Wahoo article on base miles - 16 hours per week minimum for benefit?

Clicked on an advert for Wahoo in my email tonight and although I’d thought it would be a typical base v sweet spot article it was actually a bit eyebrow raising.

Can you guy place the numbers in the article? Is this based on newer research that maybe I’ve not seen as I’ve been doing my own thing for a couple years now (just thinking about doing structured training again now, hence the curiosity).

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Thank you. It is just confusing: one say A, others say B.

In general I am rather sceptical when companies with a clear goal to sell their products publish “scientific” articles.

I guess Wahoo is more interested in selling devices which can be pushed beyond thousands of watts than to admit that constantly pushing less than 200 watts would be beneficial too. Also Wahoos Sufferfest is not really known for promoting non-suffering traditional base workouts.

Just my take

(And I like Wahoo products :))

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I think these sorts of articles are a little irrelevant as they always tend to assume that people doing low intensity volume are ONLY doing that and not incorporating anything else. I’m sure there are some people still doing that but I think that “little ring 'till Easter” thing has largely died out and most people training <15-20 hrs/wk are doing some form of intensity in there in some form.

I suspect those minimum numbers change very significantly if you add even 1 quality intensity session per week into the schedule eg a vo2, threshold, over/unders etc.


Absolutely: it’s the classic false dichotomy fallacy.

Ultimately, IMO, it comes to this: very few people are going to get very good at long events without doing at least some long ‘base’ rides. Likewise, don’t expect to be a crit monster if you only ever twiddle round at low intensity for 4 hours… That is not to say those types of rides do nothing for the ‘opposite’ power level/or event; merely that the principle of specificity has to come in at some point.

Most people will need to strike some sort of balance between what they enjoy, what they need, and what they have time for.


…and what I keep reminding myself of every few years, is that you MUST have some easy riding in the mix if you’re going to smash those serious sessions!

Easy outdoor riding is just fun as well, and a good counter to the intensity and often mentally tiring slog of interval work. Nothing gets me better prepared for a brutal interval session than some long easy fresh air rides!

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Wahoo Fitness Blog = Sufferfest Advertising Tool.


Just read it. What a waste of my time that was. Bias what bias?


Absolutely. I am unlikely ever to race again (maybe CX end of the year, but we’ll see), much less win anything, so while I want to be fit and fast, this is also meant to be about fun. And periodically just getting out on the bike for 3-4 hours, in the fresh air, with no pressure to perform, is just what I need.


Personally, N=1, and probably because based on my training history maturity, but break through a threshold of ~13 - 14 hours a week makes a step change in my performance. The mix being mainly Z2 and low tempo with about 20% SST and ~2-3% over threshold. NB: Not referring to Build or Peak.

If your background is 5 - 6 hrs per week you might see a step change around 8 - 10 hrs of mainly Z2 with some intensity.


The article is BS as others have said. And, as with all things, it depends.

I got huge fitness gains from a base block. I ramped up from 7 hours per week to 13 hours per week. By week 8 of this block I was breaking all my PRs and had a 20 watt ftp increase.

I did the same block a year later but I had much better fitness going into it. I didn’t get the 20 watt increase this time. Maybe if I had ramped up to 15 or 18 hours I would have seen the big gains again.

Training is about progressive overload from your current fitness level. If you are holding steady then you are maintaining.


I was surprised to get more fitness from 8-10 hours with some intensity, versus a lot of intensity at 5-7 hours/week.


How important is it to do these 8-10h or more in long rides, means 5x2h is the only choice? Does 7x1.2h have such worse effect?

Don’t know, on weekends over the last year the target is doing two rides for ~5 hours.

From previous experience I seem to respond to longer rides on weekends, and if it happens to be a group ride then its often doing a lot of tempo.

Doing the 3-4 hour ride once a week last year really helped me build endurance.

That said, you do what you’ve got to do within the time constraints that you have.

Seven rides per week though doesn’t usually work well. Most people need rest days and easy days in the mix.

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This is something I have sort of wondered about…do long rides make you fast, fast over long durations, or both? I ask because I’m not interested in being fast for any kind of race/ride longer than an hour.

Is there a way to see weekly time spent in zones on Strava?

Use http://intervals.icu/. You can link your strava and it will provide those metrics.

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Thanks king, going to check it out!

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