Endurance Improvements

First a big thanks to Frank, Lacey, Allie and Isaiah for another year of improvements. Started with fall foundation, moved into 18 weeks of sweet spot, then completed all the gravel plans in 2021. For 2022 I am incorporating the 10 weeks of strength training now that it’s safe to get into the gym. Although my races didn’t go as planned, I improved my FTP, have seen a dramatic jump in average speed, but mostly just my overall feeling on the bike. I highly recommend the coaching subscription as an easy, cost efficient and effective way to engage with a coach while working through the plans.

One area that I have identified for improvement is endurance. I struggle with checking my ego at the door during Z2 trading rides and end up at the high end of this with HR drift happening fairly often. Is it better to focus more on HR during the early season or power during the long weekend rides? My focus is gravel races in the 100+ range with similar distance exploration rides. Yes, I know follow the plan, but having both data metrics staring at me what is the best advise to follow. Especially early in the training base period. I did the Sweet Spot polarization plan for the heck of it at the end of the season and found that to be one of the most difficult with the HR specific rides.



So you should really use both metrics when training but you need to include perceived exertion as well. Early in the base season it is ok to have the cardiac drift and heart rate exceed zone 2 a bit but you don’t want that effort to feel like a zone 3 effort as well even if power is only zone 2. So make sure you are also riding off of feel.

Also if you push these zone 2 rides how do they make you feel come Tuesday. Tuesday is usually a key workout so you only have one rest day between a long Sunday ride and a Tuesday workout. So make sure that riding a bit harder zone 2 day on Sunday doesn’t negatively impact your Tuesday ride.

What a zone 2 day boils down to is getting aerobic TSS. So if you dial your zone 2 back a few percents you only going to lose a handful of TSS but also keep your heart rate and fatigue down. You will get plenty of time to ride harder for longer durations in preparation for gravel events with the gravel simulation rides. But you should do your best to keep zone 2 rides as much as zone 2 by feel.


Huge help and insight Jake. That makes plenty of sense, leading into another improvement area. That is riding more by feel versus always number watching. Thank you!