Notes and other web resources for Endurance rides

the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
“Mary was close to the limit of her endurance in Steve’s Endurance Cycling class”
synonyms: tolerationtolerancesufferanceforbearancepatienceacceptance


Year after year, January through March is prime time for Endurance Rides in the Cycle Studio!

These 90-minute rides tend to draw OUTDOOR riders INSIDE to prepare for spring, summer and fall rides outside. It’s typically the only time you’ll find them inside the cycle studio.

2019 will be the first year our Endurance Rides at the Y will include the new LifeFitness equipment and Coach By Color / Power Training monitors…I’m really looking forward to these classes this year!

In preparation for my first ride, later this month, I’ve found several helpful resources online.

While training at lower intensities, fat is the main energy source. For new or novice participants in the Spinning program, this is definitely your first stop for good fitness and health. Of course, not all exercise can be at low intensities, and at a certain times, you will overcome some serious workloads for results while increasing cycling endurance. But as instructors, we must warn our riders that there is danger with quick-fix solutions that go in the direction of a ‘no pain, no gain’ culture.

This post refers to ENDURANCE as one of the FIVE ENGERY ZONES (Endurance, Strength, Interval, Race Day and Recovery), not necessary as an extended Endurance Ride. Even still, the following excerpts are good information.

Endurance Energy Zone™
Endurance Energy Zone™
Endurance training is the heart and soul of any successful exercise program, and a majority of your total training time should be spent in the Endurance Energy Zone™. Endurance training is the foundation upon which we build our health and performance goals. In the Endurance Energy Zone, cyclists improve physical health, increase energy stores, improve heart and lung function and burn body fat. This is where most of your students’ health-related goals lie. In performance terms, endurance training increases aerobic capacity, builds muscular endurance and improves cycling efficiency. Endurance training is also mentally challenging, providing an excellent opportunity to develop cognitive skills applicable to competition and to the stresses of daily life.

On another search, I found the following conversation from an online forum:
I am a fairly new instructor and I would like your professional opinions endurance rides. I ask b/c I had a new student (an 18-year-old fit male) tell me that he had participated in an endurance ride a couple of days earlier (his second class ever) and that he had a very hard time completing the class. He said his chest hurt, he was breathing very hard, etc., but that he just “worked through it.” My first response was your chest shouldn’t hurt – that’s not something you work through. And we talked briefly about working in correct heart rate zones and the importance of the same. Endurance work is done in the 65 – 75% range, right? And according to the book endurance work is something that one can sustain for 15 minutes – it also gives an example endurance ride which basically is a warm up to the target HR (w/in 5 beats) for almost the entire class and then a cool down? Query: if endurance RPE is something you can hold on to for 15 minutes, shouldn’t there be some recovery time in the ride? The student told me there was no recovery – just constant work – and it seems that is was hard to very hard work. He said my interval ride was not as hard as his recent endurance ride. Of course, this caught me off guard since we had discussed the ride being his own and one turn on my bike may be 2 turns on his. I tried to cue him on resistance on the efforts but his cadence stayed the same – fast with probably light to medium resistance. I assumed that’s where he wanted to be. Anyway, can you please explain an endurance ride to me and suggested RPE. Thank you for reading my rambling.

An Endurance Ride is just that—Endurance. From my understanding, endurance is meant to be done in a seated flat at a HR you can maintain for 30 min. of a 40 min. class with a 5 min warm up and cool down. The heart rate parameters are 65% – 75%. The difficulty comes in remaining in the saddle for an extended period of time while maintaining a consistent pedal stroke and HR.
My classes find endurance rides to be as difficult as Intervals because of the mental aspect involved and because there is no “recovery” per se. Muscle fatigue is a common complaint along with “please let me stand up” being a frequent comment as well. During endurance rides is when I have the most conversation going on in class, because it is the one time they are riding at a HR that allow for conversation and it seems to help them stay focused…riders that complain together stay together. I occasionally will have a rider choose to ride at a higher HR – 80% but only those who are in great shape and haven’t ridden more than 2x that week and want a little harder workout.
If your young male friend was breathing that hard, I’d say he was riding at a level higher than 75% in his endurance class, and depending on what ranges you used for your Intervals, how long of intervals and length of recovery between intervals, his endurance class may have been harder….but that doesn’t make your class wrong, just different.
Good luck teaching…..It’s a blast

