CYCLING:

TRAINING ZONES EXPLAINED

PROGRESSIVE IN NATURE

SIMPLE BY DESIGN

ONLINE TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MOUNTAIN-BASED ATHLETES

 

OVERVIEW

Strucutred training rides can be performed using a number of methods for monitoring intensity. These are not mutually exclusive and most riders rely on a combination of the three.

PERCEIVED EXERTION

  • The simplest option
  • Riding “by feel” rather than relying on technology
  • Highly variable between athletes
  • Useful for race preparation

HEART RATE

  • Most common means of quantitative monitoring
  • More accurate than perceived exertion
  • Variability exists between and within athletes
  • Ideally suited for less intense riding and workouts that do not include training beyond level 5
  • Heart rate lag should be taken into consideration during initial repeat efforts

POWER

  • The most accurate method of structuring workouts
  • Technology is expensive
  • Most reliable resource for data-driven training

COMBINATION TRAINING

  • Heart rate is a reliable method for tracking intensities below level 5
  • Perceived exertion may be used in combination with heart rate for interval training

TRAINING ZONES (BASED ON COGGAN)

LevelNameAverage PowerAverage Heart RatePerceived ExertionDescription
1Active Recovery<55%<68%<2Very easy effort. Often used for active recovery.
2Endurance56-75%69-83%2-3Classic long slow distance (LSD) training. Nasal breathing possible, along with speaking in complete sentences.
3Tempo76-90%84-94%3-4Typical intensity of unstructured solo ride, “spirited” group ride, or paceline. More sensation of effort and fatigue. Nasal breathing challenging, but complete sentences possible.
4Lactate Threshold91-105%95-105%4-5Time trial effort. Moderate or even greater leg effort/fatigue. Complete sentences challenging. Efforts are often broken into “repeats” rather than as a single block to reduce mental fatigue. Consecutive days are possible, but require adequate recovery before and after.
5VOMax106-120%>106%6-7Typical intensity of longer (3-8 min) intervals intended to increase VO2max. High effort and fatigue. Training sessions tend to be shorter. Inability to speak in complete sentences.
6Anaerobic Capacity>121%N/A>7Short, high intensity intervals ranging from 30-seconds to three minutes. Heart rate generally not useful due frequent effort changes. Near maximal effort, and conversation impossible.
7Neuromuscular PowerN/AN/AMaximalVery short, very high intensity efforts such as standing starts and gate startes, which generally place greater stress on musculoskeletal system.

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Testimonials

UNION

PROGRESSIVE IN NATURE
SIMPLE BY DESIGN

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