Current polarized plan

i’m on week 3 of the polarized base plan, high volume. its been adapting as i’ve went along. most of the endurance rides are 2 hours in length, which i’m happy with, and longer on a sunday. however, its clear that the intensity of the endurance is 0.68 to 0.72 which is far from easy. i’m fully capable of riding and familiar at these levels over the plan time, but i was expecting the intensity to be 0.6 - 0.65. i do almost all my rides outdoors at this time of year. where i live when i do a flat endurance ride its going to be 20mph ish, solo, which largely comes from a tight chain.

most 2 hour rides are 5.6 to5.9 on the PL scale. is this typical? i was expecting the polarized plan would throttle back endurance to focus on easy vs 2 x hard days. i have missed 1 threshold day due to sickness but made the others (so far)

  • This seems like a red flag to me. Considering that TR Endurance is 55-75% of FTP, and RPE of 3-4, I would consider that “easy” broadly speaking. If that feels like more effort than that, I would suggest consideration of the reason behind that.

  • A 2 hour ride around 70% FTP should be a pretty manageable ride unless that duration is a large step in time from recent training history, or you are holding on to notable fatigue from the “hard” workouts or other life stressers.

  • Using the “Endurance” + “Sustained” + “2 hour” duration filters in the workouts gives 25 total results. They start as low as 2.1 (50%+ FTP) and grow in reasonable steps to 5.9 from there. This seems to cover the basic range of Endurance within that duration range.

Ignoring some conflicting factors, you are free to adjust and pick other workouts to suit your needs and/or preferences. Plenty of people like to differ from the TR recommendations in the Endurance range and even question the basic relevance of PL’s in that zone. So it may be the type of thing you can and should edit for your needs.


i may well self calibrate the endurance stuff, but it doesn’t give me confidence in the AI product to deliver the “right workout” at the right time. almost every ride i do it offers adaptions in this plan, but the changes are barely 1% and not significant.
i feel i might be better served, self coaching and using TR as a calendar and workout library going forward.
i’m not forcing them, but +0.7 IF over 2 hours isn’t a 3 or 4, when done multiple times a week over 6 weeks. this after all is the product we’ve all bought.

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When in doubt, an email to TR support is always a good idea. Might be worth a copy/paste and get it to them directly, since a forum post may be missed or seen later vs the ticket system that get better tracking.

I know we don’t like HR around here. But what’s your HR on those rides?

TR may not emphasize HR, but plenty of others around here use it in a number of ways.

  • WRT to getting related HR data, make sure to frame it with respect to Max and/or Lactate Threshold HR. A raw BPM without those guides is just short of useless.

It was more tongue in cheek. HR is a good metric to analyze after the rides and discover trends over time. I did 90min Endurance today, 0.68 IF with 40% HR Zone 1 active recovery and 60% HR Zone 2. i‘d say if those Endurance rides are not easy you‘re either pretty fatigued or your FTP is set too high

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  • You may have been partially joking, but we’ve seen more than a few people here set HR & RPE as their driving source for setting pace on these types of Endurance rides, with Power as the secondary factor.
  • That is why I led with my “red flag” comment above. It seems suspect to me that a 2 hour 70% ride would feel anything more than that 3-4 RPE or a 2-Moderate in the TR survey response. I still think there is something hiding behind that in this case.

Or Jonas on his TT at the tour. HR and RPE are important metrics but maybe not that actionable for people new to endurance training. I agree with your assessment. Something’s not right.

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I’m well accustomed to riding at +0.7IF for 2hrs plus. FTP according to TR estimate is 294 and my lactate tells me my LT1 is about 220. Heart rate drift isn’t an issue.
However my point is how effective this is as a polarized method. I was expecting the easy days easy thing. Just because I can ride at 0.7 doesn’t mean it’s ideal in a polarized plan. I’m happy enough with 13hrs a week and enjoy the 6days I just want to know I’m doing the right work. Other coaching podcasts have me thinking I should knock the IF back a bit.


The limitation here is your endurance PL will be set off your best endurance workout/ride. So if you’re doing 6hrs on the weekend for example, then it thinks a 2hr 0.70 is easy for you and is the right level of load to compensate for the duration.

