Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Zone 2 Training Help

amcamc Posts: 315
This year i'm going to try and get a bit more structure in my training. Previously, due to limited time (3 kids, working weekends etc) i've pretty much just gone as hard as possible in my given training time.
But because i tend to run out of steam on sportives, i want to improve my body's efficency with some Zone 2 rides.
But how much time does my body need to benefit from Zone 2 riding. Is it worth making my 30 min commute a Zone 2 ride? Shall i forgo the 1 hour hard intervals ride with 60 mins Zone 2.
I think i understand the theory behind Zone 2 but i'm unclear about best way to apply it to my limited training time.
amc

Posts

  • What theory is that?

    Probably the only thing that will improve efficiency is many, many years of high volumes of high quality riding in the legs.
  • You need endurance plus improved power at threshold. Since you have very limited time, then the next best thing is to focus on lifting power at threshold. Dropping the intensity of what you are doing is probably not the answer (but it depends on your specific circumstances).

    Then when you ride a sportive, provided you stick to a comfotable pace, it will be at a much lower % of your threshold and be less taxing, you'll deplete glycogen stores at a much lower rate and you'll be able to go further.

    it would help if you can do some longer rides though.
  • amcamc Posts: 315
    Thanks for the reply Alex.
    The 'theory' as i understand it is that i need to train in Zone 2 so that i am better at riding without using up my gylocen stores, thus being more efficent. Relatively speaking my threshold is ok because of all the intervals i do.
    I do manage a longer ride every 3 weeks or so but in between is it worth doing the shorter ones in zone 2 or does 30 mins in this zone actually do anything?
    amc
  • You couldn't use up your glycogen stores in 30-min anyway (unless you had been fasting before riding). Higher you take your threshold, the more you'll conserve glycogen on longer rides at lower intensities. I'd work on lifting threshold if time was limited.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    amc wrote:
    But how much time does my body need to benefit from Zone 2 riding. Is it worth making my 30 min commute a Zone 2 ride? Shall i forgo the 1 hour hard intervals ride with 60 mins Zone 2.
    I think i understand the theory behind Zone 2 but i'm unclear about best way to apply it to my limited training time.
    I'm assuming by zone 2 you mean rides in the ball park of conversation pace intensity. Unless you can get lots of hours in at this intensity you're eventually going to lose fitness. As Alex has alluded, simply increasing your threshold power will increse your ability to store glycogen. Here's some point to consider:
    1. Are your one hour efforts at or approaching threshold for the whole duration
    2. How well are you measuring the effort? (even using RPE you need to really concentrate to maintain the intensity)
    3. If things have plateaued and you don't have the time for sweet spot/tempo rides you need to change to moderate or intensive intervals. Eg. 2 x 20's or 5 x 5's to make further fitness gains
    4. Are you fatigued or stressed. Take a couple of days off
    5. Is training becoming boring? freshen things up with a change of training terrain or perhaps train with a group which will challenge you
  • MuzakMuzak Posts: 78
    You need endurance plus improved power at threshold. Since you have very limited time, then the next best thing is to focus on lifting power at threshold. Dropping the intensity of what you are doing is probably not the answer (but it depends on your specific circumstances).

    Then when you ride a sportive, provided you stick to a comfotable pace, it will be at a much lower % of your threshold and be less taxing, you'll deplete glycogen stores at a much lower rate and you'll be able to go further.

    it would help if you can do some longer rides though.

    Hi

    In broad terms is the best way to increase endurance simply doing longer rides at 75-85% of HR Max?

    In similar measure, what is the best way to lift power at threshold? Assuming this is lactate threshold that is referred to, does doing intervals of 10-15 mins at 90% of HR Max help?

    Thanks
  • Muzak wrote:
    In broad terms is the best way to increase endurance simply doing longer rides at 75-85% of HR Max?
    That's a good component of your riding for improved endurance.
    Muzak wrote:
    In similar measure, what is the best way to lift power at threshold? Assuming this is lactate threshold that is referred to, does doing intervals of 10-15 mins at 90% of HR Max help?
    Yes, along with longer efforts at slightly lower intensity and shorter efforts at slightly higher intensity. As well as the longer endurance rides mentioned. They all have an impact.

    you don't need to go flat out to lift threshold. just hard enough to induce the adaptations.
Sign In or Register to comment.