Workout order – does it matter?

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Author
  • #11198
    David Warden

    @curdog16 The RMI can be done before the bike ride for that optional brick. It’s also why the brick is optional… it’s a tough combo. AM/PM is fine for that day.

    Also, many athletes (including me) actually run better after a bike ride of less than 2 hours.

    whew! Did I catch all questions on this thread?



    Thanks David! Great answers!


    Just my 2 cents on impossible workouts

    “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
    -Vince Lombardi


    @davidwarden Thanks for the detailed answers! You calling it a small non-compliance already helps a lot mentally πŸ˜€


    I want to pick this one up again.
    I was running RSP18 today and felt fantastic. While is was running my intervals I was thinking of the above conversation, especially as I sometimes ran too hard and ran in Zone 5 instead of staying in Zone 4. I remembered how hard the other workout was and especially the Z5 part of it and I suddenly thought of shoes/sneakers.

    I know it sounds weird but did you ever notice a difference caused by shoes? Let’s say an athlete would run the FTP test in “Nike Next Gen 4% super sneakers” (which I don’t have πŸ˜‰ and a week or two later, this very same athlete would run RMI2 in “slow” / “heavy” shoes like Adidas Ultraboost. Would you expect to see a difference in power or only pace?

    Because of past injuries etc. I replace shoes more frequently and also rotate shoes to avoid issues. I run shoes that are rather “fast” but also shoes that are more for recovery days. When I was recently having issues with the RMI2, I ran in my “recovery” shoes (don’t know why – I guess because I was too lazy to mount the Stryd on another pair of shoes).

    Maybe this is just stupidity at its best LMAO….



    Ha, glad to see I’m not the only one concerned about this workout let alone as a brick! I do think it’s important to start to incorporate a brick run early on though!

    David Warden

    winoria, an excellent point, and one had not thought to include in my reply. Certainly, with speed work in particular, the shoes will make at least a small difference. Maybe not the difference in completing the workouts 100% that blackthorn originally reported, but clearly an x-ounce shoe is going to have a different result than a y-ounce shoe.

    Again, the RMI series is just a brutal workout, maybe nothing will make it better. But, different shoes will have at least a small difference in the result.



    Hi David,

    I’d want to pick this up again as I made an (as I think) interesting experience this past weekend:
    I had my “tune up race” for the 70.3, a half marathon, this past Saturday. I decided to add RTa1 to my Friday schedule to get the legs moving, etc.
    RTa1 is 5min Z1 followed by 6x20sec Z5/40sec Z1
    My last rFTP test was not long ago, on April 10th, giving me a average wattage over the course of 20min of 304, which results in a FTP of 289 watts.
    The threshold pace was 6:47min/mile, threshold HR 169 BPM.

    Based on that, the Zone 5 intervals should be run at 347 watts / a pace of 5:54 or a HR of 177 or greater (I come to the reason why I list pace and HR later).

    Stryd gave me an auto calculated CP of 297 watts and recommended 94% for the half = 279 W.

    To summarize:
    rFTP: 289 W
    Threshold Pace: 6:47
    Threshold HR: 169 BPM
    Stryd CP: 297 W

    When I ran the RTa1, I had a super hard time to get the Zone 5 intervals done (on fresh legs πŸ™
    I averaged: 319, 313, 321, 319, 326, 326 (or in other words, I ran in Zone 4 as I couldn’t hold the power to average a Zone 5 output).
    Pace: 5:31, 6:26: 5:50, 5:01, 5:19, 5:08
    That would make one assume my rFTP is set too high, correct? Although, my pace was within Z5 – 5 of 6 times.

    Now, the next morning I ran the half marathon and averaged an output of 289 watts over 1h29min. In theory, my rFTP cannot be 289W as one should only be able to hold that for 1 hour? Doing the math, I would – based on the race outcome – assume the FTP is in the 301-307 range? But then there is no way I could get even close to Zone 5.
    The pace I ran was 6:48. So I would think that the Threshold Pace from my April test doesn’t line up either? Entering the half marathon time in the Zone calculator, it comes ups with a threshold pace of 6:38 (Zone 5 would then be faster than 5:46 (which should work I guess). But that would mean that I ran the whole race in mid Zone 3, which seems rather high?
    My HR however averaged 160 BPM with a max of 169 BPM which puts me in upper Zone X / lower Zone 3, which does seem to be correct for a half?

    I’m puzzled. What is wrong with my Zone 5 power?

    Sorry for the long post, but I’m really confused.


    David Warden

    winoria, so much at play here, I’m not sure I can answer it all. I’ll try.

