Zone 2 training with Iñigo San Millán, part 2

When I read that it came with the disclaimer it was because of coming from a real off-season, you could expect quick fitness gains when coming back to (base) endurance training. And that it wasn’t practical to test every week, and that HR zones are pretty stable and don’t change.

That has proven to be true in my own training, and thats when I use HR zones. Sometimes I’ll use HR caps, for example the first handful or two of times when temperatures jump from warm to very hot.

Otherwise its always training by power or full-gas, and always recording power along with HR.

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a.k.a: endurance.

(I agree with KM on this one. Not sure why the need to rebrand something we already have a very clear term for)

Because when you distill all the training insights it pretty simple concept. Basically you need 3 workouts in patterns. When you are a coach - there is periodisation, preparation and all that fluff. When you are a storyteller / scientist like Seiler - you have to find a way to tell the same story, known for years, in a different way. And he tells his story very well apparently. There is not much “meat” but a lot of charisma.


no it cant. there are not shortcuts. study has wrong conclusions.

if so it is vt1 as a % of vo2max. and how high is blood lactate at this point.

I would’t call double days a short cut.

No doubt, the long ride is the most important piece of training and a staple that should be in every endurance riders training plan. But the article is saying that in terms of volume, instead of a 2 hour ride, if you only have time for 2 x 1 hour you can get pretty close. At the amateur level I have observed this to be true.


oh absolutley, i agree, it can be even more effictive to do double day sessions.

i was referring to something else in the study. there are not really shortcuts in terms of kJ - the work has to be done, in the right way.

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First week of base1 done. 4 Z2 rides, 2LT1 rides and one short 4k TT on zwift…


Why so much z1?

It is my own zone Z1. Not some easy recovery. Z1 is between 60-70%ftp. Z2 is my Z2+ zone as I call it.

This is heart rate

Seems like you had no intensity at all?
I hope not all your weeks are going to be like that.

One short TT of 6min22 on zwift :wink:.
I had a peak end of november with more intensity in in that period. So my first week at base training i kept it simple. Every week I also increase TIZ in FTP or vo2max zones.
So next week my goal is 14h30 with some more time in Z2+ and also one intenser ride.

@jasperm you would advice more intensity? 80/20 polarized? My goal is to increase my aerobic performance. Shift LT1 first. But I know I should also include some higher end stuff so not top loose it. But as a century fondo rider I try to become as aerobic as possible.

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This is why I am chucking in a Zwift ZRL race to touch “all the systems” once a week.

I’m then tracking peaks and comparing them to my previous season to make sure I’m not loosing too much (arbitrary > 10% difference) across my PDC and then can see if I need to add some more intensity accordingly to keep things balanced.

Thinking is whilst upping volume to increase base but keeping intensity managed and minimising looses I can ultimately build stronger this season than the last.

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Why not? I did over summer 1 month just Z2 at ~60% of FTP and quite frequently went into Z1 (recovering from injury). During 2nd month, when started adding Z4 1-2x/week, progressed in 3 weeks to 2x40min 96-98% of FTP, TTE stretched to 50min. Earlier years, when did higher intensity base period (SweetSpot), my TTE was more like 35-40min.

Sure, if you do virtual races, throw intensity in. But if you are focused on creating base for upcoming build phase, do you really need keep intensity before it is necessary?

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I wouldn’t necessarily advice one or the other, I’m not a coach. I’m just observing.

It’s just that I would expect to get a bit stale on such a high volume of just Z2 and below. Personally I’d at least try to maintain some high intensity just so not to start from the ground again when the time for intensity comes again.

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Agree, you don’t. With sufficient volume I have never felt the need to program intensity except:

  1. I get bored
  2. I don’t want to feel that “oh man, 12 weeks without going hard really hurts more than it should” in April (for example).

Just sprinkling in a little “stuff” once a week has been plenty. A nice 20-30mins (in a 10-12 hr week) of continuous cycling is enough, psychologically and physically. So not adding up mins to total 30 mins. That’s incidental. Continuous at or above threshold.


Thanks for the advice everyone. I will post my next week next sunday ;-). Make at a live n=1 Z2, LT1, base case :slight_smile:


New screenshot with my updated powerzones in
Z2 = Endurance
Z3 = Endurance (LT1)
Z4 = Tempo



Second week done. 14h30.
mostly endurance but had to do the ZRL Cobbled Climbs so that was pretty intensive ;-).
Z2 = Endurance
Z3 = Endurance+

Unfortunately next week no 16h due time restrictions. Hope 10h and then a big last week of 2022.


Oof, there’s so much in this thread, it needs a TLDR, and maybe it’s in here somewhere. For most of at least the past 2 years, I’ve done what I thought was polarized. I was targeting 72%, or less, of my Max HR, where I thought lower was fine.

Now I’m started into the TR polarized plan, with endurance pushed right to the top of (7 zone) z2, I wonder which is right? Should z2 be almost tempo or easier?

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