What conclusion do you draw from longer hard efforts? (90 minute or more)

I had a pretty strong day yesterday on a longer local group ride, which combined with some headwinds on the way back home, created some PR type efforts at longer durations. While I’m critical of NP in general, I’ll use it in the context of IF for the purposes of my question, because I’m curious the way others think about this.

If you had a multiple hour ride with:

  • IF of .95 for 90 minutes
  • IF of .9 for 2 hours
  • IF of .85 for 3 hours

What conclusion do you draw from this about what has improved the most?

FTP? Fueling? Anaerobic Capacity? Mentality? (or that NP is bad and we shouldn’t use it)

For reference, here is what the zone distribution looks like:

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I would say my fueling and my psychology improves the most from those efforts. Strung together, I would want to see aerobic endurance and lactate buffering improve overtime


Don’t know but if you did any of those three rides I would tell you to keep doing whatever it is you’re doing!


What will improve the most as a result of this effort or what has improved to lead to this IF distribution?

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Those are the stats from yesterday’s ride. I only have a few similarly strong efforts from the past few years, although one was about 90 days ago.

This is what I’m asking.

How did you feel after? How do you feel today?

I’m guessing your FTP is set too low.


In the past 3 weeks I’ve done trainer rides of:
IF of .87 for 2 hours
IF of .83 for 3 hours

(My last high 90min was way back in November: IF .90 for 90min – Leconte. Too much SS & Threshold training to bust the .9 IF barrier.)

Definitely my strongest since I joined TR in September.

What has improved to lead to this IF distribution?

For me, first and foremost aerobic and muscular endurance.
Secondly, much better fuelling.
But perhaps most important was a breakthrough mentality of actually wanting to do big long efforts and going into them with enthusiasm.

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I felt ready to have lunch! maybe 6 out of 10 on the tired scale.

I don’t feel overly fatigued today and there is no noticeable muscle pain. I didn’t ride today since I didn’t feel like it and I have a hard workout tomorrow. I guess we will see how tomorrow’s workout pans out.

I have to think that the fueling aspect played a big role. I had an extra slice of toast and jam (prob extra 250kcal) and used Maurten for the whole part of the group ride.

I can’t really figure out the other aspects since my training has had a lot of variety rather than specificity to one energy system.

This has been where I’ve noticed the improvement. I’m riding 3hr SS blocks on rides around .85IF an NP only 10w over avg power. 8+ hrs of TiZ for a 14hr riding week. I was wondering if all the SS and Z2 would hurt my top end. Then I hit 5 and 10min power PRs today just digging in a bit on a climb.

@stevemz that’s a serious ride, but hard to say how it relates to FTP given the durations of effort and their distribution. Comparing average power might be helpful given the time in Z2 and below.

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Average power is lower side of tempo. I’m leaning towards just chalking it up to a variety of different work I’ve been doing rather than specifically thinking my FTP has increased.

It also makes me wonder how I’d respond to SSBHV…

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But do you need to do SSBHV?

If you are capable of doing a 3hr SS ride (IF 0.85) via mixed training then I would just keep doing mixed training. :+1:

Almost 60% of your ride is coasting, recovery, or endurance. I can’t see how you can draw conclusions with that ride.

I will say that if you can do 0.95 for 90 min or 0.95 for 2 hrs, it’s time to retest the FTP


Aerobic endurance

My initial reaction is your 90min @ .95 IF for this ride either indicates good conditioning and tolerance or that this is an example of the indoor FTP not being the same as the outdoor FTP. The former is very possible but the latter seems more likely considering your “6 of 10” rating.

Did you have to stop at any lights?

I’ve had over an hour of some hard group rides where my IF was 1.10. But we hit a few lights. So I always just assume that negates the effect of NP as much because you are getting true rest, with 0s that aren’t counted. And all those anaerobic tags really bump that NP up to create a higher IF as well.

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I agree with @Alen. A lot of time of group rides is spent coasting and/or in Zone 1 and the efforts in or over Zone 5 aren’t particularly helpful because they are short, scattered bursts throughout the ride.

You may be best off front loading the ride by doing hard interval efforts on the way over to the ride or the beginning of the ride to make the group chase you and then by riding up front and pulling the group and minimizing coasting and make it an endurance ride. Try to minimize coasting and Zone 1 time.

You also spent 20 minutes in anaerobic power zone. That’s longer than you spent in sweet spot for example. I think you have said that you are strong at Vo2 max so maybe you were actually at vo2 max power rather than aerobic? This happens to me and would bump up the IF?

I wouldn’t use NP as a basis for what you’re trying to do in this case. So answer D.

Wouldn’t you have to tease out that high anaerobic % a bit? Are those spikes? Standing coming out of the light, quickly closing a gap, etc?

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