πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ Polarized Training Plans Are Here! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

Hey everyone!

Our first version of Polarized Training Plans are now available to all TrainerRoad athletes.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding Polarized Training, so we want to clearly communicate our intent and process behind these plans, as well as what these plans aren’t intended to be.

These plans will allow athletes who want to follow a traditionally Polarized framework (at least 80/20 TIZ %) to do so while still allowing them to benefit from the science-based coaching principles all our plans utilize, like proper ramp rates and workout level progressions. We used Adaptive Training & machine learning models to validate this specifically in these plans.

These plans will help us gather real-world data on the effect of Polarized Training Plans at various training volumes, and allow us to constantly improve them and add to them moving forward.

These were also designed to allow for fair and straightforward comparisons to current TrainerRoad plans as data is accumulated. This will allow us to have a baseline upon which we can make improvements.

For more information on what Polarized Training is and how to try it, please read this fantastic article that was just published by @SeanHurley on the TrainerRoad Blog.

Plan Details

6-Week Polarized Low Volume

Total TID %: 92/0/8
Total TID % Minus Recovery Week: 90/0/10
Load/Deload: 5:1

Week 1 TID %: 82/0/18 (*excluding ramp test)
Week 1 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 2 TID %: 85/0/15
Week 2 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 3 TID %: 92/0/8
Week 3 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 4 TID %: 92/0/8
Week 4 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 5 TID %: 87/0/13
Week 5 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 6 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 6 TID Daily Intent: 3/0/0

6-Week Polarized Mid Volume

Total TID %: 89/0/11
Total TID % Minus Recovery Week: 87/0/13
Load/Deload: 5:1

Week 1 TID %: 89/0/11 (*excluding ramp test)
Week 1 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 2 TID %: 85/0/15
Week 2 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 3 TID %: 88/0/12
Week 3 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 4 TID %: 83/0/17
Week 4 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 5 TID %: 83/0/17
Week 5 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 6 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 6 TID Daily Intent: 3/0/0

6-Week Polarized High Volume

Total TID %: 92/0/8
Total TID % Minus Recovery Week: 91/0/9
Load/Deload: 5:1

Week 1 TID %: 93/0/7 (*excluding ramp test)
Week 1 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 2 TID %: 91/0/9
Week 2 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 3 TID %: 92/0/8
Week 3 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 4 TID %: 87/0/13
Week 4 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 5 TID %: 86/0/14
Week 5 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 6 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 6 TID Daily Intent: 6/0/0

8-Week Polarized Low Volume

Total TID %: 91/0/9
Total TID % Minus Recovery Weeks: 88/0/12
Load/Deload: 3:1

Week 1 TID %: 89/0/11 (*excluding ramp test)
Week 1 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 2 TID %: 85/0/15
Week 2 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 3 TID %: 94/0/6
Week 3 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 4 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 4 TID Daily Intent: 3/0/0

Week 5 TID %: 83/0/17
Week 5 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 6 TID %: 94/0/6
Week 6 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 7 TID %: 82/0/18
Week 7 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/1

Week 8 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 8 TID Daily Intent: 3/0/0

8-Week Polarized Mid Volume

Total TID %: 89/0/11
Total TID % Minus Recovery Weeks: 87/0/13
Load/Deload: 3:1

Week 1 TID %: 89/0/11 (*excluding ramp test)
Week 1 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 2 TID %: 95/0/5
Week 2 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 3 TID %: 86/0/14
Week 3 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 4 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 4 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 5 TID %: 82/0/18
Week 5 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 6 TID %: 82/0/18
Week 6 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 7 TID %: 84/0/16
Week 7 TID Daily Intent: 2/0/2

Week 8 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 8 TID Daily Intent: 3/0/0

8-Week Polarized High Volume

Total TID %: 94/0/6
Total TID % Minus Recovery Weeks: 92/0/8
Load/Deload: 3:1

Week 1 TID %: 93/0/7 (*excluding ramp test)
Week 1 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 2 TID %: 93/0/7
Week 2 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 3 TID %: 91/0/9
Week 3 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 4 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 4 TID Daily Intent: 6/0/0

Week 5 TID %: 85/0/15
Week 5 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 6 TID %: 85/0/15
Week 6 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 7 TID %: 87/0/13
Week 7 TID Daily Intent: 4/0/2

Week 8 TID %: 100/0/0
Week 8 TID Daily Intent: 6/0/0

FAQ

How did you choose the high intensity work?

