Zone 2 training with Iñigo San Millán, part 2

I get a dull sensation in my sit bones around that time :smiley:


It’s early yet, but early impressions of following TR’s version of polarised, which has more intense endurance days than I did the last couple of years definitely means I have to be more careful about positioning the intensity days.

For example, if for whatever reason, I get one intensity day done early in the week, I can’t do too many more rides before the 2nd one, or I’ll be too tired (assuming 6 days on, Sunday off). Last couple of years, targeting endurance that wasn’t a consistent 70-75% of FTP, I could chunks of hours and have more flexibility with intensity scheduling because the endurance didn’t wear me out as much. Having said that, maybe it was too easy on those days, and I’ll find this works better. Time will tell. I think the mental grind might get to me first.


Rather than starting my own thread to ask figured it might be worthwhile to ask within this Z2 megathread, is there any value in doing short Z2 rides? I follow a LV plan but this year one of my key goals is to maximize the amount of Z2 I am getting and try to consistently get in a minimum of 6 hours, following a LV plans means I’m often getting 3 ~1 hour rides, with some extra outdoor rides thrown in that generally meant I was getting 4-6 hours per week, 3 of those being intensity through the TR workouts (I know not 100% TIZ).
I am just finishing Trad Base LV Block II and about to start Block III which will offer between 4:15 to 5:30 from 4 rides per week. I could try to squeeze a lower intensity Z2 ride in like Gabriel but I have also thought of instead doing Carter on two of the off days or after two of the workouts. This week to hit my 6 hours I needed an extra 3 hours so I did Andrews -1 and Townsend -1, both of these would for the same amount of time ridden, 90 mins would add less TSS to the week than Carter twice but it would be all at once.

Just wondered if someone could maybe help me wrap my head around better understanding how I should choose my ‘extra Z2’ work as this is something I hope to continue throughout the year.

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There seems to be lots of debate around how best to maximize Z2 training - in other words, is it better to do three 1-hour rides, or one 3-hour ride?

In the real world, most of us have unpredictable schedules. Which means that I can’t always get the three-hour ride in that I planned or hoped to get.

So from a practical, real-world perspective, I think most people would agree it’s better to get 2-3 extra hours of Z2 in every week, then an extra 3 hours of Z2 every few weeks.

If doing a few one-hour sessions is more reliable for your schedule, I would do that. If you’re better off guaranteeing the time by planning a larger time block, do that.
Once you’ve adapted your schedule to always include the extra time, then start to see how you can optimize it…
At least, that’s the approach I’m taking :grinning:


Thanks, still going through everything and there seems to be a lot of debate on the idea but I think this is the way I am approaching it and thinking, not trying to increase fat metabolism but looking to increase my capacity over time but don’t want to add the extra intensity of moving from LV to MV.

Whereas my goal is around increasing my base and achieving that 6 hours or more of volume per week perhaps it doesn’t really matter if I am doing it in 2x 45 min Z2 rides vs 1x 90 min Z2 rides. As my goal is to increase my capacity for weekly TSS and build my base aerobic fitness. Despite having done the first 2 blocks of Trad Base LV now I can still see the effect of fatigue at my current level as I can generally see my cadence begin to fall in Z2 rides from high 90s at the start to mid 80s by the 60 or 90 min mark depending on intensity of the Z2 work. I started TR late April 2022 and hadn’t done structured training previously so this is my first attempt at trying to build a ‘Base’.

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Yeah I think this is how I’m kind of thinking, I’m overthinking it if my overarching goal is to increase weekly average ride time, 6 week avg ride time, yearly average ride time, to increase my base fitness and capacity for TSS in a month, week or ride/race it doesn’t matter if I do it in extra 15 mins at the end of workouts, with 2x 45 min Z2 workouts or 1x 90 min Z2 workout, etc.


Does anyone watch the Scottish cycling coach on youtube? I think it’s Kinetic Cycle Coaching. Anyway, he is big on 20-30-40 minute workouts. Better to stay consistent and do something instead of nothing.

