Feature Request - new way to do perfect z2 training

So it seems pretty well established that the new modern, optimized z2 approach (which may also be the old school z2 approach) from ISM and others is to ride at a constant HR/power/effort that’s near the top of Z2, 1.3-1.8mmol/L lactate, peak fatmax, where you can still talk in sentences but it’s obvious you’re working, where you can hold that HR for hours at the same power without it creeping up…all that good stuff that everyone here argues about indefinitely.

What if TR had a workout where you could INPUT your desired HR (or HR zone +/- 5bpm), and it would adjust your ERG power continuously so that you always stay within that zone? Brilliant! (also, potentially very boring, but hey…that’s z2)

So in practice you open the workout, it says “Input desired heartrate and time” (maybe with a suggestion based on your previous Z2 workouts) and you say “I want to ride at 135bpm for 2hr and 30m.” You begin the workout with a warmup that starts at 50% of FTP as per usual, but then after 5 minutes it ramps up by 5% every 3 minutes or so until you reach the desired HR. Then the target power levels and stays constant and it continuously monitors your HR and adjusts the new target power accordingly. So if your HR over a previous 1 minute block is 138, then it drops the power on the next 1 minute block 5 watts. Theoretically your HR drops back to 135, then the next block remains at the same power. Say your HR falls to 130 average over a minute block, then the next power target becomes 5 watts higher. Rinse and repeat for two and a half hours.


People have been skipping Z2 trainer workouts for years.

Highly unlikely, IMHO, that TR would divert any resources into improving Z2 workouts. They even swapped Sunday’s Z2 with SST in their SSB plans many years ago (because people were skipping it) and got bashed for it by multiple Youtubers.

I like the idea though.


Definitely a cool idea!

That said I don’t think I’d use it. I don’t mind workouts on the trainer but I like riding outside for Z2. And if being honest, I really like riding my bike and not worrying about heart rate or watts as it kinda steals (for me) the enjoyment of being out on the trails. I just ride by feel. Probably not the best scientifically but I’m ok with that. :+1:t2:

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Why not just write a workout using workout creator that has a warmup then set a flat power number somewhere near the top of zone 2. Make it very long. Then just ride it in non-erg mode. When you hit your HR number, settle in. Adjust gearing to keep HR reasonably constant. Stop when you’ve had enough.


Because I want legs like Wout van Aert without having to shift or look at my HR or hit the up/down button on my keyboard?


In that same vein, but adjust workout intensity (as it already exists) in ERG to get the same effect. What OP wants exists already in a way, but it requires manual input of the user. Hard to believe someone would put manhours in writing new code for one specific workout when you can already do the exact same thing with minimal input.


You don’t even have to adjust intensity, you just turn erg mode off and pedal, keeping an eye on hr.

This has the added benefit of training discipline.


I think this feature will be delivered with WLv2 (workout levels v2): you do you, AT will pick up touched energy zones and will adjust your progression levels accordingly. It is advertised as taking into account outdoor rides but I don’t see any reason why it would not work for indoor free rides as well.

I still like the idea, though. It allows to keep focus elsewhere (movie, podcast, etc) and still let body do the right thing :slight_smile:


What if I’m watching a really scary film?


Why even use a hr strap? I could set my trainer up outside and use a sundial and my index/middle fingers on my opposite wrist to track my hr to stay in zone. Technology is cool. I can’t imagine that coding would be that hard (they already update the apps every 3 days…lol), and it’s another cool feature the competition wouldn’t have.

Isn’t it Jonathan on the podcast that likes to talk about reducing the mental load of training? If you can do stuff to make you think less about it, then it reduces RPE and allows for more consistency and time putting in work. Lay out your clothes and nutrition ahead of time, have the bike and computer and stuff already set up, plan what workout you’re gonna do beforehand. With this you don’t even have to think about intensity or changing intensity or anything because you have a low or high HR day…just pedal.


If it is really-really scary, then just call it VO2max workout instead of Z2.


or a romcom with jude law.

that would be the downfall of this idea.

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Your reductio ad absurdum is a bit self defeating mate. My idea actually trains you to be a better cyclist - yours just costs programming time that could be spent on WLV2 or other better suggestions?


I would also add that not everyone is good at holding a steady wattage without erg mode. I can’t do that. Zone 2 makes that even more noticeable as it is boring from a mental engagement to biking perspective as my mind wanders to think about other things.

Your idea works if you’re good at holding a steady wattage and your good about not daydreaming and don’t have your mind drift thinking about other things. This mindset and ability might be what you need to be a great cyclist. What about everyone else? Your idea sucks for them. Its hard enough to want to do zone 2 as it is, you want to make them really not want to do it?

By your logic power match was a waste of effort as people should just turn off erg mode if their trainer was too different from their power meter?

I think this would be a great addition. Don’t think its a trivial change to the code but do think it would make Zone 2 workouts much better


Funny, I did a 4 hr Z2 ride yesterday. HR stayed an even 135 bpm the whole time. Power hovered between 190-200w (which is the high end of Z2 for me). And while the metrics were all good and dandy I feel pretty confident I wouldn’t have passed the talk test. Temp was in the high 50’s low 60’s. 75g carbs and 1 litre fluid per hour. Maybe I just breathe a lot.

I’ve heard wildly different versions of the talk test.


If you can’t pass the talk test how do you know it was z2? Have a lactate meter?

I can talk effortlessly well beyond Z2 territory. Doesn’t seem like a test that works for me.


Same lol, in Cross Country the coaches don’t allow us to run with headphones or music so we get pretty used to talking to each other to keep us entertained. I can do tempo runs and hold a steady conversation. I’ve been trained to break the talk test :sweat_smile:


I was thinking breaking the test the opposite way. Be in zone 2 and not able to talk

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