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  • Zone 2 on a turbo trainer…
  • slowoldman
    Full Member

    @crosshair Hence lactate testing?

    crosshair
    Free Member

    Yes 👍🏻 But not really practical to field test every ride 🤣👍🏻

    I guess Zwift racing has been a driver in making FTP a much more common term but unless you’re a 40k tt’er- how long you can or can’t hold it is almost irrelevant. The two things that matter are: is it a repeatable methodology for you (how many people equalise all the variables when testing?) and does the number give you an actuate set of training zones.

    Relating it back to Z2 training- I’d say the best judge of your z2 is an aerobic decoupling, lactate or “talk” test at Z2. Not a zone %age anyhow.

    Haze
    Full Member

    Surely if you can’t hold it for an hour it’s not your FTP?

    What CH said, it’s why the TTE metric exists.

    My Z2 feels exactly where I should be, my sweetspot intervals feel like I’ve been doing sweetspot and my threshold and VO2 intervals also feel spot on. My HR backs it all up.

    I dunno, I’ve never really tried so maybe I could or at least get fairly close…just going off the handful of sporting TT’s or Zwift races I’ve done I reckon I’m blown around the 45 minute mark when I’m in good shape!

    e2a It’s what I alluded to earlier, as opposed to focusing on building FTP early in the off season I extend my SS intervals to try and grow TTE

    crosshair
    Free Member

    Yep Haze nails it 😃

    It’s why heart rate monitors have come back in fashion. You’re pulling in all the info you possibly can to try and figure out what the heck is going on inside your body 🤣

    It’s a constant comparison of power/Hr/perceived exertion seeing what matches as a trend over time.

    Another reason not to actually even *ever* try to do your ftp for an hour is that it’s an incredibly draining thing to do! If you can extrapolate it roughly enough from some software and a 3 minute all out effort, then you’d have to be the sickest sort of sadist to double check with a 60min critical power test 😉🤣🤣

    If I can smash a 50-70min Zwift race at the NP of a software generated ftp guess then I usually consider it close enough 😀

    vlad_the_invader
    Free Member

    So, did another Zone 2 ride last night with “new” zones as calculated by Crickles. My Zone 2 is now 122 – 133bpm. Workout consists of gradual ramp up then an hour block of 225w which put me at the upper end of the Z2 about 10 mins into that block. All was good for about another 30 mins and then my heart rate started creeping up.
    I tried to reduce power but, from that point onwards, HR wouldn’t get back into Z2.

    Any idea what I did wrong and should I just end my session early? I know you are not supposed to drift into Z3, but does doing so actually “invalidate” the Z2 work – even if your HR drift upwards for a couple of minutes??

    I specifically want to remain in fat-burning mode for another couple of weeks, so trying not do do higher intensity work yet. There’s no specific reason for me to do that except I want to try something different than previous winters when I’ve just concentrated on a LOT of high intensity sessions which may have compromised my endurance.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    On the TTE/FTP point…

    My coach went at great pains to stop me me thinking about FTP a while back. He requires me to think it’s only for setting training zones and should be done on MY equipment.

    Meanwhile we work to what it is my races require and my physiological improvements that are needed for that.

    I found this out during a Zwift races a few weeks ago whereby I’d recently has a conversation with him and he’d flippantly told me my 20min FTP was likely more than I thought it was, but we’d find out at the beginning of winter training – I raced 42 mins at my 20min ftp 2 days later which shocked me.

    Anyway, after entering my perceived ‘23 race attendedance I received my season overview yesterday. With a focus back on XCO for a change / rest, only 2 months of Z2 before ramping into a Build & small peak for the Dirty Nocka 3hr in March, a bigger peak in June for a Regional XC and a final peak in September. I won’t be finishing in particularly high placings so will put away my ego and “just race”.

    For those struggling I can thoroughly recommended any of the morning “long” weekend rides on Zwift – ZZRC, EVO, 3R etc. It’s real easy to sit in a group with that as a distraction, can be chatty and working/riding with others helps the time go by.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    you end up having to surge way too much at times to hold the group at places where your particular w/kg is different to the rest.

    That’s because w/kg is a stupid way to categorise riders unless the entire ride is a climb or everyone weighs the same. Maybe you could temporarily change your weight for those rides?

    jameso
    Full Member

    Any idea what I did wrong and should I just end my session early? I know you are not supposed to drift into Z3, but does doing so actually “invalidate” the Z2 work – even if your HR drift upwards for a couple of minutes??

    A brief rise just over then fall back into Z2 is OK as I understand it, I avoid a few minutes out of zone though, may affect the later Z2 work ie need you to re-settle – but I’m unsure of how long that takes.

