My experience with TR POL plans

The modeled LTP in Xert is probably not real LT1. Some folks have done experiments with HRV and said it’s a good 10W below that.

I would take Xert numbers with a grain of salt. It’s in the ballpark, but I don’t take them as precise numbers. At one point Xert said TP is not FTP, now I think they are saying it is. At another point they said LTP is not LT1, and now it seems to be saying that it is. :man_shrugging:

I don’t think they are, as they are all based on TR’s Coggan Z2 work. From what I recall, TR’s work tends to be lower in the range, roughly mid-way in the Coggan Z2 zone. 60-65% FTP, IIRC, is where most of them land.

Damn autocomplete. That should have said …

Well I guess we’re all different as my LT1 sits at around 78% of my 1hr FTP. No idea why it said LTP.


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The upper boarder of Z1 when you cant breath calm anymore.
Dont stick too much on percentages. Thats to individual.

Breathing is a great indicator. So you are at LT1. When you start with more intense breathing you are over Z1 and enter Z2. So you crossed LT1


TR use 79% as upper limit of pol z1. It’s in Jonathan’s announcement post for the polarized plans.

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In an attempt to simplify the 3-zone model for athletes who don’t have access to blood-lactate testing, some researchers use ventilatory thresholds instead of lactate thresholds to define zones. Ventilatory thresholds VT1 and VT2 correspond reasonably well (but not perfectly) with lactate thresholds LT1 and LT2, respectively. Dr. Stephen Seiler has also defined the 3 zones by percentage of FTP for cyclists, with Zone 1 ranging from 50%-79% of FTP, Zone 2 80% – 99%, and Zone 3 at 100% or above. But even in the research literature, definitions for each zone can vary, and it’s important to keep in mind that how lactate or ventilatory thresholds correlate with percentages of VO2max power or FTP will vary from individual to individual.

Now I understand the comments about burning out.

FWIW my FTP is 260 and yes I can hold that for an hour and I will be doing roughly that on 18th April with my first 25 mile TT of the year. However doing anything at VO2max is a completely different matter. Which is one reason to do this plan as gets me doing at least one session a week.

I agree that 79% of FTP is too high for the top of LT1. Xert LTP gives me 215 and 10% knocked off that (which is a seemingly common pattern) is 195. Using @mcneese.chad’s marvellous resource that shows me at 195 watts and I did suggest upping intensity perhaps to 70-75%.

However I recognise the sound advice on here and will not be upping any intensities but perhaps extending sessions as time allows. Thanks for the sound input. Hopefully others following the new Polarized plans will contribute. I do not want this thread to be just about what I am doing.


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I do the alphabet test. Whilst sat down not exercising recite the alphabet A to Z. How far do you get through the alphabet before taking a breathe?. Now recite it whilst doing your Z1 ride. Can’t get as far before taking a breath? Likely working too hard.


Q. The letter I got to not a question.

Great, so when next out on a Z1 ride do it again and you should still be able to reach Q. If you’re one or two letters out, don’t worry, but use it as a guide of when you might need to back off the intensity during that ride.

Stephen Seiler (@StephenSeiler) Tweeted:

From Polarized to Individually Optimized Endurance Training… in 5 steps. The 45min presentation I recorded for an ACSM chapter meeting. Doing live Q&A for their meeting later today. via @YouTube

Thanks for the props. The list is probably good, but not great. It’s enough to get the general idea, I think.

One thing Seiler mentioned more than once, and I believe, is that aiming for more of the “middle” of the Z1 range is likely good enough for many riders. It seems best to try NOT to ride too close to the upper limit. Ability to find LT1 and general variability mean you may be ridding “too hard” in the easy range at times.

So, that 60-70+% range may be a better power based target baring the other talk tests and such. Good to consider the length of the ride too, with shorter ones being ok closer to the top and longer stuff closer to mid or bottom.

I suspect people will find the right range for them after a week or two, but the charts and general info are probably a decent starting point at least.


Not true, LT1 can be anywhere between ~68 - 84% FTP


Further too my comment, if you are not sure of your LT1 then IMO use a 70% FTP cap,
Option 2, suck a sweet or chew food and see how easy that feels (don’t choke disclaimer). If you feel slightly stressed you might be over or getting over LT1.


This is very true hence a 70% cap should be safe, however for a very well trained athlete 60-65% might be below 50% VO2max, at which point some would consider that junk miles / time, i.e less than ideal.

For 50% of pVO2max power, it is going to hurt, but do a max 6 minute max effort, half it, that is your effective floor, you really only need this marker if you are well trained (you are probably doing > 8hrs per week) and worried about wasting your time below an effective floor.

General guides. Work it out based on you.


Isn’t more useful to set a HR cap?

I believe Seiler does recommend a HR cap on the longer rides due to cardiac drift.

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Have you watched Seiler’s YouTube videos about coaching his daughter?

I like them because you can piece together an overall approach based on figures and verbal comments. It’s a 9 day training cycle. In each cycle, there is one rest day, five endurance workouts 75-90 mins (mostly 53-72% Hr max), two days of Z4>Z5 work), and one long endurance workout of 2-3 hrs.
I built this up in TR, using custom repeat option set to every 9 days.


did you change the durations of those sessions to account for them being cycling vs running? 2-3hr running is probably 5+hrs cycling.

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My bread and butter Z1 (Seiler) ride is 2-3 hours with a longer 4-6 hour Z1 ride once a week. This week my long ride was 5 hours 32 mins ride time with 5 hours 40 mins elapsed. Today’s ride was 2 hours 28 mins ride time with 2 hours 30 mins elapsed. During my recovery weeks my long ride becomes the 2-3 hour ride and bread and butter around 1.5 hours.

The duration of the Z1 rides is often predicated by what time I get out the door. Get away 30 mins earlier than planned, then I’ll add 30 mins to the ride duration etc. I know the lane combinations well enough to know what loops will work for the duration I have in mind. So I’m back home when I say I will be.


That’s only 7 days, not 9.