Zone X Confusion | 80/20 Endurance

Zone X Confusion

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  • #15259
    oldcyclist
    Participant

    I’ve been through the forum and have the 8020 book. I’ve read lots of posts from Coach Warden that state zone x is not really a good zone to be training in.

    Yet I’ve just bought one of your new cycling plans and the weekend Endurance rides all seem to have a substantial period spent in zone x.

    Now I’m confused!

    Thanks

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by oldcyclist.
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by oldcyclist.
    #15266
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Nothing wrong with Zone X for certain distances, and is actually the preferred intensity for many distances.

    Zone X is not bad, it just has limited use. The danger of Zone X is that it’s the default moderate intensity that athletes adopt, and is the primary culprit of the moderate intensity rut” athletes fall into. But, for Marathon, Half Marathon, and many Cycling distances, that is the intensity you’ll race in and so you do want to add it to your training.

    Think of Zone X as a prescription medication. If taken without guidance, it’s harmful. If taken in the correct dose, only as needed, it’s helpful. Like some prescriptions medications, Zone X is the most “abused” intensity, so it has a poor reputation. But, when used properly, it’s the right intensity for certain circumstances, including your cycling plan.

    David

    #15267
    oldcyclist
    Participant

    Hi David,

    Many thanks for the prompt reply.

    As a 57 year old cyclist I find such long continuous periods at 83%+ very tough. I tend to do most of my outside rides at about 70% of ftp. I do not race but simply ride for fitness and pleasure doing the occasional long sportive and a few 100 milers throughout the year.

    #15269
    oldcyclist
    Participant

    Can I reduce the zone x or will that negatively influence the workout?

    Or would you have any other recommendations?

    Thanks

    #15288
    oldcyclist
    Participant

    I’m still struggling to get my head around this. Seiler doesn’t recommend long periods in zone 2 in a 3 zone system but zone x is smack in the middle of zone 2. I was under the impression that the plan I purchased was a polarized (80/20) plan.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by oldcyclist.
    #15292
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Keymaster

    As explained in the Endurance Ride workout description, the Zone X segment is an allowance, not a requirement. It is included to accommodate the reality that it can be difficult to stay in Zone 2 throughout long rides in many circumstances. Note that Stephen Seiler did not build our cycling plans and the word “polarized” is not used anywhere in describing them.

    #15294
    oldcyclist
    Participant

    Ah right, I understand now. Many thanks for the reply.

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