    A shorter session might help. If I go out on a longer ride at Z2, either my output at upper Z2 drops after a while or I need to raise my HR into Z3 for the same output. I think it’s about HR drift with fatigue. There was a time when I could feel consistent in Z2 for longer than I can do now, whereas currently I split a longer winter outdoor ride into 2 blocks so that the first is solid Z2 work, the second block I expect to be more scrappy/variable and I’m fine with HR drifting upward as long as my PE is about right, or just riding faster to get home and warm up.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    I split a longer winter outdoor ride into 2 blocks so that the first is solid Z2 work, the second block I expect to be more scrappy

    I nailed it last week on the CX bike, 2 hours out on rolling tarmac at Z2, 2 hours back home on muddy trails just smashing around to my hearts content. Would have been better as 2hrs out, 1hr scrappy smashing back home but I got waylaid exploring some new trails 😎

    crosshair
    Free Member

    Indeed @Badlywireddog 🤣 I’ve been having that debate on there for 7 years 🤣🤣
    As I say- I’m sure it would help if they enabled Double Draft for groupies..


    @vlad_the_invader

    For riding Z2 by zones (as opposed to just targeting the ‘talk test’ and letting HR and Power fall where they may), Friel recommends early season you do it by HR (to build your aerobic endurance). Then as you get fitter and you can hold a higher power for longer at the same HR, you can take your Z2 power and target *that* for longer (to build your muscular endurance).

    It goes back to what we were saying about percentage based zones. They are a pretty crude estimation that don’t actually take into account duration.

    Another way of saying the same thing is that your “ftp” degrades over time. So after an hour at the moment, your zones have already changed. It’s why you can get fitter even if your zones don’t technically alter.
    Imagine your 225w Z2 doesn’t decouple from your HR like it did, until 4 hours 😎
    You’ll obviously be faster even though your zones haven’t moved.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    It’s why you can get fitter even if your zones don’t change.
    Imagine your 225w Z2 doesn’t decouple from your HR like it did, until 4 hours 😎
    You’ll obviously be faster even though your zones haven’t moved.

    Re my post above, it took me ages to de-couple from my mind that although my FTP wasn’t going up, I was fitter and stronger for longer over several other Zones (specific for very long hours MTB).

    crosshair
    Free Member

    Yes! It’s definitely a mindset shift isn’t it 😀

    MSP
    Full Member

    I notice that the tendency in many comments is to talk about (aim for) the upper z2 range figures.

    Is there any science that adaption is better at the top of the z2 range, or is it still the “no pain no gain” mentality pushing people too train harder than necessary for the gains they are trying to make in that session/ride.

    At the moment i am just trying to extend my time on the bike, and am easing back when I consider I am getting into the higher echelons of z2, my aim is just to ride for longer at least for the next 2-3 months. Even at the levels I am currently cycling at I am struggling with fatigue in my legs to finish my long ride, so it would definitely mean shorter rides of higher intensity even upping to that level.

    crosshair
    Free Member

    @msp No, not at all. Another way to do it, as mentioned above, is to chunk your ride up. Do blocks at 65% interspersed with work intervals at 75%.
    I see Vegan cyclist is doing these at the minute.

    I think the reason it gets mentioned is in the context of DrISM suggesting you target the talk test/2 mmol lactate. It took me just a couple of rides for that to become low tempo watts/z2 HR.

    Another thing you can do (which I’m doing) is divide your week into ‘breakthrough’ and ‘recovery’ days as Friel calls them and alternate between the two.
    A recovery session could be proper active recovery at z1 and sub 1 hour. Or it it can be an easy aerobic ride or cross training (I typically do 2-3h at Z1/2).
    Then on your breakthrough days, really push the top of Z2 for an hour with any extra time spent in Z1 to warm up and cool down.

    I did 3 zwift group rides yesterday. The first I joined late and was 47mims at Z1. The second was 90mins at upper Z2 and the third I was at low Z2 and bailed after 43 mins to round out the 3hrs. So that was my ‘recovery’ / easy aerobic day.

    Today, I’m going to try a ‘breakthrough’ and push things on again and aim to do 120m right at low Z3.

    jameso
    Full Member

    I notice that the tendency in many comments is to talk about (aim for) the upper z2 range figures.

    Is there any science that adaption is better at the top of the z2 range, or is it still the “no pain no gain” mentality pushing people too train harder than necessary for the gains they are trying to make in that session/ride.

    idk, fwiw I thought it was about efficient time use to be close to the aerobic threshold but still below it, in the same way HIIT should be close to or above lactate threshold. It’s not a ‘no pain no gain’ thing for me anyway. Practically it’s easier and a bit quicker/more enjoyable to ride around say 130pbm level than 120 so I tend to spend my time in the upper half of Z2 range but not exclusively.

    vlad_the_invader
    Free Member

    I notice that the tendency in many comments is to talk about (aim for) the upper z2 range figures.

