Are there any benefits to short Z2 workouts?

This is where experience comes into play. All the TR plans should be viewed as blueprints, rather than the exact workouts you need to do. You should absolutely adjust as necessary depending on fatigue.


To your point (kind of), I have used a short Z2 workout to introduce more volume. The idea being that a few weeks down the road that’s not going to be a 1hr long ride. I mean, if you want to get from 8hr to 10hrs (for example), the best way to introduce that is a bit more Z2, but it corresponds to a adjustment in intensity elsewhere in the week (often).

Now, having said that, I think it’s a shame that a bunch of ppl in cycling think that in order to get benefit from Z2 you need to do it for a minimum of 2.5hrs. I’m just a guy on the internet, but that’s just flat out wrong. Aerobic adaptations occur with as little as 30-45mins of activity. Not as strong as >2.5hrs, granted. And not as strong as aerobic work with a bit more intensity, perhaps. But not zero either.


For those of you who don’t do the 1hr z2 workouts, I’m curious what the typical recovery week looks like for you as the recovery weeks in the TR plans typically consist of 1hr z2 workouts.

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Yep. I’m sure it’s a continuum. Or said another way, a 1 hr endurance ride is better than no ride at all.

That said, I think there’s more endurance adaptations (fat metabolism, improving slow twitch muscle endurance) from 1 four hour ride vs 4 one hour rides.

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Absolutely. And I think within the context of a TR mid-volume plan (for example), I’d probably skip it. There’s a lot of other strain in those other days.

But there are situations where 1hr of Z2 is useful.

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Ugh, only 7 months into TR and structured training… I’m still learning that balance :confused:.


In the context of if that was all you were doing (1 4hr ride vs 4 1hr rides), I might have to challenge that idea. No proof either way… but you lose the benefits of the longer ride with the longer time between them.

All this talk of power Z1 or Z2, but there’s a big argument for doing these “recovery” type workouts to HR rather than power target. That way you ensure you’re not putting too much stress on your body.


HR is very useful for zone 1 and 2 and it’s a good idea to try to align HR and power zones so that you can use either to know that you’re working at the correct intensity.


Awesome, love you guys

For my own 2p worth. Personally I do a LV/MV mix of most plans (basically do LV with one extra hard workout based on what is done at MV). This works out therefore basically MV without the z2 workout (and a reduced 4th ride - usually 60-75min version).
This is because FOR ME I’d rather have full day off both for recovery and just time/family constraints rather than z2 workout. However on recovery weeks then 1hr z2 rides all the way and mentally I SO look forward to Petit!!!

Yep. I’ve not seen a head to head comparison on 1x4 vs 4x1. However if your goal is to train fat metabolism, here’s a post that says longer rides are better.

And the following is another link with same conclusion ie longer rides better.

I like that idea — using short Z2 as a bridge to greater volume and/or intensity. :+1:

I think that’s been discussed in the many “polarised” threads, and I agree. Z1/2 rides should be done w/HR; higher zones w/power.

I am curious if you’re chasing a white whale with the “train fat metabolism” crusade. I don’t remember seeing this in the results, but it looked more like the results of substrate source on long rides, not necessarily that in subsequent rides, that FFA were the primary source like in the >120 minute duration rides.

This, to me, is the best argument for skipping the Z2 workout mid-week! No Pettit fatigue by the time recovery hits!

Yeah, I guess there is a question of if the benefits translate to the next ride. But that’s the same logic as believing the benefits of, say, a threshold session, translate to the next ride… which generally most on this forum believe to be the case (in the case of a threshold session, improving your body’s ability to process/clear lactate - which is another substrate source used by your body).

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@chad Excellent job covering this topic today. Having followed this thread for the last few days and listening to the podcast I learned a lot. great info!

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Yep. I think it’s widely agreed on here that this is the best approach. Curiously, it seems not many people are actually doing this though :confused:

Edit: “not many people”… as in folk who have been involved in these forum discussions, not the whole TR population.

I suspect people who are coached do. But we don’t have a protocol to establish hr zones on TR, so it probably just seems easier to stick with FTP for your Z2 workouts.

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