Long z2 rides for food courier

I’m a food courier on a mecanical bIke and spend around 8 to 10h in z2 just through work.
It’s not uninterrupted cycling though since I have to wait at restaurants, for clients, etc…

Do you think it could still be beneficial for my endurance to do a long z2 ride outside of that, or is my base endurance beeing stimulated enough?
Long uninterrupted rides will be beneficial to learn to fuel properly though, but maybe 1 long ride a month would be enough?

I’m still a beginner, I’ve been cycling around 4 to 5 days a week for 3 years ( not counting crash and burnout recovery weeks ) and I’ve been doing workouts and long rides for 2 years.
I’m at around 3w/kg.


I don’t think it makes any sense to add more Z2 to your riding. If anything, you’ll get an amazing volume of Z2 work in already, much more than anyone else with a regular job can possibly hope for. If you want to get faster, I’d focus on anything but Z2.


I’ll just work on High intensity then. Thx,!

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Do you use a power meter? Heart rate monitor? Are you sure you’re consistently in Z2?

I know when I was a courier it was pretty much Z3+ with a lot of Z5. I couldn’t imagine getting anywhere on time doing Z2. Especially in a suburban setting with stoplights/signs and the constant accelerations.

I was a food courier for 3 years prior to me taking up cycling ‘recreationally’ it had done wonders to my base and allowed me to build fairly quickly once I started to introduce structured training. I don’t think you are making any additional gains from your courier work since you have already adapted to it. Also, during an 11 hour shift, probably less than half of that is consistent pedaling. Most of the time your stuck at lights. When I was doing back to back 11 hour shifts, I probably couldn’t do a 4 hour ride of steady continuous pedaling. So I think z2 sessions outside of work is still giving you endurance adaptions. (although definately you’ll see better bang for your buck working on other zones). But definately structured training in general will do you a huge benefit, and you’re body is probably quite capable of handling the stresses of training. By ‘intensity’ you don’t need to do v02max or aneroboc work. Just start on TR’s SSBLV1 and 2 plans in addition to your work and you’ll see some great gains

Zone 2 physiology…it stimulates type 1 muscle fibers (slow twitch) and if longer more fatiguing rides type 2 fibers (fast twitch). Stimulating type 1=more mitochondrial growth=improves fat utilization=preserve glycogen. Which all means at the end of a race you should have access to more glycogen when you need that race winning move. Type 1 fibers also have a lot to do with lactate clearance. Lactate is a byproduct of type 2 fibers using all that glucose for that high intensity race winning move. The lactate is then cleared by transporters called MCT-1 contained in type 1 fibers and used by the mitochondria as energy.

Not knowing more about your riding it really depends. When in doubt more zone 2 can only benefit. And the longer the better. So, it depends really. If all your weekly riding is really zone 2 the depending on where you are getting ready for an event it could be appropriate but, HIIT on the week end might be a better stimulus (again depending on your event).


I used to but it broke. I know how to identify if I’m no longer in Z2 though ( although it’s not very accurate ).
When I worked for Deliveroo I was a lot in Z3+ but now I’m paid by the hour so I can take my time.
I go to z3, z3+ only on climbs for a short period because I have to.

I’m never ordering food through any courier that is only in Z2….I don’t want cold food!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: (kidding)

It all counts…don’t worry if it is uninterrupted or not. You are building a huge aerobic base. Keep at it.

I just did a 9.5h shift and rode almost 6h total. It was pretty busy though so yeah, usally it’s half the time of actual riding.
I’m able to comfortably do 5.5h rides, I didn’t try to do more for now. It gets really boring alone + I’m not sure if there’s an actual benefit to do more than 6h rides expect for ultra endurance training.

When I was working for deliveroo I tried to do SSBLV 1 and 2. It didn’t go well and I ended up over-reaching quite a bit. It took around 3 weeks to almost fully recover.
After that I decided to not do structured training for a while. Just 2 HIIT workouts a week and sometimes a long endurance ride. It went pretty well. I think I don’t really like the Sweet spot approach too, I prefer to do Polarized training. It suits me better and I feel like I get better with less constant fatigue. I find it easier to manage fatigue on a polarized approach too.

But now that I can chill more and stay in z2 during shifts, I may go back to a structured low volume plan.
Although I really like going freestyle and just trying to do 2 HIIT workout and upgrading difficulty or-and volume to get some adaptations.

Thanks for all the knowladge !

For now I’m just training to get a better base and FTP, but next year I’d like to start racing. Mostly 66km criteriums so i’ll have to do some HIIT at some point.

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haha :joy:

thanks :muscle:

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Couriers can be bad fast. I was in an unsanctioned crit where the fixie winner was a courier. Pushed over 27mph avg on the fixie and beat a Cat2 track cyclist.

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Yeah there are some fast ones, I know one who must also be as fast as a cat 2 rider.
Most of the fast couriers are fixie couriers too.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: