High Zone 2 vs Sweet Spot Intervals


Just started up with TR, after my 2 years of self-made training plans.

Just to give you a quick anecdotal background.

2018 Did only steady zone 2 mileage for 4-5months resulting in 305WFTP & 330W5min
2019 Tried a polarized approach (5months), easier endurance rides combined with HIIT (8min & 40s-20s) resulting in 300wFTP & 380w5min

In my case I get good at what I train, but i bit dissapointed over the dropped FTP. I hope a base-build-spec could give me a ftp-jump, Need it! I hang out and race with too strong buddies. :slight_smile:

To my question… I often see when comparing different base plan approaches, SS intervalls is often compared to low intensity high volume; raising volume due to the lower intensity. But how would the difference be between high power zone 2 vs SS intervall workouts. I often se when my SS workout is complete my NP is in the upper part of zone 2. What do you guys think the difference would be between a steady upper zone 2 workout compared to a similar SS workout same duration, same TSS?

Thanks for digging deep into cycling, love the podcast!

I think either you’ve got a calculation wrong somewhere or else you’re using a different definition of Zone 2 to what TR is using. E.g. Galena, a SS workout, has IF of 0.85 which is upper Tempo or Zone 3, not Zone 2.

So if you’re comparing SS intervals to steady state Tempo/Z3 rides, then I think SS gives a better benefit. Simply because you’re riding closer to your threshold and therefore triggering a greater training stimulus and adaptation.

Something tells me he is looking at the 3-Zone model like Dr. Seilers, as opposed to the 7-Level model of Dr. Coggan (often called Zones, but not correct per Dr. Coggan’s definitions).

Here is a side by side comparison I made:

I’am actually looking at the 7-zone chart. I Had some longer SS workouts planned that were IF 0.76-0.80 which I would compare to a 74-75% of FTP steady ride were the NP would align somewhat.

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I think you would lose some (but not all) of the benefits for physiological adaptation that come from spending a lot of time close to your threshold. The IF is lower due to the recovery in between intervals that makes this possible.

Check out this chart