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

Look this is basic physics. There is not a single valid argument for Z2 and sweetspot burning the same amount of calories per time unit.

1 watt is literally 1joule/second

So if you set upper Z2 equal to 75% of FTP and sweetspot to say 90% of FTP, it is straight forward to say what the difference in energy produced is: .9/.75 * 100 = 120%

If your argument is that because it is so much easier from a physiological and mental standpoint to rack up more calories doing Z2. Then I agree. You just have to spend at least 20% more time doing it before you are in the black!

Not going to get dragged into your pointless arguments which have no bearing on the video and its primary message.

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I’m just popping in to beg people to learn the difference between the words “moot” and “mute”.

[runs away]


lol I pulled my fingers off the keyboard on that one LOL


I never once looked at a metaphorical hand grenade and didn’t think “I’m gonna pull the pin out of that and roll it on in” :grin:


Yep! See this thread for updates:
Feature Request: Time limit options in plan builder. Sorry that I can’t give a more specific ETA on this feature!

With regard to customising the difficulty of Workouts for specific days of the week, you can do that already when you are going through Plan Builder, or by editing individual training blocks after the Training Plan is on your Calendar :dancer:.

Through Plan Builder:
When you get to the Schedule section of Plan Builder, you can customise your training days and, subsequently the difficulty of Workouts by dragging and dropping the scheduled rides (with the indicated difficulty level) to different days.

Once your Plan is already on your Calendar:
You can edit individual blocks.

  1. Select the block of training that you’d like to edit the default Workout days.

  2. You can drag and drop to adjust the default Workout days.


Thanks for the reply, but this isn’t what we’re asking for.

In this example, you have 3 days of the week with “difficult” workouts, which is too much intensity for many of us who are aging. We want a plan with the same number of days, but less intensity, so the ability to make 2 of those “difficult” workouts “moderate” or “easy”. If you then combine that with the ability to make workouts longer or shorter, you can still get to a Masters/Seniors type plan with high volume/progressive TSS, but less intensity.

Hope that makes sense, and again, thanks for the reply!


Great link. Thanks.

I get the impression many posters here didn’t listen to the whole interview, as much of the commentary misses the points made.

Inigo isn’t just saying do lots of Z2, he is saying don’t do the mid zones, but do do the high zones, and if a sprinter the very high zones.

Don’t mix within a zone based workout, so when doing a Z2 ride, don’t work hard against a head wind, up an incline, chasing a set of light, as it takes 30 minutes for your metabolism to recover from that effort. DON"T DO IT!

If you are time poor, eg, do 3x 60-90minute Z2 rides and one HIIT workout per week.

This is pure polarised periodisation. And, sadly, it is nothing like the Polarised training plans that TR has provided.


Ah, yes. And it feels like that’s compounded by AT in the LV POL EXP plans…

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Cycling beginner here, after all these readings, if I want to try more Z2 ride volume with a polarized approach, in such case, what would be the best high intensity to pair with?

With a LV SSB base plan, it’s has a VO2MAX, Threshold, and a SSB workout as default, in such case, shall I skip the SSB one since I falls in between Z2/Z4 mostly?

Solid advice for riders at any level. Very common prescription for a reason.

@Spiky This is called “funneling”. Much debate around the details of how and if and when to carry out periodization like this. Despite that, you could do worse.

A good rule of thumb to start is you should figure out intensity sessions that you can achieve with still a little left in the tank if you had to do another interval.

If you aren’t able to do a solid high zone 2 / low tempo two days after a hard day, then you went too hard.

With soreness, only ride endurance or off the bike. Use sleep and walking up and down stairs to gauge recovery.


Check out the polarized plans. That’s what I’ve switched to, for exactly the reason you mention. I wanted one Intensity workout per week, and then as much endurance base as I could fit.

I’ve set up my schedule this way:

  • Tuesday morning longer trainer ride (2 hours Z2/endurance)
  • Thursday night shorter trainer ride (1 hour Z2)
  • Saturday morning outdoors MTB ride (including a decent approximation of mid-range intervals (tethering 4x4 minutes around threshold/VO2 max). It’s not perfect, but I’ve found some consistent climbs I can use for the intervals, followed by some technical slight descents that I can use off the interval…

To be very naive here, may I ask regarding this advice, so SSB works as a transition pairing with Z2, then threshold is the real pair as polarized approach?

And VO2MAX sharpen up fitness for event?

I guess it’s won’t be simple as I assumed, but as a beginner , just try to get the concept.

I have 10 hours to train per week, so I can do , 3 long Z2 to 8 hr, and 1 SSB, and 1 threshold with no planned event right?

Also, this shall be changed after I decide to move to build phase I guess which I haven’t yet start my research.

Thanks again

Paul Laursen whose research has specialised in HIIT training for cyclists says that even the Traditional VO2 max sessions of more than a minute, are not as beneficial as once thought. Instead do what TR refers to Needle VO@max sessions, ie, 10,15,20, maybe 30sec on - with equal non active recovery in roughly 5 min sets 3-4m between sets. Hence in a 1 hr session you might do 90+ intervals. As he claims, after the set you don’t feel tied, if anything energised. Reason - with such short intervals the recovery is sufficient to remove the Lactate so there is no lactate build up.

Another interesting reference on You Tube is Professor David Bishop


Not sure if you intended to reply to me or not, I agree 100%, that is the side of the discussion I was on.

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If you opt in for experimental features (in the settings of the Web interface) you can chose TrainerRoad polarised plans under training plans in the Web interface

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I’d like to get that book but not easy to get hold of in the uk. Not even on Amazon.

An option on the authors website:

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Is that because there’s too much intense work?

Edit: If there’s too much intensity in TR then where’s the best place to go for a polarised training plan?

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So following ISM logic in planning my next annual training plan, can I have best of both worlds and still include SS ? Reason is I feel muscle endurance training that one gets from SS, especially if you a climber, is so important. I did polarized training before (Z2 and only Z4/Z5 - no Z3) and I got burnt really badly when It came to long 20-30min climbs.

I train 5 days a week. My plan for the base phase (12 weeks) is to train the first 4 weeks doing 5x a week Z2. Then the next 8 weeks of base looking something like this with the 4 days Z2 as per ISM:

Mon Day off
Tues 2hrs Z2
Wed 2 x 20min SS
Thurs 2hrs Z2
Fri Recovery
Sat 90min Z2 then 2 x 20min SS
Sun 4 - 5 hours Z2

= 4 days Z2

Then for Build Phase something like this

Mon Day off
Tues 90min Z2 + 30min vo2max (e.g 5x5min)
Wed 2x20min
Thurs 2 hours Z2
Fri Recovery ride
Sat 90min Z2 + 30min Vo2max e.g (30/15’s)
Sun 4 hours Z2

= 4 days Z2

Would something like this work as per what ISM said in this video?