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Zone 2 Rides

Old 03-03-24, 10:39 PM
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I've been doing a lot of Rouvy riding for the last 2 years. Rouvy uses 7 zones so I've been doing mostly zone 3. As I review my rides, I find that my watts are increasing for the same heart rate. Most of my rides are 2 hours ( 3 to 4 times a week). I sometimes finish out the last 30 minutes in zone 5/6. No structured workouts. But I can definitely see myself getting stronger over time.
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Old 03-06-24, 05:20 PM
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I've been riding in Zone 2 based on my heart rate and not my power zones.
I wonder what the difference is?
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Old 03-07-24, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sshakari
I've been riding in Zone 2 based on my heart rate and not my power zones.
I wonder what the difference is?
How did you set your power zones?
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Old 03-07-24, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
How did you set your power zones?
I set it in a combination of 2 different ways.
1. FTP test. I set my power zones after using Peloton and taking an FTP class.
2. I use the intervals.icu and they have an estimated FTP based on my ride history.

I took the results from both and came up with a number. After that I use a spreadsheet and it calculates the zones.
For my heart rate - combination of 220 - my age and estimated max which I did my self by using a method from YouTube and use the same spreadsheet to get heart rate zones. Not a 100% accurate, and yet it gives me a yardstick to train with. If you want the spreadsheet let me know.
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Old 03-08-24, 11:22 AM
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I don't have a PM at this time, and it's been ages since I had a lab test. So I use perceived effort to define my zones, focusing on what feels like the anaerobic threshold. The other zones are percentages of that AT HR, not percentages of a theoretical max HR.

Essentially, below that AT HR, I'm breathing hard, forcefully, but controlled. Below that HR, I can continue for some time even though it's quite hard.

Above that AT HR I'm gasping, the walls are closing in, and I can't continue at that pace more than a few minutes.

For me, it's easier to find that anaerobic threshold by experience and perceived exertion than it is to know what my max HR is. I'm 50+, so the formula says 170 is my max. In my races last year I saw 184 in one race and 188 in another. For me it takes a finish line sprint to see those numbers--the adrenaline, the tangible goal of going faster to defend against or catch another rider.
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Old 03-08-24, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by McFlyRides
I don't have a PM at this time, and it's been ages since I had a lab test. So I use perceived effort to define my zones, focusing on what feels like the anaerobic threshold. The other zones are percentages of that AT HR, not percentages of a theoretical max HR.

Essentially, below that AT HR, I'm breathing hard, forcefully, but controlled. Below that HR, I can continue for some time even though it's quite hard.

Above that AT HR I'm gasping, the walls are closing in, and I can't continue at that pace more than a few minutes.

For me, it's easier to find that anaerobic threshold by experience and perceived exertion than it is to know what my max HR is. I'm 50+, so the formula says 170 is my max. In my races last year I saw 184 in one race and 188 in another. For me it takes a finish line sprint to see those numbers--the adrenaline, the tangible goal of going faster to defend against or catch another rider.
As you have proved, 220-age is a terrible way to determine max. HR. My numbers are similar to yours (55yo, 189max).

Although I use both power and HR when I ride, paying attention to how my body is reacting is how I've determined where my various threshold numbers are.
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Old 03-09-24, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, some people call that the "zone 2 trap". It feels so pleasant that people want to do it all the time, so they get stuck in that slow plateau.

I think of zone 2 in a similar way, as a recovery ride pace. If I'm feeling fatigued from the prior day(s), but not so fatigued that I need a rest day, it's time for an easy zone 2 cruiser. But the notion that you must stay in zone 2 for the whole ride or you'll undo the zone 2 "benefit", or flip some metabolic switch, seems just plain goofy.

Pootling along at zone 2 for hours is boring. My favorite type of ride is plenty of zone 2 cruising, broken up by some harder efforts lasting 1 to 10 minutes. Mixing up the pace keeps things interesting, I'm getting a more well rounded workout, and I don't get so thashed that I can't go again the next day.
This is something I have been wondering about since the beginning of this thread. Doubt any research exists at this time that discusses majority low effort punctuated by a few intense one. Do the higher level efforts negate, compliment, or increase the benefits?
Where I live, it’s impossible to sustain Z2 for hours on end without having climbs of 10-15% without constant doubling back. I too like breaking up effort levels just to defeat the boredom aspect.

