Cutting a plan to 1 day of intensity per week

This is probably out there but I couldn’t find it. I’ve burned out a couple times with sweet spot base medium volume because of the intensity and am currently doing polarized base medium. It still has two days (IMO) of intensity per week. I want one day, I feel I can handle that and progress. But I want AI to adjust my training as needed. Do I stick with polarized base medium and swap out an endurance day for one of the intensity days or do I just go with Train Now and do my 4 endurance rides per week and a VO2? Or something else? Thanks :slight_smile:


PS I’m 54 and have been training and racing for 35 years FWIW, sleep is good, stress is nonexistent, and diet is “OK”.

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I was just toying with this idea recently in trying to figure out how to modify intensity in a plan, or polarized plan.

Here’s what I would do on the mid-volume polarized plan with the caveat that I’m not a coach, physiologist or an expert on any of this. I am a master’s athlete, though, and at 48 years old have been trying to deal with the declining intensity/recovery balance…

I would simply keep the one day of Vo2 day work as is (or maybe do a slightly harder/longer version) and then I would take the day of threshold and convert it to a low SS workout (88%) or a high tempo workout (85%) with a similar TSS … and then over time I would trying to increase time in zone for the duration of those SS/Tempo intervals.

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Why not do Polarized Base LV? Threshold one week, VO2 Max the next. That would give you the flexibility to add Z2 to your heart’s content, and the framework to effectively pull a workout forward a week if you feel strong and fancy a bit more work.


What if you used TraiNow for your intensity days and did Z2 rides from the catalog on other days? You might even be able to use TrainNow to pick the z2 rides.

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I’d prob try to pick and adapt a plan. The LV polarised +Z2 mentioned by @Helvellyn seems like a good option for you. I think that having a plan, with a workout sitting there ready to go for you just removed another obstacle to getting you up on the bike. If you miss a workout, it’s still sitting there on the calendar, and you feel like you need to complete it to catch up.

Having said that I’m using TrainNow, and am finding it very useful, but I’m following a run plan. So, I’m getting my structure from that, and slot in bike works around it.

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I like the sound of this, I’m gonna switch to this.

I did this over the summer and it worked well, especially when I wasn’t going to get 3 indoor rides in per week. Just looking for a bit more structure this fall. But it’s a solid idea and I think they even mentioned something like this on the podcast. Heck I tested at my highest ftp in the last 2 years doing this for a couple of months!

It’s weird, when I was more busy with “life stuff” and was younger I trained 5-6 hours per week and was the typical “every ride is hard” kinda rider. It was the “no pain/no gain” era big time. And it worked fine, I was doing OK. But now that I’m older and I can ride more that “every ride is hard” isn’t working. Obvious, I know right?

Plus in the past I felt like I could ride hard anytime and never really get burned out with my limited hours. Now it’s like…I don’t know, I can ride as hard but if I stack up too much in a week the it gets harder and harder and I statr thinking about selling my bikes and focusing on golf.

And I hear about how sweet spot isn’t intensity but it sure is for me. Even 90 minutes of high endurance/low tempo and I need a shower, meal, and nap because I’m tired. But low/mid endurance and I don’t feel wiped out from a 1-2 hour ride. Almost feel energized?

The other thing is that I’m sure the sweet spot base training works for most people but I wonder if some of us are outside of the curve. As in…we’re decades into training and racing and hitting middle age (when does that start anyway?). It’s as if we need to “sneak up” on form and if we try to push it our bodies push back.

Anyway, just some random thoughts, I sure appreciate the comments guys, thanks :slight_smile: