Zone 2 Power and HR Help

Hello all,

I have recently done a half-monty ramp test and increased my FTP from 216 to 234 (yay!), and gave me a cLTHR of 174. Since then, I have found that when riding at a power that SYSTM chooses for Zone 2 HR, that my HR stays meaningfully lower than the zone 2 HR target zone, even during long zone 2 efforts.

With the same settings I find my threshold and interval workouts hard on my legs (which I was expecting), but they seem to bring me into the right HR zones 3-5 over the course of a workout.

Is there a sensible settings adjustment to make here? Instinctively, It feels like power in zone 2 hr is too low, but increasing my FTP to bring this number up will blow up my threshold workouts. I would like to be working slightly harder in HR zone 2, without increasing FTP. Or should I just trust the numbers?

Anyone else have this issue? How do you handle it?

Thanks in advance

I had a similar experience in my first full year of following SYSTM since last November. I chose to just trust the numbers and based on how I felt on the bike (outdoors) and how I seemed to be continually improving, I’d say it works.

I’d say you need to be more mindful of power zones and less mindful of HR zones.

Also, I think it’s quite important to have a good bit of Z1/Z2 in your plan (which I supplement in more by way of bike commuting quite a lot as weather permits). I think it’s pretty easy to overdo the hard stuff.



If you want to adjust your Z2 type workouts you can always increase the intensity 1% at a time on-the-fly. On a computer that’s as simple as tapping the up/down arrow on the keyboard on a tablet you can go to the gear icon top right corner


If you want to bring your HR up, try lower resistance and up the cadence to make the same power on Z2 rides. This transfers some of the load to your cardiovascular system.

But also remember, the reason for doing Z2 is to accomplish volume, whilst keeping you fresh to do your hard ones hard.

Another thought, when you’re hitting your power targets on Z2 when you heart is Z1… are you able to talk comfortably?


How long is a long Z2 effort? What length of outdoor rides are you used to?

Likewise I’ve found that the 60-70% of FTP targets in the SYSTM endurance videos too low and have found that I am still able to recover fine for harder workouts upping the intensity by as much as 10% for workout of less than 2 hours.

I don’t bother with the Systm videos for indoor Z2 rides that are scheduled in my plan (I’ve watched most of them). Instead I control my Smart Trainer with my ELEMNT BOLT using the up down buttons to control the ERG power target. I’ll watch TV or Film to keep me entertained. I set target power at 70-80% of FTP and adjust up and down to keep my HR within the Z2 HR in my SYSTM profile and also maintain nose breathing.

If riding Z2 workouts in SYSTM I’d use up and down arrows as @Glen.Coutts suggests.