Z2 Overrated - Olav Aleksander Bu

I never claimed it was. What’s the point of quoting me out of context?

1 Like

JoeX snipped the more important half of the sentence you wrote which I think is absolutely not in question.


The most interesting thing the Norwegians are doing is the lactate/moxy controlled threshold sessions but they didn’t talk about that.

Rather than doing their threshold on the bleeding edge, they are probably doing closer to tempo/sweetspot for extended durations. (Build out TTE in a sustainable way.)

Bu did mention the middle intensity workouts - there’s no black hole or grey zone for him.


This is totally correct. I was thinking more in the context of competitive endurance sport, that just doing Z2 and adding more isn’t quite going to get most people where they need.

1 Like

Thanks for your overview. I honestly didn’t click on it because of the ridiculous headline.


Bu’s interview with Attia was interesting but I can’t say that I took anything practical away from it. I’d probably enjoy it again but I don’t have 3 hours!

I think one thing to remember is that a coach like this is already working with the best of the best. If a coach ends up with an athlete that ends up with a medal, other medal contenders will want the same coach. They win more medals together and then it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the coach has some special secret sauce that amateurs can use to unlock another 50 watts of FTP.

Remember all roads lead to Rome, er Tokyo 1964 5000M - three different coaches with three distinctly different training philosophies - three Olympic medals with no more than 1 second difference between the final times.


A virtuous principle that I usually adhere to, but there’s nothing ‘millennial’ about the interview, it’s all well grounded discussion.

I wouldn’t have linked it otherwise :slight_smile:

Maybe the discussion points will encourage viewing:

Are you wasting your time with zone 2? 0:00
Welcome Olav! 1:48
Nuance regarding what zone 2 actually improves in the body 2:15
The power of mitochondria and mitochondrial efficiency 4:22
Performance and how training impacts all systems of the body 9:24
What do you suggest for people training 6-8 hours per week? 16:27
Variety in training, consistency, and leaving intervals in reserve 18:58
Why leave an interval in reserve 22:23
Alternative training philosophy and how to create consistency 27:04
Conclusion 32:28


GCN completely strawman Inigo San Millan in this video. Inigo’s real position is leading up to a race zone 2 should be seen as the fundamental base but more intense zones such as z4 and z5 should be included or what he calls “the turbo”. I think in one podcast he says that you can do a bunch of z2 training than use racing as your high intensity work but he never prescribes exclusively z2 work.


I have a Moxy but just recently got it. Finding the fatmax with muscle oxygen saturation sounds a bit odd to me, care to explain?

I am very out of touch, has there been a legitimate push for elite athletes to do only zone 2 training?

Feels like a bit of a strawman to me…

1 Like

I don’t recall them ever doing that, in fact, quite the opposite. Can you quote from the interview please?

Absolutely not.


I never heard ANYONE say “only do Z2” until GCN published that “let’s see how fit she can get doing only Z2” video. They then published a “let’s see how fit she got doing only Z2” video. And now they’ve published a “let’s tell people that ALL THESE PEOPLE saying you should only do Z2 are wrong”.

So, to recap, they created a controversy that didn’t exist, they tested the controversial method they created, and then they told us why all of the people who thought this was a good training methodology (which as far as I can tell was only them) were wrong.

He keeps saying “all these people say you should only do zone 2” and no one but them was ever saying that.

My tl;dw of the coaching advice in the video is “do intervals a few days a week on non-subsequent days, fill the rest with Z1/2/3, and don’t do so much that you burn out. Consistency is king”. Nothing new there imo.


It’s only more complicated than this because we get wrapped up in details that ultimately don’t matter that much. Forrest for the trees…(actually I find myself getting into the leaves sometimes)

Some things are hard to change


They use it for intensity control. If you google around you’ll find articles like these:

The thumbnail and the questions asked imply than Inigo thinks that Z2 is all important. Olav and Inigo think the same thing when it comes to the issues discussed but in the video GCN makes it look as if Olav disagrees.

Very unhelpful, I’ll just do the 515 test and read thru the Moxy forums. Those articles linked are just very vague

It doesn’t at all he clearly says they are not conflicting.

I think a lot of people are seeing what they want to see here rather than listening to the interview.

Such is the internet. Ah well :smiley:


I think that sums it up pretty nicely. The ad channel GCN - always hard pressed to stay relevant.

1 Like

GCN’s Manon did a 6 week block of Z2 training. She did, as is inevitable when doing such things outside, slip into other zones a bit.

Most of her rides were 1 hour or so.

I don’t think it is contentious to say that a 6 week block of Z2 training - of appropriate volume - is a legitimate block to include in any endurance sport training plan.

The time crunch factor crops up here of course. For very well trained endurance athletes, the appropriate volume of Z2 work to elicit a significant response requires a lot of hours to be put in. Is there enough time? Is it too boring? etc. As an extreme example, does anyone fancy doing Neblina every day for 6 weeks?

Whatever the results of a 6 week Z2 block, I also don’t think it is contentious to say that most people would likely get more benefits from making the next block something other than “just” Z2.

1 Like