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1. What is Tempo Training in Cycling?


This guide is created to help you understand the tempo training zone in cycling, what ranges you should use and gives you precise workouts for beginners and advanced cyclists.

Tempo is the zone above your endurance zone and right below sweet spots. It is a moderate hard zone which can be kept even to around a few hours. Intervals at this zone are strongly recommended for any type of racing. Tempo zone is used during staying in the group of riders, where speed is higher and the ride is more intensive. The ranges are from 76% to 90% of your Functional Threshold Power.

2. Tempo Zone Ranges


Duration of workouts in the tempo zone starts at 30 min. and we recommend going up to 120 min. for amateur cyclists.

Base on your goal race you can adjust the length of your training to your needs. If you are a beginner cyclist, starting your adventure with more professional training plan we would recommend to start with 30 min. intervals in the range of 76% – 90% of your Functional Threshold Power or 89% – 93% of your Functional Threshold Heart Rate.

If you looking for more details about interval training check this

Power and heart rate zones for endurance training are:

• 76% – 90% of Functional Threshold Power.
• 89% – 93% of Functional Threshold Heart Rate.

If you don’t know your FTP or FTHR go to this article to set up one for you.

Time range of intervals is:

• 30 min – 120 min.

Number of intervals in one workout:

• 1 – 3 intervals.

3. Tempo Workouts and Improvement


Examples of tempo workouts, to improve your tempo zone. Below you can find 2 workouts for beginners and more advanced cyclists, both of them are available to download, base on power and heart rate zones.

Beginner workout:

• Start with easy 10 min warm-up
• 3 x 1 min – cadence 120
• 10 min active ride – 70% of FTP
• 2 x 30 min – 76% – 90% of FTP with 3 min easy between
• 15 min recovery

Advance workout:

• Start with easy 10 min warm-up
• 3 x 1 min – cadence 120
• 10 min active ride – 70% of FTP
• 90 min – 76% – 90% of FTP with 3 min easy between
• 15 min recovery

Leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Coach Damian

Coach Damian

Damian is a head coach and founder of Cyklopedia, which was created with one goal to help everyone be faster cyclists by structured training plans, healthy recipes, and nutrition plans. Damian is racing and coaching for over 10 years, working with athletes all around the world.


  • Józef Bułka says:

    jest duzo tematow do za poznania a niektore wprowadzac do treningow ale stopnoiowo teraz jest okres startow pozdrawiam

  • pawel Szady says:

    And what will you say about polarized training in which it is recommended to avoid the pace zone?

    • pawel Szady says:

      Tempo zone i mean of course.

    • Coach Damian says:

      Hello Pawel, there is a time and place to use all training zones, tempo zone should be used in the base/preparation period when you are getting ready for harder efforts in higher zones. It can be used as race preparation too instead of doing a workout in zone 2 (endurance) you can move to zone 3 (tempo). Remember that a training plan needs to be optimized to your actual fitness level, your body’s capabilities, time availability, and your goals.

      • pawel Szady says:

        Full agreement, but if I understand the assumptions of polarized training, it assumes to skip zone 3 regardless of what kind of mesocycle you are in. I’m curious about your opinion on this

        • Coach Damian says:

          Yes, when you are focusing on polarized training, you should skip the tempo zone and focus on well-balanced polarized training to take the most benefits out of it.

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