Polarized Training Discussion (Fast Talk podcast & Flo Cycling podcast)

For those interested in polarized training, the latest podcast from the Flo Cycling guys has a detailed discussion on the topic.

I usually stream the podcast, but decided to download it so I can listen again later (sometimes it takes me a couple of times to understand all of a topic). Pretty interesting.



Just to confirm is this the podcast you are talking about?


Yes, that’s the right podcast.

Velonews did a podcast on Polarized training recently also.


Fast Talk has done 3 episodes. #14, 51, and 54 cover the topic. They are also planning another one to cover intervals. (Update: I found episodes #2 & 3 also have related content. I added the links in the sheet below).

I have a summary comparing the 7-level and 3-zone models, with the ability to enter your own data. I keep updating it with each new episode.

Check out the “Power Zones” tab.


Wow Chad that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing


Fast talk is a good source!

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This is an unbelievable source! Many thanks for sharing!

KUDOS to this man!


Happy to share. It’s a constant work in progress.
Trying to make it better and more useful all the time.

Let me know if you find errors, or have any suggestions. Outside review is helpful and I get blind to mistakes or ways to improve after staring at it too long. :wink:


In case you don’t want to indoctrinate into the Evil Empire, here it is not on itunes:


Hi all. Does Baird +6 give a decent approximation of the polarised training model? If not, what are your suggestions for a workout that combines both zone 1 and 3 (polarised zones).
Thanks in advance!

Why are you combining the 2 workout zones?

For general POL training, it seems you want them clearly separated and done on different days.


I agree with Chad. Everything I have learned is easy days EZ and hard days are Hard. No need to find a workout that does both IMO. You will have a warm up, cool down and recovery between hard intervals on hard days but only count the hard part of the session towards the 10% hard. It’s the middle zone on Chads chart that Polorized stays clear of for the most part.


I use castbox from Google play, free, I download all the TR podcasts and Faster by Flow, either listen when I’m training or in the car to and from work. Gotta multitask when you got kids…

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Thanks Chad and Tezz,

I am a bit time crunched, so was trying to combine for those reasons - maybe this approach is not so good for the time poor!
For the Easy Days, what sort of duration is needed? Time could be a dealbreaker for me to attempt this method. I assume long endurance style workouts like Boarstone 2hrs +?

By the way, that spreadsheet is gold Chad!!

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You definitely should do hard and easy as workouts on different days.

My best understanding for the Z1 days is that you need at least one per week of 2 hours or longer.

The basic question of how little time you can use and still get worthwhile results from POL training is what has driven my research. According to Dr. Seiler, he says it is possible on about 6 hours per week.

I made the sample weeks of 4 versions with basic workout layout. See them below the POL 3-zone model. These are my best guess right now.


Here is a study for folks to read: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621419/

I’ve gone down the rabbit hole and back out again and I’m back in the same spot as I started, which is that a periodized training plan that provides a foundation of fitness and targets the energy systems that I plan to use during my races is going to provide the best benefits for overall FTP and individualized race performance.


I’m planning to take a more polarized approach next year also. My body responds well to high intensity training, so I don’t need to do a whole lot to get the benefit. What I do need to work on is endurance for multi-hour events, and improve my fat metabolism and slow twitch muscle strength/endurance.
I have some evidence comparing this year vs last - I did a lot more higher intensity stuff last year, and more training volume, but was almost as fast this year (actually, higher FTP if my recent ramp test is to be believed) with less than half the training volume, and not much high intensity stuff.
My plan is to do the TR low volume plans, do the interval sessions during the week, and get in ~2 longer duration, lower intensity outside rides at the weekend
Hopefully it’ll work. At any rate, it will be a good experiment.


So did the “Science of Ultra” podcast. Good stuff.

No. Episode 13 not 12.
Here --> https://pca.st/y3Hk