Bigger rides, evenly spaced

@xertedbrain , you mentioned that bigger rides, potentially with more rest days would be more effective than smaller, more consistent days, assuming to same total amount of stress. Is that something that Xert makes clear, and/or something from a study? I could certainly see a benefit if you’re trying to minimize the number of days where you’re eliciting stress on your system, separate to training stress.

I believe @xertedbrain mentioned that this has been shown in a few studies, but not accounted for by Forecast AI.

That being said, I believe this also depends on what you keep constant and what else you have on your training calendar. Is it better to ride for 7 hours at 200 W every Sunday or 1 hour at 200 W every day? Your average and peak HR will be significantly lower in the first case. The difficulty will also be much lower. Dependent on your fitness signature, the latter will also give you more XSS.

Or the alternative. Say you will do 3 x 20 min at TP. You can take 20 min on Mon-Wed, or you can do them all in one session on Monday. The latter is obviously harder because you will not fully recover during a training session.

You can experiment on the planner to see how this works. Deeper fatigue recovers faster so that means that doing more on one ride recovers faster than doing the same XSS in 2 or more rides. Since you recover sooner, you can apply more XSS and build up training load faster.

Notably this applies to polarized training. At the 4:1 settings, the system will proportion the high and peak XSS such that you recover in 4 days after the workout. This can accumulate more high/peak training load than if you do high/peak everyday, for example. However, many prefer to do more intensity more frequently just out of interest and preference. This can lead to greater improvement if the harder, less frequent high intensity workouts are more likely to be be missed or not completed. That’s the counter argument to doing few bigger rides than smaller rides with greater frequency. The high intensity workouts can be too challenging to complete.