Combine traditional base and polarized?

Definitely no racing. I exclusively ride recumbents (separate long story), so would not be allowed even if I wanted to. Even group rides are a bit less-than-ideal on a recumbent as my speed varies in a different manner with the grade than other bikes, esp. on downhills. I do sometimes hang with the tandems if there are any around.

I really ride for fitness, but would like to be able to finish a century in less time and/or with less fatigue. And I’d like to improve on my best time for some of the loops near my home. And maybe I can get permission to do a longer tour somewhere this year. Have done RAGBRAI a couple of times a long while back, and had hoped to do Bike Virginia last year, but alas that was cancelled again.

With all that, I’d be delighted to never do VO2 workouts again, but am willing to suffer through them to raise my FTP. I found the TB blocks were wonderful for losing weight last year. I was not fueling much on the bike (have gotten better at that now), and was able to snack throughout the day and still lose weight. Lost about 15 lbs, but gained about 7 lbs back in the late summer due to a variety of things including catching COVID. Am currently 94 kg at 5’ 11" and definitely have lots more room for losing weight. I’d love to get dow to 85 kg next season, but I think that is a bit aggressive. More realistically I’d like to sustain myself below 90 kg. And none of this is really about climbing better (though that would be nice), but just about that great feeling of looking better in my clothes.

the weight loss should no doubt be your main focus. You should get with a nutritionist or have someone help you if you aren’t able to do it yourself. Picking up a 5lb of anything is so motivating to stay lean. Imagine carrying that around with you on the bike, it seems so heavy! now a few more seems unfathomable.

Vo2max work is really important, so I wouldn’t cut it out! Just don’t overthink and stress the workouts, bring your best effort and go for it. You’ll need to fuel for those tho!

I feel like 10kg is realistic over a year…that’s only a couple lbs a month. *NOT a nutritionist but just talking athlete to athlete with you on that

sounds like you’re on the right path; keep riding and eating right. Have you food journaled (not calorie counted)…looking back on a day’s consumption, there’s usually a lot of easy things to remove to make a huge difference.

good luck! keep us posted as the weight comes off. YOU CAN DO IT!!! it’s corny but be the change you want to see in your life. This is 100% up to you. Everyone here is rooting for you.



I think, for your base training, do SSB LV plus heaps of Z2 hours up to your normal time limit.

I generally respond well to the “authority” of using an official plan. If the extra workouts are left up to me then I expect I’ll tend towards skipping workouts or adding shorter workouts.

Oh - definitely. It was just my understanding that there is some value to doing pure Z2 in the early season. Again I’m starting in October, so I could do 12 weeks of Z2 and still have quite a bit of time playing with SSB or polarized before any possible events.

Yes - this seems to speak to my inner coach. Except in my case I would be introducing running (really jogging) and merely doing routine (as opposed to heavy) lifting. If I find these are too much on top of HVTB, I’ll back off to MVTB at least at first.

Despite what I said at the top of this post, I am thinking of starting with a custom version of TBI, simply to avoid long (2.5 hr) rides on weekdays. In theory my schedule is flexible enough to handle it, but that feeling that I’m running late when I start the workday at 9:30-10:00 is somewhat stress inducing. Polarized puts much longer rides on the weekends, and I’m not aware of why that would not also work for a pure Z2 block. If I find myself tempted to avoid the targeted number of hours, I can always switch back to TB or use plan builder to go polarized earlier.

Sounds like you have a plan in mind - it’s mostly trial and error anyways in my opinion. As long as you do some work over the winter you should be good to go.

As a side note: I’ll be introducing running (or jogging) and a lifting routine for the first time as well. So my plan is to stay on the side of caution and see how my body reacts. But I just feel like it’s mentally more rewarding to add extra volume to an existing plan rather than taking it away. Also, I suppose I’m quite a few years younger (23), so I’m not to worried about maintaining VO2Max work.