    Per someone further up thread, high Zone 2 into low Zone 3 is the point where the body transitions from fat burning to glycogen burning.
    For me, I’m trying to stick with fat burning for the moment so I work on the assumption that high Zone 2 burns more fat than low Zone 2! Simple as that. Plus it would be even more boring to just sit spinning legs at an even lower intensity for an hour +

    MSP
    Full Member

    Is working in the higher range of z2 better for adaption to burning fat as a fuel source, or is it just burning more fat in an individual ride?

    Say my z2 HR is 130-150, and that corresponds to a power range of 140-160 watts. My aim is that that corresponding power range should increase while my heart rate (as a measurable indictor of my physiological effort) stays roughly the same. Is there any advantage of working in my upper z2 heart range for shorter periods, than working in the lower range for longer periods. ie if I have 6 hours to spare for my Sunday ride, would I be better riding for 6 hours at a low z2 level or planning something at 4hours with a little more intensity but still staying within the 2z range.

    This is now kind of an academic question because I have already decided that my whole intention over this winter is to build up my time in the saddle, and I say this as someone who has currently located to explore the Rhine valley basin between Heidelberg and Frankfurt, where there are probably thousands of kilometres of gravel tracks and cycle paths and quaint German villages to discover, which allows me to just relax and ride this winter and still be mentally stimulated without the need to push the pace.

    crosshair
    Free Member

    Fatmax is actually probably somewhere right in the middle of your Z2 power. Targeting the top end is more about maximally stressing your slow twitch fibres without inducing a rise in lactate. That would likely take some building up to to do for 6h!

    For 6h I’d just concentrate on not going too hard too early. Maybe break it up by hours. Hour one- go super easy. This will make sure you’re properly warmed up and your heart rate should have stabilised. Then see how you feel. It’s long enough that even if you do go “too” hard up a climb, 20 minutes getting back in zone is neither here nor there.

    I did a load of 5h plus rides last year and never once did I wish in the final hour that I’d gone harder in the first 🤣

    jameso
    Full Member

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/why-you-should-target-your-aerobic-threshold-during-quarantine/

    Useful article about fat/carb burn mix and Z2 aerobic threshold

    n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    Anyone working on their z5 in the Tiny Races at 0900 or 1500 today?

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Still struggling to push past the 1hr mark on the rollers in the garage, arms and hands in particular find it a chore, I guess because legs and glutes aren’t contributing as much to supporting upper body.

    Going to try my old-but-good dumb trainer to see if it is more comfortable, my thinking being I can sit up and move around more easily than on the rollers (or maybe even lift the front wheel a bit more). Might even try and shuffle saddle backwards again but can’t tell if my bum moves with it or if I just end up too far forward on saddle 🙄

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Say my z2 HR is 130-150, and that corresponds to a power range of 140-160 watts. My aim is that that corresponding power range should increase while my heart rate (as a measurable indictor of my physiological effort) stays roughly the same. Is there any advantage of working in my upper z2 heart range for shorter periods, than working in the lower range for longer periods. ie if I have 6 hours to spare for my Sunday ride, would I be better riding for 6 hours at a low z2 level or planning something at 4hours with a little more intensity but still staying within the 2z range.

    The advantage of working in the upper range is that you are stressing mitochondrial development more – asking more of your body. More mitochondria = more endurance roughly speaking E.g. moving the Zone to the right. In an ideal training world you tread the line at max Z2 being careful not to cross your aerobic threshold. But, you are right. At any stage of your fitness and especially if your outdoors away from base you need to manage your effort to complete the ride.

    Jamz
    Full Member

    I notice that the tendency in many comments is to talk about (aim for) the upper z2 range figures.

    Is there any science that adaption is better at the top of the z2 range, or is it still the “no pain no gain” mentality pushing people too train harder than necessary for the gains they are trying to make in that session/ride.

    At the moment i am just trying to extend my time on the bike, and am easing back when I consider I am getting into the higher echelons of z2, my aim is just to ride for longer at least for the next 2-3 months. Even at the levels I am currently cycling at I am struggling with fatigue in my legs to finish my long ride, so it would definitely mean shorter rides of higher intensity even upping to that level.

    Upper zone 2 should still be an easy ride, so either your zones are off or else your body is not ready for training yet?

