One big endurance ride or three short endurance rides

Hello. I’m sure this is has a simple answer but somehow I can’t quite find the right angle to see it.
I’m on a LV plan, doing quite well, completing all my workouts, improving nicely. College stress has me on the limit but I still sleep enough and manage to keep myself on track. It’s actually my best ever start to a training plan and I feel better than I ever did when I half-assed a MV plan and didn’t eat enough.
Before I started TR I used to do a big-ish ride on Sundays. I also used to commute to college daily because I hate traffic and I found that it stresses me out enough to get me in a bad mood and potentially ruin my mornings and evenings. I’d rather be a little more tired and sweaty than that.
Haven’t been doing either lately because I’m coming back from injury and extended rest, but college workload is still a little too high so I’m thinking of choosing between the two: either commute twice a week (about 15 miles of endurance riding each), or go for a 3+ hour ride on sundays (anything above 2hrs counts as long for my current form).

I’m leaning towards commuting because I find it easier to recover from short rides than from a long ride and it also gets me moving more often and away from the desk. Also, my goal events are XC races so I’m not sure if would benefit from the longer rides. But still, I don’t know if short endurance rides do anything at all and just add fatigue without actual gains in anything.
Which one is more preferable for my case?

I’d start with the short endurance rides and make them a habit. I’ve been doing an hour before work at 60-70% FTP the last 3 weeks and I’m not sure on the physical benefits but a bike ride is for sure the best way to start the work day.
My stress levels are overall lower and I’m actually sleeping better despite waking earlier.

At least then you have the flexibility to add the weekend ride as you feel knowing you’ve already banked some endurance through the week.

I’d imagine fitness improvements of the 3 hour ride would trump the 3 x 1 hour rides but it’s easier to do both in my opinion if you start with the shorter rides.


Good points, didn’t look at it that way.
Thank you!