How are people finding the TR Polarized plans?

a difference…between?

If you’re burned out then you lose motivation and with that execution, frequency and consistency suffers, the cornerstones of your fitness.

If you don’t like doing too much intensity, but don’t mind going hard one or twice a week, and long outdoor rides at a conversational pace is your kind of thing. Then polarised is a good fit.

I can’t see polarised working well if you intend to do the long duration rides on a turbo. Mentally that just wouldn’t work for me. But hard efforts on turbo once or twice a week and the rest outdoors works perfectly.

I do ultra endurance events, have done for past decade. Thus the long multi hour training ride in Seiler Z1 is event specific anyway. Polarised is a good match for me.


so no TR plan?

I’m enjoying the polarised training.

Maybe because it is change from the Sweet spot, however, I think this may suit me. An interesting aspect is that the low intensity endurance sessions are just as difficult as the high Intensity intervals but for very different reasons.

After months of sweet spot, the low intensity is very low! So low, one has to really concentrate on staying in the zone. You can’t take your eyes of the computer.

The high intensity intervals, are the opposite, just bloody hard work :slight_smile: So, likewise you can’t take your eyes of the computer to keep the intensity on target. So far they have been long intervals at FTP for 8+min repeats, or well above FTP for 2-3 min repeats, the last repeat is really hard work.

I’m currently doing most of the low intensity workouts outdoors. That creates its own issues. Maintaining accurate intensity is harder due to environmental changes, but makes it interesting, and in an instant your exertion can shoot up with just a slight incline or breeze, etc. TR implies that Outdoor version of some sessions typically end up with a lower TSS. So, far I’m finding the opposite, my averages are typically a little above target.

@Nate_Pearson As these Polarised sessions are in Trial mode for TR, it got me thinking about the value of my input. Let me explain. I don’t use a Power meter, hence, use Estimated FTP indoors and using my Wahoo with RPE and HR outdoors. I have done a couple of the low intensity indoors using FTP, but also recorded them on my Wahoo to get some realistic comparison of HR based exertion. The data that Wahoo relays back to TR currently has to come via Strava (not my preference, but TR and Wahoo have yet to sort out a two way download/upload process). The data that appears on my TR record, may not be sufficient for the required TR Trial.

1 Like

If you tune into RPE and specifically breathing and / or talking you should be able to do it without looking at a number on a screen.

I’m really making the opposite point. That when outdoors it is the environmental factors that have the greatest impact on maintaining a low exertion level. If you concentrate on your breathing it is too late. Changes in wind force and direction, incline, other riders pass you, as competitive riders, trigger a normally automatic reaction to increase your work rate; hence you have to be mindfull. Your computer will probably indicate this work rate increase as quickly as anything, certainly faster than breathing. Hence as you see say an slight increase in incline, go down a gear beforehand, anticipate your hithertoo normal reaction to work harder, and instead back off, before the breathing, HR, etc rise. It requires significant concentration to keep in the Low zone.

1 Like

Aren’t you overthinking it a bit? I’m a bit confused as you mention the mental toll of having to stare at your bike computer, on the other hand you don’t use a power meter.

What exactly are you looking at then? HR is much less stochastic than power, shouldn’t change all that much with normal road conditions. If you live in a hilly area that may be a bit more challenging of course, but remember that your effort doesn’t have to be 100% steady.

Are you replying to me?

Your breathing will change in seconds when you go out of your low zone, far quicker than HR, you’ll feel it in your legs if you’re working harder than intended. It really doesn’t need much concentration, what it does need is discipline. Unless you have such a wealth of routes that you are doing a completely different ride every single low zone outing, you’ll know the hills well and you know exactly where you need your cadence and gearing to be etc. to stay in your low zone.

Yes, I was replying to you @freoishome - both your posts in fact. Don’t get too stuck on short changes in effort, what’s important is to stay within the desired zone for vast majority of the workout. Indoors is obviously a much more controlled environment but I feel most people will agree that long endurance workouts are much easier to execute and endure outdoors.

If you were using a power meter you’d soon find that even a so-called Z1 ride will have some negligible time spent well above FTP - think accelerating after corners, traffic lights etc, it’s really not that relevant.

I know from having trained with and coached hundreds of athletes, that staying at endurance exertion level is what most don’t do. Have also discussed this with coaches of elite and professional team sports and likewise they have the same issue with their squads. They don’t stay within the endurance exertion range. That latter came to their attention when GPS monitors became std athlete monitoring tools.

The temptation to rise to the challenge of putting additional effort on inclines and into the wind and when passed by others, it is irresistible.

But, the difference between those who train as opposed to those who merely ride/run etc, is the former stick to the workout plans.

That doesn’t mean there is no leeway, there always is, but that implies moving above and equally below the target. If the target is endurance and you spend time pushing up hill, then you need to spend time at recovery level, and who’s met a competitive cyclist who ever does that while out on an endurance workout.

So, you have to practice staying in the target zone, and competitive athletes find that excruciating at endurance pace. They don’t want to spend time at a very easy pace. But, it is what is required with Polarised periodisation, ie, 80% of your ride time.

So, I pointed out what I know to be true of most athletes.

No it’s not. You just have to work at it initially till it becomes second nature.


Has anyone seen anything related to how faraway or close to LT1 is optimal?

i.e. Does a long ride in recovery zone give the same benefit as sitting just below LT1 for the same duration?

It probably does not, but it may be better for you on the day before or after a really hard workout or when trying to extend the length of your sessions. In my experience, there’s more to bike endurance than cardiovascular fitness. Hands, butt, etc… so there are times that exercising well below lt1 is beneficial.


It’s one of those 64,000 dollar questions. Seiler has said that he notes pros tend to ride somewhere in the middle not right at their LT1, where as amateurs are always trying to ride at the limits.

How well do you know your LT1, lactate actually measured or just an approximation? If an approximation better to err on side of caution to stop you ending up in the middle zone.

Anecdotally I tend to ride at a higher HR range (still in my low range) when in my base period and I’m not doing much intensity. When I reintroduce high intensity I drop the intensity of my low intensity rides.

If your hard sessions are being impacted by your easy sessions then you need to drop the intensity of your easy sessions.


Just approximation/guessing using breathing… doesn’t help i’m not the best nose breather to begin with.

Was just looking there to see if I could set a Respiration Rate data field on my Edge, but i don’t think it’s possible, despite it showing on Connect.

The premise of my statement was my experience of trainees and that of coaches of professional sport. Is your feedback and the previous post about that, or just you?

Trainees, there is your answer right there.

You mention LT1 and its actual vs approximate measurement.
In an July 21 post:

Learning to recognise physical sensations associated with different levels of power

I posted my application of the Talk Test using the alphabet or mobile number as a test for approximate identification of the VT1 and VT2 borderlines, as useful measures for Polarised Training zones, ie, 80% below VT1, and up to 20% above VT2, not much at all between.
Not implying this measurement approach as being perfect, rather practical. Power tools are mere algorithmic estimators. Absolute FTP isn’t particularly important, whereas its progress for an individual over a training plan can be very useful.
Have you any experience of this Talk Test application to Polarised training zones?

1 Like

I use the talk test but do the alphabet test. Speak the alphabet out loud when Sat doing nothing. Make a note which letter you get to before needing a breath. Then repeat during your easy rides. If on your easy rides you can’t reach same letter before a breath and the letter you can reach is quite a few away, you are riding too hard. Speak alphabet at same speed don’t try and speed it up during your ride. After a while you’ll also get a very good feel for your breathing rates and where VT1 occurs.