The Metabolic Cost of Your Rides—Is It the Same For Everyone?

In this episode we have a classic Coach Connor special. We ask a question not many other physiologists are asking: Is an amateur’s zone 2 ride (in a five-zone model) as physiologically taxing as a pro’s zone 2 ride?

Dr. Iñigo San Millán Fast Talk Podcast

Today we have a classic, complex, Coach Connor special.

We ask a question not many other physiologists are asking: Is an amateur’s zone 2 ride (in a five-zone model) as physiologically taxing as a pro’s zone 2 ride?

To put it another way, if a pro and an amateur are each doing a zone 2 ride—and for the pro let’s assume that means riding at 300 watts and for the amateur that means 150 watts—even though it feels the same, is it actually the same?

When you look at the extremes, the training effect can be quite dramatic—for a pro, 300 watts might be a long base-miles type ride. For the amateur, 300 watts could possibly be maintained for a five-minute effort and nothing more. These efforts are fundamentally different given the athlete.

So why is this important? Well, we wouldn’t tackle this question if we didn’t think it had repercussions for your training, in your specific situation. The answer is multi-faceted. Most significantly, it’s important because it could mean that as you get fitter, your training must change. For example, if a pro and amateur get different training adaptations from a four-hour zone 2 ride because of the vastly different power they can generate, then it’s likely they need to use those rides differently.

We’ll discuss what that means in much more detail with today’s main guest Dr. Iñigo San Millán, the lead physiologist for the UAE-Emirates WorldTour team, and a researcher at the Anschutz Medical Center in Colorado. He’s also the former director of the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center.

In this time of stay-at-home orders, Dr. San Millán was fresh off being quarantined at the UAE Tour in the Middle East. We connected with him via Zoom, so apologies for any audio quality loss as the rest of the world also uses Zoom.

We’ll also hear from physiologists Dr. Stephen Seiler and Jared Berg; Xert creator Armando Mastracci, and Mitchelton-Scott’s Brent Bookwalter.

All that and much more today on Fast Talk.

Now, let’s make you fast!

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