More intensity?

I’ve been following a LV plan for a few months and Im currently in the specialty phase before a 5 day event in 3 weeks.

Since the beginning I’ve added about 5-10 hours of endurance/tempo rides per week and kept the high intensity workouts to 3 days a week.

During this time I’ve felt like Im not training hard enough. Legs are always fresh and Im always finishing workouts without any issues. FTP is also on point, having done ramp between phases. I seem to recover well.

This has led me to download and use HRV4Training where I’ve noticed my baseline is in the upper 9.X’s even after VO2Max and Threshold days.

Would I benefit from substituting some endurance rides for more high intensity and if HRV is stabile, can I do them back to back on training days?

Another approach is to do more demanding workouts on your hard days. This approach will leave enough time to recover. You want to feel fresh during your hard work.


This, I started tracking HRV and the one thing that I noticed (aged 52) is that I can’t handle lots of intense days, but I can handle more on the good days, this might be to add more intensity, but there is a limit to the amount of V02 you can absorve, so I tend to do those workout and add a fairly long zone 2/ tempo to the end

This has been working really well for me in the last year, and have a record FTP and weekly TSS, and feeling strong at the moment, just keep in mind to dial it back on the days that you aren’t so well recovered

It could also be that you FTP is set to low


I wouldn’t want more than 3 days of intensity.

Where are your progression levels at? Your current PLs would give an indication of how s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d you’ve been.

I’ve been adding Z2 / Tempo to Rolling Road Race LV and this is where I’m at:

Sweetspot and Threshold have both fallen back as I’ve not hit them since Build. The highest they were at was 6.7 and 5.9 respectively.

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Are you suggesting that I could extend the duration of my VO2 and Threshold intervals on my hard days? Currently they are around 1 hour, but I could test 1:30-2 hours. I want to trust AT and not alternate to higher progression levels than recommended.

3 days of intensity is on the high end IMO; I’d look to make those sessions even harder, but not adding more Hard sessions. Also, making an assumption that high intensity means Threshold or higher. Wouldn’t spend much time below 100% FTP in your case, esp since it sounds like you need more training stimulus.

Let us know how it goes, and what you tweak!


I’m on Climbing Road Race and this is my PL’s. They were recently reset about a month ago after a 10% FTP increase after a ramp test.

I’ve been adding Z2/Tempo as well on days between high intensity days, but I still feel like I can handle more intensity. I am time restricted on weekdays, so adding more duration to Z2/Tempo is not an option, which is why im wondering if I should substitute some of these for more Sweet Spot for example.

I came in with that mindset and gradually abandoned it. I’m new to cycling and structured training and AT wasn’t progressing me fast enough in general and especially on VO2 Max. Absolutely zero benefit in me coming into Specialty doing my first Anaerobic workout at 1.0 when I can pick one that looks comfortably do-able at 5.0, nail it, and progress from there

Additionally, for me it knocked my PLs back too far on FTP changes. If my FTP only went up 4 watts from 219 to 223, I don’t want my PLs to go down very far, and maybe not at all.

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Adding more intensity in place of the endurance stuff may do the opposite of what you want. Google or search this forum for the training mantra: Keep the Hard Days Hard and the Easy Days Easy.
VO2 max is a state of oxygen usage rather than power, so it may be although your power zones may be good for all other types of workouts, it may not be hard enough for a true VO2max session and by switching off ERG you may be better pushing to the maximum of your oxygen zone.
Watts Doc #23: Training Your VO2max, and Why Not Rønnestad 30/15 Intervals - Empirical Cycling


I will try extending my hard workouts to 90 minutes and manually increase the PL’s until they are more challenging. If I still don’t feel any noticable fatigue and HRV is still unaffected, I will come back for more advise.


Congrats on the 10% bump. Please excuse me while I make an effigy and burn it! :smile:

Your PLs (except Endurance, which you’ve been self-managing) are where I’d expect them to be given AT’s conservative approach. My guess is you’ve left some gains on the table by not progressing a little bit faster, but the bottom line is you’ve still made great gains and haven’t overdone things, so it’s not a huge problem.

If you want to make changes, I’d choose some Stretch alternates on your intense days to get that extra stimulus that Brendan is talking about. Don’t change your Z2 rides. Just take care not to finally build some fatigue on the day before your race! :sunglasses:


Haha, thank you! I think the 10% bump is mostly driven by newbie gains. I haven’t been cycling alot :grinning:

Looking at my FTP history I am actually beginning to wonder if the recent AI bump is correct. If my PL’s were conservatively set after my recent FTP update, AI wouldn’t have the correct data to calculate it.

Before making any changes duration and PL’s on my intensity days, I will do another ramp test and report back!

Yes, that’s the idea. AT is probably constrained by the 60min (or whatever) time frame so chosing alternatives within a 75-90 min bracket will probably work just fine.


Just make your hard days harder. Given your levels your hard workouts are pretty easy. Do not add more intensity. Just manually choose harder workouts during intensity days.


I’m in the same boat (back on the bike after a layoff). I’ve found that I can push the workout levels a lot at the moment, say doing a 6.0 when a 4.0 was recommended. I keep doing that and I know that eventually thing will balance out over time. This gives me longer intervals, more intervals, or less recovery - all in all it’s just a harder workout.

The days that your not doing harder workouts are needed for recovery. If you try and go hard in all days then you will just run out of recovery. It may not happen for a month or so but, anecdotally based on a lot of people experience, it will happen.

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You could always do the mid volume plan and swap the Sunday sweet spot workout for an endurance ride. The mid volume plan has 3 interval days with more/longer sets, then ride zone 2 the other days. It’s like low volume plus but you get harder hard days.

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I used to do something similar pre AT (a MV plan with the weekends often substituted for zone 2 group rides). I quite liked it, but TR support advised me that AT would work better with an LV plan and adding the Z2 rides on top.

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I would make no changes to anything and test your way to a higher ftp. Once you test at the higher ftp, your training power levels for your workouts will adjust. Continue doing this until you reach a plateau, then worry about the questions your discussing.

You training history that you posted suggests you’ve been riding for like 3.5 months (at least on TR). While you have made nice progress, that’s a drop in the bucket. I would be more concerned about over training than under training if I was you. Enjoy it while it’s easy to progress. This will change soon! Good luck


If you did a 5x5min VO2 Max, sufficiently hard (ignore power target, do not use ERG mode). I would find it hard to believe that it would not suffice. Are you sure you are going hard enough?

Same goes for Threshold work. if 2 X 20min at threshold is not enough stimulus, then start to extend the length or number of intervals.


Are you doing the survey? Whenever I mark a workout as easy or moderate AT gives the following workouts a couple of bumps.