With this first batch of plans, we are trying to do things as close to β€œby the book” as we can to get valuable data that we can use to improve later on.

As such, we decided to β€œkeep it simple” and stick with the 4, 8, and 16-minute intervals that Dr. Seiler has discussed regarding high intensity prescriptions, and have added in 2-minute intervals of various repetitions and intensities as well. We have not prescribed any Polarize Zone Two work (80-99%) in these plans.

How do I enable these plans?

Since these plans are currently marked β€œExperimental”, you will need to specifically enable access to Polarized plans in your TrainerRoad account.

When you’re logged into TrainerRoad on the web, navigate to your Account page. On the Account page menu, you will find an item called β€œEarly Access.” Head into that tab to enable access to Polarized plans.

You will then be able to find plan details under β€œTraining Plans” to apply to your calendar, as well as replace any chosen Base or Build training block from a custom Plan Builder plan that is already on your account.

What does β€œexperimental” mean?

Experimental means this is the first version of these plans, that these plans are still in their beta phase of production, and that these plans will be improved upon as more data is collected.

Will these work with Adaptive Training?

If you have Closed Beta Access as of today, Adaptive Training will adapt these plans with workouts that may not fall within the designed constraints of these plans.

We are working on next steps so that Adaptive Training will adapt only within the constraints of these plans.

The workouts I am seeing on these plans do not look like an 80/20 distribution and look different than what people are talking about. What gives?

If you currently have early access to Adaptive Training and have enabled the Polarized Plans on your account, you will see a version of these plans that is adapted to your individual progression levels (exciting!).

Once we accomplish the next steps (mentioned in the last question) so that Adaptive Training will adapt only within the constraints of these plans, everybody will see an individualized version of the plan that still falls within the traditional Polarized Training Constraints.

How are these plans periodized?

The duration of these plans allows them to be easily swapped out for existing training blocks on your calendar, but it is important to note that these are not designed to be used as Specialty Blocks.

These plans focus on building your aerobic and high intensity capabilities in a progressive manner, but they are not designed to Specialize your fitness for a specific type of riding or racing. As such, we recommend using our Specialty Plans to Specialize your fitness to the unique demands of your event.

Over time as we get more data on these plans, we’ll be considering implementing a Polarized Training framework into the unique demands of Specialty Blocks.

What are your zones?

We are using the traditionally defined percentages for the polarized three-zone model when based on percentage of FTP:

  • Z1: 50-79%
  • Z2: 80-99%
  • Z3: +100%

Are zone definitions based off of lactate test results where LT1 and LT2 were defined?

No. We are basing these zones on percentage of FTP, and coupled with Adaptive Training, we hope that this can help further customize the prescribed intensity for athletes on these plans.

We understand that using %FTP instead of lactate tests will not provide a perfectly accurate zone division for everybody, but we think Adaptive Training will make the appropriate adjustments for each person to further individualize your training.

Why don’t these plans have 80% of days prescribed as Z1 and 20% as Z3?

Dr. Seiler has noted that the 80/20 guideline can be used to guide training prescription through a given week, but the intention of doing so is to achieve a certain time in zone balance.

Considering the limited days of a low volume plan and mid-volume plans and the volume constraints we are facing with this first batch of plans, we prioritized time in zone over daily training intention prescription.

As we collect more data and feedback on these plans, we may alter this in the future.

Are you including recovery weeks in your TID % for each plan?

The overall TID % is provided for both scenarios, but in all cases the plans end up falling above the 80/20 TID% threshold.

Are you including rest intervals, warmups, and cooldowns in your TID %?

Yes. While this topic is occasionally debated, we view all of your time on the bike as being productive toward a specific goal, so we are including the prescribed warmups, recoveries and cooldowns in our calculations.

Do these plans have long rides?

