Are there any benefits to short Z2 workouts?

I was considering how it fits into the whole spectrum of activity. In my view a short Z2 workout is pointless. Stick to Z1 or something with some intensity.

If nothing else an hour of Z2 burns slightly more than 500 calories for me which means it either helps with my weight loss/ enables me to eat a bit more, depending where my weight is at that moment.


Z1 is Recovery. TR appears to use Z2/Endurance as Recovery. :man_shrugging:

I knew there was a reason I found all those short SS intervals unbearable! :rofl:

I dont think 1 weekly hour at z2 (in SSB MV for example) makes the big difference in fat adaptation and better endurance after all. But compared to not riding that day, ofc makes the de difference (pedalig technique, better recovery, mentally easy…). Compared to a higher intensity ride like tempo-SS? If you can hold next workouts without failing or feeling exhausted…

I get plenty of pedal technique practice during every warm-up and cool down; 10-20min every workout builds up.

And don’t forget, there’s also a business decision behind implementing the 1hr Z2 workout.

which is what, precisely?


So let me ask this then… Why is it too intense to be considered active recovery? Because of a chart that says active recovery is only in specific power zones? Kind of like how an opener the day before a big event primes your system, throwing in some easier days keeps everything active without impacting recovery.

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Active Recovery is commonly considered for 55% of FTP and below. The values I have are at 50% for the bottom, but some go as low as 45% as well.

As such, Pettit and similar workouts spend time above 55% and therefore are considered Z2 Endurance, not Z1 Active Recovery.


Referring to chart like that is the kind of thinking I was trying to challenge.

In reality what should define recovery is intensity * duration, not to mention an athletes experience level.


…a director of one of the world’s largest fitness equipment manufacturers…stated that “most people who go to a gym don’t want a strenuous workout”.


Well, as I made my chart on Dr. Coggan’s source data (pulled from Training Peaks), I will leave it to them (or other smarter people on here) to comment further, as they know more than I do on this topic :wink:

Recovery is likely relative to a point, but I think some generalities are appropriate as beginning guidelines.

And note that I include the 60 minute cap under the “Active Recovery” section that is a common recommendation. If you stretch a 45% FTP workout to 2+ hours, is is likely not recovery at that point (for the 99.9% of us I am guessing).


It does. Effort Duration

Cancel that. I was referring to a different chart.

It’s a good starting point for sure, but doesn’t mean it is an absolute.

Agree. If Z2 keeps the physiological stress low for you, then surely it’s fine as a recovery workout?

I think these zones get taken too literally sometimes.

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I’m in week 4 (“recovery week”) of General Build MV and did Pettit the past two days. It did NOT feel like recovery! In fact I considered lowering the intensity because my legs were still sore. The entire time during my last two Pettit workouts I kept thinking “how is this supposed to help me recover when it feels like such an effort?


Gotta ask…how do YOU know if the physiological stress is low enough/creeping out of Z1/Recovery?

All these adaptations take place (mostly) at a cellular level…and no one can feel if their cells are being stressed too much.

From the Hunter article, he states these are called ‘zones’ for a reason. Yes they are fuzzy but also definitive enough for almost all of us to follow.

I never made that claim here or elsewhere.

Just about nothing in this realm is absolute.

After training for a few years you’re able to listen to your body and know what the best recovery intensity is based on your level of fatigue and the key workouts you’ve got in the upcoming days.

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Many of the plans I’ve looked at when they talk about rest days, they mean no riding or a 1 hr Z1 ride, depending on the volume in the plan you are on.

If folk want to do 1hr Z2 rides thinking they are recovery, crack on. Nobody is going to stop you.

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That’s all I’m trying to say… .62 IF is still on the low end of Z2.

I guess the best answer for the original question is… It depends