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  1. #1
    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    Zone 2 Training, Building Aerobic Capacity

    I ran into this article, and it basically says what everyone else says about base training and zone 2 training.

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/defaul...llstory&id=866

    The gist of it is, without zone 2 or base training you severely limit your aerobic capacity. I've been trying to find some pubmed abstracts or something that has actually done a study to explain the physiology behind this effect.

    Can anyone point me to some studies or explanations backed up by studies?

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    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    You may not know this, but you have opened a can of worms. I don't think anyone would argue that there's no need for a solid aerobic base. The point of contention on this an other forums seems to be centered around this statement in the article: "Pushing yourself towards the red zone negates aerobic gains during long easy rides."

    I don't see how that could be pysiologically possible. I can see the concern for burnout, I can buy into the need to do some long rides, but I don't see how occasionally dipping into the red zone during a long ride could "negate aerobic gains." Obviously if you're going so hard that you can't ride for more than an hour you're not likely to build an aerobic base. But saying that you can't mix some intervals into a long ride at the risk of "negating the aerobic gains" seems like a hilariously indefensible statement from a scientific, physiological standpoint.

    --Steve

  3. #3
    base training heretic Squint's Avatar
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    What do those scientists know? Are they even smarter than the average person? Just because they couldn't get base training to work for their test subjects under carefully controlled conditions doesn't mean you won't succeed where they failed. You have to have faith that base training works, even if no evidence supports it. The pros obviously ride a lot and base involves putting in a lot of time on the bike so the pros must be doing a lot of base.

    The wider your base, the higher your peak!

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    With my training plan the " aerobic base" peroid goes from mid Oct till end of Jan. I train every day of the week and if I start creeping into zone 3 or higher during these workouts would run the risk of burnout when the season gets here.

    So IMHO the real reason to say zone 2 or less during this time of year is to avoid burnout and give your body a rest from last season while maintaining fitness.

  5. #5
    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo View Post
    ... The point of contention on this an other forums seems to be centered around this statement in the article: "Pushing yourself towards the red zone negates aerobic gains during long easy rides." I don't see how that could be pysiologically possible. I can see the concern for burnout, I can buy into the need to do some long rides, but I don't see how occasionally dipping into the red zone during a long ride could "negate aerobic gains."...
    This was exactly why I posted the question. No one seems to be able to explain to me why I shouldn't ride hard during my limited time on the bike. As long as I am not burning out, why not ride hard 8 hours a week?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squint View Post
    What do those scientists know? ... The wider your base, the higher your peak!
    [edit] Can't tell if you are being sarcastic... [edit]
    Squint, I'm sorry but saying "who cares about the scientists" is just asinine. I understand that anecdotal evidence can go a long way, but comparing my 8 hours a week to a pros 30+ hours a week and saying "the pros do it, it will work for you" doesn't make sense to me. I agree that a poorly conducted study or one that draws conclusions incorrectly is as dangerous, but I would like to evaluate that for myself. Our understanding of how our physiology works is always increasing, trusting Friel regarding his "wider base, higher peak" stuff is a good rule of thumb but doubtfully applies to everyones lifestyle.

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    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukusz View Post
    This was exactly why I posted the question. No one seems to be able to explain to me why I shouldn't ride hard during my limited time on the bike. As long as I am not burning out, why not ride hard 8 hours a week?
    Sometimes in order to get faster you got to ride slower. You cant ride 100% effort every ride and expect improvement year after year.

  8. #8
    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
    Sometimes in order to get faster you got to ride slower. You cant ride 100% effort every ride and expect improvement year after year.
    But why? Assuming I am recovering and staying motivated, why not?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukusz View Post
    But why? Assuming I am recovering and staying motivated, why not?
    I used to inline speedskate on a very competitve team with several national champions. We would train three days a week at 100% personal effort with every workout. The first year of skating I improved leaps and bounds but hit a hard plateau for the next two. I would try and try to keep up with those fast skaters but failed... So I would try harder and even threw more training at the problem.

    After three years I had a fall out with the coach and started my own team across town. None of the fast skaters came and I didnt have a coach screaming at me to push harder so my training intensity backed down to around 80% and lower. After 2 months of skating at this PE level I went back to skate one training session with my old team and found I was faster than anybody else on the floor except for one guy.

    The rest gave my body a chance to build instead of tearing down with every workout.

  10. #10
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
    With my training plan the " aerobic base" peroid goes from mid Oct till end of Jan. I train every day of the week and if I start creeping into zone 3 or higher during these workouts would run the risk of burnout when the season gets here.

    So IMHO the real reason to say zone 2 or less during this time of year is to avoid burnout and give your body a rest from last season while maintaining fitness.
    You are spending 3.5 months doing Z12 stuff? That's cause for burnout in my book.

    When I start training again, I'll go easy for a week to adjust the muscles, then start up the tempo until I feel fit enough to start throwing down hard.

    The whole procees of building up to hard efforts (attacks, etc), takes no more than a month. After a month of that it's race time. So that's two months total to prepare.

    Not saying you are wrong in your approach, just that who needs that much time to build such a simple base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    You are spending 3.5 months doing Z12 stuff? That's cause for burnout in my book.

    When I start training again, I'll go easy for a week to adjust the muscles, then start up the tempo until I feel fit enough to start throwing down hard.

    The whole procees of building up to hard efforts (attacks, etc), takes no more than a month. After a month of that it's race time. So that's two months total to prepare.

