Picking alternates with longer duration. Stick to PL or TSS

I’m wondering what I should “keep constant” when picking longer duration alternative workouts: Progression Level, or TSS, or is that just a bad idea?

E.g. on Aniakchak (2h SS 9.5, TSS 132) - If I find myself with enough time, I might do a 3h workout instead (thinking more hours = better).

For ~same PL, I could pick Whiteside +2 (2h45), but TSS is 185 (50 higher than original workout),
or (for this case there isn’t a ~3h workout with low enough PL, but 170 TSS.

Is picking more TSS for the same PL (and doing more in the same week) over training?
Would doing longer duration (but equivalent TSS and lower PL) not train enough for that level?

If your goal is to extend the workout duration for that type of workout, you’ll always end up with more TSS. If you aim for the same TSS, but extend the ride you’ll almost always end up doing a workout in a different zone. So you’re basically changing the plan at that point.

To the OP: depends on whether you want to do more work at the same sort of intensity (and thus deliberately increase TSS) or whether you want to do roughly the same amount of TSS by working at a lower intensity for longer.

If the former, then you’re deliberately going outside the plan, but that might be just what your body needs. It also might be just what your body doesn’t need.

And never forget that not all TSS is created equal. Worth looking at kJs as well as TSS. You may find that a 3hr endurance ride burns the same kJs as a 2hr sweetspot ride, but at a lower TSS. Which is doing more for your fitness? Which will be easier to recover from?

Aniakchak 132 TSS and 1274 kJs 0.81 IF 2hrs

Pine Mesa 85 TSS and 1268 kJs 0.53 IF 3hrs

Chowchilla 134 TSS and 1642 kJs 0.67 IF 3hrs

So, Pine Mesa is a super-chilled noodle that matches the kJs. I’d do that if I had 3 hrs and I felt just OK. I’d do Chowchilla if I felt good or strong.

Another alternative is to do Aniakchak, and then Extend Cooldown and set the intensity manually to do an extra sweetspot interval (or just some extra Z2)

I guess my point is: you have options :grin:

1 Like