    If you’re easing back in then ease back in – don’t overcomplicate things – just do what you feel like/can handle.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Upper zone 2 should still be an easy ride

    Needs a caveat for duration. I know what you meant but for many +2hrs constant Z2 on a turbo will be a struggle.

    I’ll try and find the link – there’s also some turbo vs outdoors maths which due to the constant pedalling on a turbo vs micro rests or freewheel outside the turbo work can be equated to +30% or something e.g. 2hrs on a turbo is equivalent to 3hrs outdoors.

    crosshair
    Free Member

    It was quite telling when we cajoled a few guys into riding Z2 with us recently. (Guys who can do 50 miles at 22mph no bother in a rotation) were amazed how staying at a steady wattage uphill and down dale fatigued them more!
    I’m not sure I want to encourage them to get even fitter 🤣

    vlad_the_invader
    Free Member

    First high intensity session tonight after 3 weeks of targeting zone 2 – bloody hell, that was even more unpleasant than it usually is.

    Think I’m gonna aim for 4 Z2 sessions per week (4-6 hrs total, depending on weather – outdoors being longer rides than indoors) plus one max effort interval session (usually 30 min including warm up/cool down).
    I assume that matches the 80/20 guidance for mixing it up. Correct?

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    My new plan starts tonight with a Zwift TTT which brings 45 mins of 90s intervals. 12 x 1 min intervals on Thursday, kettlebell workout on Saturday and 2 hours of Z2 in a pyramid from low z2 to high z2 on Sunday.

    I’ve yet to see if I can afford to heat the mancave…

    molgrips
    Full Member

    The interesting thing about using the turbo for this is the metrics and repeatability. Each session is under identical conditions so you can see how your power might improve, and you can also vary the intensity slightly depending on how you feel.

    I did 3.5hrs at the weekend on it but at maybe 10W below where I had been, perhaps due to dieting. I’m trying to diet and just do as much Z2 as I can to improve base but mainly to get calories out of the door without triggering hunger and either breaking the diet or feeling shite, which is what usually happens to me if I try and increase riding.

    ballsofcottonwool
    Free Member

    Doing 3.5hr of Z2 fasted would completely deplete my glycogen stores, I’d be miserable, hungry and have low energy for the rest of the day. I noticed that I actually lost weight when I started eating enough on the bike to keep my glycogen reserves topped up, because I wasn’t so ridiculously hungry afterwards.

    giggsmaster
    Free Member

    I thought I would give this problem a try on this thread before starting a new one.

    I have Direto X, 3 years old, with about 10,000km done on it. The last two times I have come to use it, it seems to be stuck on max resistance.

    I use it for Zwift via an Ant Dongle connected to a Laptop. On first power up with nothing connected, the resistance doesn’t feel too bad, but once I run Zwift on the Laptop, as soon as it tried to replicate any kind of gradient, it maxes out.

    I then try to calibrate, but unable to get speed past 18kph. Powered down numerous times but to no avail. Tried connecting through the IPhone on Bluetooth, but same.

    Disconnected everything and down powered, then tried connecting the Elite App on IPhone, same again, tried to calibrate, but couldn’t get past 4.5mph!

    Has anyone had this issue and been able to rectify. Any help would be appreciated.

    crosshair
    Free Member

    I assume that matches the 80/20 guidance for mixing it up. Correct?

    Sounds good 👍🏻 I think there have been studies showing that people who continue to do some intensity during pre/base season go on to reach a higher peak than those who leave it all behind.
    I’m sticking some in every ten days or so.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Doing 3.5hr of Z2 fasted would completely deplete my glycogen stores, I’d be miserable, hungry and have low energy for the rest of the day. I noticed that I actually lost weight when I started eating enough on the bike to keep my glycogen reserves topped up, because I wasn’t so ridiculously hungry afterwards.

    Same for me. For my winter weight loss I have a breakfast of 1 slice toast & scrambled egg + black coffee. I then have water only for the first hour, with a energy drink for the second and a gel on standby. Post ride – which coincides with lunch and avoids an “extra” meal – is a recovery shake, coffee and hot cinnamon bagel for carb replacement. Bagel’s have lots of carbs.

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    Think I’m gonna aim for 4 Z2 sessions per week (4-6 hrs total, depending on weather – outdoors being longer rides than indoors) plus one max effort interval session (usually 30 min including warm up/cool down).
    I assume that matches the 80/20 guidance for mixing it up. Correct?

    My understanding of 80:20 (and I would welcome correction if I’m wrong) is that you spend 4 times as long in Z2 and under as you do in Z5 and above. So if you intend doing 4 hours in Z2 you need 1 hour in Z5+ = total 5 hours. During your interval sessions you will inevitably be passing through Z3-4 which will add to the total time but I don’t think forms part of the 80:20 (4 to 1) Ratio.