    Not saying you are wrong in your approach, just that who needs that much time to build such a simple base.
    I do zone 2 intervals, climbing, tempo, and core workouts. Would rather ride zone 2 and keep some fitness than not ride at all and lose what ive gained.

    This is also the time of year your work on technique... something you cant really do well while hammering mid season.

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    I do creep into zone 3 every few workouts also..... Just that I dont stay there too long this time of year.

  13. #13
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
    I do creep into zone 3 every few workouts also..... Just that I dont stay there too long this time of year.

    What zones do you use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    What zones do you use?
    High 2 to 3. Im keeping my HR below 161 (LTHR is around 185).

  15. #15
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
    High 2 to 3. Im keeping my HR below 161 (LTHR is around 185).
    No, I meant who's zones do you use?
    Because everyone uses different levels and number of zones. Friel, Coggan, USACycling, Ferrari, Baker, etc

    I personally don't use any zones, just sensations of easy, moderate and hard, but it seems Coggan's power based stuff is most popular now with all the power meter guys (L1-7).

  16. #16
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    here is a basic explanation for why to ride low intensity. as long as you are in the aerobic realm, you skew your body to believe it is resting when it is not. That is to say, if you're doing 150 watts of work at 120 BPM HR, your body will adapt quickly and you will be able to do the same workload at less, say 110 or 105BPM. In this way, you essentially raise the ceiling of where aerobic becomes anaerobic. Why is this important? Lactate threshold is VERY important.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
    here is a basic explanation for why to ride low intensity. as long as you are in the aerobic realm, you skew your body to believe it is resting when it is not. That is to say, if you're doing 150 watts of work at 120 BPM HR, your body will adapt quickly and you will be able to do the same workload at less, say 110 or 105BPM. In this way, you essentially raise the ceiling of where aerobic becomes anaerobic. Why is this important? Lactate threshold is VERY important.
    After watching this type of discussion on several boards/posts, at least here is a reason. And it makes sense (not that I'm a Dr. or anything). But it doesn't answer the question completely (or maybe I'm dense--a distinct possibility).

    But if a person's body adapts to 150w at 120bpm, won't it do the same at 200w at 140bpm? or 300w at 160bpm? What makes the lower intensity stuff magical? And because these workloads are higher, won't the adjustment be even higher than lower intensity stuff? (And of course, a person has to do recovery rides for this adjustment to occur.)

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  18. #18
    faster than your mom bodaciousguy's Avatar
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    why is no1 talking about this article? http://www.biketechreview.com/performance/base.htm.

    We on Bf need to make up our minds across the board. What is best at building base? I talking the most idealistic scenario possible for a rider having the most motivation.

    So take a look at the above link and think about it really hard.
    "It teaches you not to be such a softie" - Heinrich Haussler on riding bikes in the winter

  19. #19
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodaciousguy View Post
    What is best at building base?


    Ahahahahahahahaha
    Envision, Energize, Enable

  20. #20
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    But if a person's body adapts to 150w at 120bpm, won't it do the same at 200w at 140bpm? or 300w at 160bpm? What makes the lower intensity stuff magical? And because these workloads are higher, won't the adjustment be even higher than lower intensity stuff? (And of course, a person has to do recovery rides for this adjustment to occur.)
    IF you have the time to work at the LOWER intensities FOR a LONGER period, the fatigue will generally be smaller and recovery is less painful. LOWER = LONGER.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

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    Simple summary of all base training discussions:

    If you've got 1 to 1.5 hrs. of riding time on weekdays/workdays, and/or are on an indoor trainer, ride with higher intensity. If you've got time to do 3 hr. rides everyday, go and do them. On weekends, or whatever day(s) you don't have other life obligations, put in a 3 hr.-ish ride at terrain based intensity and have fun doing it. When you get closer to race season, you get more specific in your workouts, then when race season begins, you race, recover, race, recover, etc.

  22. #22
    seppomadness
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    Simple summary of all base training discussions:

    If you've got 1 to 1.5 hrs. of riding time on weekdays/workdays, and/or are on an indoor trainer, ride with higher intensity. If you've got time to do 3 hr. rides everyday, go and do them. On weekends, or whatever day(s) you don't have other life obligations, put in a 3 hr.-ish ride at terrain based intensity and have fun doing it. When you get closer to race season, you get more specific in your workouts, then when race season begins, you race, recover, race, recover, etc.
    Ahhhhh freds. Gotta lov em. Life is so simple to them. How cute.

  23. #23
    seppomadness
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo View Post

    --Steve
    Hey Steve impressive bolts! Titanium?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    After watching this type of discussion on several boards/posts, at least here is a reason. And it makes sense (not that I'm a Dr. or anything). But it doesn't answer the question completely (or maybe I'm dense--a distinct possibility).

    But if a person's body adapts to 150w at 120bpm, won't it do the same at 200w at 140bpm? or 300w at 160bpm? What makes the lower intensity stuff magical? And because these workloads are higher, won't the adjustment be even higher than lower intensity stuff? (And of course, a person has to do recovery rides for this adjustment to occur.)
    To be honest there is no right or wrong answer. Studies and tests have been done over the past 40 years that show riding easier during the pre-season winter months helps more than just hammering non stop year round. Regardless of why it helps (this is the real debate) its proven.

    All I can say is try riding with hard workloads this winter and come up with your own answers.

  25. #25
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I have no "base" by the common definition, but I have a high aerobic capacity, training 75 miles/week.

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