Z1 vs Z2 - Which is more effective?

Curious to know people’s thoughts on this - especially for athletes who have FTPs over the 4 w/kg.

I can see there being substantial benefit for being at a higher intensity when an athlete is more/less untrained; however, if an athlete is on a high(er) volume training plan, I could see long Z2 (2+ hours) in addition to 2-3 interval sessions per week being overly taxing on the body?

Thoughts? What has your experience been?

For the ‘normal’ LIT sessions Z2.
For the long ride(s) mostly Z1 with some Z2 ‘intervals’ (total time in Z2 lower then on your ‘normal’ ones).
Keep an eye on recovery and dial back if fatigue is creeping in.
The benefits of Z2 over Z1 are minimal, recovery should be first point of attention.

Thanks for the reply. I agree that recovery is crucial.

What have you found as the best way to track your level of fatigue?

I know some days, I feel great and perform poorly and vice versa. Currently, I use Intervals.icu to roughly gauge what my fatigue/form level is; however, I do find that it is overly optimistic on when it says I am fresh compared to my actual performance/feel.

If you mean the fitness chart in Intervals, be cautious of the 2 options for form. There’s absolute and %. Depending on your fitness level, the two can be very different. Read through this post/thread to better understand:

And when in doubt, follow your feel over the numbers!