Recovery Between Intervals

I am a new TR user. I have been riding for almost four years, doing structured training for the last year and a half.

In other plans I have used the recoveries between work intervals were at 75% FTP for VO2Max and other intervals greater than 30 seconds in duration. (Microbursts of 15-30 seconds tended to be at 150% / 50% and are not the focus of this question.)

Most TR workouts recover at 40-50%. What are the pros and cons of recovering at 75% versus 40-50%? Are there easy ways using the Workout Creator to modify all recovery intervals to 75%, or any easy way to do this once in a workout?

I think the goal of these intense workouts is to hit the power targets during the work interval. The recovery phase should be low enough that you can hit the targets for every interval. There is nothing to be gained by adding intensity during the rest phases.

Lower intensity recovery: gives your heart rate a chance to decline.

Higher intensity recovery: clears lactate quicker due to higher workload, and lactate being used more (vs fat) at higher intensities.

For me, my cardio system is my limiter, not my legs getting tired/burning sensation. Hence I prefer lower intensity recovery intervals.

There is no way anyone can do Kaiser or Owens with 75% recovery valleys. That IF has to be close to if not over 1.0

To answer the question, you can do microbursts with a higher recovery but I bet you can do way more of them with a lower recovery. Some workouts like Berryessa are aerobic with stomps and it’s a good workout. If you add more bursts to it, it will be a very tough workout. That’s fine but it becomes hard to stay consistent over a long time with other workouts which is the magic that makes people faster. TR plans have a lot of intensity; there is no need to add more or destroy yourself in every workout

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depends on the workout for sure, but 75% isn’t recovery, so if you’re doing vo2max, you won’t hit as high of numbers as you would if you went to 50%…

i’d use 50% for anything that is harder than a tempo interval…otherwise youre just not fully there.

good luck!


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I knew I’d find it!!


I’m not keen on the science behind the recovery valley intensities, other than the basics of clearing lactate.

However, I can say from experience that at 75%, there’s not much “recovery” going on. Something’s gotta give, and most likely it’ll be reduced ability to hit the work intervals. So… tripping over dollars to pick up pennies.

There are Tempo-specific workouts like Leavitt+2 that have no recovery valleys and spend a lot of time just above and below sweet spot.

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As far as I am concerned if you can recover between the intervals at 75% FTP then you are not putting in enough effort in the actual interval to see improvements and your FTP is set to low. This turns even an interval session into that grey zone training where you are going to hard on the easy bits to be able to put enough into the interval to see adaptions.

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