Can anyone speak to whether power training zones, as defined by the combination of adaptations achieved by working in that power range, are stable over the course of a big workout, or do they drift with expended effort like the relationship between adaptations and heart rate zones does (“cardiac drift”)? For any runners out there, this question is for running pace zones too!
Obviously there are caveats here about eating and hydrating before and during the workout properly. But specifically my question is [using Coggan’s tables] whether the relationship between power zones in table 1 and the marginal physiological adaptations gained from doing marginal work in the power zones from table 2 is the same at the end of a huge ride - say, 300+ TSS - as it was in the beginning?
I could see a few different possible answers here;
- Proportions of adaptations and the power zones they’re derived at are both stable. End of story.
- Proportions of adaptations are stable and the power zones they’re derived at are stable, but after some level of expended effort the returns-to-effort within that zone start to taper. This would probably happen fastest at the highest zones.
- Proportions of adaptations are stable, but the power zones they’re derived at drift slightly with expended effort.
- The proportions of adaptations at most (if not all) power zones derived from additional work within each power zones changes with expended effort
- Nobody knows, but why are you targeting specific adaptations after 300+ TSS?