Zone 3 Syndrome

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by BullGod, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. BullGod

    BullGod New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is a great article: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/default.asp?pg=fullstory&id=5392

    I'll put my hand up and admit to being totally guilty of this the last 2 seasons.

    After reading this I began to wonder about emphasising on SST during the off season. Could consecutive days at SST could lead to the "sustained exhaustion" that the author talks about, followed by inability to get into L4 and 5 in those dedicated sessions?
     
    Tags:


  2. root

    root New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Short answer, no. Unless you zealously overestimate your FTP, you will not feel so exhausted doing 1-3 hours a day of SST. Even I can do this on a daily basis and I'm just a recreational rider. As a matter of fact I can do 90% of my 20min max power for about 2 hours on a daily basis without feeling sore the next day.
     
  3. kopride

    kopride Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    10
    It is an interesting article. And very relevant to those in my boat who because of time constraints tend to hammer hard during every session. IMHO, it shows the limitations of a heart monitor as a tool as opposed to using a PM to calculate FTP and then establish your levels based upon watts. Assuming that you use a PM, and you continue to work on pushing up your FTP, (while ignoring your HR), then the author's observation that your body adapts and can sustain your true L3 (as opposed to your HR calculated L3) for longer periods and the whole curve shifts up. In other words, your old L4 becomes your new L3 in terms of watts, and if you can ride in that new Power zone fairly easily, then what's the problem? THen all you need to do is take an appropriate break before you start really training at your new and higher L4 and L5 levels. Clearly, if you can't reach those levels, as calculated by your FTP, then you are overtrained and need to focus on some extended recovery time. But, unless I am missing something, the author's comments seem most appropriate to cyclists who don't follow any real training plan and just think the goal is to go all out every time they are on the bike, and base their training on highly variable factors such as HR or average speed, which I agree are the majority of the guys who inhabit most group rides. It is probably why guys like Alex and others don't really encourage these fast group rides as a primary training tool, and most fols are findiing that HR isn't really a reliable training tool.

    As an aside, I did notice some real plateuing (and even regression)when I did a few weeks of 2 x 20s trying to beat my previous "record" each session. Dave Wyoming pointed out that you need to work the whole sweet spot (L3 and L4) and I think that this is probably better advice for folks that already have some notion of periodization, and that it is not "hammer, hammer, all the time.

    But I don't think it truly raises any serious questions about SST in the off season. If anything, it makes the case that we need to incorporate recovery and use a reliable indicator (i.e watts) of fitness, and that variable factors such as HR, average speed on a group ride, and how you finish training rides relative to your usual riding buddies, are poor guides to true fitness. Isn't this what Ric Stern, Alex Simmons, and Andy have been stating ad nauseum?
     
  4. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    0
    BG, you'll note that the recretional riders don't have a problem with consecutive days of SST. This is why they are recreational riders, training is fun. Hell, even heavy training is fun.

    Elite athletes must have a different view. Whether reverse-periodization, FT work off season, or old-school 1,000 mile base periods, it must be different.

    Train hard, rest harder.
     
  5. peterwright

    peterwright New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Although there is a time and a place for zone 3, generally speaking, it is not considered hard enough to cause a desired physical adaptation"

    Is this guy for real ?

    L3 adaptations are fairly well documented, as is the ability of most riders to recover adequately while doing a reasonable volume of it.

    Using common sense, RPE and power it is not too dificult to avoid overdoing it in this phase/zone.

    I have found concerted focus on SST for 6-8 weeks to yield consistently good results in the area of raising FTP.
     
  6. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    0
    i don't see anything great about it. one valid point is: don't train the same intensity every day ... the bits about L3 not being hard enough to stimulate ...yadda ... yadda - then I (and other I'm sure) can send him some power files!
     
  7. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,687
    Likes Received:
    4
    Yep. If there really is a syndrome, it's caused by training with HR and fixating on a reference point that doesn't shift much with increasing fitness (or actually shifts *downward* ala HRmax). As long as you keep adjusting the target upwards as fitness increases, there will be no stagnation.
     
  8. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,647
    Likes Received:
    3
    Sorry Bullgod. Somehow this post found it's way to page 2. Anyway it's now back in it's rightful place. Tyson
     
  9. strader

    strader New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's another article from the same guy where he advises to take "anywhere from 2 weeks to a month or even more" completly off the bike every year: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=5406
    I like the way this guy thinks! Take a month off the bike, then spend the rest of the year riding 90% of the time in zone 2, end up being really fast for your races. Better yet, just don't train at all! You will be really well rested when it comes time to race. I'm glad I finally found out about this "scientifically based training" stuff, intead of killing myself following the "pervading cycling training misconceptions" about SST and L3/L4.
    Seriously, I don't doubt that it's possible to get really fast training the way he advocates, it's just the number of hours on the bike would be like working a second job. The point I got from the article was that your moderate intensity days should not be so hard that they interfere with the quality of training on your high intensity days - something I'll admit I'm guilty of.
     
