1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

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Wrath Rob
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1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

Postby Wrath Rob » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:34 am

Someone posted an interesting question over in Commuting Chat about how to use a turbo to train for 100+ mile events and it got me thinking of how or indeed if you could use 1 hour turbo sessions to help.

The obvious training is to just go out and ride for hours in zone 2, this will stimulate the right adaptations as well as get you used to spending long periods in the saddle.

The alternative, as I see it, is to work out your FTP, as raising your 1 hour CP will also raise your 4, 5 and 6 hour CP too. So by doing sweet-spot and longer threshold intervals to raise your FTP, you should also be improving your endurance. You wouldn't get the benefits of promoting more calories derived from fat and you wouldn't get used to spending long hours in the saddle, but given the choice of how to get the biggest benefit from a 1 hour session, this has to be better than a 1 hour zone 2 ride.

Does this make sense, or is there something that I've missed?
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SBezza
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Re: 1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

Postby SBezza » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:41 am

Well it will help you get faster, but unless you stress the body by doing at least some long rides, there is a good chance you will fade fairly quickly after 1-2 hours. I have no doubt you could ride a 100+ mile event on a diet of 1 hour turbo sessions, but it will not be at the best performance you could possibly go by training at varying intensities and durations.

A 1 hour Z2 ride is pointless as you say, there is not enough load there at all. If you are doing Z2 rides, the minimum in my eyes is 3 hours, anything less then do it at a very high Z2 or Z3.

I would personally recommend if you want to do a ride that is going to take 5 hours +, then find the time to do 4 hour + training rides, it isn't that difficult really.

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JGSI
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Re: 1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

Postby JGSI » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:46 am

If only using the turbo to prepare for 100 milers then that is an undertaking and going to demand some committment to the cause.
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mclarent
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Re: 1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

Postby mclarent » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:44 am

Wrath Rob wrote:The alternative, as I see it, is to work out your FTP, as raising your 1 hour CP will also raise your 4, 5 and 6 hour CP too. So by doing sweet-spot and longer threshold intervals to raise your FTP, you should also be improving your endurance. You wouldn't get the benefits of promoting more calories derived from fat and you wouldn't get used to spending long hours in the saddle, but given the choice of how to get the biggest benefit from a 1 hour session, this has to be better than a 1 hour zone 2 ride.


This. Try to work up to 60mins at SS.
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Wrath Rob
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Re: 1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

Postby Wrath Rob » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:15 pm

SBezza wrote:Well it will help you get faster, but unless you stress the body by doing at least some long rides, there is a good chance you will fade fairly quickly after 1-2 hours. I have no doubt you could ride a 100+ mile event on a diet of 1 hour turbo sessions, but it will not be at the best performance you could possibly go by training at varying intensities and durations.

A 1 hour Z2 ride is pointless as you say, there is not enough load there at all. If you are doing Z2 rides, the minimum in my eyes is 3 hours, anything less then do it at a very high Z2 or Z3.

I would personally recommend if you want to do a ride that is going to take 5 hours +, then find the time to do 4 hour + training rides, it isn't that difficult really.

I'm fortunate that I can get out on the weekend for a decent ride 1 day. The question is more around if you couldn't, am I right in thinking that 1 hour working on FTP is the best way of spending that hour, if your target is long distance endurance rides.

I also doubt that you'd fade after 1-2 hours, provided you eat well and pace your effort appropriately, i.e. at or below your project max power for that duration. Think about your mean-maximal power curve, as I said above, your 4 hour CP is related to your 1 hour CP. Improve the latter and you'll improve the former. In reality what I think will happen is that something else will become your limiting factor e.g. core strength, and that something is what you would have trained for by spending enough time in the saddle.
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SBezza
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Re: 1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

Postby SBezza » Wed Feb 13, 2013 13:11 pm

Wrath Rob wrote:
SBezza wrote:Well it will help you get faster, but unless you stress the body by doing at least some long rides, there is a good chance you will fade fairly quickly after 1-2 hours. I have no doubt you could ride a 100+ mile event on a diet of 1 hour turbo sessions, but it will not be at the best performance you could possibly go by training at varying intensities and durations.

