I swear this has been asked (possibly in this thread but it’s been a long day and my Google Fu is lacking) but are polarised plans worth doing over sweet spot plans when you’re in door sessions are limited to 60 (maybe 75) minutes?
I like the idea of either going hard or gentle and not digging myself into a hole (again).
I don’t think that would be an issue if you’re getting in some LSD on the weekends.
Lots of things aren’t an issue when you can get in some LSD on the weekends.
- Are You Experienced With Structured Training?
Tick, outdoor can and is structured if you are targeting efforts in a meaningful way.
Do you have available time?
Are You Capable of Recovering Consistently?
This is where most people fu9k up imo. Probably no, but for a block or two yes. Nail sleep, nutrition no problem.
Have You Stopped Improving at Lower Volumes?
Yes, 3 years plus this is a given imo looking at TR plans, med volume with no plus, however high volume is very intense. I would suggest for about 90% in this buckek mid volume plus stuff is the way to go.
Do You Plan to Add Additional Workouts or Unstructured Rides?
I would recommend it if more than 3 years training over 6 hr a week.
There was a comment in the Update Thread about how success, however that was measured by TR, wasn’t different from other plans.
The exact words were
Given that, why not give it a try. On the surface, same benefit with less work and likely more sustainable in the long run.
I am curious what metric(s) they used to come to that conclusion though.
All things being equal except the weather, I’d go for SS Base/Build over polarized if inside training were my only option. I found the Polarized plans to be well suited to riding outside.
You would assume it is not “less” work, just “different”.
Much like ISM Z2 palava, there are no magic bullets.
That’s a fair point and their comment was very opaque about how they compared POL plans to the others. What controls were used to compare the plan types (LV/MV/HV, hours, TSS, rides per week, KJ) matters as does what they used as the desired outcome.
That said, comparing LV Pol to LV SSBase, there’s a pretty big TSS difference. Same with MV and HV, mostly due to the reduction in intense workouts. I don’t think it’s too big of a stretch to say that the POL plans are “less work” or “easier”.
FWIW, the longer I’m in endurance sports, the more I believe in two things:
- THE workout you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as doing A workout.
- Tomorrow’s workout is always more important than today’s workout, so make sure today’s workout lets you complete tomorrow’s.
With those “rules” in mind, the POL plans appear set you up pretty well for long term success.
Since I am not racing and my goal is simply to be faster on a bike and have better fitness, I’m wondering if it would be possible to simply rinse and repeat the POL MV Build plan and do it over and over for an entire year. I really enjoy both the VO2 and Threshold workouts so I don’t think I’d actually get bored of it. Curious if anyone else has tried this or thought of it as well.
I’m considering it.
Dependant upon what gains are made between my current FTP AI from a couple of weeks ago to 1st Jan. with one caveat , I’ll be increasing weekly hours from 10 to 15hrs while hitting a mixture of z2 dependant on fatigue,
So far it feels more sustainable when compared to the old SSBMV.
I don’t see why not except you might get a little bored at some point. One thing I did appreciate with the plan was that it was really simple and predictable, and I was able to stay pretty fresh with 4-5 days of riding per week.
I just got presented an all time high FTP detection from Garmin (and Strava/Intervals). Whilst a large part of me is in doubt and convinced it’s PM error, my fitness has definitely increased.
I’ve been following Pol Build (with some changes due illness etc - a main reason I think they can’t get 100% reliable data) all winter with very little Sweet Spot. My fitness hasn’t felt huge at all but it does seem to be turning.
I’m not exactly less fatigued, but I’m different fatigued.
I think the TR Pol Build plan is on point.
I’m late 50s and strength work for me is also upper body for reasons of trying to age well.
While I’m enjoying the HV polarised I also have the benefit of carrying a lot less fatigue associated with last years MVSSB. I’m am fatigued but not excessively.
However the threshold workouts are taxing but do able as I’m finding it’s more about mental resilience rather than physical ability so my outlook is my AI derived FTP is about right. That said the over unders I did on my second week pushed me to the closest I’m come to failing a workout without failing. The Vo2 are fine and while I’m hitting the power targets my heart rate isn’t elevated into my higher range.
So I’m thinking of adding some 3 minute full out sprints with 15 rest x 3 in a hour commute home.
Of course I could swap a Vo2 productive to a stretch or breakthrough workout which would utilise the AI aspect.
Any informed comments gratefully received.
I like the polarized plans. Mixing intensity and longer, lower intensity workouts just feels right to me, and I seem to tolerate them a lot better. Two years ago I did a tradition plan, 3 days/week, was quite diligent and rarely missed a workout. I was also fatigued a whole lot. Last year, I did polarized, medium volume (4 days/week), but I missed a lot of workouts. Interestingly, I feel like last year benefitted me more. A little less raw power, but more stamina. On my local trails, I was just plain faster. This year, I’m sticking with polarized, and hope to miss a lot fewer workouts.
You are tired or not doing vo2 max hard enough. Yes, this is polarized conclusion;) but this can be either one. If you are doing vo2 max in erg mode - move to resistance or slope and smash the power. If your max is not elevating hr - you are tired.
You aren’t sprinting. A sprint at most lasts 20-30 seconds and probably closer to about 12 seconds, this of course varies by person. Anything much longer than that you would have to pace. I’d consider what you’re trying to accomplish with 3 minutes efforts with long recovery intervals.
That is basically long interval VO2 max development at 3 min HIIT efforts and similar recovery.
Glad it sounds like the plan has been going well for you! Over/unders are definitely some tough workouts, so nice job grinding those out.
If your VO2 workouts are feeling a bit too easy, I think you should try replacing them with some Stretch VO2 workouts using Workout Alternates as opposed to adding more intervals on top of what you’re already doing. Too much intensity could throw the train off the rails, and we like to advise being cautious when adding extra volume/intensity onto your existing plan.