  10. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    You forgot to mention that he does his L2 on Powercranks.
     
  11. john979

    john979 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mr. Horowitz does not seem to comprehend the concept of training load. IOWs, any volume of L2 is acceptable and will not lead to a plateau or over-training? Nonsense, large volumes of L2 can effectively have the same training stress as lower volumes of higher-intensity training. In addition, plateaus do not come from what zone in which a rider is training; rather, plateaus simply occur when train load flattens and if the rider does not adjust the training plan to increase training load, fitness will flatten.
     
  12. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    That's a good and often overlooked point John. I think this sort of low intensity/high stress training is common among the "mileage for fitness" crowd.

    I had a couple of team mates last spring that insisted on hundred plus mile rides to "get their race legs". Trouble is these guys have to squeeze these rides in on weekends and around busy work schedules. So they get the big miles on a Saturday and maybe Sunday, are trashed till Wednesday, do an easy loosen up ride late in the week and then another couple of LSD sessions on the weekend. Big rides at low intensity that ends up tiring them out too much to train midweek. A pattern like that might yield 300-400 TSS/week, a steady SST diet of one to three hour rides can easily double that training load without digging huge holes every weekend.

    It's all about consistency and steadily progressing training loads. If either the intensity or duration of training rides gets in the way of that consistency then you're going down the path of spotty inconsistent training. Not good for long term progress.

    -Dave
     
  13. john979

    john979 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dave, IMHO nothing hurts endurance more than too much endurance training.

    I could go on and on about this L2 base stuff, but the other major thing that bothers me about this article is that it never mentions time available to train...
     
  14. root

    root New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    He does mention time available to train. He says that guys that DON'T HAVE time, train at high intensity ALL DAY, EVERY DAY:

    "The philosophy of “hard riding” is one of the pervading cycling training misconceptions of the 21st century. It is the idea that periodization and scientifically based training is great for those with time to burn, but for those under severe time restraints the way to get the best bang for our buck is by going hard all day, every day."

    A contradiction if I ever saw one :).
     
  15. john979

    john979 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    Poor wording on my part; what I meant is, OK I have one hour a day to train, what should I do? He disses an approach, but does not lay out a clear alternative other than rest and then do some intervals, based upon the assumption that SST inevitably leads to a plateau.
     
  16. john979

    john979 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    The same thing happened to me. This year, I don't intend many 2X20s until peaking for an event.

    SST is basically the Lydiard approach, and as Dr. Coggan likes to say: "Lydiard got it right."
     
  17. grahamspringett

    grahamspringett New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm no guru, but I think 2x20s serve as a base which won't bring you to a peak. They're bread and butter endurance efforts designed to increase FTP. It's the level 6 anaerobic efforts which will bring you to a peak and wear you out if you're not careful.

    I'm targeting a criterium race on March 1 so last week I began one L6 session to bring on a peak. 2x20s continue regardless.
     
  18. ctgt

    ctgt New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like Zone 3. It's fun. As long as it's not compromising my more intense workouts, I'd prefer to do more of my riding here than in Zone 2. (especially on the trainer)

    I like that its considered by some to be the sweet spot (do I have that right?) instead of no-man's land.

    I have been lurking here for quite some time and I think I remeber seeing a graph (with "arbitrary units" on the y-axis I believe) that showed the "sweet-spot". Anyone remember this graph, or have other insights for sweet-spot training (ex: xx% of FTP for yy minutes)?

    Mike (former lurker/spam-hater/self-appointed thread bumper)
     
  19. ctgt

    ctgt New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. john979

    john979 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have an "A" race in late June for which I am planning to peak. Until then, the bulk of my training will be SST of 87.5%-92.5% FTP. I just find 1-2 hours in this Zone more effective than 2X20s at 95-100% FTP. So far, I have seen a nice, steady progression in my FTP with very little L4 or greater training, save what might come from group rides on the weekends. Come late April, I will start to include more 2X20s and 2X20s and in May add L5 stuff. I actually perform L6 workouts year-round, although more during the taper period.
     
Loading...
Loading...