Single "2 hour Workout" vs two x "1 hour Workout" - pros / cons

On my training program I am prescribed a 2 hour workout twice a week.

I am finding it tricky to find a full 2 hour slot on these days, so manually switch in 2 x 1 hour sessions into my plan.

Curious to know thoughts of difficulty levels to set, pro’s , cons, etc.

ie if prescribed 2 hour Threshold Workout has difficulty of 4.4, should I replace with 2x 1 hour Threshold with difficulty totalling only 4.4 ?

If split into 2 x 1 hour sessions, 1 in the am. , in the pm, I can manage to increase total difficultly to about 6 for the day, is this a problem ? a good thing ?

Interested to know people thoughts, thanks.

I would go for two 1h workouts that a slightly harder but not significantly harder than the 2h session, you might need to consider the TSS of wo’s also. But I’m no coach!

I would try and do a single 75 or 90 minute workout instead.
The time lost to changing, showers and more kit to wash will add up.

My 2 cents:
If you can, try to make time for the longest workout that you can.
If you can’t I personally wouldn’t do double threshold sessions in a day, but rather put as much TiZ into the first session and take the second one as an endurance ride. For example, if you have a 2-hour threshold workout with 4x12 intervals, maybe do a 1h 4x10-minute workout and an endurance ride. Or a 90 minute 4x12 with shorter rests.

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search 2 a day workouts - there is loads written on this topic includeing a TR blog/podcast etc. There isnt really a simple answer

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I was at my fittest when I did 2X a day rides/workouts - sometimes I did as much as 3x due to nearly daily commutes. I didn’t have the time for extended long rides during the week but I could sneak in plenty of shorter ones and it served me well to ride as much as I could handle a lot of time spent in Z2.

As someone else mentioned you’re better off getting in a shorter more focused effort in your first workout and then adding a z2 ride in of time allows. 2 threshold workouts in a single day is probably not even effective.

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@ibaldwin food for thought…

Key points from article: double threshold workouts (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) twice a week.

I have actually felt really strong doing double threshold days (mine were bike in morning and running in afternoon).

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I just knew someone is going to drop this article.
Before you go all crazy about double threshold days, ask yourself this: how long can an average Joe keep doing double threshold workouts before he starts walking around like a zombie or gets sick?

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I agree, it has it’s place and your calendar should not be filled with double thresholds all the time. But if you are resting on both sides of the double thresholds, I think it is more than doable long term.

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Here are some existing topics exploring this question:

Podcast covering double days:

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Yeah, if I had a block of time to train that would allow adequate recovery between sessions I would try it. I suspect at this point it would likely place me into a danger zone, though.

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Don’t go near double threshold days if you think you are anywhere close to the danger zone!

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I think one of the best points of that article is that there are many ways to get fit and fast. I also think the one thing all of us average Joe’s need to figure out is rest/recovery. If we don’t recovery properly ALL training methods will eventually fail. I have personally crashed and burned after a period of sweet spot base because I had a lot of life stress that I was not accounting for and resting properly.

I have had success trying 80/20, sweet spot, and a more polarized approach. A lot of the fun for me is experimentation and seeing how my body responds. The training stimulus varies by method, but they all have a foundation of finding a way to let you train more and/or more efficient by allowing your body to recover.

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Important to note thats running where its far harder (and much higher injury risk) to do volume at threshold in 1 session. Cycling far less relevant.

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It depends what you are after. At the very least, I would try to maintain TIZ or maybe go a bit longer.

2x a day is great for losing weight, IMO.

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If I couldn’t fit a 2 hour workout in on a given day but could find 2x 1hr slots I absolutely would do two workouts.

However I would not do 2x Threshold sessions, i would do the first one as a Threshold session with the same PL as the 2hr workout was (i.e., both 4.4 or whatever - you will find the shorter one has a higher IF etc than the longer one for the same PL) and then do an enduramce ride for the second one. If you listen to the FastTalk podcast linked in one of the threads above, that seems to be a really sensible way of splitting up the work. Doing two a days like that apparently gives some of the benefits of longer days - it may even have some advantages compared to doing 1x 2hr session. Although you probably don’t want to do that every session.

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That was my experience after attempting a MV SS plan (this was pre-plan builder). Started my year burned out. I’ve since gone back to a more traditional approach and sprinkle in some tempo and SS rides as a supplement to endurance rides, not the focus.

To be clear, that was not meant to be a slam on TR. I completely plateaued on 80/20 because there was not enough stimulus. TR helped me push past that by adding more tempo/sweet spot work.

It’s a little too far out for me to start formally training for my goal 70.3 in the fall, so I am following my Garmin fenix 6’s Suggested Workouts. It is mostly a combination of VO2max, threshold and endurance (with sprints ever once in a while). It has pushed me harder than any plan I have ever done in my life, but I actually feel fresh and strong because it recommends easier days which have allowed me to recover. It probably helps that it can take into account how I slept and other life stress.

My typical week includes 3 swims, 3 bikes, 4 runs and 3 body weight strength/mobility workouts. On average Garmin has been recommending 3 hard days a week. It’s on some of those hard days I have been doing double thresholds (maybe once every 2 weeks).

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No slam on TR taken. I’ve learned what does and doesn’t work for me personally, and my expectation of TR is that it’s a good piece of tool for self-coached athletes. I modify PB plans pretty heavily to account for my unique situation and am fine with that. I’m taking a long break from training this year so far. I was experiencing a little burnout rolling into this training season and decided to take a break from it. I’m healing from an over-use running injury, but I’m now getting excited to train, ride, race and run again sometime later this year. I’ll probably target some mid to late summer and fall racing and try to get in a big base in the meantime once I’m healthy.

I appreciate all the different perspectives on training here in the forum, I’ve never tried a Garmin suggested workout but it sounds like something new and different to try before your more focused TR plan later this year. FWIW threshold training is my favorite system to train and I even enjoy U/Os! Can’t wait until I’m ready for that again…

Valuable suggestions on this topic! Doing threshold workout first and adding a z2 ride later is a sound and safe approach. On the other hand, doing two threshold workouts seems to work well at least in running and xc-ski world. But you need to be careful not to overdo it. So if you choose the latter, make those workouts shorter and pay attention to recovery. You could also try doing one double threshold day and one threshold + z2 day per week. In the end, it’s mostly about managing stress and recovery.

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