    I recently came across this online training optimiser.
    5 hours a week for me at 80:20 came in approx as follows
    Z1/2 3 hours 54 mins
    Z3/4 30 mins
    Z5+ 36mins

    So comparing Z1/2 with Z5+ actually comes out at approx 85:15

    crosshair
    Free Member

    I’m definitely the opposite. Excessive Carbs on the bike for endurance rides leave me hungry for more an hour later and an hour after that.
    I feel better whilst riding but I can still push the watts without. I built up to 6h at 150w (high Z1 at the time) on an overnight fast last year, so I’m happy that as long as I’m not exceeding 3000kjs, I’ve got it covered.
    I do drink squash as I think it helps hack the receptors in your mouth which have been shown to give a 2% increase in performance when exposed to carbs even if you don’t swallow.

    crosshair
    Free Member

    80/20 was originally measured as ‘sessions’ rather than time in zone I believe.
    I think
    By TiZ it’s more like 90/10.

    Either are probably close enough 😀

    vlad_the_invader
    Free Member

    5 hours a week for me at 80:20 came in approx as follows
    Z1/2 3 hours 54 mins
    Z3/4 30 mins
    Z5+ 36mins

    So comparing Z1/2 with Z5+ actually comes out at approx 85:15

    Even my 30 minutes HIIT session “only” resulted in 14 minutes in Z5. Not sure I could do significantly more than that in one session, though ultimately, once I’m past my niggling injury and have spent a few more weeks working in endurance, I’ll do two short HIIT sessions per week.

    stevious
    Full Member

    Thread resurrection time!

    I’m doing one of TrainerRoad’s experimental polarised plans at the moment which means more Z2 turbo than I’ve done before. I’ve noticed that I feel hungrier after doing Z2 stuff than after the weekly hard session despite fuelling both similarly*. It doesn’t worry me as I’m not worried about my weight but am wondering if any of the Z2 nerds on here have come across this phenonmenon in their reading around the subject (or their won experience). I’m just a bit curious as to why it would be.

    *I find that jelly baby breaks every 30 mins or so helps a lot with the motivation side of things.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    I’ve noticed that I feel hungrier after doing Z2 stuff

    I don’t know about hungrier after but I have found myself surprisingly hangry after a Z2 ride that I thought I had fuelled well! And actually I did 75km at the weekend on a substantial bowl of macaroni cheese for lunch, a good 4 or 5 wee energy snacks throughout (mini soreen x 2, Torq flapjac x 1, SIS gel x 1, random wee ball of cocoa energy balls from the Co-Op…) and still put away seconds for dinner. Maybe Z2 riding just doesn’t supress appetite like harder efforts?

    I also almost resurrected yesterday, if only because I’m currently testing the ‘walking as Z2 training’ theory due to ongoing back issues 😥

    Winter Z2 riding seems to aggravate my back in really weird ways, I’ll feel great on the bike but once I get home the back seems to lock up very quickly. I have a theory about easy riding not ‘engaging’ or ‘activating’ bigger supporting muscles like glutes and erectors, but it’s entirely unfounded. I haven’t tested the theory but shorter gravel/CX blats when I might warm up at Z2 but then just smash around for a while don’t seem to aggravate it as much.

    Other random observations seem to be that I cramp more towards the end of Z2 rides (or rather, when I eventually give in and put an effort in up a hill, or a wee sprint or something). Seems to always be my VMO that cramps, and usually this only gets twitchy at the end of long hard summer rides.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I’ve noticed that I feel hungrier after doing Z2 stuff than after the weekly hard session despite fuelling both similarly*

    Interesting. I’m doing lots of Z2 specifically because I want to avoid being hungry, and it is working.

    Re muscle cramps and soreness, I suspect that the bike being rigidly held is a factor here.

    Jamz
    Full Member

    I don’t know about hungrier after but I have found myself surprisingly hangry after a Z2 ride that I thought I had fuelled well! And actually I did 75km at the weekend on a substantial bowl of macaroni cheese for lunch, a good 4 or 5 wee energy snacks throughout (mini soreen x 2, Torq flapjac x 1, SIS gel x 1, random wee ball of cocoa energy balls from the Co-Op…) and still put away seconds for dinner. Maybe Z2 riding just doesn’t supress appetite like harder efforts?

    That’s because you’re eating a load a processed junk – far too many carbs, nowhere near enough protein, not enough fat and very poor micronutrient density.

    No point fuelling a Z2 ride with all those carbs. Just eat normal meals with plenty of protein.

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