Order of workouts for multi-workout days

Hi all,
I have one general problem with the SUF training plans: On many days, more than one workout is scheduled. Examples are, bike/yoga, bike/strength, bike/bike days.
Now while for bike/yoga it’s usually quite obvious in which order to do things, it’s sometimes not obvious at all for other combinations. And the plan does not give any hints.

A very common one is strength/bike. Usually I do strength first, especially if the bike session is a cadence drill. However if bike is a 20 min recovery session, I sometimes use it as warm up before strength. Also, if it’s Standing Starts, I usually do it before strength, because you probably want the freshest and most agile muscles you can get for Standing Starts.

Most difficult to understand for me are bike/bike days.
Take today as an example. I have GCN Aerobic Endurance scheduled, plus a 3h endurance ride. So my question to the coaches: what did you have in mind when designing this? Should I do them back to back? Or split in 2 sessions?
Is it the 1 h with higher intensity first? Or base endurance first?
The immediate answer might be, of course you do the high intensity part first, when you are fresh, then finish it off with the long, low power endurance part. However, when I trained for marathons, quite often we did the opposite. We went out for some 25 km in base endurance pace, to establish some solid fatigue without doing anything that’s too draining. Then we would finish it off with some 12 km at marathon target pace, to train this sub-threshold zone in a fatigued state, and also build the mental strength and confidence.
So which of the two was intended by you? What should I do tonight?
And more general: Could you improve your plans to give us a better idea of what you have in mind for these multi-workout days?

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@RenAn This topic comes up in the forum from time to time. Here is an answer from the Coaches from another thread that might help.

Also I recall that one of the podcasts discussed this topic - might have been the one on strength training. I do exactly what you do with respect to strength so I think that is correct and I probably learned that either from the podcast or from another thread.

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Hi @RenAn,
The order that the workouts appear on the calendar is the order in which they are meant to be performed. Most of the time, the higher intensity session will come first, but there are some exceptions, which is why we just set them on the calendar in the order we want them done.
In the case of bike/strength and bike/yoga, they can be switched without much consequence, usually. If you’re a seasoned cyclist but new to strength, we recommend doing the strength session prior to the bike when you’re fresh in order to reduce chances of injury and get the most out of it. The cycling sessions that are prescribed on strength days are generally neuromuscular focused or recovery so that they can be done after a strength session safely.


I just reviewed my posts and discovered I never said thank you for your replies here. So here it comes: Thank you!

Could you coaches perhaps also say something about whether workouts should be done back to back or in multiple distinct sessions?
I personally have experience with multi session training days. During training camps I’m used to up to 3 sessions a day. On a standard day like this, I would usually try to space these sessions as far apart as possible, in order to maximise recovery periods. I would perhaps do the first running session after a light breakfast, do strength around noon, and a longer endurance ride in the late afternoon.
The other option of course are bricks, where you intentionally combine two disciplines in back to back sessions.

Now coming back to Suf trainings plans, I’m not sure how to identify which of these approaches I should take when I look at my plans. There are some days when a run session is explicitley called a brick, and the warm-up is the bike session. So that makes it clear and easy.
But more often than not, there are simply two (or even more) sessions scheduled for the day. Sometimes bike/run without the run explicitely being called a brick, frequently bike/bike, and sometimes even run/bike.
How should I treat these days? Maximise recovery between these sessions? Do them back to back?

Many thanks for your advice!

@RenAn best rule of thumb is to always do your most intense workout first and do the less intense workout second with approximately 3 to 4 hours between workouts.

Now, as you point out, if the intention of the workout is to be back to back, like a brick workout for example, follow the instructions provided in the workout and ensure that you hydrate and fuel properly.


This sentence is quite enlightening. I always assumed, and have done, the workouts back2back without any significant rest, similar to a Knighthood quest. Should I follow your ‘rule of thumb’ in the future and not do them simultaneously?

Unless the intention is for the workout to be done back to back, like a brick, then yes, I would follow the advice I laid out for you. There are times you will want to do a swim to bike back to back workout, or bike to run, but typically you should do the more intense workout 1st and then allow for about 3 to 4 hours of recovery before doing your second workout.

Happy training!

Same. I always do my runs right after the bike. Even if it doesn’t explicitly say brick. I am a triathlete after all. Plus, who has time to set aside multiple times a day to train?

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I prefer to do my intensity in the early AM before work. And then either at lunch or after work I do my second session which is the less intense of the two.

My thursdays seem to be a difficult spin and then running intervals so they are both difficult. If I waited in between the run would be much harder. I prefer to run immediately after biking

People like me who have to fit in training around work and child-care, e.g. run at lunch time when at the office, then cycle indoors at home when the kids are in bed.

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That makes sense because essentially this is one gigantic workout for you. It’s not a bad approach at all, especially if it is working for you.

Hey there, I have a few days where my “focus” exercises, or “pre-ride warmup” exercises actually come after (below) the main workout for the day. is this a bug?

@jlakis Yes - that happens. Definitely do warmup 1st.