Avoiding the dreaded grey zone

We all know the old adage about amateurs both not going hard enough during hard sessions, nor easy enough during easy sessions, and effectively training in a grey one between the two.

Am always conscious of this when doing sessions, such as Getting Away With It, The Way Out etc.

How should i think about these base or endurance sessions, with IF of low .8’s? Avoid, and just concentrate on higher intensity sessions coupled with recovery rides?

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I think the issue with tempo sessions is that they should not be the central part of your training, but there is nothing wrong with them occasionally.

Any workout done too often will cause the body to adapt to the stimulus, and you will not get any training benefit. The particular problem with frequent tempo sessions is that the fatigue/benefit tradeoff is not there. The original idea was that they were perfect for time crunched cyclists, but that turned out, as you noted, to be incorrect.

Nonetheless, they are a good way (as the descriptions to the workouts you cited explain) to improve FTP when you are fatigued. They are also a way, if you are working on FTP, to vary the stimulus on your body. They might also be appropriate for longer FTP work. In the SUF Workouts, 5 x 6, 5 x 7, 5 x 8, and 4 x10 are pretty much at FTP, but 3 x 15, and 2x20 are tempo workouts.

I have done them when my plan called for them. Over the past 9 months they have had me do The Way Out three times, and Getting Away With It twice.


For me, unless you really know what you’re doing around training and plans, then yes, you’re at serious risk of this, or going the other way and overdoing the intensity.

Pick a plan and use that as a guide. The science team have put your of effort into them. I’ve never used one before this year, and having followed All Purpose Road for 12 weeks, realised that was a mistake. Now near the end of second plan and still enjoying


You need to read the posts about why Long Slow Distance (LSD) is not really a training tool to improve your fitness but rather a way for your body to build up capacity to ride at an Endurance pace. As it was suggested, pick a training plan and do it as best you can. Yes, there are Endurance rides on the Weekends for some plans on one day with a harder and shorter Tempo ride on the other. Tempo has another great name:Sweet Spot. This is the level you should be able to ride for several hours but not all day (6+ hours). The plans and the blog/forum posts explain the difference between the two and why you should be doing them, but not every day.
Also, avoid doing back-to-back High Intensity rides. The plans also help with this.