Petit, Baxter just too boring

Outside for similar TSS or run Colosseum, West Vidette, Baxter -2, etc. in resistance mode. With shorter times at various powers, and forcing yourself to have to change your cadence up to meet goal power, I’ve found that makes those rides far more tolerable.

That said, I can ride the long Z2 intervals if I have good entertainment. I like podcasts for those rides, or sports on TV, or I’m sure GoT would work. :smile: I have to be able to zone out a little bit if I’m doing Pettit and such. For harder work, I listen to music, but that doesn’t do it for me on Pettit, either.

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Thanks! Tried this morning in resistance mode (on gen1 Kickr) but could literally hardly move the pedals - something was screwy. Will try that again, though.

I do something similar to @Jonathan for those easy z2 rides. Every 5 minutes I change up my position (tops, hoods, drops) and every 15 do a quick standing break. I usually just watch the news in the morning when doing these.

If I actually had the chance to do these outdoors, I’d still do them inside. When I ride outdoors, it is really difficult to keep the power this low without having to drop to really low cadence on the rolling terrain where I live. Plus the really steady aspect of indoor training is a very good aerobic stimulus.

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These rides are SUPER IMPORTANT and would be even more beneficial if they were longer. By design, this program already lacks Z2 workouts.

They are great workouts to challenge yourself to try to ride in the drops or with arms at 90* in the drops, on the hoods or in a breakaway position for as long as possible.

The alternative is to get a fixed gear track bike and do them outside on flat roads which I often do.

You can always bump up the intensity or duration 20% (to get you to the top of your Z2, but, Keep your heart rate within your Hearttrate Z2. I’ve heard of some coaches assigning Z2 rides according to heart rate instead of watts.

You will be faster if you go slower, longer, more often.

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That’s it, @Nate_Pearson is banning you from Trainerroad for life.


I know, I know …

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Depends on where the athlete is during the race season. IMO, this is appropriate during a Base phase, maybe even early in a Build. The later you get, the more specific muscular stress is applied and the fitter the athlete, the less I would rely on HR for programming intensity, preferring power on the bike and pace (or power) for running.

I haven’t done much research in this area. What’s the downside of using HR instead of power for Z2 conditioning? For example, you may be able to do Z3 level watts w/ Z2 level HR, but, would get less conditioning if tied to watts, right?

TL;DR: Keep your easy days easy so your hard days can be hard.

It depends on the goal of the workout, which is kind of what I was driving at. Base phase, you’re usually establishing the aerobic fitness for whatever event you’re doing. (Keep in mind I’m generally well-schooled in longer stuff, triathlons specifically… may be a little different for crit or XCO or enduro types). When relatively untrained, your HR will track poorly with power over the longer rides (aerobic decoupling). Once your aerobic fitness is up to snuff, then you’ll see far less of an increase in HR relative to stable power over longer and longer periods, and your HR at a specific power will probably go down as you get fitter. In fact, some coaches use aerobic decoupling as one primary metric to determine when it’s time to move from aerobic base building into training more advanced limiters like muscular (strength) endurance or anaerobic endurance, while just maintaining aerobic base.

If you use HR later in the season, when you’re just trying to maintain (rather than establish) aerobic fitness, and you’re trying to improve muscular endurance, you run the risk of training the muscles with a harder stimulus than desired when your intent is to maintain aerobic fitness and give the legs a relative rest. This could be training in HR zone 2, but in the tempo or sweet spot zones of power, which can lead to the old “easy days not easy enough” problem, and cause issues with respect to the quality of your programmed hard days.

To avoid this in build, when you want to come into hard workouts relatively fresh so they can be hard, many coaches will prescribe zone 1/2 power rather than HR, because you can maintain aerobic fitness in a very broad range of bpm. If you go into all your “easy” workouts in a build or peak period trying to ride at the top end of zone 2 HR, odds are you are working too hard on your “easy” days, and you won’t get as much out of your hard days.

Programming aerobic rides by HR in base and power in build is my preferred method. Doesn’t mean that’s right for everyone, but it’s worked well for me.


Slightly different question. How necessary are they?

I’m 48 and have run / cycled for 25yrs (so asusme I’m reasonably aerobic) and currently doing SSB2. Would it be detrimental to swap the Wednesday Petit for a 1hr endurance run?

Ha ha go outdoors on flat roads, all I’ll say is…Cotswolds

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As a counter to this… almost every spring, this starts to happen to me and my HR drops for a specific pace/power/duration. If I don’t at least maintain that HR in my workouts, or increase duration at a lower HR, eventually that fitness is gone and and HR starts creeping back up. I think there should be a HR floor if you aren’t currently increasing or at least maintaining overall workload. It is a tricky balance since there’s a localized fatigue element to having increased fitness, but sometimes that is what comes with a higher workload.

IMO, throughout most of your history, pettit should have a relatively consistent HR. If it gets significantly lower, then you are probably not doing enough work to maintain or grow your fitness, if it is significantly higher, you need a day off.

Don’t forget that people who are really fit… their easy days are still hard compared to an average Joe. So it’s all about increasing workload over time, just a little bit at a time that will give consistent progress.

This is generally taken care of by testing somewhat frequently, every 4-6 weeks, for the metrics you really want to train by. On the bike, as muscular endurance improves, FTP generally improves (not always, sometimes just TTE at FTP improves). This is the mechanism that allows your HR to stay relatively consistent during similar workouts. While you might be training Pettit 30W higher than you were six months ago, your HR should be relatively close to where it was before. Given HR’s variability due to a number of different stimuli, it just opens the door to a lot of error when training, and that becomes more detrimental later in training cycles.

This has been addressed a bunch in the podcast. If you’re going to drop a workout for whatever reason, they recommend the zone 2 rides get dropped first. So take that as they’re the least necessary in something like a MV SSB program. The purpose is additional TSS/calorie expenditure, getting you on the bike more to improve efficiency and furthering the habit.

That said, a 1-hour endurance run is going to take a hell of a lot bigger toll on your legs than Pettit. If you can handle it without detracting from your Thursday workout, then have at it. My guess is that you’re going to find yourself far more fatigued entering Thursday’s workout due to the pounding of the run. You could certainly reduce the time to 30 minutes or more and get a similar benefit. You could look at kj expenditure as one measure to try to match, maybe. Again, this all depends on your fitness as a runner. Generally, 1-hr zone 2 on the bike and 1-hr zone 2 running exact dramatically different physiological tolls.

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A bit like people who struggle at 95% vs 85% FTP sweet spot sessions - I wonder if there’s the same kind of differences at the bottom end.
I.e. one person may have a vastly different take-away from 65 vs a 75% session as it may put you above or below the intended zone.

I don’t mind these workouts at all but tend to do the different versions of Baxter. Depending on how I’m feeling I’ll adjust my cadence during the different ever changing steps. This really helps break up the workout.

I always have something on the television, be it Netflix, YouTube, or a sporting event. Time flies quickly.

This is something I’ve been really noticing… even though we had that one snowflake comment Nate, it seems from a lot of the topics about aerobic endurance efforts there seems to be a very large variation in metabolic response. Personally for pettit, my hr only goes above 110 during the one segment at 70% where it starts to get around 115 to 120.