Open Rides intensity

Good day;

As part of FTP building block training plan, open rides (open 60, open 120, etc.) features frequently. I noticed at the beginning of these videos it is stated you may adjust the intensity as required. I assumed this was when completing the exercise as a once-off.

I just wanted to confirm these sessions as part of a plan is meant to be a “base ride” at 65% of FTP; or may you adjust the intensity upwards?


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If there’s no note in the plan saying otherwise, I’d just do it at the default setting. What I would sometimes do in those scenarios, is vary my cadence in 5-10 minute blocks.


Thank you for the response, that is a good suggestion.

I varied the intensity in 10 minute intervals upwards and downwards.

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Good idea too. Break up the monotony a bit. :+1:t2::+1:t2:

Even if you ride it as an endurance ride, the adjustment instruction is still relevant: the default is 65% FTP bc that’s where endurance pace often lands for folks, but in reality it’s a range (can be lower or higher) and 65% isnt what defines it.

It’s basically your “all day” pace, ie pace you can ride at for the duration of a long ride and—and unless you’re really pushing the duration—still feel comfortable at the end. Admittedly there’s a little trial and error aspect, you may not know you overdid it until the back half of an endurance lol. But when in doubt you can always start easier and then dial up the intensity a bit as you go if it feels good (people call it letting the watts come to you, vs chasing them).

The magic of zone 2 is how it fits into the rest of your schedule. It works because there is an endurance-adaptive cellular signal for every muscle contraction you do (zone 2 or otherwise!) and endurance pace is a way to get the highest number of meaningful contractions at the lowest fatigue cost, so that you can still eg hit your ftp intervals hard the next day.

Letting the pace vary a bit I think is fine, it kinda happens naturally when you’re riding outdoors anyway. Just ask yourself at the end whether you hit the balance right, and adjust accordingly next time.