Spicing up endurance rides with bursts, surges, strides etc

I thought I 'd post a new topic on “doing stuff” within endurance rides. This is partly to not derail the pro training thread, where it has been well documented that elite athletes sprinkle endurance sessions with short bursts of intensity.

Historically we also know that some coaches such as Lydiard and more recentl Lorang & Weber have vouched for such efforts because of their potential for activating fast twitch fibers that are usually not touched very much on endurance rides and for attaining a relaxed and correct form. Others still, such as Olbrecht, has vouched for short surges for vo2 development reason within otherwise low intensity sessions. On this forum, I think someone quite recently floated a picture describing a process of “priming” endurance rides with short intense bouts that drive adaptations, which was super interesting.

I myself have used cycling equivalent of running “strides” or surges, ie. 10-30sec less-than-full-gas relaxed sprints with some success. By feel, I would say both a neuromuscular and vo2 gains have been the result. I have done supra vo2max power 30sec surges on the trainer as well, sometimes just to break the monotony. Yes, I do Z2 on the trainer as well. I have not faced recovery issues, but dont do strides everytime I do Z2.

So I thought it might be a good idea to start a topic to collect resources and share experiences & thoughts in one place. For one, if you know of studies looking into the use of short stride work (not sprint intervals), I would be interested to read. And of course: how do you utilise this sort of stuff yourself?

I tried to look for a topic on this by the search function but did not find one. Please merge or delete this if there is one already.


Not so sure “neuromuscular and vo2 gains” can be created from “10-30sec less-than-full-gas relaxed sprints”. It’s probably something else you’re feeling.

There is a TR user who does ~10s “sprints” during Z2 rides, can’t remember who it is. Maybe check out the ‘Gotta Think About Base’ thread. :man_shrugging:

1 Like

Ideal if you are a Xert user. Do an endurance ride and try and get BT with a couple of sprints. Livens things up if nothing else.

1 Like

I “think” that’s @RobertK. I believe I’ve read him doing these burst towards end of Z2 rides.

10 seconds? My complete lack of sprint power laughs at such things.

I really like “spiking” with 30-second efforts. Once, twice a week during base I’ll do 8-10 during the second half of a 2hr endurance session on the turbo.


Are you talking about sessions sort of like Andrews +1, Bays, Boarstone +1, Cheaha, etc.? The workout text for those mostly talks about improving muscle fiber recruitment:

to increase muscle fiber recruitment in an effort to grow your muscular strength

increasing your ability to recruit additional muscle fibers in an effort to grow your work capacity and lift your sustainable power

increase muscle fiber recruitment in an effort to grow your strength capabilities

I’m probably not in the demo you want feedback from (non-racer, super low threshold power), but I sub 'em in for regular Z2 rides when I’m feeling feisty.

1 Like