Time between workouts | 80/20 Endurance

Time between workouts

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  • #10567

    Hi there!
    I was wondering if there is any general minimum recommendation for time between workouts.
    My understanding is/was that (if not a brick), one workout would be performed in the AM the other workout ideally in the PM.
    I get that for bike/run but was wondering about swim/bike or swim/run. Isn’t the recovery time after a swim rather short?
    Do you have a general recommendation what the time between workouts should be like:
    Swim – bike: 2 hours
    Run – bike: 4 hours
    Swim – run: 2 hours

    I would assume that the intensity the workout calls for also plays its role?


    David Warden


    This is an example of where TSS can be helpful. It really depends on the fatigue introduced by the workout. See https://www.trainingpeaks.com/learn/articles/normalized-power-intensity-factor-training-stress/#:~:text=TSS%20less%20than%20150%20%E2%80%93%20low,present%20even%20after%202%20days) for some initial guidelines.

    You’re looking for something even more granular. My best guess is:

    TSS <60 - Immediately
    TSS 60-80 - 4 hours
    TSS 80-120 - 6-8 hours
    TSS 120+ next day

    This should not be a hard rule, just some guidelines. If you have the flexibility in your time, great. Otherwise, it's better to do a workout slightly fatigued than miss it altogether.



    Thanks, that’s great information.
    Once follow up question:

    Let’s assume the following:
    1st workout: SF3
    2nd workout: CAn4

    The swim is only about 48 TSS, the ride is more like 95.
    Based on the above, the bike workout can follow the swim immediately but if the ride is performed first, it is advised that 6-8h should be between the two?
    Or am I getting it wrong and the TSS numbers for both would need to be below 60 to do them back to back?


    David Warden

    winoria, you keep changing your profile pic. I love the variety!

    The recommendations are for individual workouts, not combined.

    So, yes, swim then bike is great. Bike of 95 TSS then swim is not ideal. But, “ideal” is hard to meet consistently.

    When fatigued, not only can you not achieve higher intensities for interval workouts, but even with easy workouts your form is going to break down. For the swim and maybe the run, this can put you in a spiral of bad habits.

    I would not worry too much about this. Getting in the volume matters, even if the order and amount of rest is not perfect.


    Curry Gallagher

    Great question and I appreciate the specific TSS to hours answer.

    How does this apply to weights before or after a workout? TSS on strength workouts (free plug in) are always <60.

    David Warden

    Weights can be done immediately following or prior to your swim/bike/run workout, they fall in the <60 category listed above. If the swim/bike/run workouts is intervals, best to so the swim/bike/run before the strength session. If the swim/bike/run session is All Zone 1-2, then do the strength session first. This applies to any interval sessions: when presented with any non-brick back-to-back workouts do the higher-intensity sessions first.

    Again, we're really being picky here. If you did or did not follow this thread's advice I can't imagine it would result in more than 1% performance improvement. We're really in the weeds on this one. The chronic (6-week-ish) and acute (7-14 days) fatigue generated from endurance training are the primary driver of fatigue and where you should make your decisions about when do to certain workouts. Trying to split that down into an acute^2 measurement (hours) is reasonable, but not as critical as the big picture of workout scheduling.



    From my own experience, I don’t like doing any strength workouts before my swim/bike/run, no matter how easy my swim/bike/run (s) for that day might be.
    I just don’t feel “strong” when doing strength first.
    Maybe it is also a bit psychological but even then….
    I’d rather do my strength session immediately following a ride.
    Just my 2 cents.


    I do my strength sessions directly before foundation runs, but it certainly means I then take the runs easy, as like you winoria, I don’t feel ‘strong’ after the strength sessipm. But I do it that way around as the last thing I want after a run is to contemplate doing more work, I just want a shower and breakfast 🙂

    Marius T

    I was listening a podcast with Erin Carson from ECFit and she is doing with some of her athletes a “half” training session (approx. 20 min.) after a long endurance run or bike.
    This is done to train the body to push through fatigue (“to focus physically” like she said) and for reestablishing hormonal balance.

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