Splitting up long Zone 2 rides

Hi all,
I have been doing 5-6 hour-long Zone 2 rides once a week as part of my 10-13 hour base training week. It is getting to be sort of a personal scheduling challenge to fit these in each week, but I could more easily do it if I did half of it in the morning and half in the evening. In terms of training effect, how different would one 5-hour Zone 2 ride be from two 2.5 hour rides in the same day?

Whilst 2.5 hours of Z2 is good, 5 is much better.
Mentally challenging, physically fatiguing and you do get a benefit from pushing out time in Z2.

You would be going into the second ride of the day quite tired so again it is not the same as doing a 5 hour ride when you go in fresh and fatigue builds up on you.

It all depends what you are training for, however what I have said is irrelevant compared to what you can fit in. Double Z2 sessions are better than only doing 2.5 hour ride as your longest ride of the week.

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Hi @jvbailey88, we actually did a whole episode on this question. If you’re interested, here’s the link: Effective Two-A-Day Workout Strategies, with Neal Henderson - Fast Talk Laboratories

I’m a big fan of doing it all in one ride - I do think there are gains you get from the longer ride. But it is not a simple conversation. During the episode we did dive into the research and there’s plenty of evidence that there are gains you can get from 2-a-days that you can’t get from doing it all in one ride.

It’s one of those great physiology questions where there isn’t a clear answer.

Hope that helps!

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Personally I think the easier something is to schedule and do the more likely you are to do it, and do it consistently. We’ve been told that before you look under all the small pebbles for improvements, you need to look under the boulders on the beach. Consistency and frequency are two such boulders. If splitting it into two rides of 2-3 hours on the same day makes it easier for you to do it consistently week in, week out; then I’d say it’s a no brainer.

It’s all your Z2 rides added up frequently and consistently over a long period that brings the improvements not a single 5 hour Z2 ride that’s done inconsistently and infrequently.


One of my favourite sayings is “Don’t let perfection get in the way of achieving good enough”