Power Zone Training: Are Your Zones Too Easy!

“My Power Zones feel too easy!”

When many newcomers to Peloton Power Zone training take their first FTP Test and start incorporating Power Zone training rides into their routine, they often express a common sentiment: “My workouts feel too easy!” Another frequent comment is, “It’s not as challenging as my usual rides!”

These reactions can be attributed to a couple of valid reasons:

1. Power Zone training is specifically designed for training purposes

While regular rides provide a workout, merely stringing together consecutive regular rides seldom leads to a well-rounded training plan. While conquering a tough regular ride can undoubtedly provide a sense of accomplishment, it lacks the immersion in a meticulously designed regimen. Power Zone rides, on the other hand, are intentionally created to target different energy systems such as endurance, strength/endurance, and power. They are thoughtfully combined in various challenges and training plans to maximize their effectiveness.

Unlike regular rides that offer suggestions for cadence and resistance, Power Zone training is customized to each individual’s fitness level through the FTP Test (more details on this later). This personalized approach allows us to receive the precise workload needed to elicit the desired training adaptation from each ride. By incorporating a mix of the three types of Power Zone rides, we engage in a comprehensive training plan that helps prevent the dreaded burnout. The body can only strengthen at a certain pace, and excessive demands can actually hinder progress. The combination of Power Zone rides effectively prevents this. So, those seemingly “easy” rides play a vital role in a well-designed training plan.

It may be tempting to assume that Power Zone rides are often easier… However, every Power Zone ride begins with a structured warm-up and progresses through a series of varied exertions and planned recovery intervals. The “rest” intervals and warm-up phase might reduce the overall kilojoule output of the class compared to a regular ride, but the physiological stimulus we receive is meticulously planned to yield sustainable positive results, unlike the less structured nature of regular rides.”

2. Peloton FTP Test: A pivotal ride that evaluates our current fitness level and determines the intensities of the Power Zone ride intervals.

It’s almost certain that not everyone performs their first Peloton FTP Test flawlessly. Speaking from my own experience as a former time trial racer (back when Power Zone training wasn’t around—I’m definitely not young anymore), it took me some time to figure out how to achieve a good score! There’s no shame in needing a few attempts before gaining a better understanding of how to effectively utilize those 20 minutes of energy. We require time to discover our most efficient and preferred cadence. We need to learn the proper posture that facilitates easy breathing. Developing the mental control to calm ourselves during recovery from intense exertion is crucial. We must cultivate the focus to sustain a challenging output for several minutes. And yes, we even need to learn how to ride hard despite questionable song choices.

However, we often get frustrated because progress doesn’t come as quickly or easily as we hope. And sometimes, we may even attribute this frustration to “Power Zone training being too easy.” But that’s not the case.

Power Zone training is designed for long-term success. Its efficiency and scientific sophistication come at the cost of requiring patience.

To derive maximum benefits from Power Zone training, it’s essential to understand the gradual improvement in performance during the FTP Test and comprehend the rationale behind the seemingly easy yet active ride days.

In numerous posts where I’ve described how to approach the FTP Test, I’ve delved into the physiological and tactical reasoning behind creating a strategic plan for the ride. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, feel free to browse this forum for my posts—they might provide you with plenty of assistance!

Best of luck!

This article is part of an ongoing series on Power Zone Training. You can find the other entries below in suggested reading order:
#1 – What is Peloton Power Zone Training?
#2 – Peloton FTP Test Strategies & Lessons
#3 – Peloton Power Zone Training – My Zones Are Too Easy! (This article)
#4 – Living with new zones & more FTP test
#5 – Post Peloton FTP Test New Zone Struggles (Mental & Physical)
#6 – Decreases in Peloton FTP
#7 – Age-related limitation & degradation of FTP in Power Zone Training
#9 – Resting Heart Rate: Why Power Zone Training reduces it
#10 – The “Training Effect”

Peloton FTP Test Strategies & Lessons


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