Two very diff questions - How to train after 8 days off? Riding after VO2 intervals?

Periodically throughout the year we take week long vacations. We’ll have one this summer and one over the holidays. After getting back, I’ll probably go ride 80-100 miles having just taken a week off. However, upon discussion with a friend of mine this weekend, he said I should consider something more moderate like 60 miles. While a week off isn’t that long he said, it is enough that you don’t want to shock the system by jumping straight to a 5 hour ride. I hadn’t really given this a ton of thought TBH.
Are there any thoughts on this strategy of knocking out a long ride to get back into the swing of things?

Next question, I tend to do my VO2 work towards the ends of my rides. For example I’ll do a 50 mile ride and the VO2 work will start at mile 32 or 33 and usually end somewhere around 42 or 43. The last 6-7 miles home aren’t conducive to structured work. Tomorrow I’m giving some thought to adding another 13 miles to my midweek ride and doing the VO2 work at my usual spot, but leaving me with about 22-23 miles riding tired. Any benefit to this? Is this just unnecessary or will it do some good for learning to ride depleted/tired?

What is your training history like? 8 days off after 8 days of training is a lot. 8 days off after 18 months is basically nothing. If you have a good base the difference between 60 miles and 80 miles is only time if you’re mostly Z2ing that ride - even with a few efforts.

I don’t think you’ll get a definite answer on the 2nd one. There are conflicting opinions on lower intensity stuff before vs after hard intervals. Just go for it. See how it feels.

Good answer above.

Also would add… it depends on where you are in your training cycle. Are you trying to pick up where you left off and continue training for a specific goal or is the week vacation more like a season break?

As mentioned above, with a decent history of consistent training you’ll bounce back relatively quickly after a few rust busters. I tend to be more gradual in my ramp up but I’m a bit older. If you are using it as a season break and a more traditional periodization approach than yes, you ramp up the volume slowly, and probably just ride Z2 for a few weeks before transitioning to some light quality (threshold/Sweet Spot, etc.)

As for V02 at the end of the workout… usually high intensity work you want to do fresh so you can maintain the desired intensity. In my running days I knew people who would do really long warm-ups before mile repeats or throw in some threshold reps during their long run so there is that. There might be some value in intensity while fatigued but I would think it also comes with the increased risk of injury as well.

I rode 8400 miles last year and will do similar this year. I ride 5 days a week most weeks and average 180 miles a week or so.

“shock to the system” is some bs…
Do you enjoy this long day? Then do it.

Is it necessary to do a day that long as your first one back? Definitely not, but you aren’t robbing yourself if you do it.

Adding mileage to your vo2 ride is just simply more volume. Only questions you have to ask there are “is the additional time making my vo2 intervals unachievable” and “is the additional volume going to impact the next workout?”

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