75min Z2 enough?

I have been doing low volume plans and adding 2-3 75 minute Z2 rides on the “off” days. I this enough volume to make a difference? I don’t want to be on the trainer for longer.

Make a difference in what? What’s your FTP and riding history.

The answer is always no.

If you have to ask…

3 or more hours in one go is the minimum of what you need to get the sweet sweet Z2 benefits.

If all you care about is number padding then 15 minutes every time you complete some random TR workout 6 days a week adds more…More TSS, taller bars, more pretend mileage.


I don’t want to be on the trainer that long either, so I don’t get the benefits if I do short workouts.

You and I will have to wait till we get outside. It sounds amazing to ride for 4 hours at 193 watts. Can’t wait.

What is this based on?
He’s doing 195 hrs on the bike every year just with the 3 75min sessions.
Are you saying this is pointless?


Well since he didn’t put a value on “enough” we can assume he’s asking if his 75min of Z2 enough to drive the mitochondrial changes (benefits) of doing long Z2 rides.

The answer is no.

Now if the OP comes back and clarifies his question of enough for us, we’ll know.

I’m assuming he wants to get those long term Z2 benefits and is not looking to see if his current ride plan gets him to over 200 hours of training time for the year.

I’m not saying the 195hrs like its a cool number. I am saying this will most likely make him faster and is not pointless.


We will know more when he clarifies what he wants.

I think he wants Z2 mitochondrial changes, and I’m saying 75 at a time is not enough for THAT.

I never said it was pointless. It will have all sorts of benefits, but not what he wants.

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This guy sounds like a fun guy at parties.

Yes, it will be beneficial. Time on bike and volume is almost always a benefit unless you’re overreaching or that time prevents you from completing your hard workouts properly. No, it won’t be as beneficial as doing 3-5hrs in z2. Will riding 3-5hrs on the trainer twice a week drive you nuts and cause you to hate cycling? Maybe.

Also, long rides at mid z2 are kind of boring outside too.


If it’s 0 or 75, 75 is better. :+1:


Hi. I’m the OP and I was referring to mitochondrial changes, not just adding tss or calorie burn. Sorry for not being more specific.

Currently 292W FTP 88kg and 59yrs. Got to 308W last year when riding outside (308W avg on 48 minute hill).

In one of the polarized training threads there is a post about the minimum Z2 duration to stress the body enough to force adaptations. I can’t find it right now, and don’t remember if they cited a research study, but 75 min was the quoted minimum.

If you’re following a LV plan but adding 2-3 Z2 rides each week, it sounds similar to a polarized plan. Recommend you check out those other threads to see if there is additional useful info there for you.


If I recall correctly, Inigo San Milan has posited, that 75 min is sufficient to see benefits in mitochondrial number and function.

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Z2 is 55-75%, a pretty wide range.

These are filler workouts, so no need to overachieve, but as time goes on, you can progress to harder Z2 workouts and maybe even low Z3.

75 minutes is a solid ride IMO.

Maybe it’s not as good as 2-3-4 hours but the training effect is cumulative IMO.

All winter I’ve mostly done 7 x 1hr Z2 on the trainer. I feel like I totally maintained my fitness for months watching tv and movies.


Though not sure they answered it there

Im a bit confused here. If theres no adaptation coming from shorter z2 ride (75-90min). Why is it suggested to add them a Low Volume plan in order to inscrease volume? What is the befenit of those rides then?


There is - I supplement my SS/over under work in the winter with 75-90min zone 2 workouts - Whorl/Collins/Fletcher etc…yes they don’t add as much TSS as 3-5 hours zone 2 but then in the winter there isn’t enough daylight/decent weather for this …so it’s not a question of if it’s as good as long zone 2 rides…of course not…but it’s better than doing nothing between the harder Tue/Thr/Sat rides on the LV plan if you are not fatigued.

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I think the bottom line is that there are very few people who would argue that endurance rides are not the core of being an endurance cyclist. The problem is, that when someone signs up for a training plan, they don’t want to be told to just go ride your bike for 4 hrs + several times a week. So the plan focusses on the specific interval sessions and the endurance rides are treated a bit like the icing on a cake.


Makes sense! That was my perception too. I guess I just got bit thrown off by the posters who said you don’t get any benefit under X minutes of z2.


Clearly this is not a popular take with the SS crowd, but everything I’ve read says you’re right. 75 mins are by no means junk miles, but it’s not enough for the LSD benefits the OP is looking for.

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