AJS914 wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:42 pm
Dr. Seiler was on the Velonews Fast Talk podcast for a few episodes recently. They are very good.
That article though is a bit confusing. For starters:
You might not be able to get to 20 hours, but you could increase from say 6 hours to 12 hours.
Increasing from 6 to 12 is a tall order for most recreational cyclists.
In that article he talks about different types of zones which is confusing. Seiler uses the 3 zone model. The article shows the 5 zone model. The majority of riding should be zone 1 (really slow, the classic long slow distance). That 20% is in zone 3. Is that 20% of rides or 20% of training time? If you ride 12 hours per week as the article suggests, then that would be 2.4 hours spent in zone 3 doing intervals. 2.4 hours of accumulated time in intervals is a lot of time. I also read that it was 20% of rides in zone 3 which makes a bit more sense. 4 x 8 min twice a week though is an 64 minutes at the interval pace or about 8% if you ride 12 hours a week.
The slides of pro athletes show 2, 6, and 18% of time spent in the red zone.
Like I pointed out earlier: There are many sources for his research.:
The 80-20 ratio is based on sessions and the rule isn't entirely strict. Pro athletes land closer to 90-10 when doing blocks of 30 hours per week. Some research indicates that a polarized approach with as little as 6 hours per week is better than threshold training. It doesn't mean you should throw threshold training out the window. It still has its place and more race specific intervals are incorporated among the pros prior to an event or their race season. One more thing to consider is that although the research points at POL (polarized training) being better than threshold training it all dependson your background and your level.
I guess the main thing here is that research shows that endurance sports are very dependent on an aerobic base and that doing lots of "not so sexy" easy training gives you mitochondrial and capillary density. The easy/slower training also serves a purpose since it lets you be fresh for the harder sessions.
Seilers zones were initially established from heart rate as they refer to ventilatory thresholds VT and VT2. They can ofcourse be recalculated to % of your FTP. VT1 and VT2 are where the boundaries for where Z1 ends and where Z3 starts. Comparing it to power zones VT1 is the upper limit of endurance pace and VT2 is around threshold power.
Even during a hard session the accumulated time around 90% of HRmax is quite small since it takes a couple of minutes to get there on each interval. Add warmup, rest between intervals and the cool down and you quickly realize that most of your time is spent well below it.
There are many details around but the concept is quite straight forward. I think cyclist using power meters get a bit confused at first with the zones and the vo2 references in the research.
I've done lots of sweetspot/threshold last 4-5 years but switched to POL a year ago. I commute two hours per day. In the morning it's easy and sometimes fasted. Twice a week I go really hard on my way home. That's 10 hours I spend on the bike instead of being in a car or a train. On the weekends I try to squeeze in a ride that is at least 90 minutes but usually it's close to 3 hours. There are some important adaptations that seem to happen after 90 minutes and my normal commutes or only 60. Also, most races are not much more than 4 hours so a 3 hour ride is more than enough for me to compete. My FTP has increased with 15-20W per year (more in the beginning ofc) and this last year with a polarized approach it's close to 30W higher at 360W / 5w/kg. It felt wrong in the beginning to go so easy but once you do the hard sessions you have no option to go relatively easy in order to cope with them.