frissel more time in Threshold but also more time in Active Recovery. Overal Arrow has higher average power, in my case 221W vs 213W.

I did Arrow on Thursday and Frissel on Saturday, both in the morning. My subjective feeling is that Arrow is WAY harder, my average HR was much higher, 82%HRM vs 78%HRM. My subjective rating after the workout for Arrow was Very Hard and Moderate for Frissell. My HR was elevated for the rest of Thursday.

So, is it me or are those workouts actually much more different than TR says?

If you have to rate Arrow as very hard and you are not carrying massive fatigue, your ftp is inflated.
It’s very likely that the endurance part of Arrow is actually Tempo/low SS for you, which is much more fatigueing than Endurance.


Can it be that fatigue has more impact on long endurance/tempo efforts compared with shorter threshold/VO2max efforts?

I’m not going to say waaaay harder but I will deem arrow and its ilk as deceptive. I’ve never done arrow but sandwich sets i have done such as starlight-2 and reinstein have a way of being sneakily tiring. Just from viewing it would appear that easy endurance prior to fewer sets that you’d find in other workouts would make for a sampler of stimuli. The wearing of the endurance prior to the meat of the workout is subtle but once you get there it certainly feels different than if you just did a workout with a normal warm up into multiple sets of the same with 40-50% full recovery between. I definitely don’t take them as lightly as I used to. Sure reinstein is not mcadie but it’s hard in a different way.

I think it comes down to what your strengths and weaknesses are from a power profile perspective. For example I can crank out V02 or Sprint rides at PL 6+ with a fair amount of ease but a Threshold or Sweet Spot ride at PL 4 or so will bring me to my knees (well maybe not but it will be hard) if it has a long steady block in it. I know others can spin away at threshold for a long time and then can get killed on a sprint. The rides with higher power tend to have more breaks in order to make them completable, and if you recover quickly it makes it ‘easier’.

With Frissell you’re getting a big break between each interval, with Arrow you’re coming into that first interval a bit more tired and then the rest break between the intervals is shorter. Those rest sections in Frissell are 9 minutes each, which for me specifically would feel like days, so you’ll come in super fresh on the next section.

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I don’t have much experience training with TrainerRoad but I think i’m similar to you, Kevin123. It seems as if all the efforts above Threshold(VO2, Anaerobic, Sprint) are hard to do at the moment but i’m fine after workout and everything below(Sweet Spot, Tempo) are are not that hard to do but there is some kind of hidden aerobic fatigue that carries over into after workout. I don’t know if i’ve explained it clearly. It is weird because most of my training before TR was in Endurance and Sweet Spot zones. But i’m happy that it revealed my weaknesses.

Exactly. One other example that I didn’t think about until this morning: My FTP is 288 per TR, but my power at shorter time distances is higher comparatively than my longer duration power: 1s ~1400+w, 1300w 5s, 1200w 10s, 900w 30s, 750w 1m, but then at 5m it’s only ~350w and FTP is high 28X. When looking at training even the Sprint TR workouts for me are only maxing around 650w, which is half my known power, but when there’s a long block of SS it ends up being a much higher percentage of my max power for the duration of the interval. So basically what I’m saying here is those ‘easy’ parts of the ride are comparatively harder when a fast-twitch power profile is applied.