Failing “longer” workouts


#1

Working through sweet spot base 1 and unfortunately have failed/quit the 2 of the last 1.5 hour workouts.

The 1 hour workouts in the plan are going really well though, if anything I almost thought I just raise my FTP for them, but for some reason the last 1.5 hour workouts my muscles are toast and I lose all motivation by about 2/3 of the way through.

I am consuming calories and hydrating.

I understand these aren’t long at all compared to some of the workouts you guys are doing, but for some reason these future ones seem super daunting now.

Anyone have a similar experience? I have been using TR for about 18 months on and off, but after a break am where I am today.

If anyone knows some strategies or has an idea of what training I can do to build up fitness for these “longer” workouts I would really appreciate the help so I can get as much value out of my limited training time as possible.


#2

Which workouts in particular? For me, the 1.5 hour workouts are psychologically as tough as anything, so I break them into small chunks and try to forget about what is still to come. I always have the halfway point as a goal, and that way once you get past that point you can tell yourself “there is less than half to go”.

If it’s physical and you literally can’t get through them, then perhaps opting for the low volume plan to start with might be beneficial?


#3

Antelope and eclipse are the ones I failed. I’m actually already in the low volume plan haha.
But ya, it’s like the intervals are so fatiguing that mentally I can’t fathom doing one more so I quit.

What is odd is the sweet spot intervals in the one hour rides are doable, but for whatever reason the longer workouts are breaking me.


#4

I think I’m in the same boat with the plan. Luckily though I’ve always had outdoor rides planned or only have time for the shorter alternative.

#1 though I’d say check your cooling setup
After that I think the resolution is exactly what the guys explained on this week’s podcast.

Go with a 60min alternate, if that’s fine on the weekend ride then go with 1:15 variant until comfortable, then go to the 1:30 again


#5

Ya I thought about shortening them, but I didn’t know if that would be losing the benefit of the longer rides.
I guess failing them loses that benefit anyway though haha


#6

The longest I’ve gone is 2.25 hours (Laurentian) and I really had to focus the last little bit. Think about the following…

  1. Eat for tomorrow - Are you sufficiently eating quality carbohydrates, to fuel your future ride?
  2. Are you hydrating consistently during your workout? Straight water, electrolytes, carb based drink, etc.? Afterward?
  3. Is there enough air flow while you are riding?
  4. Are you listening to music, watching TV or just listening to the trainer hum away?

You also say that you have been on/off for the past 18 months or so; maybe your base isn’t quite there yet? Try backing down to a variation -1 or -2 is in order while you build; the time/intensity changes a bit but like you say, you aren’t finishing now, so what can it hurt?

For an hour and a half I have 2 - 24 oz bottles (one Hammer HEED and one water or electrolyte drink) and a banana or gel (sometimes both). I got RUSH rocking in my ears (any workout really) to keep me motivated and a Lasko Pro Performance fan to keep the air flowing. Don’t kid yourself, these are tough rides but, in time, you’ll be looking at these lengths and saying ‘Bring it!’

Best of luck!

PS - Don’t look at them as ‘failures’ but as ‘opportunities’ for growth.


#7

Yeah exactly what they said in this weeks podcast.

Other thing to look at is entertainment I guess - make sure you’re sufficiently distracted :grinning:


#8

I didn’t listen / watch yet…spoiler alert! :rofl:


#9

Antelope and Eclipse aren’t easy, but that’s the point. I really struggled with them (and workouts like them) for quite a while. One thing that helped me through them was knowing I could take a break. There is nothing wrong with taking 15, 30, or even a full minute to stop, backpedal (or just stop to get on top of your breathing) in the recovery intervals.

I find refocusing for a bit and then getting on with the recovery interval really helpful. Keep in mind the last 25% of every workout is going to be difficult so it may need some extra focus. Antelope is especially tough in the second to last interval, but know that you can finish it, take a break (backpedal for 15-30 seconds), mentally reset and finish the last one well.


#10

Those 3x20 intervals are quite the challenge. I’ve learned to pause the workout about halfway through the breaks (not the interval), unclip, stretch my back, etc. It’s only about a minute or so and seems to help me physically and mentally. Hang in there.


#11

Long workouts on the trainer can definitely be tough because the later intervals are usually just as hard as the early one. Outdoors, your power might slowly fade if you are getting fatigued on a long ride, but with TR it keeps the pressure on.

Cooling, fluids, electrolytes, and nutrition are all important, however so is distraction. Things that can keep you from thinking about the long intervals can really help make the miles fly by. For me, it’s usually Netflix, HBO, sporting events, etc. These are great for lower intensity and sweet spot work, which is usually what the long workouts are.

