Your favorite butter burners?

Chad throws the phrase “butter burners” into the pod every once and a while in reference to short-ish endurance workouts he ads to his training calendar. I love name and the idea behind these workouts.

These endurance rides have always felt productive to me even though they are short enough to fit in right before or after work. I can squeeze them in on days I know that I’ll be doing another workout–on bike or otherwise–and then feel good about stringing together consecutive days on my bike.

I slowed down my workouts over the last couple weeks to address a strength / flexibility deficit in my ankle. My PT recommend nothing over 30 minutes for a bit and then to gradually add volume then intensity.

Now I’m ready to start training again and did a ramp test last night. I picked up a handful of watts even though I’ve mostly limited myself to low intensity rides under an hour for the past few weeks. Not sure if this is carry over from training before my injury “break” or the nature of starting structured workouts for the first time–I’m new to Trainer Road. Either way I’m going to count that minor ftp bump (232 -> 242) as endorsement of butter burners.

What are your favorite short-ish endurance rides? Do you do anything to adapt them to the time you have available or your level of fatigue? How do you fit these in to your plan? I’m starting low volume ssb pt 1 knowing that I’ll be able to mix in my beloved butter burners for additional volume as time allows.

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My new go-to, although you may not consider 90 minutes to be short-ish:

Tonight I’ve got my other new aerobic workout, a 2.5 hour aerobic endurance ride with 20-sec sprints:

May increase % FTP over time, right now I’m starting low to reduce fatigue.

90 minutes is cool. It might stretch the definition of “squeezing it in right before work” but with a little prep I can get in 90 minutes in the mornings.

I like the idea of using that flat 60% as a benchmark.

Ive been doing this for a few weeks but adjusting % to keep my HR Z2. Been really useful seeing my average power over the workout creep up.

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I’d rather keep % FTP the same and watch HR decrease. Really its just a personal preference. The aerobic training effect I’m after is largely about muscle contractions, so my thought is to keep % FTP low to minimize fatigue while logging a large number of aerobic hours/week to develop my vo2max / aerobic engine over the course of a year or more.

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Good point…I think I’ve just been curious to see what gains I’m making in power. I guess you’re the same but looking at a different metric.

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Interesting Thread. I spent the summer doing Seiler’s Polarized plan with one VO2 workout/week. Maintaining the same pulse ~120 (I’m 65), I saw power go from 55% of FTP all the way to 70% of FTP for the same pulse. I was derailed by a leg injury, so am starting over. I’m currently doing 4 rides/week 2 hrs each, at about 60%. 2 days in the gym lifting weights. Plan to retest after the first of the year and move on to SSBLV with some longer SS sessions in substitution and one long zone 1 ride each week.

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From listening to Seiler on FastTalk podcast 54 he was reluctant to give HR recommendations if you plan to take a polarized approach. That is one of the reasons I see no advantage to ignoring FTP, and every advantage to tracking FTP and max aerobic power and vo2max (along with some other metrics that use HR and Power). So I’d rather keep % FTP and continue using HR as secondary metric.

Put another way, you aren’t going to increase stroke volume and mitochondrial density because your HR is low (I get that sitting at a desk!) – you simply need a lot of volume at a slightly elevated yet aerobic breathing rate along with a lot of muscle contractions. Do that over enough time and it will sprinkle magic vo2max fairy dust on our adaptations… at least for those of us not gifted with huge vo2max or a 5-10+ years of experience.

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I really like anything where the power jumps around a good bit. So Baxter, Black, Birch, Coliseum, & West Vidette I enjoy. I’ve no bother reading or watching TV with them. I find the longer flatter powered workouts mentally tougher even if the TSS is a good bit lower. End up shifting in the saddle a good bit more.

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Birch is my “Time to kill, don’t want to work too hard, want to get on the bike” go-to.

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agree on birch and west vidette. The variability in those workouts helped keep things interesting when I was stuck doing the same three workouts for a couple weeks.

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same here, but now that I’ve got the Inside Ride E-Flex the game is working on pedal stroke and rising in/out of saddle (had hard time doing both with just Kickr). Lets see how long the flat 60% lasts, was surprised I haven’t gotten bored already. Mentally I tell myself those flat “mesa” or “plateau” workouts (derivatives of Lazy Mountain -1) help with supporting my aerobic benchmarking and monitoring.

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