Tempo Zone (Zone 3 or 2 in polarized) - is it really not needed?

I always wonder about the “Tempo Zone” (Zone 3 or 2 in polarized) being deemed not a good zone to train in. I come from a running background where the 3 “core” weekly workouts are…

A Fast Run
A Tempo Run
A Long Steady (slow) Run

This seems to have and still does work well for most people. So why should cycling be any different?

When i have ran running club sessions I have found that a lot of people run the slow runs in the lower half of tempo (ie too fast) and their fast runs in the upper half of tempo (ie too slow) tho. so they are not getting the full training effect. Fast should be fast and slow should be fast.

For running I am a fan of 8020. But on he bike I follow a TR plan

I remember seeing in a Seiler presentation that cycling was the sport with most training time in zone 3 (or zone 2 in a 3-zone model) compared to other endurance sports.
I guess that it has to do with the race specific demands.
Many cycling pro’s spend quite a lot of time in this zone actually!

As we’ve come to realize, there isn’t a direct pro-to-amateur translation of 3-Zone training methodology. An amateur will probably have equal-ish sized zones whereas a pro/elite athlete will have a much smaller Tempo/Z2 range; their Zone 1 will encompass your Zone 1 and Zone 2.

So, yes. Pros do spend a lot of time in your Tempo zone, but it’s still technically their Endurance zone.

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