Pettit - What's the point?

Hey, kids. So, I’m doing the Mid Volume Sweet Spot 2 plan, right now, and surprise! here comes Tuesday’s Petit workout.

I say “workout” with some hesitation, because it seems to be so low intensity as to be basically a recovery ride – get on the bike, breathe through your nose, don’t lose any fitness but don’t really gain any either.

What goal, in terms of the overall plan structure, is Petit fulfilling? Can I, instead, “do the @Nate_Pearson” (i.e. Baxter) and get a little more fitness without tiring myself out for the next day?

I mean, if there’s a point to Petit that can’t easily be fulfilled by any other workout, then so be it – I’ll ride it on Zwift and try not to get too bored. But if I can sub in something more exciting, I’d like to try!


there’s a recent thread about this Are there any benefits to short Z2 workouts? - #2 and it was spun off into a topic in the latest podcast, definitely give it a read/listen!


Not Petit but the two are similar :smile:


The great thing about TrainerRoad is you can do whatever workout you want, whenever you want! :+1:


And the recent podcast section driven from the thread above.


This has been brought up on here a lot lately. I guess because I started running before cycling I never questioned this type of workout when I see it in the plans. 1 hour Z1/Z2 is super common in running. It is key in recovery and adaption between harder efforts. I actually love my ez days. Gives me a chance to keep my routine and zone out on Netflix.


I’m the same way. Came from running. It’s actually funny because I was so influenced by that background I was like: oh no, where’s the endurance work!? When ppl would ask about endurance work it took everything I had to not go “BUT LYDIARD!!!” hahhahaha


Imagine how many of these threads would crop up if TR added POL plans :scream:

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I have substituted Baxter for Petit and similar workouts a few times. And I adjust the intensity to try to match the average power of the workout I’m substituting. I like Baxter for the frequent slight changes in effort. Often I can’t even feel it change, but the short intervals to count down helps the time pass for me.


Baxter is a blast on a standard (dumb) trainer or using resistance on a smart trainer. I like doing the power shifts with slight changes in cadence. Really active fun for such a “simple” workout.


An hour at 60-70% of FTP isn’t a recovery ride, it’s an endurance ride. It might feel easy enough, but recovery it isn’t.

Now, I think this is something we are all at risk of, myself included…after we have done tough workouts… extended SS intervals, threshold, 3+ minute 120% Vo2 max intervals etc. Then we think that the workouts have to be brutal to be effective. When that’s simply not the case.


I actually don’t like Pettit while I’m in it, but I’ve been performing Base Mid Volume 1 & 2. One of the nice things about having the same easy workout is I can see fitness progress as I look back over my historical Pettit rides. For Base MV II, since I haven’t adjusted my FTP during the phase, I’m cranking the same wattage for the workout, and each week, I’m seeing my HR drop. 2 weeks ago, my average HR was 127. This week, I averaged 120 - which in my opinion is significant. It could be other factors (fatigue, health, other), but I’d like to think it’s a good sign that I’m getting fitter > without having to do an FTP test… my easier rides are getting easier! :slight_smile:


Building routine and consistency. Plus the form drills if you follow them. And if the recovery is not needed, it is better than no work.

I’d rather do Baxter than Pettit any day of the week. Pettit is mind numbing.


I LOVE Pettit :heartbeat:- it’s usually a hard-earned relief by the time it comes around! And it’s definitely not recovery - though in the mix of a lower intensity week it prepares the body for more higher intensity in the block that follows.


I did pettit after a 1 week lay off with a cold… heart rate was well into threshold for half of it. :sneezing_face:


When it comes around in SSBHV it’s a glorious workout.


I keep going back-and-forth on Petit. Some days I’m totally okay with it – I’ve built Petit +1 in Zwift, so I just put the TR podcast on and zone out through the scenery. Other days, like yesterday, I am bored out of my friggin’ mind and can barely force myself to finish.

I mean, after listening to the podcast section on Petit, a bunch, I’m totally on-board with the reasoning behind it – additional easy TSS, moving lymph out of the muscles, calcium channel signalling, etc – I’m just bored most of the time, and can’t help but feel that I should be doing something else. I can’t remember ever thinking “oh, thank God, today is Petit”.

Still, it’s better than Taku :man_shrugging:

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Every time I try to outsmart the plan and start subbing the easy days for harder ones, I regret it later. There is a method to the madness, so just follow the plan as prescribed, or the extra work will surely catch up to you a few weeks later. Not every ride needs to be intense, some days are just about spinning out the fatigue, I aim for a more brisk cadence than usual on these days.


I’m Im not trying to start a Zwift debate. I find Zwift to be terrible for a easy or endurance effort solo rides. Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube or any other type of entertainment is much more engaging IMO. Maybe that’s why I have learned to love Z2 rides on the trainer. I can binge watch with zero guilt