I like this suggested format for Tempo Bursts in an endurance ride:
Tempo Bursts
Tempo and Sweet Spot intervals are as hard as we have athletes go on the trainer in the winter. To continue the progression and to help the time pass quicker, we add bursts to the tempo and sweet spot intervals. For example, during workout #1 above we’d add a 5-second burst greater than 450 watts every 2 minutes during the 8-minute tempo interval. Not only is this specific to races that many of our athletes compete in, by having a burst to do every 2 minutes it actually helps the time pass by quicker!
An example Tempo Burst workout:
• Warm-up 10-15 minutes
• 3 x 8 minutes on at 76-90% of FTP, with a 5-second burst every 2 minutes that is > 450 watts
• 4-minute recoveries in between intervals
• Cool down
Overall the number of intervals and their length can be widely varied. Most athletes should start with a total of 20-30 minutes of tempo work during the workout and increase the total load as they go along the season. Lastly, even though you are indoors don’t forgot to use a fan and drink plenty.

The following excerpt is just a small bit of the extensive text from ATHLETIC TECH REVIEW and highlights why our new LifeFitness bikes are a great advantage for members!
Now, if you have a bike with power and heart readings, identifying and setting your students zones is a fairly easy thing to do. You also have a huge training advantage in your class compared to those of us who teach without heart rate or power data. Those of us on traditional spin bikes have to use perceived exertion. Explaining this to my students is easy and straight forward. I tell my students we will be working in zones 2 and 3 for our workout. In zone 2 you can carry on a casual conversation. In zone 3 you can still carry on a conversation, but you can only say 3 to 4 words at a time. It is as simple as that. Have your students key in on their breathing during the class. That is a pretty decent marker for what zone you are in.

Some discussion of Aerobic Over Under Intervals at TRAINRIGHT.COM

Weekend Reading: Tips and Workouts for Going Long on the Indoor Trainer

Try Aerobic OverUnder Intervals: Many of you are familiar with OverUnders, where you start out at threshold intensity and then alternate between threshold intensity and above-threshold surges as the interval progresses. There’s an aerobic version of this workout as well, where you start out at EnduranceMiles (EM) pace for 5 minutes, go to Tempo (T) intensity for 5 minutes, return to EM for 5min, Tempo 5min, etc. We’ll often have athletes continue alternating like this for 45-60minutes. You can also make the Tempo portions longer (5min EM, 10min Tempo). To make it more interesting you can throw in 5minute SteadyState (SS) intervals every few cycles as well (5min each EM/T/EM/T/SS/EM/T/EM/T/SS/EM for instance).

Check out this from STAGES CYCLING
Kitchen Sink (1h 15m total).
This is my “go to” workout when I’m not really sure what I want to do but I know I want to do something hard. It’s relatively short and not so sweet but it’s engaging with many intensity changes.
• Ten minutes warm-up easy spinning, Recovery/Zone 1 with a couple minutes of Endurance/Zone 2.
• Ten minutes at Tempo (zone 3, 80-90 rpm)
• Five minutes of Recovery (Zone 1).
• Ten minutes at Tempo (Zone 3, 80-90 rpm) but include a ten-second ‘sprint’ (non-maximal effort) at the end of each minute.
• Five minutes of Recovery (Zone 1)
• 3 sets x 5 repetitions of 30 seconds “on” (VO2 Zone 5) and 30 seconds “off” at Tempo (zone 3) with 5 minutes of Recovery (Zone 1) between each rep. Note, the “off” portion of the interval is at zone 3, NOT zone 1.
• Take 5-10 minutes of Recovery (Zone 1) to finish the workout.

RACESMART.COM blog recommends three 90-minute workouts

Three 90-Minute Trainer Workouts to Cure the Winter Blues

1. High Cadence Intervals/Efficiency
2. Strength and Muscle Recruitment
3. Progressive Intervals
…and this helpful tip: Always remember to bring 2 bottles of water or electrolyte fluid with you to trainer workouts. Plan to drink one 24-ounce bottle each hour, so bring 2 for workouts lasting longer than 60 minutes.

Finally, I found these notes from another instructor’s (Kristal) 90-minute endurance ride

Seems most appropriate that one of my longest blog posts covers Endurance!
Look more posts on this subject over the next several weeks as our rides continue through the winter of 2019.

Enjoy the Ride!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s