Long NoVid workouts

Hi there,

Lately I have been doing some of the longer NoVid workouts like ‘Tempo Increasing: 30/20/10/5’ and ‘FTP/MAP Builds: 2 Sets 3 x 6’. Although I really enjoyed the first part (~2 hours) of both workouts, I find the last ~1 hour of tempo work at the end very boring.

I would consider skipping these parts, but this feels like cheating and I also assume that there is a reason behind the structure of these workouts. So I would like to know what exactly I would be missing. It feels to me like the real work is already done at that point and that I wouldn’t be missing much, but would like to hear your thoughts on this.




Interested to hear responses on this as well. The last hour is endurance pace 60% FTP so seems like extra volume only and I too wonder what the actual training benefit is here.


In at least a few of them, there are instructions before that extra volume tempo section that says if you’re pressed for time you can skip the extra volume. So, I would be interested to hear more “official” reasons / benefits for the extra volume and answer to your questions on skipping it or not, etc. Excellent question since I have some of these coming up, as well.

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The training benefit is building up endurance for long rides or events.
If you do not do rides or events of longer duration, the training benefit would be small.

It even says that in the workout description.

@Heretic i don’t see this on either of these 2 No-vid descriptions.

From Tempo Increasing 30/20/20/5 (the video the OP mentioned):
“If you are preparing for any longer ride/event where you will be required to keep on the gas from start to finish, this is the perfect session for you. Completing these efforts in this order not only gives a great physical training boost, but it also toughens you up mentally. Digging deep when fatigued is the key to good performance over longer distances, so expect to suffer in that final 5-minute effort; it will pay off both mentally and physically!”

Yeh, I saw that. But that doesn’t address the question of the value of the final hour at endurance pace which was the OPs question.

That is precisely the point, the extra hour builds your endurance to last for hours.

If you only ride for two hours, it would become increasing difficult to ride 4, 5 hours or more at a reasonable pace. For rides of that long you need to build up your long-term power which is very different from FTP.

A two hour ride no matter what your 4DP profile is not going to help you ride a century.

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With respect, it seems like that last hour at 60% FTP is just saddle time. I’ve done many long rides of a century or more without ever doing 3 hour trainer rides. I’m mot discounting your opinion but I’d love to hear what the SUF coaches have to say about it.

Offense never taken, I like people who are direct and to the point.
I presumed that the description came from the coaches.

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Funny thing is I read the description and my read of it was that they were specifically referring to the order of the intervals requiring efforts up to an including the 5 min interval but felt they were silent on the clear benefit of the extra hour at all day endurance pace.

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I obviously read it differently. I guess each of our own biases led us to read it differently.
Now if I could only somehow misread Nine Hammers…


Lol!’ You just have to misread the last 2 hammers :wink:


@Glen.Coutts and @Heretic thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I read the description the same way as Glen.
Still curious to hear what the SUF coaches have to say about it.


Tagging Sirs @Coach.Neal.H @Coach.Mac.C. :slight_smile: for when you get a chance.


I’m also interested to hear what the coaches say. I just came across the first long video in my Tri plan and I thought it was mistake. Its “Tempo Build: 1x60”. The description says the workout is one 60 minute build session, but the entire workout is 3 hours. It says the first 30 minutes is a “warmup” which seems kind of ridiculous.

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What is your target? My experience is that my target always includes a boring bit. It’d be different if I raced cyclocross or something. Not as boring as riding indoors with just the radio on, but I’ve found race day relatively non-boring because I know real boredom. I’ve done 5 hours with only a radio where my only aim was to keep cadence above 100. Couldn’t even change channel on the radio. Didn’t know power or heart rate. No race has ever tested my boredom as much as that.

Bit like IWKMATTKYT, but rather I will bore my ass today to kick yours tomorrow, which doesn’t really work and could be misinterpreted. I think you probably understand what I’m trying to say though.


Not a coach, and just my 2p worth.

You’re pretty much correct in that it is simply ‘added volume’, and at only low zone 2 power this should be well below your aerobic threshold. It’s not hard, but if your zones are dialed in correctly it’s not easy recovery either. It is there for a reason though - it’s developing your aerobic efficiency, which takes time at a moderate intensity.

For these sessions, most of the the ‘hard’ intervals will be early in the session, so that you can hit them when you’re at your freshest. Sometimes you could reverse this, if you want to develop your ability to produce a given intensity late in a race or event when fatigued. I’d say this part is fairly event or rider specific though. If you’re generally looking to improve your own numbers, you get most value by hitting the intervals early then accumulating time in z2 after.

In terms of ‘value for money’, the main intervals are where this is, and by all means if you don’t have the time or motivation (nothing wrong with either of those - I wouldn’t spend 3 hours doing a turbo z2 session!!) skip the zone 2 work and get on with recovery. Don’t however underestimate the benefits accumulated by getting work done in your zone 2.


I see the coaches have still not responded.

Over the weekend I was reading Michael Hutchinson’s 2014 book, “Faster”. On page 80 he says:

“It’s easy to assume that the long rides aren’t necessary - it’s not at all that hard to get a lot of the aerobic adaptations in the oxygen-moving system from relatively short training sessions. But if you ask a pro who has to race for five to six hours in a day why they still, very traditionally, go and grind out the miles, their answer is simply that that (sic) is how they stop themselves from falling apart at the end of a long event.”

Not definitive, and 2014 is a sports science lifetime ago, but still a knowledgeable opinion.


The extra volume stops you falling apart at the end of long races particularly when faced with situations like the last 20-30 miles into a vicious head wind, the race organiser puts the biggest hill on the final stretch or both.

If I’m training for century+ races I always go for an extra hour or 25 to 30 miles than I need to to combat this.

If I’m doing long hours on a turbo I would tend to start with endurance+ then move on to ISLTA at 80 - 90 - 95% to fill up required time.

This approach certainly works for me and pass other competitors on the later stages of races making it look easy, whilst they look destroyed.

Also helps because I usually have to get off the bike and run after that.

Hope that helps