Show me your outdoor Z2 attempts

I’m interested to see people’s attempts at riding in Zone 2 on real roads with traffic, variable roads and hills.

On a few of the recent TR podcasts it’s been mentioned that TR users have shared with the team a “Zone 2” ride, only for the data to be full of power spikes/efforts or below the endurance power.

So I am wondering how close people get when not indoors? I am not interested in debating the efficacy of Z2, there’s enough of those threads!

I’ll go first and share my recent ride. I didn’t select this route with consistent Z2 in mind but wanted to see how consistent at hitting Z2 I could be. Context:

  • Starts with a light gravel mixed use path: lots of walkers and dogs you have to share the route with
  • multiple 15% hills and descents
  • several sections that are 2-way roads but have grass/mud in the middle and are so narrow car mirrors touch the hedge on both sides
  • pot holes everywhere
  • my easiest gearing is 34 chain ring 36 cassette
  • my zone 2 is 150 - 200w
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I’ll dig one up in a bit but honestly in my part of the world it’s pretty terrible! I’ve mostly given up outside z2 workouts so do them inside and do “best effort” z2 to add to it.

I think the variability of z2 near me is the big thing for outside levels that I’m looking forward to. My endurance will be better than TR thinks.

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Living in pan flat (eastern of) The Netherlands does have it’s advantages for long zone 2 rides.


This was a 3 hour loop in south Florida, very flat, never ending pedaling.


Somewhat rolling route with quite a few roundabouts, traffic lights, and some heavy morning rush hour traffic towards the end. About as good as it gets around here unless I ride crazy early/late to avoid the traffic completely. Managed 65% of ride in Z2 power zone and 99% of it in Z2 HR zone. Couple of minutes total above threshold power which would have been accumulated a few seconds at a time when getting started again from a stop or needing to accelerate to match traffic speed while changing lanes, nothing long enough to get the heart rate up. Really interested to see what Progression Levels 2.0 makes of rides like this compared to a 90 minutes trainer ride as I do a lot of riding like this - feels productive from a fitness perspective and certainly much more enjoyable when the weather is decent than sitting in the garage.


This is typical for me. Rolling terrain, 95% gravel with some pavement for less than 10 mins at the beginning and end. Crosses a few busy roads and numerous stop signs with plenty of pot holes.


I’m lucky here in Perth. Hills inland and flat(ish) along the coast with a lot of traffic free cycle path alongside the freeways.

I’ve a few traffic lights to navigate on the way out and back - despite a few rollers on the cycle path I can follow most workouts pretty easily outdoors.


First ever attempt at an outside workout and trying to hold a power target. Slightly hilly but my gearing doesn’t allow me to climb without getting out of Z2.

Need to bump up my FTP and pick my route better otherwise they’ll all look like tempo rides like this one does.

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Washington DC area, with lots of small climbs, rolling etc, but feel reasonably good about this:

Of course you have to gear down for the ups, but, also keep pace on the downs which I think isn’t as natural on an “easy” ride.


These look pretty good to me!

I’m impressed with the ones with more hills.

Anyone got a ride that they thought was Z2 but was way off?

Paging @WindWarrior … some of his efforts look like erg mode outside :rofl::sunglasses:

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4 hour Z2 ride I did last weekend. I wanted to stay around 225 normalized, however, I wasn’t militant about it. Ended up with 3:15 in Z2/Z1, 20 min in Tempo then some coasting. Only spent 10 minutes at SS or above which is pretty decent for the route and hills.


I gave up trying to do Z2 by power outside. Upper end of Z2 for me is around 240 watts so that gets me to around 35kph (if it’s flat and depending on wind). That’s way to fast for the densly populated place I live in to ride savely. I usually do outdoor endurance rides with the baby in the trailer and by heartrate - he can sleep and I get a ride in, winwin. Average speed is also way slower, more like 18-20kph so that certainly helps to keep the pace pretty consistent.


The middle block is about 90 minutes of z2. Average power 190, normalized 197.


I have a feeling I won’t get much credit for my Z2 outdoor rides when workout levels V2 comes out.

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Living in a river valley there are quite a few short punchy hills. Hard to find a 25+ mile route with less than 1500ish vertical throughout. This was yesterday with the middle 75 minutes being really focused on staying in z2. Few stop signs and a couple quick stops to fiddle with things.

Use of full range gearing, along with cadence changes, even with elevation changes on non-flat courses:


Above is my lunch ride: 1.5hr zone 2 with less than 1000ft climbing

Above is the same roads but a 3hr weekend ride

Above is a hilly zone 2 with about 4500ft climbing.

Terrain doesn’t matter much, just push the pedals lighter if you’ve got hills. I’m also not against hitting zone 3 on climbs if you’ve got to. No point in being neurotic about it


My ambition yesterday evening, was to go out on a nice Z2 ride to get a few hours out in the wonderful weather. Earlier during the day i did a 90min VO2 max session, so I was a tad heavy legged.

Well, I started out doing fine, kept my power at an okay wattage… but then the rolling landscape changed it all.
I cannot see how I could ever ride around here staying in Z2. I tried, I really did, but as I realized it was impossible i just rode on, adding a few sprints.