Can I add volume via Z2 on my 'VO2 days'?

I’m in the second week of a training block and have a VO2 workout on Tuesday, but I want more volume, for better or for worse. I feel like I never see improvements unless I have a fairly high volume of training.

Will adding zone 2 to the end of a VO2 workout be detrimental to the adaptations we target in a VO2 workout, much like it would be to a strength workout? I assume it won’t, considering it’s still aerobic, but I haven’t been able to find much with Google.

I am fairly new to structured VO2 workouts after having quickly opted out of such suffering in the past. But, I feel like it’s a weakness I need to work on if I want to progress further, so I want to give it my full attention.

I abide by what a lot of pros do: go hard on hard days, go easy on easy days. Sometimes I mess up and I regret.

I would rather go harder on hard days, more VO2, harder VO2, add 1/2% intensity. But not zone 2 (unless you train purely for endurance and you want to ride more with cooked legs).

Rather, I would do more zone 2 on sweet spot or recovery days (e.g., tuesday in MV plans). But REALLY zone 2, not tempo or sweet spot.

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I’m on high volume Short Power Build and all my V02 workouts have scheduled z2 endurance at the end. This is a good way to add endurance and my only suggestion would be to ride this by feel not necessarily by intensity. Meaning most of the time this z2 is at the lower end of the zone to ensure it doesn’t negatively effect future workouts. If the z2 feels a bit uncomfortable then lower your power.


I think Coach Chad’s standard advice on the podcast on adding volume is to add 15 mins z2 at the end of a workout, and I don’t recall him differentiating between adding this to VO2Max workouts versus other types.

Although if you are specifically trying in this training block to work on VO2Max as a weakness, I’d be tempted to “save” the additional TSS, and try to squeeze in an additional 30 or 45 minute VO2Max workout later in the week, rather than adding z2.

Are you doing Z2 rides rest of the week. How time constrained are you?

I’m not that time constrained and I usually do plenty of zone 2. I think I’m going to take some of the advice above and just focus on VO2. I don’t think it would be detrimental to do it, but I also don’t think the extra zone 2 will do much at this point. I have a weakness to focus on.

In which case I’d extend your existing Z2 rides and leave your VO2 max sessions alone.


I notice this is basically the default in mid volume build plans. I wonder if there’s a reason for it, other than just adding more volume.

Of course there is. You’re adding z2 after already fatigued muscles. I don’t agree with adding more VO2 max. One thing TR doesn’t need is more intensity into their plans. Consistently and volume are king in endurance sports.

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Careful here. TR build plans are already very high with intensity. I’ve done several MV and HV build plans and have felt smoked by the end of them. I can’t imagine adding more VO2. Changing Sundays to long z2 and reducing z2 on Wednesdays and Fridays has made the Build plans much better.

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One could argue that doing more solid Z2 work would do more for your VO2 than some Level 5 workouts…

For me I’m not sure, considering pretty much all I do is zone 2. I shy away from suffering.

I think that 15 -30 minutes of Z2 would be quite helpful after a VO2 workout.

I’d presume he’s already doing 15 mins Z2 in his cool down anyway.


I add z2 before and after my VO2 max workouts. Before, because I need the additional warm up to complete the efforts and after, to increase my volume. Where is it a non VO2 max workout I add 30 mins z2 as extended cooldown as standard now.


There’s no harm adding Z2 of you can manage it. If you look at the LDMV Tri plans you’ll see plenty of VO2 workouts with that structure (eg Mist which is basically Spencer +2 with about 20 mins of Z2 added onto either end).

Though obviously not something we amateurs might want to replicate, I’ve seen a good few Pro workouts were they drop their VO2 workout into the middle of a 4 hour ride. If you could manage that then fair play to you :grin: - the only thing that really matters is not compromising the goal of the session.

Similar to @ojtCycling I find the extra run in gives the legs a better chance to warm up - Mist is easier for me than Spencer +2.

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I do it too and the results are good. Thimble, Pilot, Flume, Red&White etc are great workouts to be recommended

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