Polarised Training

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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cyclotripper
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:19 am

by cyclotripper

Hi, is anyone out there doing polarised training? If so, can you share with me what your typical week of training looks like?

I 'm doing 2 days with vo2 max intervals, 2 days long easy rides, 2 recovery rides. If I ride for 7 days a week, I try to add a strength/hill day whilst still trying to keep the heart rate low.

Anything I should try/do different?

by Weenie


TheRich
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

One high intensity day per week, tops.

At least that's what Seiler says. Although the athletes tested were probably closer to their potential than most, his idea of high intensity is pretty brutal, so it may be the best solution.

Jugi
Posts: 571
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:10 am

by Jugi

I have found a "one max intensity day or two intense days a week" to work for me. Everyone responds individually, so the workload and intensity should be scaled individually.

Also, usually life's other commitments mess up a rigid training schedule, so all week's shouldn't follow the same pattern. If I know I'll be running up to an easy week and can't help it, I'm happy to go all out on the previous week because unplanned recovery is coming up.

cyclotripper
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:19 am

by cyclotripper

TheRich wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:33 am
One high intensity day per week, tops.

At least that's what Seiler says. Although the athletes tested were probably closer to their potential than most, his idea of high intensity is pretty brutal, so it may be the best solution.
I have a feeling that in the past my tough days were not tough enough - epsecially by the Seiler scale. I know doing a session say 5x5 was possible but I could not do 5 x8 at a vo2 max level...

But doing one Vo2 session a week, leaves me twiddling my thumbs the rest of the week.

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otoman
Posts: 496
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:25 pm
Location: Nashville

by otoman

Give the Velonews and Flo podcasts a very careful listen and you’ll grasp better what Seiler is talking about.

1. The 80/20 is based on workout time. So if you have 10 hours per week, you do two one hour intensity sessions (4x8 mins for example) but that time includes warmup and cool down. The rest is in zone 1 of 3.
2. 4x8 or 4x16 or 4x4 are all done at different power levels for a given athlete. He makes a frequent point of saying that the athlete has to “solve the equation” that allows him/her to complete the prescribed interval sets. 4x4 might be at 130% ftp while 4x16 might be at 95%.
3. Hard days are hard but he says you should always have a little left in the tank at the end. Otherwise you dig too deep of a recovery hole.

Lastly remember that Seiler is a lab guy. He never measured motivation or burnout so do the intervals that work for you. 4x8 is great but anything done too often will get stale.

I found that this model really helped me because the easy rides allowed me to enjoy my bike, look around (what a concept!) and physically and mentally recharged me for the hard days.

Age and treachery shall overcome youth and skill

AJS914
Posts: 3587
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

The basics of Seilor's research that you hear on a podcast miss periodization of the year.

He also doesn't fill in the details or scale things down to recreational cyclist. If you haven't done an interval session you probably should not be attempting 4x8. Maybe you start at 2x3 and if that goes well, bump it to 2x4 and then keep bumping by a couple of minutes per week.

Most coaches would advise a gradually increasing ramp rate for training load during build phases.

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/why- ... ng-metric/

I switched to polarized training in the spring. I started with 12 weeks of pure long, slow base. From this I got a huge increase in endurance and stamina. My 3 hour Saturday group rides were no longer fatiguing me to the point of utter exhaustion. I also broke all my PRs on local climbs by 10-15%.

TheRich
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

cyclotripper wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:46 am
TheRich wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:33 am
One high intensity day per week, tops.

At least that's what Seiler says. Although the athletes tested were probably closer to their potential than most, his idea of high intensity is pretty brutal, so it may be the best solution.
I have a feeling that in the past my tough days were not tough enough - epsecially by the Seiler scale. I know doing a session say 5x5 was possible but I could not do 5 x8 at a vo2 max level...

But doing one Vo2 session a week, leaves me twiddling my thumbs the rest of the week.
I have to be feeling pretty good to complete a 4x8 on target. (108% FTP with 2 minutes rest, it's supposed to be a best effort)

But the logic makes sense for real world application though. Yes, you need a top end, but that top end means nothing if you've already been worn down to a nub....so work that base.

I find that the Z1 or estimated LT1 rides are relaxing and allow you to concentrate on details like pedal stroke and position.

calleking
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:20 pm

by calleking

80/20 refers to ratio between easy/hard workouts. It's based on sessions.

As far as the intensity goes you don't have to split hairs. The idea is to "solve the equation" which means that all the cyclist tested in their labs over the years have been prescribed to pace the efforts and they usually solve the equation based on experience, form, sleep, recovery status etc. Also they tend to save something in the tank for the next day. Seiler and his team aggregated the numbers and athletes rarely hit 95% of HRMax for extended periods of time as it created a lot of stress. There's also the physiological aspect of saving those monster efforts for race situations.
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TheRich
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

calleking wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:59 pm
80/20 refers to ratio between easy/hard workouts. It's based on sessions.

As far as the intensity goes you don't have to split hairs. The idea is to "solve the equation" which means that all the cyclist tested in their labs over the years have been prescribed to pace the efforts and they usually solve the equation based on experience, form, sleep, recovery status etc. Also they tend to save something in the tank for the next day. Seiler and his team aggregated the numbers and athletes rarely hit 95% of HRMax for extended periods of time as it created a lot of stress. There's also the physiological aspect of saving those monster efforts for race situations.
I never found them to be overly fatiguing in the long term. Or even short term really, you should be able to max out the efforts, drop back to his Z1 (below mid-to-low tempo), recover somewhat and continue. You can't do it again, but you shouldn't be dead on the side of the road either.

It's still just 32 minutes of high intensity.

by Weenie


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