I’m interested to see your attempts at endurance-focused riding (what some might consider ‘Zone 2’) on real roads near you with traffic, variable roads, hills, etc.
Obviously the terrain where you live will have a big influence, but what do you find most challenging about outdoor endurance-focused rides?
I can start by sharing one of mine - fortunately I live in an area that is relatively flat with quiet country roads, so I can keep the climbing and coasting to relative minimum. I’m riding a semi-compact crankset with 11-28 cassette in the back that allows me to keep a relatively narrow power range throughout the ride:
This ride ended up with a Moderate Difficulty rating (56) and a Polar Endurance specificity & focus. Note the small surge above TP at the start is likely the only reason for the polar rating - as you can see, it’s mostly an LTP (ish) ride.
I like to use rides like this on days when I’m yellow status to keep building up my Low TL while avoiding the urge to hammer on strata segments or up hills. This helps me feel fresh sooner so I can get back to smashing Segments on my harder rides
I am curious to see what others share! I hope it’s a helpful thread. Cheers!
here is my attempt at z2 on a hilly route north of London, keeping the chain tight). Thank you to tadej pogacar coach for giving me the excuse to do these types of rides. love this type of ride because it allows me to relax and to appreciate my surroundings
Unless I ride on rails-to-trails there is usually more green than blue. I just try to focus on keeping power below threshold and heart rate in the rate place. As long as focus is in the plus 20 minute range by the time I’m done I’m happy.
This was my last ride trying to stay below LTP and above Z1. There were a few short steep climbs that resulted in higher power than I wanted, but the time was short enough I believe to be able to state that this was a Z2 ride. The distance and amount of time to complete resulted in it being called a moderate polar endurance ride.
Living in a flat environment makes it easier, but there are always power spikes from traffic lights, cross-roads, bridges …
That’s a pretty good way to approach it, in my opinion!
I’m currently on a Taper phase so I have a couple of “endurance” short rides to put in before my Opener session. I find it challenging (in a good way) to try and keep the power in LTP or slightly bellow. It makes the ride interesting, in a different way than always smashing the pedals.
Yup, one of the reasons to do LTP rides, in my opinion. I to my best to do the tourist in my own area
Majority of mine are also Sprint Time-Triallist (~20:00 minutes focus), but here’s two successful Time-Triallist rides (~1:00 hour focus) with their route outlines.
4+ hours –
3+ hours –
What works for me –
- stay in the valley
- out and back legs as necessary
- turn around if a rise becomes too steep
- no surges at stoplights (push off with pedal down)
- remain in the saddle
- shift constantly and keep pedaling; 1:1 gear or lower if hilly
- greenways/rails-to-trails when possible (easier to clear the way with this)
Totally agree with the tourist aspect. I have discovered a number of interesting things on these leisurely rides heading down dead-ends, visiting industrial/warehouse zones on weekends (no traffic), and delving into suburban neighborhoods I never knew existed.
this is one of my first attempts. most of the surges were traffic related where i needed to make a turn or had the option to stop and wait or pedal harder for a few seconds (obviously chose the later)
Looks pretty good! Outdoors can always be challenging, but it looks like you kept the intensity relatively low, as well as minimizing coasting. Do you have many hills on your commute?
yeah it’s rolling terrain. I chose the route to avoid traffic and busy streets. there’s no real flat options. so some 2-3 minute long 5 degree hills…and a few ~1 minute 8 degree hills.
tbh the 8 degree ones are so boring. I feel like I could take a book out and read it.
really going to work hard to raise my LTP so I can do those a tad faster and still stay endurance focused for when I need endurance rides.