When I can't do a long endurance ride

My plan has me doing some long endurance rides on the weekend. Think 3-4 hours, at 60% FTP. But this time chunk is often tough for me to make. What is a good shorter alternative that won’t undermine my ability to do more intense sessions during the week? Should I just do 60% FTP for 90 mins instead? Or should I change the power target and structure to reflect the shorter duration? Thanks for any advice.

There’s no equivalency here, but the next best thing you could do is a Low to Mid tempo ride for 90 minutes.


No real backing here other than my own personal experience, but I’ve seen pretty positive results with a mix of long endurance rides and longer tempo/SS efforts as a “substitute” (I have somewhat irregular work and study commitments that necessitate a fairly high level of flexibility.) As long as I get the longer ride in most of the time I seem to get the majority of the benefit over just doing shorter/more intense sessions- but if that’s unlikely to happen most weeks it might be worth looking at a different plan.

Finally, I’d definitely recommend playing it by ear in terms of fatigue/recovery if you do decide to up the power target- if you’re already pretty toasted I’d probably skip the additional intensity and just go for 90 minutes of z2. (probably better to err on the side of caution in this regard.)

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I wonder if breaking it up into 2 (or even 3!) sessions is effective? :thinking: If so, it could be easier to fit in between obligations.

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It will help achieve the volume, but it will not generate the same training effect…but if the single ride is not an option, it is one potential alternative.

personally, I’d opt for a tempo ride of at least 90 min…2 hours would be better.


What’s the longest you can ride? Do that. Then do it at the highest achievable power that keeps you at or near your high zone 2 or low tempo power. In terms of % of FTP, think ~70-75%.

Don’t coast, pedal. Maximize what time you have available.


Love the ‘dont coast’ point…so true. 90-120 mins is what I can most usually get to do on the weekend

It sounds like you need a new plan if you don’t have the time to complete the current plan workouts. Also, sometimes you just do what you can do and not worry about what you can’t do.

It also depends what you are training for. Are the 4 hour rides an urgent need for a long event in June? Or are they just a best case scenario idea?

Personally, I’d love to be doing 3-4 hour endurance rides but I haven’t been able to so I just do what I can do. I’ve strung together a lot of 1-1.5 hour Z2 rides through the winter and I’ve gotten in 2 hours when I could. As suggested, you could try tossing in a 2x20 or 3x20 low tempo interval in your 90 minute ride. You could also try two workouts on the day that calls for a 3-4 hour ride.

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