Keeping to Z1/2 when it’s super hilly…

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  • #10952
    Harry Engels

    Hi there, I’ve got a cycling-related question but I guess it applies to running too. I live in London so doing easy Z1/2 rides is easy – most of the surrounding area is super flat and I can tick along for hours at 100-110bpm.

    I’m off to a hilly part of France this week where it’s definitely not flat. It’s not mountainous, but it’s continually up or down. This means I find it really hard to stick to Zones 1 & 2, nearly always creeping into Z3 on the climbs. I’m only going for a couple weeks, so it’s hardly going to ruin my base fitness riding in Z3 for extended periods, but say I lived there the whole time, how would you recommend getting in those long, steady Z1/2 miles? Cheers, Harry.

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #10969


    If you were forced to cycle daily on hilly terrain you’d handle it just like if you were running on same…..slow down on the uphills to stay in the appropriate intensity zone. As you basic aerobic fitness increases you’d be able to ride/run faster for the same HR/metabolic intensity and would not need to creep in to Z3 on the uphills. The only reason your HR creeps up into Z3 is that your aerobic capacity is low enough that it can not supply all the energy needed to maintain that pace going up hill so it has to supplement ATP production using your anaerobic metabolism. As your aerobic base improves you will need less and less reliance upon the anaerobic pathway.


    Harry Engels on #10976

    Thanks for your reply Scott, that makes perfect sense! All the best, Harry.

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