One thing that often isn’t said is that part of volume is the shear number of muscle contractions. I think this is part of the reason why pros can get fast on 20 hours per week of zone 1. Just contracting the mucscle over and over brings benefits. It doesn’t have to be at a certain intensity. (No such thing as junk miles unless they do harm.)

I’ve actually been wondering if high frequency session exercise has been studied much. In particular I’ve been wondering if 3x30minute spaced out during a day could have any benefits over a longer session once per day. I work at home and can easily jump on the trainer for 20-30 minutes here and there. Setting aside two hours for a longer session is harder.

Is there any benefit from bringing the aerobic engine up to steam (takes like 10 minutes to get the krebs cycle going) several times per day rather than once a day and then letting it rest for 24 hours? I believe that double days have been studied (runners) and they did show benefits over single workout days.


Interesting! Would that be a rationale for increasing cadence, therefore increasing the number of muscle contractions within the same duration?

Increasing cadence also raises the heart rate.

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Tldr I’ve been commuting and have raised my FTP over 4 w/kg by doing an hour of zone 2 a day split into 2 rides, then “any” riding I have time for over the weekend so for me it’s working and I seem to still be improving albeit slowly.

Edit: I must admit I do POLARIZED riding in general so I regularly will do sprints or vo2 efforts but it’s more of a one or two every other ride type of deal.


I go back and forth on whether I should.


I seem to recall on a podcast recently the mention of a study that found one 3hr ride was better than 2x 1.5hr rides. I’ll try work out where I heard it/what the study was.

Certainly 2x1hr is better than 1x1hr, but there is definitely fatigue etc to manage differently.

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What I can tell you is that 10 sessions of focused 30m zone 2 per week + a handful of intervals AND weekend riding is PLENTY of potential fatigue IMO.

I’m not saying it’s the absolute best way but I wouldn’t be so quick to discard the potential of short but extremely consistent z2 workouts especially since it is working for me and afaik nobody else is trying it (because maybe it really is sub optimal?)

Also I’ve been regularly getting raised vo2 max notices from the garmin although my FTP has plateaued for about a year, but, I am estimating a 20 watt or maybe more gain at lt1 in 2 years of 10 sessions a week.


Interestingly, I’ve just bought some Rapha Carbo bibs on fleebay and they seem to be a life saver so far. SO SO much more comfortable than the Rapha Core Cargo bibs and much more comfortable than the other bibs I’ve been wearing.

No idea how folks manage 2+ hour rides on the trainer… perhaps with a ‘stop’ for cake and coffee in the middle perhaps :joy:


I seem to recall that he is butting up against how hard skating is on his body. He can sit on a bike and pedal endurance and threshold for hours and hours per day but no way he could do that many hours training on skates.

He did make the skate training very specific by only training at race pace when on skates. I seem to recall him warming up on the bike.

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I seemed to recall him saying that the cycling was using almost the same muscles and that it was practically impossible to be on skates 4 hours per day.

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Like everything else in cycling training, it all depends on the goals. But if I were to distill everything I’ve ever heard, read or been told by a coach I would submit the following:

For the purposes of getting faster on a bike…

One 3-hour Z2 ride > three 1-hour rides

Three 1-hour Z2 rides > doing nothing

I’m not a coach or a physiologist, so please weight this information accordingly.

I think I heard the following, exact scenario on an episode of Fast Talk (paraphrased):

If you truly had only 5 hours a week to train, it would be best to do two 1-hour sessions and one 3-hour Z2 ride vs. distributing it all evenly.

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Any thoughts guys, thinking of trying to build more of a base around a Saturday & Sunday 90 minute Zone 2 sessions, plus 2x sweetspot (Tuesday and Thursday) and a Zone 2 on the Wednesday with rest days on Monday and Fridays.

Would I be better just sticking to Zone2 all the way through?

Pretty standard approach I would suggest