β€œLong” is relative, but the plans incrementally work up to an endurance ride of the following duration at rates unique to each plan:

  • 6-Week Low Volume: 2 Hours
  • 6-Week Mid Volume: 3 Hours
  • 6-Week High Volume: 4 Hours
  • 8-Week Low Volume: 3 Hours
  • 8-Week Mid Volume: 4 Hours
  • 8-Week High Volume: 5 Hours

If you want longer rides than this, you are welcome to make them longer by swapping out longer workouts, extending intervals, etc.

I was expecting much higher volume plans. Why are these plans so low in volume?

As these are our first batch of Polarized Plans, we want to have as close to an apples-to-apples comparison as possible to work from with our existing plans. As we get more data, we may add additional volume variants of these plans.

Some of the polarized workouts not in the plans look way too easy and way too intense. Why did you make them?

Think of those workouts as bench warmers that are ready to serve edge cases.

These plans are designed within the context of Adaptive Training and anticipate potential FTP increase as an athlete moves through a plan. As such, the prescribed high intensity workouts within the plans follow a productive progression while still allowing a lot of latitude for Adaptive Training to adjust the plan to an athlete’s current abilities.

In any case, Adaptive Training will make sure to give you the right workout every time.

Can I follow these plans outside?

We are currently creating an Outside Workout version for each of these new workouts, so while you may have a workout without an outside version in the next few days, you will soon be able to do all workouts in this plan outside with your Garmin or Wahoo head unit.

Are you going to update these plans / release more Polarized Plans?

Our intent is to constantly improve our plans and to introduce new training methodologies in a data-driven way to make people faster. As we get more data on how a Polarized Training framework is best utilized to make people faster, we will improve our existing plans and possibly add more.

What does TrainerRoad need in order to update these plans?

Data! The more people that follow these plans, and the greater degree of adherence with which they follow the plans, the greater volume and quantity of data we will have. So if you have wanted Polarized Training Plans from TrainerRoad, give these a shot!

I’m still confused on what Polarized Training is…

It’s a tricky one! See @SeanHurley’s awesome article on Polarized Training here.

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Well done TR Team!!!

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Ooh, Tuco looks brutal.

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Good stuff, great work on the plansπŸ™Œ. Can’t wait to take a proper look at them😁

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This is so great and will try them out. Appreciate all the hard work and everything that is coming in the future.

Edit: I am assuming they will show up in the beta Ios TR app the next update? @Jonathan

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Edit: These plans are accessible under Training Plans on the web only as of now.

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Signed up and am going to start it from next week.

Really glad TR did this. It is very much appreciated you took feedback from the community to heart and figured out a way to make it work. Kudos to everyone who made this all happen.

So about that beta invite… :smiley:

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The longest ride I can find in the High Volume Build plan is 2hours!?

Just added 6 week MV to start on the 29th. Would start next week but work travel.

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Could be easy to just move one workout so you have 2 on the same day (like doing 1 + 2 hour rides) and make a nice long ride from 3-4+ hours depending on which you choose. Also leads to 5 on and 2 off vs the 6/1 default. Options depending on people’s available time, willingness to do them inside vs outside and other considerations.

Edit to add, looking at:

  • HV 6 week: Sunday starts at 2 hours, but ends at 4 hours in week 5.
  • HV 8 week: Sunday starts at 2 hours, but ends at 5 hours in week 7.
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Check out Highland in week 7, it’s 5 hours.

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That is what I see in 8 weeks Polarized HV. I just realized the durations do not add up to the total hours on the left. ThatΒ΄s a bug?

Looks like a bug to me. I’m also showing Highland as a 5-hour ride in week 7 of POL HV. Your screenshot cuts off before the last workout on the right. There are 6 workouts per week not 5. That indicates a visual bug, I’d say.

Hmm, strange. Thanks for the reply.

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No problem glad i could help

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Huge kudos for listening to the feedback out there and addressing much of it in this post @Jonathan and team. We can argue days vs. time in zone, etc., but it says a lot about you that one of the first things I noticed is the split for each plan, PLUS the split minus the recovery week. Chapeau!

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I get β€œTIZ” = Time In Zone. And I get there’s debate about days in zone vs time in zone. But what does β€œTID” stand for?

TID = Training Intensity Distribution

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