Which Would Yield Better Results? Combining a Z4 or Z5 Workout after 2 hours of Z2 or Doing the same workouts over 2 days?

  1. Do an outdoor 2 hr unstructured Z2ish ride, then a TR threshold workout. Ride home. Take the following day off.


  1. Do a TR threshold workout one day. Following day do a 3-4 hr unstructured Z2ish ride, Don’t get the following day off.

The latter scenario would have a six day training week while the former would have 5.

What are the pro’s or con’s of each? Which do you think would yield better results?

Why not work your threshold and TTE? Go listen to the latest Empirical Cycling podcast with Cory Lockwood the new USA 40km time trial record holder. Then hit up Kurt Braeckel for his opinion, Kurt is both a coach and coached by Cory.

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The simplest answer is to the question of which one gives you the most recoverable volume? There’s a lot to be said for consistent 3-4 hour days where your workouts are inside the ride time as opposed to the 1hr workout then a 5hr day, etc. I know one prominent coach has his athletes do moderately long days every day as opposed to the one super endurance day and shorter other workouts. I’ve done both, but can’t really speak to which I think works best.

The answer is probably what lets you get good volume with the least overall stress to your lifestyle.


Unless I’m reading wrong, option 2 gives you an extra one or two hours volume of low intensity, with an equal amount of high intensity.

This is what I’m doing this week, did a threshold workout this morning, and will do a 3 hour Z2 tomorrow. This week I have one rest day. Next week I have two rest days.

Whether you have one or two rest days in a single week doesn’t matter. It’s the overall pattern of stress and recovery that will matter, how often you have recovery days and weeks etc. Does the pattern over weeks and months give you sufficient time to recover and absorb your training?

Ok let me posit this.

Day 1. 2 Hr Z2, 1 Hr TR Threshold. 1 Hr Z2. Day 2. Rest day. Day 3. 1 hr Vo2. Total 5 hours


Day 1. 1 Hr TR Threshold. Day 2. 3 hrs Z2: Day 3. Vo2. Total 5 hours.

Assume the volume for the rest of the week is identical. Except First scenario has an extra rest day.

I think there’s an argument to be made about doing an intense effort long into a ride and the adaptations that may bring. Especially in regards to road racing.

First option, for sure, IMO… assuming you can handle 4 hours of riding plus threshold time without it totally shutting you down.

Also, I wouldn’t worry too much about HOW you structure it. In fact, I’d probably bring the threshold set forward so it’s higher quality and then do the endurance time on the back end. I just don’t think there’s THAT much to be gained from doing pre-fatigued threshold sets unless it’s strictly for race-specific preparation. If you’re looking for aerobic development, better to do the higher quality threshold set and add the volume after.

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I guess I was just curious. I’ve been on a couple of group rides where I still felt fresh towards the end, there was a 45 min climb ahead of us so I decided to incorporate the next days workout. This week I applied the same principle except I did it after a strict 1 hr z2 ride, did the tr workout, descended, then did another climb at tempo before Z2’ing home.

A lot of people overthink the placement of the work sets in their workouts. Let’s be honest, if 1 or 2 hours of Z2 is markedly fatiguing you before a threshold set, then there’s another issue in terms of aerobic development… so it probably just doesn’t matter that much until you get into doing 4 or 5 hours and throwing a threshold climb at the end because you’re a stage racer. That might be different. How much work can you do after 2500kJ work expended? That might matter if you’re a high level racer.

But strictly speaking, I wouldn’t spend a bunch of mental energy on it. If you ride a loop and the climb hits at 2 hours, sure… go easy till the climb, threshold the climb, go easy the rest of the time. If this is a trainer ride, like, do whatever.

But I think the 4hr ride with threshold followed by the day off is a better option than the other one, regardless of where you actually place the threshold effort.