i am doing the level 2 sprint training as i never race more than a sprint distance. i am curious about the 1.5 hour and greater runs and bike workouts. the length of these workouts don’t seem to be in line with other sprint training. could you please explain?
Great question. The purpose of training is to improve your muscular, cardio vascular and neurological systems. Your brain must be trained to resist fatigue, and that level of brain training only occurs in workouts of around 2+ hours.
Given that your Sprint will take ~1.25 hours, regular 1.5 hour sessions is not extraordinary (the max run duration in the Sprint plan is 1.5 hours). The 2-hour bike rides are really the sweet-spot for neurological benefits.
We even have 1.5 hours runs in our 5K plans! Professional baseball pitchers, who run 0 miles in a game, will run 45 minutes a day for this same brain benefit. The bottom line is that training your body to resist fatigue can only occur at these minimum durations.
Curry, Our Level 0 and 1 plans do have 3.5 hour bike rides, as we assume those “slower” athletes need the extra time to finish the ride. For a Level 2 and 3 athlete, 3 hours is the maximum effective dose. If we scheduled a 4 hour ride, it either has to pull from another mid-week workout, or the whole plan increases by an hour. Both of those are not terrible consequences, but we just don’t think it’s necessary.
I’m confident you’d get a different opinion from other coaches. There is sort of a maximum volume camp and a minimum volume camp with coaches, we’re in the minimum camp (which is the same as maximum effective dose).