In the same way, there are days when I just go out and stay in Z4-5 with occasional forays into anaerobic just because I like working hard, but then I am trashed the next day. I really dislike doing intervals, which probably means I will not be improving but at least I won’t be hating working out.
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Old 03-10-24, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
This is something I have been wondering about since the beginning of this thread. Doubt any research exists at this time that discusses majority low effort punctuated by a few intense one. Do the higher level efforts negate, compliment, or increase the benefits?
Where I live, it’s impossible to sustain Z2 for hours on end without having climbs of 10-15% without constant doubling back. I too like breaking up effort levels just to defeat the boredom aspect.

In the same way, there are days when I just go out and stay in Z4-5 with occasional forays into anaerobic just because I like working hard, but then I am trashed the next day. I really dislike doing intervals, which probably means I will not be improving but at least I won’t be hating working out.
You might want to listen to the episodes of Inside Exercise where McConnell interviews Andy Coggan. They discuss this extensively and there is some research on this.

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Old 03-10-24, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen
You might want to listen to the episodes of Inside Exercise where McConnell interviews Andy Coggan. They discuss this extensively and there is some research on this.

Otto
Do you know what they concluded?
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Old 03-10-24, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Do you know what they concluded?
You’ll get much more from listening than what I can type. But in this context, I’d say Coggan would suggest you shouldn’t worry much about the effects of occasional hard efforts in long easy efforts.

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Old 03-10-24, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
This is something I have been wondering about since the beginning of this thread. Doubt any research exists at this time that discusses majority low effort punctuated by a few intense one. Do the higher level efforts negate, compliment, or increase the benefits?
I've heard some claims bandied about (rymes with "Dr. Fan Fill-On") that doing a hard effort will <mumbo jumbo about metabolic triggers or hormones or some other woo woo>, thus reducing the benefit of a low intensity workout.

I think that's silly. I ascribe to the "all roads lead to Rome" school of training, and the only concern with a hard effort is added fatigue, which requires more recovery time.
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Old 03-10-24, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I've heard some claims bandied about (rymes with "Dr. Fan Fill-On") that doing a hard effort will <mumbo jumbo about metabolic triggers or hormones or some other woo woo>, thus reducing the benefit of a low intensity workout.

I think that's silly. I ascribe to the "all roads lead to Rome" school of training, and the only concern with a hard effort is added fatigue, which requires more recovery time.
Yeah I remember that. It makes sense if you are a pro training 20+ hours per week where you really have to manage your harder efforts. But for amateurs I doubt it matters. Most of my zone 2 rides are not 5 hours long like the pros do either. I’m often short of time, so I might ride in zone 2 for an hour or 90 mins and put in some harder efforts toward the end to get more out of the session.
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Old 03-11-24, 07:58 AM
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So what's this exercise regimen based on LSD that Pollock talks about? I might want to be in that group! <GRIN>

1987 was a couple decades since LSD was legal

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Old 03-11-24, 08:19 AM
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Yes. Just because z2 makes up the majority of the big volume weeks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train the other energy systems. As a 50+ rider I definitely feel the decline in capacity due to age and do my intervals to prep for races.

Last edited by Hermes; 03-11-24 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Posting copyrighted material
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Old 03-11-24, 08:40 AM
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rsbob Posting copyrighted material is against the rules. You may paraphrase what was in the book, provide links to the referenced studies and pick out a sentence or two and quote them exactly giving credit to the author. Scanning and posting entire pages from books or articles is not allowed.

Please redo your post, as indicated above, if you are so inclined to do so.
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Old 03-11-24, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
rsbob Posting copyrighted material is against the rules. You may paraphrase what was in the book, provide links to the referenced studies and pick out a sentence or two and quote them exactly giving credit to the author. Scanning and posting entire pages from books or articles is not allowed.

Please redo your post, as indicated above, if you are so inclined to do so.
Thanks for letting me know. Much appreciated
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Old 03-12-24, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I think the research suggests that mitochondria content (number of mitochondria in muscle) is increased by the volume of exercise, which mitochondria function (ability to take in oxygen) is affected by the intensity of exercise. Both are beneficial.

