Outside Time in Zone vs. Inside Time in Zone

New to TR. Started in Dec. After 5 months of mostly indoor trainer workouts, I would like to start riding outside more with some friends and small groups. The guys ride with is understanding if I choose to do intervals. My question is:

I have Kosciszko +4 scheduled tomorrow. It is 8x5 min repeats at 108% FPT. My question is:

  1. Is it more important to respect the 5 min effort and 5 min recoveries? Or can I go again when the group catches me assuming I dropped them.
  2. Will I get the same benefit if I spend a total of 40 min at 108% as long as no interval is shorter than 4 or 5 min? Example, I start an interval and circumstances dictate that I continue on for 8 or 10 minutes. Would that be okay as long as I can hold it?


  1. If you feel sufficiently recovered you can do less than 5 min. recovery. Just remember that you will have a harder time completing the whole five minutes at a sufficiently high intensity if you reduce the recovery.

  2. No. You will not get the same benefit if you change the way the workout is done. If you do longer intervals you may reduce the intensity and hence rely more on aerobic energy systems. If you shortens the intervals on the other hand you may increase the intensity and rely more on anaerobic energy systems. Both is completely fine, and you will most probably benefit from the workout in some way no matter what you choose.

My advice would be to skip the intervals during a group ride! You can always do intervals on your own but you cannot have fun with your friends on your own!

Thank you.