Reduce recovery times

Hi everyone,
Is there a way to reduce the between interval recovery duration? I’m enjoying the programs, but am finding the rests it’s giving me are too long, to the point where I cool down and have to warm up again within the next interval.

E.g. V02max 2 min intervals are 2 mins on, then 10 mins break. Today I did Pierce, which is 6 blocks of 7* 15secs at 120%, then 20sec at sweetspot in between. Each interval block then has 6 mins break. 2 mins would be appropriate, and 3mins break max before cooling down.

Should I be swapping these out for different workouts, or is there a way of sticking with the recommended workouts (build plan), and find a way to reduce recovery?

Kind regards,

Sure, you can just advance the workout to the next interval when you are ready.

Although if you feel the recoveries are too long I would question if your FTP or PL’s are set correctly.

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Yeah. Been there and had the same issue.

You can pick an alternative workout or create your own in workout creator. However this would be a higher PL workout.

Semi-often for reasons you mentioned shorter recoveries actually make the workout easier, if the recovery valley is excessively long, but shorter recoveries have a higher PL even if its still more than enough recovery (a slight flaw in the PL system, sometimes its no better than good old TSS and IF)

  • As mentioned, using the Workout Alternates is an option. You can potentially find a version that achieves the desired goals with shorter recoveries.

  • And backing up the prior comment, do keep in mind the potential goals hidden within each individual workout, but also the planned progression that TR has with a workout that increases in difficulty from week to week. It can sometimes lead to a “crash” if you amp up what you think are “easy” workouts and then you get to the “hard” stuff and are spent.

  • Much of this should be handled by TR via the Adaptive Training aspect (assuming you are using that) and the related survey response along with your actual workout performance. TR should increase workout ramp rates if you rate the “hard” workouts easy along the way.

I run TR off on an iPhone and have found scrubbing somewhat difficult to use, especially for relatively short amounts of time. What I’ve been wishing for lately- though not sure if it’s worth a feature request- is a 15 second skip ahead button like on Spotify. This may be a hyper-specific scenario, but when working out in the morning I usually finish around the time my son is waking up. If I seem him stirring and could quickly trim 30 seconds to a minute to get to the last interval, it would at least reduce the inevitable toddler negotiations of asking him to please stay in bed and please don’t wake up your brother until I finish exercising (usually done while panting my way through a threshold or VO2 interval) :joy:.


We have an open Feature Request asking for better controls:

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What if you just increased the intensity of the workout during the recovery?

If you using a dumb trainer then just pedal a bit harder. 40% for 6min is pretty low and long. If I was doing this workout, I’d probably do something like 2min 40%, 2min 50%, then 2min 60% (not exactly but just recover then slowly make my way up to low Z2).

If you are using ERG mode then it’s a bit more annoying but you can press the intensity button until you get to where you want to be. Just remember to bring it back down for the work interval

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all of the amazing responses, and great ideas for scrubbing / skipping the workout and increasing intensity - which seems excellent for timing child awakenings. Perhaps it is also due to only doing around 10 sessions and TR and might take a while to bed-in the adaptive training. From listening to the TR podcast, skipping / modifying the rests between intervals should not influence the adaption, so there is no real cost to changing the rests.

Coming from Sufferfest, it is an interesting change. Yesterday I was returning to baseline then actually getting quite cold given the rest intervals. I would be happy doing shorter sessions or more reps to spend less time spinning. Often, the intervals are about as intense as I can manage which should mean not an FTP issue. But 10 mins to recover from 2mins effort is alot given the focus of indoor sessions.

Happy to keep going and see how the sessions adapt to increase intensity (this could be the calm before the storm). To this end, does the number indicators (e.g., +3/-3) change the number of intervals or reduce the rests through the adaptation process? e.g., after rating the sessions as easy/moderate, it will add more reps / reduce breaks or just up the FTP.

Good question! No, the naming convention of the workout does not directly reflect the number of rest/work intervals.

Your FTP is set too low.

Why do you say that?

Maybe, maybe not.

There can be notable disconnects between a “proper” FTP and abilities at the top end of VO2 and above. It’s a common discussion point here, even a criticism of TR and others that base this well over-Threshold efforts on FTP in the first place.

The intervals in question are actually 125% of FTP and essentially touching Anaerobic level efforts depending on the person. It may well be that FTP is incorrect, but I think it’s a bit much to state it that way without qualifiers.

Because he said, “2 mins would be appropriate”.

I get that recovery interval length preferences are highly individual, but going from 6 min down to 2 min on that type of workout (float sets, VO2max 6.0) is pretty extreme.

If he could actually complete a modified version of Pierce in its entirety with the recovery intervals shrunk to 2min, I’d venture a guess that he could breeze through a VO2max 10.0 workout.

That’s my reasoning. What do you think?

Just searching a bit out of curiosity, I found something quite close to the request by using the “Alternates”, cutting workout time to 1:00 and then increasing the Difficulty Level to find this:

As you’d expect, the shorter total and recovery durations kick up the IF and Workout Level. It may well be appropriate for the use case above, but worth reviewing to see the related impact to cutting recovery interval duration with most other aspects the same.

So, use of the TR tools may be possible to find a preferred option for this goal (shorter recover) like it is for the other reasons they suggest Alternates.

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I understand your reasoning but I do not think that you can make the comment about FTP being too low with any confidence.

There are plenty of people that can do level 6.x VO2max sessions and get no or next to no time at VO2max (I’m crap at VO2max sessions but they only kick in around PL7.x where significant time is at VO2max for me.)
There are also people that their HR returns to warm-up level in 60 - 90 seconds. As I said above it seems that the OP, as do I, actually find long recoveries harder, we start cooling down.
Have you ever noticed that the first and last set are often the hardest? If you recover too much every set becomes like that harder first one (the penultimate or last one is always hard if you are doing them correctly IMO.)
Basically there is no indication their FTP is set to low, it might be, but we don’t have enough information to be able to state that with any confidence.

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That looks like a good alternative, and do-able, maybe the OP should give it a go :wink: :slight_smile:

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Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

In updating how this is going, I just did cloud’s rest +6 Nd feel the rests are fairly appropriate now. Maybe it’s just down to taking a while for the algorithm to bed in.

The difficulty with these workouts is not necessarily the intensity or break, but fatigue over 1.5h