    – This reinforces that Stryd auto CP is not yet ready for prime-time. Disregard it in favor of your own actual field test results. Sure, your 20-minute TT was also off, but it was much closer than the Stryd estimate.
    – A real FTP test is actually 60 minutes long. A 30-minute TT unobserved will equal a 60-minute TT observed (more on this below). But, we just can’t recommend a 60-minute FTP test every rest week, so we dropped it to 30 assuming it would be unobserved. Athletes were struggling with 30 so we dropped it to 20 minutes. For some athletes, the 95% of 20 is not as accurate as the 100% of 30. I suspect that you would do better with 100% of 30 from now on, which will be closer to that 300+ mark when you test. I bring this up because your HM was much closer to that 60 minutes observed standard than the 20-minute field test.
    – Observed performance will produce better results than unobserved, and for some this is exceptionally different. For these athletes, they almost need two separate sets of zones: training zones and racing zones. It’s like the difference between indoor and outdoor outputs, where indoor can be some 5% lower. For some athletes, they will just perform >5% better when racing than when training on their own and have to factor that into a race plan.
    – Athletes with less fast-twitch muscle will have a harder time reaching Zone 5. Some athletes with track and field background complain to me that Zone 5 is too low. At the extreme end of the Zone system there will just be some gray area. As long as you are at the highest level of intensity you can maintain for 30-60 seconds, that’s a successful Zone 5 interval.
    – Trying to align and mix and match zones is not worth your time. Pick an intensity type and use it. While I would expect Pace and Power to be close, they will never be 100% aligned.
    – Don’t underestimate the fitness gains you could have made from April 10 to May 1. You just might have had a huge improvement over that 3 weeks and your new FTP really is 300+

    The truth is one of more of these observations will explain the discrepancies you are seeing, but I can’t confirm the degree in which any one is contributing.

    In summary, if you pick just one intensity type, use the 30-minute protocol, don’t worry about reaching Zone 5 in a Zone 5 interval, and recognize your race-day zones might be higher than training zones, then this is all normal. I think….



    Thanks David. Will do!
    One comment though: the Stryd estimated a CP of 297 W and recommended 94% of CP for the half marathon. So their CP is closer than the rFTP test that gave me a 289 W result. As I averaged 289 W over the race, I assume my real rFTP is higher. I will continue as is for now till I have the next recovery week and retest then. Or would you recommend to simply use a higher number like 300 W for now?

    David Warden

    I really think 300 is closer than 289 for you. The HM result is just too good for you to be 289 as an FTP.



    Back on this topic again. I was supposed (as per your recommendation) to run a 30min TT but completely forgot until after today’s run.
    I was scheduled for RT3 and decided to see where I’m at.
    Interestingly, my power for the 20 dropped by 3 Watts vs. the last test in April but my pace increased by a lot (my LTH did too). In April, I averaged 304 watts (FTP of 289) at a pace of 6:29min/mile.
    Today, I averaged 302 watts (FTP of 287 ) at a pace of 6:16min/mile on the exact same route.
    April 15min average HR: 169 BPM, today 173 BPM
    Considering the Half Marathon I ran on May 1 where I averaged 289W over the course of the race (1h29min) I almost think that the Stryd number is not correct.
    If I look at the threshold pace instead, it all makes sense:
    April 10 test: 6:49min/mil threshold pace
    May Half Marathon pace: 6:48min/mile
    Today’s test: 6.36min/mile

    Assuming I made some decent progress from April 10 to May 1, today’s threshold pace does seem to be correct for the May 1st HM (low-mid Zone 3) – but that would mean no progress from May 1 until today?

    I could kick my ass that I didn’t run a 30min test today as I would guess that this could have been close to 300 watts and likely close to a 6:20min/mile pace which would totally make sense I guess as I would not need to deduct the 5% then.



    David Warden


    Usually, an increase in speed for a given power output is a best-base scenario. It’s ideal. Really, the 2 watts difference is within a margin of error on the device. Even though power is the “gold standard” of measurement, speed is the primary result we are aiming for.

    “…but that would mean no progress from May 1 until today?” I think we discussed this in this thread, or a similar thread… observed and unobserved performance can be very different. Your HM race results certainly justify a much higher day-to-day FTP, but it’s tough to compare that to solo training and testing. Some athletes just have a huge delta between racing and training.

    So, take out the HM from the equation and everything fits.

    The problem with that answer is that it’s not really a satisfactory answer. If racing and training are different sets of zones, how the heck can an athlete use training zones for race day? That’s where the nuance of self-coaching (or one-on-one coating) comes in. I can talk all I want to about specificity, reversibility, intensity balance, frequency, training zones…but every athlete is a bit different and there are going to be some accommodations to the system for each. Regretfully, I just can’t provide that level of coaching over a forum.

    The only answers I can comfortable provide is that you a) are possibly a candidate for racing zones well above what you observe in training and b) are clearly improving and the system is working for you. Comparing data point 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 just may not be as helpful as just comparing data point 1 and 7. You’re faster now (data point 7) than you were in April (data point 1). That’s enough. Keep it up.


Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Posted in


You must be logged in to create new topics and to reply to topics.