Rest interval resistance ( % of FTP) ? Higher or Lower


I find i can up the resistance on the rest intervals how high can you go ? , standard they are about 40% of FTP . I do them at 115% now and i was wondering if this is ok or can i go even higher ? ( as long as i can keep doing the “work” intervals of course )

Hi Thomas, what are you trying to accomplish by doing so?

Roughly speaking 40-55% is for recovery and anywhere within that should be fine. It should be easy and allow you to recover from the prior effort. Once you go above that, you are now into aerobic work territory (i.e. some work required reducing your ability to perform the next interval).

The obvious next question would be is: if the work intervals are so easy such that you need to increase the rest interval, is your FTP set correctly?

Note: If you know you have your FTP set correctly, but still have gas in the tank after the workouts, perhaps you are coming into TR with a higher fitness level than the plan you selected calls for and should choose either a higher volume plan OR select the harder version of certain workouts (i.e. the +1, +2 variations).

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There is a temptation to do something like this, I wouldn’t advise it. The rest intervals are meant to be exactly that - rest. Once you start increasing the intesity of the rest intervals, you alter how your body adapts to the work intervals.

I’d leave them alone.

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Hi Just to make iT a little harder :wink: but I think I will stick to the workouts from now on .

Hi agreed

Try swapping out for the +1 version of your workout, or increase the intensity for the hard part of the workout, that will give you more feedback on your ability than increasing intensity on a deliberate rest period.

If you feel you can do more work at sweetspot/threshold then it might be time for a new FTP test.




Early on in a training plan, it is the effort intervals that are important, and taking it easy in the recovery intervals so that you can execute the effort intervals properly is the smart thing to do.

As you get towards the pointy end of a training plan, repeatability becomes more important (especially in more race oriented plans), and keeping the effort high in the recovery intervals helps with training the body to recover without backing off too much.


Learning how to rest and recover is so hard. This includes rest weeks, rest days, and even rest between intervals. It is ok to go easy, more so - it is IMPORTANT to go easy


Agreed! I think I’ve said somewhere before that rest can be the hardest part of training!!

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The biggest thing I learned from my first season following TrainerRoad plans (three? four? years ago) was that rest is hard and requires focus. I used to go hammer all day every day and now…well, it’s still hard to go easy but I know it is worth it


I think my Elite Driveo has some kind of wattage ‘floor’. (is this even possible?) I measure everything on my Quarq and do run PowerMatch.

So, unless I gear down a whole bunch, my trainer simply doesn’t seem to drop into the 40% territory. I suppose I could gear down, but the rest I’m getting seems generally sufficient.

Great thanks for the advice ! i will take it easy on the rest intervals !

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Yes, happens on plenty of trainers. You have to go into easier gears to get down to the recovery wattages. When you have a higher FTP, this doesn’t happen so much.


yes, as per above. the wattage floor on my tacx is around 120w when in middle of the block and small front chainring, I have to switch to easier gears to get wattage below that.

Not an issue for me, as I am more concerned with not having to change gear when working hard and from 120w up to 450 watts at least I don’t need to do anything but pedal. (haven’t tested it higher than that)

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