Probably in an ideal world it would say that you need to increase to 3hrs for your mid week easy rides for example, but it currently won’t. As @mcneese.chad says, use alternates to find the workout that matches what you want to do to. It’s certainly not “wrong” to reduce the easy load if you want to have more to spend on the hard, but TR is just an algorithm trying to balance an increase in training load vs what you say you want to do and what it has loaded as the “plan”

  • Your expectations compared to TR’s understanding & plan implementation may well differ here and be the ultimate issue.

  • As simple as POL is frequently touted to be, it’s almost comical to see the depth of discussion and minutia when it comes to the actual implementation. Point being that I think POL is one of those things that is not as clearly defined or uniform as some might expect.

  • If you think the TR version is not the best for you as presented, it’s necessary to modify it or do something else more manual.

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All good points guys. Thanks. I think I will drop the IF just a fraction especially on the day prior to the intensity day. I did have a little sickness at the end of last week start of this, but no adaption was made even though I told TR in the annotations. I made good gains last winter working away at LT1 for 2 to 3hours but without 2intensity days thrown in.

I guess trust the process but don’t be ruled by the plan will be the key.


I’ve completed the Mid Volume Polarized plan a few weeks ago. My suggestions based on your comments is to just complete your endurance rides by rpe and go from there. Ultimately, you’ve got to calibrate the plan to work for you if what is being presented isn’t working for you which is basically what you said in your last post.


I think the magic for polarized is a) hitting the hard workouts and b) whatever volume/intensity endurance rides you can handle without burning out. If you have to lower the intensity of some/most endurance rides to stave of fatigue then do so.

I can tell you my recent run through polarized build hv, all my endurance rides were <= 0.65IF. (caveat: I did a add volume: saturday ride was 3-5hrs, and added 7th day of easy easy 1hr ride). I nailed all the “hard” workouts (which weren’t even that killer). Upon completion, 8% ftp boost to a previous all-time-high. With by far the least lingering fatigue.


As above - endurance rides at an intensity sufficiently not-high that you can absolutely slam the hard days is the way.

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This is exactly what I do, self coach and use TR for the workout library, AI FTPd and the plans as a loose guideline.

Currently been on polarized HV and switch hard workouts to Tues and Thursday with Saturday tempo or trail riding.

Regarding the .7 IF z2 workouts, I wouldn’t shy away from those. I used to do my z2 at 65% FTP and saw little benefit. I’ve since pushed that to 70+% and have seen a lot of improvement. I did so based on the recommendation from a friend of mine who credits that as being the number 1 cause of his huge success this year (his improvement has been remarkable).

I agree though, .7 IF feels a bit more like work if you’re coming from 60-65% z2 rides. It’s definitely doable and for long hours, but it took a few weeks for my body/legs/mind to adjust. You may surprise yourself, as I did, that you just get used to being slightly uncomfortable for z2. I think this comes from expectations, it feels just a bit harder than you think it should.


I totally get what you’re saying, and I’m sure the difference brings improvements.

OTOH, if I was trying to strictly focus on polarized, and I was the OP, who says he can handle the volume and intensity, I think I would make the easy rides easier and make the hard rides even harder.

I think both methods would bring gains, it would just depend on which approach you wanted to focus on for your training plan.


Just had mid-season break, now starting again with POL Base HV. I’m intentionally experimenting with higher Z2, doing them back-to-back with hard days, with hope to improve fatigue resistance for upcoming 300km gravel ride.

Something like:

  • Tue: prescribed Z4
  • Wed: 2-4h IF ~0.7 Z2
  • Thu/Fri: 1-2h low Z2 by HR/RPE
  • Sat: prescribed Z4
  • Sun: 4-8h IF ~0.65+ Z2

Sounds like a solid approach after a break. I figure you’ll be pretty well calibrated by week 3 if you are recoving and adapting from the added fatigue of the longer Z2 rides. I remember it took me like 2-3 weeks to get over the fact that 2.5 hours or more of dedicated Z2 outside rides made my legs tired.
Good luck and fuel up!

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