Training Zone Descriptions And Benefits

Training zones offer a quantifiable method of guiding workouts and determining intensity, below is brief description and the benefits of each zone.


Zone 1

This is known as Active Recovery where average power is below 55% of FTP and heart rate is below 68% of LTHR or below 60% of MHR.

  • Duration: 45 to 90 minutes

  • Perceived exertion: Very easy, RPE below 2

  • What it should feel like: Easy spin or light pressure on the pedals, minimal sensation of leg effort or fatigue.

  • Benefits: Training at this intensity will boost your recovery.


Zone 2

This is known as Endurance training where the target average power is 56% to75% of FTP and heart rate is 69% to 83% of LTHR or 60% to 70% of MHR.

  • Duration: 1 to 6 hours

  • Perceived exertion: Easy to moderate, RPE2-3

  • What it should feel like: All day effort, breathing is more regular than during an easy ride, but you are still able to hold a continuous conversation.

  • Benefits: Basic cardiovascular training, training at this is the intensity improves aerobic capacity; in other words, stamina. Your body will get better at burning fat and your muscular fitness will increase along with your capillary density.


Zone 3

This is known as Tempo training where the target average power is 76% to 90% of FTP and heart rate is 84% to 94% of LTHR or 70% to 80% of MHR.

  • Duration: 1 to 4 hours

  • Perceived exertion: Moderately hard, RPE3-4

  • What it should feel like: A "spirited" group ride, breathing is deeper and more rhythmic than during an endurance ride, conversation may be somewhat challenging.

  • Benefits: Training in this zone will make moderate efforts easier and improve your efficiency.


Zone 4

This is known as Lactate Threshold training where the target average power is 91% to 105% of FTP and heart rate 95% to 100% of LTHR or 80% to 90% of MHR.

  • Duration: 10 to 30 minutes

  • Perceived exertion: Hard, RPE4-5

  • What it should feel like: Race pace, continuous sensation of moderate or even greater leg fatigue, deep and shortness of breathe, and difficult to hold a conversation.

  • Benefit: Your body will get better at using carbohydrates for energy and you’ll be able to withstand higher levels of lactic acid in your blood for longer.


Zone 5

This is known as Vo2max training where the target average power is 106% to 120% of FTP and heart rate above 106% of LTHR or 90% to 100% of MHR.

  • Duration: 3 to 8 minutes

  • Perceived exertion: Very hard, RPE6-7

  • What it should feel like: Vigorous effort with strong to severe sensations of leg effort or fatigue, breathing is ragged and conversation is short.

  • Benefits: Training in this zone will increase your anaerobic and muscular endurance, power and cardiovascular levels.

Zone 6

This is known as Anaerobic Capacity training where the target average power is 121% to 150% of FTP and heart rate is generally not use as a guide.

  • Duration: 30 seconds to 3 minutes

  • Perceived exertion: Very hard to maximum, RPE 7-9

  • What it should feel like: Very hard and short effort with severe sensation of leg fatigue, can barely breath and able to speak a few words.

  • Benefits: Training in this zone can increase the amount of power produced over short period.


Zone 7

This is known as Neuromuscular Power training where target power/effort is maximal, way above 150% of FTP and heart rate is generally not use as a guide. Power is useful as a guide but only in reference to similar efforts.

  • Duration: Less than 30 seconds.

  • Perceived exertion: Maximum, RPE 9-10

  • What it should feel like: Maximal, very short, unable to speak.

  • Benefits: Sprint training forces the physiological adaptations to increase neuromuscular power, recruit more motor units, hypertrophy of more type II muscle fibers, and improve recruitment synchronicity (Linossier, 1997; Lucía, 2000).

  • Tip: All you need to do is to commit to the maximum effort for the required duration.


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That is it, thank you for reading, I hope you found it to be a useful resource.