Zone 2 help

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    i completely get zone 1… i typically do zone 1 work somewhere around 50% of the zone 1 range. i do my best to keep that zone very very easy.

    zone 2 will, on occasion, get me a little tripped up.

    i have a tendency to want to try and push that zone 2 work towards the upper end of my zone limit, trying to get a bit of a harder workout in. right after reestablishing zones that means im pushing myself harder than i should more than likely.

    should i set a hard limit of no more than 50% of my zone 2, unless the workout specifically says i can drift up towards zone X?

    David Warden

    Damon, ooohhh. Tough question. Let’s first review the purpose of easy Zone 1 and 2 aerobic work, and that might help you establish a protocol.

    The purpose of the 80% of 80/20 training is two-fold:

    1. To ensure that you are sufficiently recovered in between challenging sessions so that you can gain new fitness on the hard days.
    2. To gain the aerobic benefits that can only occur at low intensity.

    So, you need to ask yourself in those Zone 2 sessions: am I training within the Zone 2 range in a manner that supports those two goals?

    Upper Zone 2 will certainly support goal #2, but upper Zone 2 might not always support #1.

    If you can push the upper and of Zone 2, and are confident that it does not compromise your quality interval sessions the next day, then carry on. However, very few athletes have the self-awareness to know if they are sabotaging tomorrow’s workout by going too hard (even in Zone 2) today.

    I hate to not answer your question directly, but it really depends on how you feel your quality interval sessions are going. If they are on fire, then no change required. If you are a bit fatigued, then maybe a week of mid to low Zone 2 is the answer.



    thanks a lot for that response David. i didnt expect to have a finite response, as i figured that zone 2 was a “mix” so to say of easy and a easy / moderate, depending on the situation. just like you said!


    Thanks! I have been having this same question for years!!! good stuff.

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