75min Z2 enough?

The key point IMO is enough for who and enough for what?

For someone fresh off the couch and looking to get fitter, absolutely. For a world tour rider looking to do, well, anything other than some active recovery, no. For those of us in between those 2 poles, it depends. How adapted are you and what are you looking to achieve? Without that information, it’s an unanswerable question. The best answer so far has probably been ‘it’s always going to be better than nothing’.

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I think comparing strength and endurance are a bit different. Pushups are bit like everesting maybe without the rests on the downhill.

When you do endurance exercise you build mitochondria and increase capillairization. These changes help you in all future rides regardless of length.

For the vast majority of cyclists, a 75 minute ride is a solid ride. I have no doubt one could do a lot of 75 minute rides and then go out and easily do a 3 hour ride on the weekend.

On the other hand, if you are trying for an under 12 hour Leadville buckle or wanting to be contesting the pointy end of a race after 3 hours then you probably need more/different training. Even then, 75 minutes of Z2 is probably a decent maintenance stimulus for such a rider.

Also, what would the difference be between 75 mins on the trainer vs 75 mins outside, with some coasting, some start and stopping, etc etc
I’m making a wild guess that we have to take that into consideration as well!? When i look at the elevate app off my strava rides, i can see a % of pedalling time… so say for a 120-minute ride, i might be only pedalling 70 to 80% of it, which would make your ‘actual’ closer to 90-100 minutes… no?
Or does it not work that way?

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Good one!
Maybe there isn’t such thing as a “time crunched cyclist”.
It’s inherent to (most forms of) cycling.

Just look at kJ/TiZ. Doing 1500kJ on the trainer is the same as doing 1500kJ outside. There may be less dicking around involved with the trainer that lets you get there quicker. They aren’t ‘better’ kJs though.


I used to years ago. Not so much these days, a couple of weeks (3, 3.5, 4hr) and I’m up to 2x 4hr rides per weekend (or a 3.5 and a 4)

In summer I try to get 5 hrs in about every 4 - 5 weeks.


Yes, That’s the one.

(i’m playing devil’s advocate here) but is it really!?
Continuous low effort without interruption versus Low effort with short rest periods (effectively becoming intervals), wouldn’t it affect HR drift?

Ok i’ll admit this is pulling at straws… for probably 97% of cyclists getting just the work in at the right zones is what really matters

Continuous steady effort has to be different than variable effort. One doesn’t allow the muscles to ease up at all

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Your muscles are ‘easing up’ 90 times per minute. I just pulled a 6.5 hour ride where I NP at 167 and average 133. ~2 hours were below z2 total. Looking at a stop light near the end of the ride my HR went from 149 to 139 for 30s. A minute later it was right back where I started. The fact that I did 3000kJ way outweighs any impact that stopping or coasting has.

I think in the context of this discussion, a time poor experiment in z2 training, efficiency matters a lot. I’ll do z2 outdoors for many reasons, but efficiency is not one of them. Steady pressure on the pedals is a big deal, and especially important when you only have a little over an hour. Your local terrain dictates this most of all.

The concept of progressive overload has a huge limitation to z2 work on a time crunched schedule. The question always becomes how little time can I spend in z2 and still illicit a training response? After even a just few weeks of Pettit, even the most green of riders needs to increase volume. And hence, SS training was born.

Trying to stick a target on the Z2 stuff (or Z1 in POL terms).

How far would you want to ramp up the long rides to be able to smash say 100 miles ‘full gas’. Like a solo or TT effort. I know elevation is a thing, but roughly. What sort of long rides would you work to being comfortable at 5 hours? 6 maybe, every Sunday?

That’s kinda where I’d like to be fitness wise and keep it. Doing a ton of that century at tempo too, threshold on the hills and not be an absolute mess the next couple of days.

What do you mean by full gas, averaging 90% max HR? Remember in polarised the upper limit of easy, if well trained, is around 80% max HR. You can happily chat away at 80% of your max HR.

I mean say I want to maintain a level of fitness where I can reasonably easy smash a century ride anytime, what sort of Z1 (POL) base rides would you be doing on a Sunday, like maybe 5 or 6 hours regularly?

A fast century I think would be around 5 hours to 6 hours on flat to rolling terrain.

My max regular (weekly) training Z1 duration is 6-7 hours. That allows me to knock out anything up to 150 miles with ease whenever I want . So I’d think regular 4-5 hour Z1 rides more than sufficient for being able to knock out 100 milers whenever you want.

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Just as an anecdote, I completed 6 4+ hour endurance rides in the training year leading up to a 100 mile TT. The highest intensity of any ride was less than 0.65, but I was able complete the 100 mile TT at 0.75 IF. I also competed in a couple of 50 mile TTs prior to the the event. It was my first 100 for nearly 30 years and I beat my all time PB on my road bike.


Yeah- I either do +1/2 of the harder workouts and make them 75mins or do 60mins with 15mins Z2. Weekend ride is 1.30-2hrs intervals and then top up with Z2 for 4 hours total.
I then do bulk Z2 rides extra 75mins+.

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It’s relative, though, isn’t it?

Take your average Jane 4hr marathoner. Her longest training run might be 2.5hrs, mainly because the recovery period following any training run longer than that starts eating into the next week’s workouts. And plenty of cyclists can complete 4hr fondos on nothing longer than 2hr training rides.

On the other hand, ultra runners commonly run 5hrs in training for 24 hour events.