Why Riding Slower Makes You Faster [GCN's latest video] Thoughts?

Anybody seen this video GCN posted yesterday with Tadej Pogačar’s cycling coach? Why Riding Slower Makes You Faster: The Secrets Of Zone 2 Training - YouTube

It’s quite interesting and immediately made me think about how this video almost completely contradicts with my TR plans…



Theres absolutely nothing new in this. Keep in mind that sweet spot training is generally recommended for those with restricted training time availability.


It seems like this is something people tend to forget. TR is aimed at people low on training time. Sweet Spot is proven to be highly effective for time crunched athletes. And yes, even the high volume TR plans are low volume if you’re talking to most coaches.

So if you have the time. Yes, do a 4/5 Z2 ride instead of that 1,5h sweet spot ride.


Just watching now, I have to say I’m on a lv polarised plan and I’m finding it much easier to be consistent. It also seems like someone very knowledgeable agrees that lower volume can work.

The TR alternatives also is making it easy to choose a longer z2 workout for my pre work rides.

I reckon I’ll do another 6 week block to take me to Xmas and then review my training.


For clarity, this is hourly volume, not intensity volume


Regardless of training philosophy, TR’s AT, UI, and workout library make it the creme de la creme of training platforms (insert coffee-drinking man-at-desk Change My Mind meme :rofl:)


Sure, if you only have 3 hours a week, then you need to push that intensity, but 5-6 hours and above I believe that you’ll probably be better off with a model with more Z2.

You’ll probably progress slower than with more intensity, but the goal is to have continuous progression over longer period of time.

Would be cool if TR changed the plans to something as follows:
Low volume - 1 Sweet Spot, 1 threshold, 1 Z2
Mid Volume - 1 threshold, 3 Z2
High Volume - 1 Sweet Spot, 1 Threshold, 3 Z2

Again, the key to doing the Z2 is the lactate clearance and efficiency gains, as well as the longevity of the gains. Intensity without low intensity is just fitness without base.

Best case you’ll plateau, worst case you’ll dig yourself into a hole of overtraining with intensity.


Just change the workouts in the plan yourself. Its easy peasy lemon squeezey :wink:


There’s just no replacement for volume. In any endurance sport, generally speaking & up to a point of course, the more you do… the better you will be. It is amazing how close you can get to full form just by doing base work. The exotic workouts we all love and obsess over is actually what causes most of the training stress but really only good for those last few percent of total gains.

The idea of making your easy days EASY has been around for a long time. I don’t think this goes against what TrainerRoad has going in it’s plans. As mentioned, TR is geared for those on the trainer with limited time. Nothing more boring than just pedaling away at 65% of FTP for hours. You need a challenge and things mixed in to keep you mind in it.

Easy rides are all about recovery & allowing your body to adapt from the hard work. In a low volume plan for example, you are riding every other day, so your recovery days are just complete rest rather than easy rides. But if you have the time to do more… Instead of using the in between days as full rest days, hop on the bike and go for an easy ride.

The algorithm doesn’t fit everyone. But that’s the nice thing about TR, you can adapt the plan for you and your needs… or build your own.

The one thing I wish we could do though is add more warm-up time to a workout. I guess I could do this offline but as a masters athlete I would trade one less interval for a longer, slower build-up. :sweat_smile:


As a > 65 yo, I often add up to 5 min extra warmup depending on how I feel and what lies ahead.


As a 57 year old i do the same.


It’s pretty easy to extend the warm up. I prefer to add to Z2 to the cool down period. 30-60 minutes if I have the time.



I had no idea…. Thank you for this!


I’m 35 and rarely start a Workout without hitting “extend warm-up” for 10 or 15min. Usually the legs come right just as the original warm up is ramping up.

Use “extend cooldown” for more Z2 volume post intervals.


From my own experience I believe that too.

Not the ones I’ve talked with, listened to on podcasts, and purchased off-the-shelf plans from. If you have a job/family and make some sacrifices, 8-12 hours a week is good volume target. My coach is happy when I end up averaging 7-8 hours a week for a year, and the performance gains from doing 4-6 hours/week of endurance have been real. Those gains take a lot of time to develop, so patience is a virtue.


You need a plan for the intensity.

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I’m not sure that’s accurate, except for being able to do the same “work” various ways. I’m quite sure you understand, but in case someone else tunes in to listen, most the SS workouts are a very high Z2 (or more like Z3). Riding at SS is a very valuable stimulus, and really the ideal way is as @WindWarrior ascribes, combining Z2 and SS. Where’s that meme “why not both”.

Sure, but aerobic conditioning is all about progressive overload, and if you only have a set amount of time you need to progress your training somehow.

Absolutely in terms of aerobic base, and conditioning, volume is king. It’s horses for courses though and I’m not sure that hopping on the trainer and riding at say 80% with zero warm up or cool down, is going to be more enjoyable, or more productive, than focused intervals lol.

It’s all relative though, I’m just saying let’s not speak in absolutes and complain that training programs prescribe intensity. New users may not see the nuance that you already assume.


Yes, and we used to do it a lot more easily with only speed.

Ride six hours on a Saturday every week for 8years, the only thing that changes is the number of km’s covered.

That’s still not going to be enough for a lot of riders.

I’m not into the “Polarised” thing. It’s supposed to be descriptive rather than prescriptive.

ISM will for sure prescribe intervals to his athletes.

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This messaging isnt all that incompatible with the idea of sweetspot from the inventors themselves. Overton’s motto is that sweetspot will make you faster…than zone 2 alone. Not as a replacement for all endurance riding. He still recomends 2-3 long lower intensity rides per week even in his sweetspot plans.

So we really need to differentiate between the idea of sweetspot as a training tool, and training intensity distribution and how much it can be used to replace endurance training. Different training programs have very different philosophies on this due to constraints of their system and athlete types