V02 / power / z2 plan

Hi folks,

Is there a training plan that has 1 VO2, 1 power low cadence and then a few hours of z2 per week?


Yeah, sure. Here it is:
Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 1.5 h Z2
Wednesday: 1.5 h Z2
Thursday: Recharger
Friday: Choose from

  • 14 Vise Grips
  • A Very Dark Place
  • Butter
  • Do As You’re Told
  • Half Is Easy
  • Joyride
  • Revolver
  • Rue the Day
  • OL Tasmania: Cygnet Coast Road
  • The Chores
  • The Cure
  • The Model
  • The Omnium

Saturday: Rest day
Sunday: Choose from:

  • G.O.A.T.
  • Power Station
  • OL Catalunya Costa Brava Coastline
  • AWWIB 3: Strength Endurance
  • Big Gear Tempo 5 Ă— 4
  • Big Gear Tempo/Sub-Threshold: 4 Ă— 8

Now seriously: With such a pre-defined pattern as you describe it, what do you need a dedicated plan for? For Zone 2 just fire up any longer Inspiration video and dial up the intensity so it matches your personal z2 (that’s because Inspiration category rides are usually a little bit too low intensity for the three-zone model zone 2 and are more in the seven-zone model zone 2).


Cheers @Holger1980 i was looking for the easy way out, thanks for the suggestions :+1:t2:

The Gravel Grinder 200 plan was very similar to this, actually. Not exactly the same, but close. I often use it as a template and then modify it as needed.

1 Like

You’ll also have to decide how you’ll implement progressive overload. Otherwise—unless you have time and inclination to do a lot of zone 2 ( 7 zone model)—this likely will leave you in “maintain”, not “gain.” You might also consider is two hard days enough to get from point A to your desired point B.

What is that point b btw, ie what are you hoping to gain w the plan? Answering that might help you think through the other open points.

Thanks @emacdoug that’s the one I had used before for multi day event prep, might load it up again and tweak where needed.

1 Like

Plan is to prep well again for a multi day alps trip. The gravel 200 worked well before with swapping out sessions with outdoor work and using TrainingPeaks to keep track of metrics. Going to swap TrainingPeaks for athletica this year to mix things up a bit.


Cool. Awesome! Sounds like fun! Now take these suggestions or leave them as you see fit, but with your goal in mind, here’s some food for thought. The short summary is that although i love the simplicity of your plan, you may want to consider other workout types besides just MAP and low-cadence, depending on factors like where your current fitness is right now and how long you have before your trip.

  1. So first I think you’d benefit from incorporating tempo, sweet spot, threshold. consider the primary demands of your event. I’d think the most important demands are endurance, repeatability and high sustainable power, no?

You can get some of that from Vo2max work. After all, you’re moving the stimulus up to the larger motor units that you have to mobilize to get up to Vo2max, see here: Watts Doc #44: Calcium Is An Underappreciated Aerobic Adaptive Signal - Empirical Cycling, which means you’re getting mitochondrial development and capitalization in those muscles which gives better sustained power. But you get a lot less of that stimulus than from doing tempo, sweet spot and threshold (because less time in zone means fewer contractions = less signaling) and it comes at a much higher “cost” than tempo, sweet spot and threshold. I go back to the seiler 4x8 study: people took away from that that 4x8 is some type of objectively better interval but I don’t think that’s really it. I’d say it instead as, if you’re not highly trained, why do Vo2max (the 4x4) when you’d work harder to get the same effect as threshold (the 4x8). You get special benefits from Vo2max hence why it can be worth the cost but the trick is about when to do it: for example if you’ve been training threshold properly (by pushing TiZ) and you’re not seeing improvements anymore, THEN it’s time to hit a Vo2max block to raise that ceiling the way only Vo2max can.

Similarly w the low-cadence: you’re engaging larger motor units bc of the higher force demands, which means they get the aerobic signaling. But you also get that same effect from doing threshold work as the smaller motor units fatigue over the course of the intervals, plus a lot more. That leaves the motor unit firing and engagement, which is valuable but I find a little bit goes a long way. I doubt you need to devote a full session a week to it.

  1. Second, depending on how much time you have available, you might benefit from doing a third hard day at least some weeks. The zone 2 is good but if you run into a time constraint and can’t push the volume, you can to some extent use tempo to spice it up. The aerobic “zones” are really a continuum up to ftp where fatigue and benefit go up together. Used judiciously, below ftp you can kind of substitute some intensity for volume. You don’t need to do it every week if it’s not sustainable.

  2. So how to out it together? You only get limited number of hard days to work with so you have to prioritize, based on things like current fitness and distance to your event.

  • if you haven’t done focused ftp work yet, you may want to start with that as noted above. You can use a building block plan or self program. You want to overload by increasing time in zone (not bumping up intensity), then retest and repeat. Through the cycle your time to exhaustion should go up, then go down again after you test a new higher ftp.

  • If you’re super fit already and ftp is plateauing, as noted above, hit the Vo2max. I like to do one big overload block and then recover, but if you’re too close to your event to really recover or big blocks too fatiguing, dribble it out alongside other workouts. Then tempo, ftp etc to hopefully rebuild a new higher ftp!

  • sprinkle out the low cadence stuff as needed

  • for the endurance, consider your time constraints. Great to just keep pushing duration but if you can’t, intersperse temp blocks

Sorry for the long post but that’s what I would do!


Gonna need some evidence you’re not actually Kolie Moore changing forums :wink:

Really enjoy the Empirical Cycling podcast too, and interesting take on the Seiler study.


lol I admit I do find the podcast explanations super compelling. It really ties ideas together and helps you bridge the gaps and identify what’s the likely nuggets of truth in the bro science (there’s always some!)