Trading out Sunday SS for Endurance?

From listening to the TR podcast and reading on the forum I know that you can substitute the Sunday SS ride for an endurance ride, but my question is what is best. Just finishing up SSB1 and progressed all the way to 9 in my SS level progression. About to start my first build block of Sustained Power Build. I should mention before I go on that I’m doing mid volume and that I really enjoy SS work, probably my favorite type of workout. I’m doing Leadville in August and that’s what my training is focused on. I understand from mentions on the podcast that one of the main reasons that the Sunday ride isn’t endurance is because people won’t do it consistently. Let’s just assume for arguments sake I will be equally and very consistent with my Sunday ride being either SS or Endurance. My questions:

  1. Is it better to substitute my Sunday ride for an endurance ride and if so how long would it need to be?

  2. During much of the building weeks plan builder has me doing the following workouts in this order: endurance, Vo2, threshold, Vo2, and then Sunday sweet spot. The point being from here on I’m mostly doing just one SS a week and if I sub that out will I miss out on anything?

  3. Does it even matter? Is this just two different means to the same end?

Thanks for the input!

Good substitute workouts are mentioned in the weekly notes in the web calendar. As far as I understand they were the workouts TR used in prior incarnations of the SSB training plans. Typically, they are about 2 hours long. Of course, you should try to choose an alternate workout if your Endurance Progression Level is very different from that of the suggested workout.

Also, if you think your actual endurance PL is much higher than what you are currently rated at, you can go beyond. However, do this with care, because ideally you should ramp up week-by-week over the course of SSB. Note that at a certain point, you need to make endurance workouts longer to make them much harder.

For me 3 hours on my indoor trainer is the limit. But endurance rides are perfect outdoor workouts — if weather and your schedule permits.

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Four hours at 65-75% is a good long ride. No reason why you cannot alternate between long ride one weekend and ss the next. Warmer times of the year I’ll ride longer outside. Too cold, I do the ss inside.

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I have thought about doing this very thing. SS one Sunday then long endurance on the next.

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Hard to say if one is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ without getting into the specifics of a session and who you are as an athlete, but I think a weekend endurance ride is a fantastic way to balance out the TR plans and sounds like it would be particularly relevant to your goals.
As above the plan notes offer some guidance length-wise which is a good place to start, but I’d say it’s pretty adaptable and you can go as long as you like provided you’re able to recover sufficiently for the other key sessions. One of the benefits of longer rides is you can be a lot more flexible and just enjoy being out there as well as working on the execution side of things, so I’d let your experience be the guide and adjust as you feel is be necessary.

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In my book consistency is king: so if you hate endurance rides and find easy SS rides on the trainer more engaging, stick to sweet spot. If you find that all that intensity is tiring you out and you want something mellower, an endurance ride sounds like the right way to go.

If you are ok with either, I’d probably err towards going for an endurance ride as that will broaden your base. The amount of work you do on the Sunday sweet spot rides is usually quite small in comparison, so it doesn’t push the needle too much. More endurance will improve recovery and repeatability, i. e. it will increase the length of your life bar while not touching the power bar.

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If I was answering this a year ago I’d have said sweetspot. But now I’d say do the Zone 2.

I’ve seen such an improvement in my cycling by adding more Z2.

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I’m not sure if that was a typo, but I noticed you moved the endurance workout to the beginning of the week. I wouldn’t do that. It’s meant to be a break in between the harder workouts. Also, if you change your SS to endurance, you’re going to be doing two endurance workouts in a row.

The ‘Alternates’ tab does’t appear to let you change SS for anything other than SS but you are your own boss and if you want to change it for Endurance just do it and don’t over think it, you are still turning your legs :wink:

If you read between the lines of the podcast, what coach chad is actually saying is you can substitute out the recommended endurance ride for SS, because no one was doing them so they made them the default. You can infer from that which you think would be best

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You are going to get a lot of personal opinion here…I don’t think there is a clearcut answer based on data. For me, I get my best gains from volume so I support the idea of a long endurance ride on Sunday. For now, I would target ~3 hours (especially if on a trainer) and work up from there as the season progresses. By the time you get to August, I personally would want to be doing ~5 hour rides pretty regularly, with a few even longer than that.

I don’t (yet) put a lot of stock into PL’s…too many variables that don’t seem to be accounted for and seems to be more of a “gamification” of training. I wonder if AT is looking at your current SS PL and saying “Right…don’t really need to work on SS so let’s focus on other areas.”

To some degree, yes. A lot of getting training “right” is either based on experience or just trusting the plan and seeing how it works for you. As someone up above said, there is also value in doing SS one week and Endurance the next. Another option is to build some SS work into those endurance rides.

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I’ve modified my SSB1 HV plan, and I’m currently in week 3, I’m doing the sweet spot workouts on Thurs and Sat (2hrs each) and I’m doing endurance the other days. Since i know I can’t do 4-5hrs consistently I’ve planned my progression of Sunday workouts to go 3hrs and each week increasing 15mins so ultimately at the end of week 5 I’ll do a 4hr Sunday ride. My Tuesday rides are just slightly shorter, so I started at 2.5hrs and am increasing those 15mins each week, so in total each week I’m adding 30mins of z2. So I’ll go from 12hrs in week 1 to 14hrs training by week 5. Figured I’d give a more z2 approach a try, even if I can’t be consistently doing 4-5hrs, like I wish I could.

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