Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel

Paw-er Zone

Noun, Proper Noun

Power Zone is an intense period of exertion during a race.

Example usage: 'I'm pushing hard in the power zone to make up some time.'

Most used in: Duathlon races, especially in Europe.

Most used by: Experienced Duathlon cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 4/10

Also see: Power Profile, Power Intervals, FTP Testing, Functional Threshold Power,

What is a Power Zone?

Power Zone is a term used in cycling to refer to a specific range of power output. It is expressed in watts, and is used to measure the intensity of a cyclist’s performance. This range of power output is the amount of energy a cyclist is able to produce in a given time period, such as a single ride or a race.

Power Zones are typically divided into five categories, ranging from Zone 1 (light effort) to Zone 5 (maximum effort). Each zone is associated with a range of power output, and the higher the zone, the greater the intensity of the effort. For example, Zone 1 is usually associated with an average power output of less than 100 watts, while Zone 5 is associated with an average power output of greater than 350 watts.

Power Zones are used to measure a cyclist’s performance and help them track their progress over time. Knowing which zone you are in can help you adjust your training plan accordingly, allowing you to maximize your performance and reach your goals.

The Origin of the Cycling Term 'Power Zone'

The cycling term “Power Zone” was first coined in the late 1980s by Dr. Edmund R. Burke, an American exercise physiologist, who was based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Burke was researching the relationship between intensity, duration, and effectiveness of cycling workouts.

Dr. Burke defined a “Power Zone” as a range of intensity levels for cycling that would result in improved performance. He recommended that cyclists should aim to maintain an intensity within this zone for the majority of their workouts in order to achieve optimal results.

The term “Power Zone” has become widely used in the cycling community and is now used to refer to a range of intensity levels that cyclists should aim to stay in when training. It is still based on Dr. Burke’s original definition and is a fundamental part of many cycling training plans.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3