A 1 hour Z2 ride is pointless as you say, there is not enough load there at all. If you are doing Z2 rides, the minimum in my eyes is 3 hours, anything less then do it at a very high Z2 or Z3.

I would personally recommend if you want to do a ride that is going to take 5 hours +, then find the time to do 4 hour + training rides, it isn't that difficult really.

I'm fortunate that I can get out on the weekend for a decent ride 1 day. The question is more around if you couldn't, am I right in thinking that 1 hour working on FTP is the best way of spending that hour, if your target is long distance endurance rides.

I also doubt that you'd fade after 1-2 hours, provided you eat well and pace your effort appropriately, i.e. at or below your project max power for that duration. Think about your mean-maximal power curve, as I said above, your 4 hour CP is related to your 1 hour CP. Improve the latter and you'll improve the former. In reality what I think will happen is that something else will become your limiting factor e.g. core strength, and that something is what you would have trained for by spending enough time in the saddle.


It does depend on how often you are training as to how much you can do at FTP, without a decent base fitness (which can only be got from riding a decent amount of time - be it weeks or months or years), is that recovery from these sessions might make training too haphazard, and have far too many rest days. Far better to do a variety of different types of sessions. An hour at highish Z3 will bring great fitness gains, and can be done on a daily basis even if fitness isn't so great. I would train as regularly as possible, possibly 6 days of the week, rather than do hard sessions only 3 or 4 times a week.

It is great projecting a desired power for a duration, but we are all different, I know people that have great FTP, but come to 2 hours and they really struggle to maintain anywhere near that FTP, whereas myself can maintain a very high percentage of FTP for an extended duration. What percentage of your 1 hour you can sustain for 4 hours is a complete unknown if you have never ridden 4 hours, it is pure guesswork at best.

Limiting factor is fatigue to be honest, if you never ride that sort of distance you are likely to fade alot worse than someone that is used to doing 5/6 hour training rides no matter what you eat etc, as your body is just not used to doing it. That said you can do 100+ miles on limited training, but don't expect it to be optimal by any stretch.

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mclarent
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Re: 1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

Postby mclarent » Wed Feb 13, 2013 14:12 pm

What SBezza said, only I would say SS over highish Z3, but tbh that's so close as to be semantics and prob within the margin of error of your powermeter(!)

If you're not used to spending that long in the saddle, another limiting factor might be a sore bum.
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Froomes Edgar
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Re: 1 hour sessions to improve long ride endurance

Postby Froomes Edgar » Wed Feb 13, 2013 20:31 pm

Wrath Rob wrote:Someone posted an interesting question over in Commuting Chat about how to use a turbo to train for 100+ mile events and it got me thinking of how or indeed if you could use 1 hour turbo sessions to help.

The obvious training is to just go out and ride for hours in zone 2, this will stimulate the right adaptations as well as get you used to spending long periods in the saddle.

The alternative, as I see it, is to work out your FTP, as raising your 1 hour CP will also raise your 4, 5 and 6 hour CP too. So by doing sweet-spot and longer threshold intervals to raise your FTP, you should also be improving your endurance. You wouldn't get the benefits of promoting more calories derived from fat and you wouldn't get used to spending long hours in the saddle, but given the choice of how to get the biggest benefit from a 1 hour session, this has to be better than a 1 hour zone 2 ride.

Does this make sense, or is there something that I've missed?


Yer, you're right. By raising FTP you'll make yourself better at all intensities (except possibly sprinting). I "trained" for a Touring holiday in the Alps doing 100-120 miles a day up practically every major col on a diet of 1.5 hour rides, and had no problem doing 70% FTP for 8 hours a day. Well I say that, by day 10 I was a wreck, but then who wouldn't be FFS?


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