If you're looking to improve your cycling performance, one of the most effective training strategies is to focus on zone 2 training. This type of training involves working at a oderate intensity, where you can maintain a conversation but still feel like you're working. While it may not feel as intense as high-intensity intervals, zone 2 training should make up the bulk of your cycling training. This is because it offers a range of benefits that can help you improve your overall fitness and performance on the bike.
One of the main reasons that zone 2 training is so effective is due to the 80%/20% rule. This rule states that 80% of your training should be done at low to moderate intensities, while the remaining 20% should be done at high intensities. By following this rule, you can maximize the benefits of zone 2 training while still incorporating high-intensity intervals into your training plan.
So, why is zone 2 training so effective? First and foremost, it helps improve your aerobic fitness. By working at a moderate intensity, you're able to increase the number of capillaries in your muscles, improve your mitochondrial density, and enhance your body's ability to use oxygen to produce energy. This, in turn, helps improve your endurance and ability to sustain exercise for longer periods of time.
Zone 2 training also helps improve your fat-burning capacity. When you work at a moderate intensity, your body is better able to utilize fat as a fuel source, which can help you maintain energy levels and avoid bonking during longer rides.
Finally, zone 2 training helps improve your overall recovery. By working at a moderate intensity, you're able to flush out metabolic waste products and improve blood flow to your muscles, which can help reduce muscle soreness and improve your overall recovery between workouts.
In conclusion, while high-intensity intervals are important for improving your cycling performance, zone 2 training should make up the bulk of your training. By following the 80%/20% rule and focusing on low to moderate intensity training, you can maximize the benefits of zone 2 training and ultimately improve your fitness and performance on the bike.