Why do the workouts have so much rest?

Why do the TrainerRoad workouts have so much rest in them? I understand the need for workouts that are anerobic but do sub-FTP workouts need rest? For example, Antelope is 1.5 hours long but only 50 minutes of sweet spot training. Are the rest intervals important or can I save time and just bang out 50 minutes of sweet spot?

Agree, too much rest in SS workouts, i reduce it allot!.
But depending on your plan it probably is not best to only do super long intervalls like 50 min.

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I ‘think’ it’s more to do with playing the long game, rather than just the workout itself.

The rest helps ensure quality work during the session but it also means that fatigue throughout that training block doesn’t ramp up too quickly. No point getting to weeks 6-7 of Build with wood for legs.

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Meh, you picked a workout that supports your argument quite well. How about Wright Peak, Polar Bear or Phoenix?

Ultimately, each workout has its place. Workouts like Antelope are placed at the very beginning of a plan or as an easy day option. This makes sense. I mean you wouldn’t want to start a 6 week block with Polar Bear and the like.

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A year or so ago someone else created a post just like this, except with the Hunter(?) w/o – Can I just do a 1x60min SS and save myself an hour?? Sure, if you can do a 1x60, or in this case 1x50, go ahead! I’m guessing the rest intervals become important when your FTP reaches a level where you can no longer jump on and crank out 60min of straight SS.

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Essentially this. Antelope, carson, monitor, are all early days of the first few workouts of sweet spot base, smaller chunks of sweetspot in anticipation for the stuff down the road…Remember sweet spot base replaces a traditional ‘traditional’ style base for time crunched athletes. Not saying i necessarily disagree with the premise of your question, but i’m not sure 50 minutes at sweet spot is palatable for someone potentially at week 2 of their new season.

Also factor in a lot of users use a ramp test to determine FTP, which may not be an actual representation of that users hour power, for example.

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I notice this too. Some workouts definately seem to have more than is needed. In this case i’ll look for a +1 or +2 version.

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In any workout the aim is to be as productive as possible. That generally means that the stress and response have to match. 5 x 10mins sweet spot is most definitely different to 1 x 50 in absolute terms but the stress will be different especially if you aren’t used to the longer interval. As RPE rises then it’s likely that you’ll drop power and so not actually be training at the intended intensity.

So doing 5 x 10 will likely mean you complete all the intervals at the correct intensity and complete the workout. If you are following one of the plans then the workouts in them all follow a progression - either the length of the intervals increases or the length of the recoveries decreases, sometimes if Chad is feeling evil then both :rofl:

As it happens I was due to do Antelope+2 yesterday but with the fine weather we’ve been having in the UK recently I’ve also been getting outdoor rides in and felt tired so subbed it out for a short endurance workout. Looking at intervals.icu my form was at -30, on the boundary of overtraining, which ties in with feeling tired.

Rests within workouts are just as important as rest days, rest/recovery weeks and recovery blocks - they just act on different timescales.

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I think it’s also worth considering that you’ve probably done a ramp test at the beginning of this plan, and if your FTP has increased significantly it often takes a week or two to adjust. If your SS power if where your threshold power used to be, a 50min block is probably not realistic. Generally those sorts of workouts come later in the plan, which is a good example of how a structured plan aims to progressively improve upon specific capabilities. Nothing wrong with increasing the difficulty of your workouts if you can do so consistently and still recover, but where do you go from there? IMO you’d be better off increasing your FTP to a point where the scheduled workouts are tough but double, and then finishing at a higher point overall.

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What kind of athlete you are / trained to be also comes into play here. If you’re a strong sustained power person then you should be better adapted to sustained efforts with less rest. But Antelope falls in the base period, and for people who are training short power doing a sustained 50 minute sweet spot effort would be unnecessarily tough especially a couple weeks into the base phase.

If you’re already finding that sweet spot work is easy then it’s also possible that your ftp is set too low.

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Yep - Antelope+1 or +2 cuts the rest so try that if you like and it goes to 6x10 as well. But it is the long game - Antelope may be easy ish but if you do the 2 hour version and the add other 2 hour SS workouts then the fatigue builds pretty quickly. On SSBHV which I did last year then by the 2nd part you are doing 2 hour SS sessions Tue/Thr/Sat/Sun with 90mins SS Wed and 90mins endurance Fri - plus you start doing things like Galena and Wright Peak - none of the sessions are individually that bad but by the end of SSBHV week 5 where you do Tallac+4 you are knackered - I know this for fact :grin:

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I enjoy the rest valleys because I know they will be getting shorter soon. And, I’m not terribly time crunched so it’s additional volume.

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Most plans are building into that level of training. Most can’t do a ramp test, get a result, and then hold that number for 50-70 min straight. These plans let you build up that muscular endurance, and break up the efforts with the breaks. If the intervals in SSB1 are too easy just go to SSB2, more effort less rest.
Or you could always just adjust your plan to do something more of what you like. I know I’d have a hard time climbing on the bike knowing I’m going to be doing a 50 min SS interval a few times a week. Maybe I’m just not that tough.

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Another way to think of it is that you are getting an extra 40 minutes of low intensity work. Hypothetically 40 minutes x 3 per week x 52 weeks = 104 hours of training. If you shortcut every ride, you’ll end up with 104 hours of less training in a year.

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Look at workouts like Carillon, 2x10mins at 90%ftp separated by 1 min, then 5 minutes rest between sets.

Or Galena 3x20mins at 94%ftp with 5 mins rest between intervals.

Are you in a rush to get thru the plan? Things may feel easy now but as the plan progresses intervals get shorter and fatigue sets creating making each workout harder.

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Well there are those workouts. Check out the hour record workout or others like lola and reynolds. Actually one of my favorite workouts that I try to find time for a few times a year is Needham. Usually gives me a bump in ability and morale. Problem is that if my FTP is accurate it has potential to make other workouts suffer. That’s where shorter sweet spot interval workouts come in. Antelope is an easy one where I can do a decent amount of work, possibly without breakfast, feel good that I produced a bunch of kilojoules and be able to recover in plenty of time for the next workout. As I add duration more considerations are necessary such as fueling and recovery. Redoubt I’m looking at you. It’s also a matter of being able to work closer to FTP for longer and longer periods of time. Early in sweet spot base might be a time for a 1x50 at maybe 80-85% where later on with proper training might be 90% or 92%. But that would be a bit of hurt if your FTP is accurate.

As with all things trainerroad, learn what you can do and brings the best response then customize your plan accordingly. Especially if it’s a workout type you like to do. That’s half the fun.

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Thanks for all the replies!

To add some missing context: I used to ride frequently, but haven’t been on the bike in ~5 years. I don’t mind long workouts, but my sits bones (for the moment) do!

A few things were called out and make sense to me:

  • my FTP may be too low - I did the ramp test, but I think the FTP test may be a better fit for me
  • these workouts are early on in base building and useful to avoid building fatigue through the training block

Being on the trainer isn’t super fun (or super comfortable) so if I can suffer more for a shorter amount of time, I’d prefer it… but I’ll follow the plans as they’re written for now to avoid over training.

If that is the case, my suggestion to find a shorter version of the same workout and go from there.

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If you’ve not been on the trainer for a while your body will take a bit of adjusting time. When I started up on TR again after a break of three or four years I’d struggle from about half an hour onwards just because of the fixed nature of my bike/trainer combo. With a bit of time and not overdoing things I’m fine upto around 90mins before discomfort sets it. The workouts with standing drills are good for this!

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If you can do this then do it.

I think I get more out of doing sweetspot a bit lower and chaining intervals.

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