So long rides promote the growth of mitochondria, and hard rides promote the ability of that mitochondria to do their job supplying energy to the muscles.
Thanks Terry! Takes me a while to glom onto a discussion sometimes, but thanks for that clarification!
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Old 04-18-24, 08:28 PM
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The claim you mention is if you are doing a zone 2 ride and during the ride increase to zones 3-5 you've adversely affected you zone 2 training. There is a GCN YouTube video that references this by Tadej Pogacar's cycling coach who is a MD. A great Zone 2 video.
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Old 04-18-24, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tobey
The claim you mention is if you are doing a zone 2 ride and during the ride increase to zones 3-5 you've adversely affected you zone 2 training. There is a GCN YouTube video that references this by Tadej Pogacar's cycling coach who is a MD. A great Zone 2 video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBbK-0vh-d8&t=632s
Yeah, that claim is controversial. Andy Coggan, an exercise physiologist, says there’s no evidence that doing a hard bout in the middle of a zone 2 causes a lingering metabolic shift. Coggan basically say San Milan is full on wrong.
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Old 04-19-24, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, some people call that the "zone 2 trap". It feels so pleasant that people want to do it all the time, so they get stuck in that slow plateau.

I think of zone 2 in a similar way, as a recovery ride pace. If I'm feeling fatigued from the prior day(s), but not so fatigued that I need a rest day, it's time for an easy zone 2 cruiser. But the notion that you must stay in zone 2 for the whole ride or you'll undo the zone 2 "benefit", or flip some metabolic switch, seems just plain goofy.

Pootling along at zone 2 for hours is boring. My favorite type of ride is plenty of zone 2 cruising, broken up by some harder efforts lasting 1 to 10 minutes. Mixing up the pace keeps things interesting, I'm getting a more well rounded workout, and I don't get so thashed that I can't go again the next day.
feeling personally attacked. haha. if the shoe fits...
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Old 04-19-24, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, some people call that the "zone 2 trap". It feels so pleasant that people want to do it all the time, so they get stuck in that slow plateau.

I think of zone 2 in a similar way, as a recovery ride pace. If I'm feeling fatigued from the prior day(s), but not so fatigued that I need a rest day, it's time for an easy zone 2 cruiser. But the notion that you must stay in zone 2 for the whole ride or you'll undo the zone 2 "benefit", or flip some metabolic switch, seems just plain goofy.

Pootling along at zone 2 for hours is boring. My favorite type of ride is plenty of zone 2 cruising, broken up by some harder efforts lasting 1 to 10 minutes. Mixing up the pace keeps things interesting, I'm getting a more well rounded workout, and I don't get so thashed that I can't go again the next day.
again with the personal attacks. so much truth.
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Old 04-19-24, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
I've destroyed my aerobic base with tons of hard riding in zone 3 with tons of sprints. Since Thanksgiving (2023) I started seriously doing Z2 training, but I don't do it on the bike, I do it at the gym on a combination of machines. The Stairclimber, Treadmill (at max elevation) and an Arc Trainer (not an elliptical).

It's really helping me. But I still do a little hard efforts as a test, but never too hard that I need to take time off. I do cardio 4x a week and strength train for the remaining 3-days.


P.S. I don't attempt to stay in a certain HR zone, I simply do it by feel, in that I do the hardest exertion, but still can talk. I have yet to burn myself out, unlike my bike rides where sometimes I just passed out after a bike ride.



.
Earlier in this thread I mentioned how I destroyed my aerobic base, which some had issues with and maybe I worded it wrongly, but what I meant to say was that I'm the type of person that pushes it way too hard and was always feeling burnt out, but still pushed it on the bike. So I decided to do only zone 2 training, starting on Thanksgiving Day (2023). And I finally stopped at the end of March (2024).

I do feel much better, but zone 2 left me not able to maintain zone 3 for as long as I use to, but I am now getting that back and it is coming back pretty quick. BTW, during this time I did do some zone 4 & 5 stuff, i.e. 80/20, but still zone 3 was difficult to maintain when I started back in March.

My thoughts is that one can and should do some zone 2, but if you do it for long periods of time (in my case 4-months) you will lose some zone 3 fitness, which is the zone I think most use for racing, or in my case, in commuting. I no longer believe zone 3 is a gray zone that should be avoided. Rather it's a gray zone if that's where you spend all your time, just as zone 2 can be a gray zone, if you spend too much time in that zone.

What proportion of your time in each zone?

I'll get back to you on that question....








.
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Old 04-19-24, 05:54 AM
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This is my idea of a short Z2 ride. I usually add a little tempo effort to make it more productive on a relatively short ride like this. This one also included a sprint finish.
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Old 04-19-24, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, that claim is controversial. Andy Coggan, an exercise physiologist, says there’s no evidence that doing a hard bout in the middle of a zone 2 causes a lingering metabolic shift. Coggan basically say San Milan is full on wrong.
Agree. There is no clinical evidence for this claim, as far as I know. And said coach, shining achievements aside, is a PhD, not an MD.
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Old 04-19-24, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
And said coach, shining achievements aside, is a PhD, not an MD.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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