That all being said, I still like to do long, steady state rides outside as well. I live in an area where I can go out my back door and hit 50 - 70 mile rides that are very flat and require steady pedaling the whole way. Even here I distract myself, but this time with podcasts. This has helped the 2 - 4 hour rides fly by. I try and do a long road ride about once a week to supplement the rest of my training. I’ve found this really helped with my muscular endurance overall and has helped hit the workouts easier on TR as well.


#12

Have you some TV or a movie to watch? This will help to distract you a little.

The two workouts you mention are going to be fairly tough because it’s a long time at basically the same intensity. Have you tried some over under workouts like Warlow where the variety will with focus challenges a little.

Also… in before @mcneese.chad says rocker plate (seriously though… the extra movement might help too).


#13

I remember Warlow as being tough, too. After finishing one of my first times through it, I renamed it to “Worn Low”.


#14

Bonus points for you :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

Anything different about the time of day you are doing the 90 minute workouts?

One thing I discovered, I should train at about the same time of day I tested. Don’t do your ramp test in the early evening and then workout in the morning. IIRC, SSBI lv has the two workouts you struggle with scheduled for Saturday so maybe think about when you’re doing those workouts vs when you normally work out.

Another thing to think about: one of the most charming characteristics of TrainerRoad is the empirical gravitas of their training plans. If TR publishes training plans where the majority of customers fail workouts x & y…the market will not bear that type of product. So think of it this way: TR couldn’t exist if they were giving you training plans you can’t complete.

SO GOOD NEWS!! You can do those workouts. The plans are designed that way & TrainerRoad have tailored their workouts thataway. Ok, sure, there is variability among athletes & sounds like you might be on the unlucky end of that variation. But where you may be slightly lacking in physical ability (for now) you more than make up for with just plain guts.

So next time you’re at the hour mark in 90 minute workout, make sure to remind yourself that you just did an hour of hard work to get to that point in time. You did all that work to get to that spot in your training…you’re finally there: at the point where you can break through & complete the session. Don’t stop pedalling. That’s what your there for. This. Is. It. The rest of that stuff was just the setup.

Not for ‘just 5 more minutes’. For the complete workout. All the way.


#16

Muscular endurance comes in to play on some of the longer interval longer duration SweetSpot workouts as well as longer workouts themselves.

No shame in lowering the intensity as you fatigue, so that it is still challenging but not counterproductively easy, and accomplishing the workout. Mentally it’ll be quite satisfying and you can play it by ear as to whether you feel strong enough to boost intensity towards the end.

Stepping back and thinking " am I just wimping out? or is this a measured decision based on how I’m performing & my ability today " is a useful exercise.

Next time you’re scheduled that workout you can progress it by completing it closer to target intensity, not having to pause during a recovery valley etc.

Knowing you’re past half-way or down to the final/final few intervals can be quite uplifting.

I completed Eclipse yesterday and pretty much managed to switch off the connection to how my legs felt until the last 4 minutes of the 3rd 20 minute interval. It’s a bit surreal to ‘block’ that pathway completely!


#17

I have similar problems. I did a workout last night that was 75 minutes long and consisted of 9 3 minute efforts at 120% FTP. The first 6 effort that were within the 60 minute mark I nailed, but I had to drop the intensity for the final 3 efforts by 5%.

I’m blaming this on a lack of endurance on my part. I just recently stepped up from the low volume plans to the high volume plans. The biggest difference from what I was doing previously is that the Tuesday and Thursday workouts are 75 minutes rather than 60 minutes and that extra 15 minutes has really been causing me issues. I’m hoping I will adapt.


#18

What sort of failure is happening to you?

Do you just feel empty and wasted like you’ve burned through all your body’s fuel or do your legs feel super tired? Or is your brain saying “right dude, i’ve had enough of this crap now”…?

An hour and a half should be doable with just an energy bar half way through. In the greater scheme of things it doesn’t count as a “biggy”, but it’s enough of a challenge to cause some suffering and force some growth so don’t be too hard on yourself. But do tell yourself that it is very doable and you should be aiming to complete them.


#19

It seemed like muscle fatigue, and just “suffering” like that was enough to lose motivation to attempt the last interval(s).


#20

There was 4 things that really helped me complete the harder workouts on trainer road. The first 3 have been mentioned,

  1. Cooling
  2. On bike nutrition
  3. Off bike nutrition
  4. Consistency- This one took me a while to figure out. But basically all the workouts build on each other. What this means is the workouts in later weeks are HARD if you dont build up to them. So taking a break mid plan then retesting your ftp and trying to jump back into the plan is not really realistic. Also for low volume make sure you have a rest day between each workout. Trying to do them back to back because you fell behind during the week is brutal.