Base training / zone 2 datasets

Base training / zone 2 datasets

We are all tired of the sweet spot vs zone 2 training discussion. We all had enough of being told that “all roads lead to Rome” at the same time as zone 2 training is crucial for mitochondrial function.

Can we please see the datasets ? Does anyone have any solid data on the effect of multi-week or multi-month lactate-guided training under LT1, and perhaps similar datasets on mixing in higher intensities like sweet spot / threshold ?

The question I’m trying to answer with DATA and not expert advice or personal experience, is : How to best raise my power while keeping lactate under LT 1? That’s all I care about. I don’t care about performance in general, FTP or anything like that.

Thank you


Perhaps start with an exercise physiology textbook and maybe move on to bio chem?


the answer is simple: just ride more. in base I’ll do a couple sweet spot workouts and throw in tempo on a Saturday ride, but otherwise z2. it’s all aerobic work, you just have to balance the intensity and duration, but cycling is a sport which relies on volume for improving


If we had the data to answer this there wouldn’t be such a debate on this topic. As said above, one thing we do know is that training volume tends to correlate with threshold power

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The only anecdata I’ve seen, from people testing lactate and using that to guide training, they are all putting down 15-25 hour weeks.

I’ve got my own multi-year data, without any lactate testing. So that wouldn’t answer your question as posed.

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You will struggle to find relevant datasets, that is multi-month studies on a large number of established/trained cyclists, because things like that are logistically very difficult to organise, and I think you’d likely struggle to get funding.

Even if we did, do the finer details matter? Given there will certainly be individual variation (athlete A performs best at X% below LT1, while athlete B… you get the idea), and that it’s hard wholly to eliminate confounding variables (are we controlling for diet? for sleep?), I’m not sure how useful the nuances would be.

On the other hand, we have ~100 years of anecdata that the world’s highest performing cyclists have (generally) ridden a lot at (generally) mostly low intensity. There is a saying that success leaves clues. No, tradition is not infallible by any means, but I’m not convinced that the way the best cyclists train has changed all that much in a long time*.

Here’s my take (before I’m shot down by actual physiologists): if you’ve got less than about 10-12 hours a week, aerobically most roads do lead to Rome. But if you have appreciably more time than that, then you can do more and hence, in the end, be better. The only way to do more is for most of that riding to be pretty easy, though how easy likely varies from person to person and situation to situation and will need some individual experimentation.

*the bigger changes to my mind have come in nutrition, and in not getting too out of shape in the off season. But that’s a different thread.


Fair enough.

Not sure who would pay for that study.

I think most TR users fall under 10h/week. The very reason of this platform is to optimize the limited training time we have. Pros have coaches and time on their side. We have money and less time.

With that said, if all roads do lead to Rome, why the hell would I bother with SS workouts in my base plans (which I hate), or god forbid, another threshold workout ? Why wouldn’t I just stick to 1x Vo2 max workout per week, puke my guts out, and for the rest of it, train under LT/VT1 - conversational pace. Again, the goal would be HEALTH not performance.


In your original post, you asked about how to raise your power, but here you said all you care about is health. Those are very different things and will get very different answers.


I will quote the last line from his OP, that you didn’t include in your quote.

That covered, I think there seems to be some confusion between word use here and actual goal from the OP that was not clear in the OP (and may still be fuzzy from my reading).

Yes health in the context of the lactate curves I have seen, comparing dibetics to healthy amateurs to world tour cyclists. I equate health with high power at low lactate levels.

And I’m only asking about the role of z2, since the role of vo2 max intenvals has been studied as nauseam and is clear as can be. At least to me.

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I think fitness is the more specific word I would use in that context.

Health is a different animal… IMO


Fair enough. Fitness, health, high power at low lactate levels, high vo2 max…

[quote=“drdrei, post:10, topic:89228”]I equate health with high power at low lactate levels.

Been drinking the Peter Attia Kool Aid, eh? :wink:


That and the lack of data supporting SS over z2 for amateurs with less than 10h of training a week, especially considering that all roads supposedly lead to Rome, and Ss Threshold sucks compared to z2 - while not changing anything with regards to vo2 max or anaerobic intervals which clearly have a place for health / fitness.

Tell us Andrew, if we don’t care about racing, why would we still care about SS / Threshold ?

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I think you’ve got that backwards. Once you get up to, say, 15 h/wk, it probably doesn’t matter a whole lot exactly how/how much more you train. Below that, though, it does.


Can we humbly ask for data and/or studies, please ?

Ahh. Thanks. Glad I asked.

Have you actually read the scientific literature? The vast majority of the thousands of exercise training studies that have been performed have had individuals training at what could now be described as “sweet spot”. Far fewer have utilized higher intensity training (e.g., “HIIT”), and almost none have employed large volumes of lower intensity training.

IOW, we know from decades and decades of research that “sweetspot” works… it’s other types/intensities of training that might deserve further research (especially in patient populations, where safety concerns have limited studies of high intensity training).


As a training intensity? Because it is a highly effective means of inducing the physiological adaptations that are associated with “metabolic health” (e.g., insulin sensitivity).


Works for performance, ftp increases, sure. But specifically about raising power at LT1 by using low intensity high volume <10h a week?

The question is not whether Ss works, it’s whether z2 does. For a reasonable number of hours a week. Only with regards to raising power at lt1. Any leads where to look please ?