Polarised training too easy

I’ve tried the LV polarised training to fill the gap before I start on the mtb marathon speciality plan.
Personally, I find it too easy, and I struggle with too many z1 and 2 sessions eg. Petit.
I’m not really enjoying it, so I’m thinking best to revert to sweetspot base 2, or.make up my own plan seeing as it’s not for long.
Interested to hear your thoughts, guys, and girls

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The LV and to an extent MV polarized plans don’t make much sense to me, since I was under the impression that you need a decent amount of volume to make the plan effective, say a minimum of 8-10 hours and up. 4 hours for the week doesn’t provide enough time to make 80/20 effective.

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^-- this

If your schedule allows I suggest trying the HV plan, otherwise SSB. While I haven’t tried the POL plans yet (can’t commit to more than about 2 hours at a time for my longest ride) I enjoyed SSB-HV-I during base season since it had no threshold or above intensity. I needed the mental break as much as the physical, just something to consider if you’re between plans.

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How many days a week do you have to train? I don’t have an account so can’t see what the LV plan is for polarized.

LV is still 3 days per week in the POL plans.

@mcneese.chad Assuming it is 1 base ride during week, 1 longer base ride on the weekend, and then 1 other ride during the week somewhere that is a harder interval session, right?

Yup, you nailed it. The structure is one Z3 POL Intense workout and two Z1 POL Easy workouts per week.

Hmm. I would stick with it. Reading into Lydia’s question here but sound like this is mostly on the trainer?
If so I wouldn’t just do the TR workouts as is. I would add some coordination and neuromuscular work to those base zone rides to spice them up and improve other things vs just sitting on a trainer riding Petit in erg mode. Do 5 x 1 minute cadence holds at 110 cadence with your power below threshold. It is harder to pedal smoothly when you’re not pushing against something very hard. Makes the ride more interesting and doesn’t add any stress. Can also do 5 - 10, 10 second spin ups to the highest cadence you can get to, done at a low wattage. Take the trainer out of erg mode when doing these things. Can also do some single leg coordination work.

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For the most part, endurance rides already contain cadence, leg smoothing drills, and/ or quadrant drills, not trying to be snarky or anything. I just think this is already there.

Personally, I’d bail on it and do what you find fun. My opinion is that life’s too short to commit to a training block that you don’t enjoy/ find motivating.

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One thing I realized when switching to a more polarized-ish type plan, was that I didn’t feel fatigued all the time like I did when doing SS, yet I’m doing the same or better watts. Your legs don’t need to feel dead all the time for you to be making progress. When doing SS plans, I always struggled to do group rides, because I always felt somewhat tired, but now I can do them no problem, and I perform better during them.

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TR insisted on keeping this structure for the low volume plans even though its not what seiler would prescribe for a low volume 3x/week athlete. If you don’t find it hard enough then I wouldn’t keep following through since the programs are untested, add intensity as you see fit.

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This is exactly what I experienced doing polarized training. Felt great every time I got on the bike and when I did have specific intervals I was able to drill them and make progress because I wasn’t quasi tired all the time.

I get that everyone is different but I just have a hard time relating to the mentality of having to ride tempo or above every time on the bicycle. I just don’t believe that aerobic sports training works that way.

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I agree with you in terms of what I found effective and fun for me, but I also think that everyone needs to find a program that motivates them as well. Some people love the feeling of sweet spot/ threshold and having every workout feel like it’s a challenge to overcome.

Ultimately, I think that focusing on workout plans that are fun leads to consistency and consistency leads to speed. In my experience, the biggest barrier to getting fast in any endurance sport is lack of motivation. If polarized isn’t motivating someone and they are seeing gains under the sweetspot program, I’d tell them to just bail on the polarized plan and do what they find exciting.

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I personally think this is hilarious. Though Nate has never said it, I’m a firm believer that the Polarized plans were only created in response to DJ’s video. Were it not for the DJ drama, I don’t think they would exist.

Since starting with TR in 2013, I’ve been doing what Chad has been telling people to do for years: doing low or medium volume SS, and then adding in Z1/2 rides. The intense rides are either on the trainer or solo, so I can stick to the intervals. The Z1/2 rides are with friends and I just keep it easy and goof around. When you do this with LV, it’s very close to a polarized plan in style. I’ve never gotten burned out. I’ve only gotten faster across the years.

Try it. It works.

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Funny, I was just thinking of making this thread myself. I’ve started the six week HV plan and so far I’ve noticed that the high intensity days don’t seem intense enough. I’ve had to raise the ERG mode intensity for all of them so far. Example, today was 4x4 @ 106% with 3m RI. My HR was barely entering threshold level by the end of the first two intervals so I upped the intensity by 4% for the final two.

It made me question whether the polarized HIT rides should even be done in ERG at all. I feel like we should maybe just be trying to go as hard as possible for the prescribed duration of the intervals. Thoughts?

:rofl: Add in the seiler-baiting too

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I briefly tried a Seiler inspired polarized in late 2018 and all that zone1 was too easy and I hated it.

Zone 2 on the other hand… well doing more zone2 had an almost immediate increase on my power curve:

So for a TR in-betweener plan I’d be inclined to go with HIIT Maintenance Low Volume and add in ~6 hours of BORING (yes, its boring) zone2 work. Because a snooze fest of zone2 + max efforts is working for me.

And all that boring zone2 plus short max efforts is slowly pushing me back to pre-TR days when I was using CTS Time-Crunched approach (endurance+max efforts) along with Xert:

Boring zone2 and max efforts for my win. Thats why I’m biased to HIIT Maintenance + zone2.

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That is Seiler’s prescription - as hard as you can, but not so hard that you can’t do the last interval.

We have several other polarized topics where this has all been hashed out but I want to say that more isn’t always better. People love SS because it’s that happy hard place. Bust out 2x20min and you feel like you did something. You do polarized and you feel like you aren’t doing anything. But rather than 2x20 three times per week, maybe you can do 1x60 Z1/2 easy rides six or seven days per week without feeling any fatigue. You won’t even need rest weeks.

I will say though that 3-4 hours per week, 3 days per week polarized will probably not move the needle very far along for most people. Even Seiler has suggested 6 hours as a minimum.

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Yes, that inbetweener plan was what steered me to the polarised.
I do prefer z2 outside, tho’ it is hard to stay in z2 with the hills. I’ve pretty much abandoned ship and making up my own plan, as need the top end efforts.

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