Feedback Needed: Polarized Plan Questions for the Community

I covered that in the initial post.

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I kinda agree here, but maybe tweak it a little.

Two 1 hr Z3 rides and a 2 hour Endurance ride. It bumps the volume a little, which is frequently possible for most people on the Low volume plans (given that we always have questions of how to add volume to LV plans). I don’t think this is ideal, but it is polarized (per the Polarization Index calc). And while, yes, more Z1 would be better as more volume is almost always better, someone should be able to handle the two Z3 workouts given the amount of rest days on the LV plan.

I completely agree that a single Z3 and two Z1 rides isn’t going to give the same benefit as the current low volume plans.

Back to a bingo card plan.


For a Low Volume Plan with 3.5h available, I think Seiler would suggest to do one long ride of 2hours and two short Rides of 45min (one of those in Z3). No rest weeks needed or only 5/1.

In general I Like that TR Sticks to seilers approach. He is the Mastermind behind this approach IMO. Also referring to 4/8/16min Intervals is valid. I would onkly think about implementing 30/15 intervals. In some interviews he said they would be valid. However the Z3 Sessions are supposed to be hard frome the beginning. I would rather see an increase in number of Intervals (e.g. 3x4, 4x4, 5x4) than starting with a very low Intensity. According to Seiler the goal is to accumulate time around 90%HR max. That will not happen with 4x4min at 105%.

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Not to throw a huge wrench in the mix, but it seems like maybe the plans are being based on general endurance athletes and not specifically what seiler has observed in cyclists, it would seem like if we want to truly optimize a cyclist “polarized” plan it should have a similar periodization as this.

From his presentation here:

You really should not, 4/8/16 is not real world. Those are not recommendations as such, just what he used in study and is therefore familiar with. I would argue progressive longer form steady state VO2max intervals far more appropriate, targeting ~ 20 to 25 minutes, 30 minutes if a very advanced athlete.

Example (ignore the threshold, that’s something unique for an individual)

Long Form Z3

Short/shorts (ignore the EN, and long VO2max, the short short occurs on a different date in these weeks)

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Is the goal to be able to see what adaptations come from different training regimes without having people test? That would open up some huge possibilities of data collection, aside from the benefits to the AT model and to people who don’t want to test.

On the topic in hand I have been training since September either with threshold intervals or steady efforts, maximum 3.5 hours a week. Pretty sure that is more polarized than any other TID description. I’m not sure how much fitter I am but it’s been the best and most consistent training I’ve done for ages. I also took a rest week and felt terrible afterwards, I’m not doing that again. At most if tired I will drop a session so I’m in the ‘no rest week’ camp if LV POL.

Great work all of you.

My jaw dropped because the text preceded the graphic, I thought you were calling for 20+ min VO2 intervals #phew


Just TiZ, the actual time at VO2max on a good day is going to be around 15 - 18 minute for a intervals with a TiZ of 25 - 30 minutes. I didn’t copy a 30 minute TiZ session, what I posted is enough to get the idea.

Also do not need recovery weeks if only one or two Z3 a week.

Z3 should have a target but not be erg or if it is erg use the +/- button the average the highest possible average power over the intervals, have a prescription / target for the first interval but then average the most you can over the whole set of intervals.

This has been the biggest problem with VO2max and intervals over threshold in TR sessions, yes ML/AT might start to solve this issue but do the first interval at target pace, even erg, you should then know if on the day you can do a bit more or less, being a slave to erg or preset targets is leaving progress on the table IMO.


I wonder what percentage of users select the Low Volume plans because they do an equal amount of riding outside, unstructured (and potentially Z1). Could you work in the desired WO distribution while putting the onus on the user to make up whatever is missing outside the plan? Could it be a caveat or an opt-in?

Were you expecting a broader mix of VO2 and Sprint workouts in the Polarized Plan? Just asking because that’s what I was looking for as well.

After reading the comments, I assume that doesn’t work into the Seiler plan. I think these plans are a good base and could be easily customizable.

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^ This is a pretty good summary, aligned with my thinking and work with a high level coach that rather liked the Polarised TiD.


I think one thing is clear. No one here agrees. :smiley: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: :expressionless: :cry: :sob:


But Nate… POL is easy. I have no idea why you’re making it so hard??? :stuck_out_tongue:



I think they’ve gone down a rabbit hole with the 4-8-16 thing, especially as they seem to prescribe the all at the same intensity 103-105% ish. Seiler talks about all these being done as ‘max efforts across the 4 intervals’ so its clear the 4m and 16m intervals weren’t done at the same intensity as the 8m intervals.

The other thing I am hoping for is the periodisation of the intervals. The intervals in the 6 (12) week base must progress/evolve into something else during base and as events get close. There is always a shift to event specific training and I don’t get why these plans seem to obsess over 4-8-16 mins at basically the same intensity for up to 20 weeks.

I guess we’ll have to just approach it in our own ways like we have so far.

That is true but there are strong themes, and the main thing is to think about the concept and what the TiD is trying to achieve. The hard days have got to be v. hard and you have got to get those long steady adaptations (which don’t really fit in well with being inside, unless you’ve got a mind and butt of steal, you can do it for a few weeks but its not realistic to do on an ongoing basis inside IMO)


Why, did you expect otherwise Nate? Everyone has at least one opinion …

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step 1 is agreeing on what Seiler said… and so the problem begins :joy:


The one size fits all approach is never going to work. If you provide us with an exception base plan, we can make adjustments. I know I always play the old lady card on this forum, but whatever plan you publish will be perfect for male/female age 25-35. We as individual athletes must educate ourselves, test plans, and make adjustments to meet our needs. It’s absurd for people to think TrainerRoad could publish one plan that works for a 30 year old male, a 45 year old female and a 55 year old male.