From the Coaches: Long slow duration and why it still has its place in your weekly training

I’m glad you enjoyed it. In regards to working out what you responded best to training wise, I couldn’t say exactly how you would assess that. Trial and error is the only thing I could think of beyond genetic testing

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@Coach.Andy.T This stuff is great and only adds to the value that this training platform already offers so thanks for that!

Perhaps as a related topic are ideas on how to best integrate esports. Is it as simple as swapping out a similar SUF video and staying away from rest weeks or are there other considerations. I am interested in trying some of the crit and time trial offerings on RGT but don’t want to unbalance my training plan in the process. I also have other IRL races so would consider those as well.


That’s a great question. It’d be good to be able to use some of the e-racing offerings within RGT without spoiling yourself for your training plan.


I’m pretty sure this is something we’ll be integrating into the plans in the future with the acquisition of RGT. But for the most part you are right yes, that switching a similar session and avoiding doing them on rest weeks. But then of course there’s the consideration of if it’s a target event and needs to be tapered for beforehand. All depends on the importance of the event


@Coach.Andy.T hi, does long slow duration play a role for helping to increase time at threshold ? I mean that despite the fact that two individuals would have the same ftp, one of them could sustain a longer time at threshold (what I try to achieve for time trials). Thanks


Very interesting thread. Thanks for the Info

That’s an interesting question! There are a lot of factors that come into play there. Pain tolerance/threshold is one, heat tolerance as you generate a lot of heat working at that intensity level. Also fuel usage as anything longer than 90min will definitely need additional fuel from carbs. The thing with the LSD (long slow duration) is that it will help increase your threshold and therefore the time you can maintain a higher power

Hi @Coach.Andy.T , unfortunately LSD does only increase boredom tolerance and not pain tolerance. I do understand the answer about increasing the ftp to be longer at high ftp. In fact it is an indirect way.

Yeah LSD won’t help with the carb usage (maybe carb sparing), internal heat production tolerance (except if very hot) or pain tolerance, but those are probably the key factors as to why two people with 300 watts FTP might hold them for 60min and 120min respectively

Hello @Coach.Andy.T, I’m in the interesting situation where my weekly long ride is a challenging gravel ride with a mate and the rest of the week I’m constrained to 2-4 bike sessions of about 60-90 minutes plus a 5-10 km HR Z2 run and 25 mins of kettlebell. I enjoy the long ride allot, especially this gravel segment but the pace makes it a bit of a thrashing!

After reading about LSD I’ve been trying to focus on Base/Z2 trainer sessions as I feel my ability to sustain power has decreased but I feel like its not helped for the above segment. I’ve recently started mixing in a Tempo/Z3 for 45 minutes (my segment PB) with the Base/Z2 sessions.

Overall would I get more benefit making most of my bike + run sessions lower intensity to compensate for that intense long ride which would put me into a more pyramidal training intensity distribution while keeping at least one session with the Laser Goats per week?


Doing one of your 90min sessions at a low intensity with low carb/no carb beforehand can have some accelerated endurance benefits as low carb availability can help with some of the benefits. However only do that once a week and refuel well straight after as low carb can leave your head groggy and is more stressful training than doing it fuelled.

The session at the weekend being a longer ride will still have great benefits. And of course some laser goat thrash action will help with some of those aerobic gains and the additional benefits that high intensity has too.

I’ve not ridden gravel too much, but looking at that segment it should be possible to take that on at high Z2, even low Z3 for the 35-40min that segment takes won’t damage your aerobic gains


Thanks, for the advice! I will try mixing in a weekly 90 min @ Z2 fasted ride, before breakfast seems the ideal time if I can get up early enough… :coffee:

Thanks for this post. One of my best midweek opportunities is my commute (I can flex it, but usually make it 45hr - 1hr45 mins each way once or twice a week) I have a couple of questions.

1/ To what extent do intense parts of a ride ruin the gains described. On a commute I sometimes need to speed up for saftey in road conditions. It can be quite intense at times (albeit for short amount of time)
2/ Am I getting “long ride” gains if actually I’m only doing two relatively short rides? Would I be better off doing something else with this time? (either dedicated recovery, or some more intense session)


Hey @Leon_99 ,
Good questions and @Coach.Andy.T will most likely want to answer this. A quote in his article gives you the answers but he can elaborate.


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Question on when to put this in. Would it be appropriate to do between two hard rides not as a recovery day but an easier day? I am doing the new Santos Festival of Cycling ProRides and am torn between doing all 4 B2B or putting something easier in between 2 nd 3. #1 is in the books (done last night) and I am planning on doing #2 in a few hours.

Any thoughts on what I guess are three options:

  1. All 4 B2B
  2. First 2, then a LSR as discussed here, then the last 2
  3. First 2, then an easy recovery ride, then the last 2
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thanks - what isn’t clear to me if that was temporary i.e. the process is hampered for as long as the intensity continues, but then activates again as soon as the intensity reduces, or if there is some lag on this (like does it take 1 mine, 10 min, 1 hr, etc for the process to get working again?)

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I’ve wondered very similar, I’m following this one…

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For the long ride gains there needs to not be a big break in the middle, it’s why a lot of pros do their cafe stop before or after the ride and just quick pit stops for snacks in the middle.

Doing some intensity on your commute and using it that way is probably the best use of time, then having time at the weekend say for a committed endurance ride. That way you’ll get the best of both worlds in your training. It’s not all about one or the other, but balancing the two together well


I would suggest option 3 for this, as a long slow duration ride still builds up the training stress but in a different way. 4 B2B very intense sessions is very taxing, but if you want to do that as a personal challenge then that’s a great thing to do. In terms of the best option for training, it would be option 3, as that allows you to recover for the next 2 sessions and complete them at the desired intensity and get the ideal gains from them. Hope that helps


This depends on the person unfortunately. So when some people do a hard effort, their heart rate will be elevated for the duration of the ride, whereas others can recover fully. Obviously out on the road there are hills, junctions and all sort that require a change in pace. I personally try and limit my efforts to below FTP on these long easy rides, and everywhere else keep it below LT1, when that’s not possible, I just go super easy after any harder efforts to recover my heart rate as best I can back into the correct zone even if it means lower power for 30-60min or however long it needs