Zones are based on a percentage of Heart Rate, Perceived Exertion, Power Output or a combination of these. Our club ride descriptions include a reference to these zones to help define the ride by the effort required and give less experienced riders a better sense of the type of ride to expect
Research on suitable heart rate monitors or power meters is very important if you are going to use zones as part of a training plan. British Cycling has very useful information on this. This article is to help members new to Zones and seeing them on the Cub Ride descriptions have some basic understanding of the terminologies used
Very easy, just turning the legs over and there should be no sense of burning or fatigue, an active recovery session is for the day following a tough ride or race or if you are feeling fatigued. This zone will also often be used for the recovery blocks during interval sessions, or a Turbo Trainer and as part of a progressive warm-up or cool-down.
This is a steady ride all day pace and forms the endurance base that supports higher end efforts. It should feel comfortable, you should still be able to maintain a full conversation
Especially used early season and winter riding to build an endurance base
Tempo is a determined and purposeful effort that you can, with concentration, maintain. There’s a definite sense of effort, conversation would be in shorter sentences and fatigue will gradually build up in your legs.
For experienced riders, tempo will be their default pace for long rides, pushing the lower end of the zone on the flats and through the top of it on climbs. However, for less experienced riders, tempo efforts may initially in a training plan be as short as 3 minutes and they will focus on developing their ability to maintain this intensity.
This is tough to maintain as you are hovering near to your limit but is just sustainable. Conversation will be very brief and, especially at the upper end of this zone, a burning sensation in your legs will be noticeable. Theoretically this zone should be sustainable for 60 minutes and although experienced well trained riders should be able to manage this, novices will need to build up to this.