Taking a month and riding zone 2 every day?

I would likely be increasing volume in the ballpark of 75%.

How many hours per week do you do you do now? I only ask as 75% (even if z2) is a huge increase in weekly volume

Well since z2 involves a lot of work, I don’t think anyone is saying it is “magic”. To get the benefits of z2, you gotta log the hours.

Cycling is an aerobic sport, To maximize your capabilities, you need to build your aerobic base engine. That requires hours in the saddle. There are many ways you can accumulate this hours, but on the long run, z2 is extremely effective at boosting fitness, especially for newer riders.


I’m usually around 7. Last winter getting ready for Leadville did some 8-12 hour weeks. But most of my prep was in the 6-8 hour range. Finished Leadville in right at 10 hours so worked pretty well, just looking to make some progress on rides after the 5 hour mark.

This is what is so simple, yet it gets debated to absolute death.

I’ve got a 24 year history in the sport (triathlon mainly) and around 16 year history with a power meter. My n=1 is if I can average 10,000 kj/week I am absolutely flying on the bike. There have been years where I’ve done it on lower hours (higher average power), higher hours (lots of z1/z2), polarized, trainer road plans, pyramidal, etc. In the end I don’t think any of the way it was structured actually mattered all that much, the kj’s just needed to be there.

For me, in order to hit those kj’s there needs to be a lot of zone 2.

Also, I’m taking some time away from running and swimming due to some spinal stenosis issues I’m working through, which means more riding (and rowing). I’m averaging 15,000 kj/wk now on only zone 2 and the old Steve Neal 83% hr guide and I’m setting power records without even trying as a 40 year old.


Did I read this right, Z2 rides every single day? If so, the one change I would make is to please give yourself a rest day each week. The body needs recovery to make adaptations, especially from those longer weekend rides. So for example, take Mondays completely off.


Not only doable but very enjoyable if you have nice scenery and wild life. It’s only inside I’d find long Z2 boring.


Only 7 years outside and 2 years spin classes, and same experience. It doesn’t matter if I do more or less high intensity, just putting in the hours and the resulting fitness is about the same.


Agree on everything.

A lot can get lost typing a few sentences. I’m not a great conveyor of ideas. “Magic” meaning, in the context of me reading new riders tying to digest what to do, zone 2 has been painted (IMO) as this is THE thing that will break that plateau. And it could be but, it takes a lot of work. As in Kj work. You can’t shortcut it. What’s the correct amount depends.


A lot of work, and for slow responders like me, a lot of time.

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*Tempo :wink:
Seriously though, some of those 1 hour Z2 days could be shifted to something a little spicier without introducing any meaningful fatigue IMO.

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Depending on fatigue levels and sensible periodizing, I agree building into some SST could be good 1 or 2 days p/w.

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I tend to agree with some of the posters above. I’d look at six days a week riding, Pro’s (and the guy in the video above who is obviously as-close-as Pro) can get away with seven days as they have built up their bodies to deal with the repetitiveness of it. I bet they still look forward to a day off though.

The whole Z2 doesn’t build fatigue thing is a fallacy. You can still overtrain on Z2, especially if you take too big a jump, or have another issue that opens you up to overuse.

ISM Z2/Low Tempo/High Endurance whatever you want to call it I think can lead to less central fatigue, but doesn’t necessarily mean less muscular fatigue etc. There still needs to be a balance and a plan.


Which of the many posts were you replying to?

The z2 rides for 30 days, or mine (for 371 days)?

Try it. I did one month of all Z2 but on Friday I did 2hr Z2 with 8x2min at Z5 in the middle. After that little block I did a 20min FTP test and had a significant jump.

I think it wasn’t necessarily the type of training but rather a different stimulus. Before that it was a lot of SS and threshold intervals. That got stale I think.

The OP, of course, since they were asking for our opinions on their plan, not you.

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Oh I don’t know Z2 boosts the ability of your slow twitch to take up (and use) the lactate produced by your fast twitch before it hits your blood. Raising your MLSS. If you never do (or don’t do much) Z2 you’re keeping your MLSS power lower than it need be.


So does z3, z4, z5, over unders etc…

Z2 is not magical, as the Norwegians do it only sparingly and their results on an international level is well documented across different endurance sports.

See bente skari 's distribution, the light green is z1 by lactate profile (below first inflection)

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I did a couple months of z2 only… it made me really good at z2. Unfortunately I was hating life and off the back on the first high intensity group ride I did after the z2 block.



Same with my year-round riding. Could easily do 100km races, without much effort; just very slowly. Any hills (4% gradient, longer than 1km) and I’d be dropped like a sack of potatoes.

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