With apologies for another PT thread…
Having had my ear bent by a couple of ex racers at the LBS over the last couple of visits (specifically, that TR-style training is inferior to polarized, with arguments of varying merit), I did a bit more research, and came across this article: https://philwilks.com/polarized-training-and-my-experience-1-year-on-b334eb99e440
I was particularly interested in this statement made by Wilks:
The flaw in the scientific studies
OK, it’s not a flaw as such, but it does limit how applicable the studies are to the majority of amateur riders.
I noticed something subtle about all the studies Dr Stephen Seiler referenced. In all cases they kept the training stress constant when they switched an athlete from whatever training they were doing onto the polarized model.
In Training Peaks language that means if you were doing 500 TSS per week then you would continue doing 500 TSS per week but mostly in zone 2. Because training stress is proportional to the square of normalised power (double the power = four times the training stress) this means the time you spend riding has to go up significantly to compensate.
My theory is that this is where most of the athletes’ gains came from. They were simply putting in more time, albeit at a much lower intensity.
Can anyone with a bit more knowledge of this comment on the author’s identification of this ‘flaw’?