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

How about we look at it from the opposite perspective. Say I adjusted my FTP to where my blood lactate test said my LT2 is - 233 watts. That means for Miller Peak I did…

108% for 16 min
8 min rest
108% for another 8 mins
1 min rest
108% for 2 mins
30 second rest
108% for 90 seconds
1 min rest
108% for 2 min

SO…if my FTP is set to high and I was doing supra threshold work at that level for those durations I’m fine with it. If fact, I think its pretty impressive to hold 108% for 16 mins then again for 8 more mins, etc.

Exactly my thought. It will then assess and suggest adjustment properly for the people with same too high FTP. But for those who set FTP properly, it could prescribe some suboptimal workouts.
For example: people with too high FTP: trend shows 8 workouts in a row during 3 weeks at sweetpsot with increased duration shows failure/very difficult rating in the 3rd week. Let’s stop increasing duration after 2 weeks. Very good for the β€œtoo high FTP” club. For the β€œgood FTP club”: the stop in duration increase in 3rd week is not optimal.

Truth is probably in the middle. As I said, probably 3-4% overestimation on ftp in your case. But yes, your performance was nothing to be ashamed of, considering your ftp is really overestimated. Endurance athletes are tougher than normal people, and we are all able to do 2x16mn. What you felt is closed to what you should feel with the 16mn 102% intervals coming later. And here I am sure the progression in the plan from 100% to 102% will help you to manage it.

I don’t think there’s such a thing. In fact I’m sure I’ve listened to Chad define FTP as how pretty much everyone defines it. N.B. not hour power. So I’m not sure there’s anything specific to TR going on.

Right. I didn’t actually mean it was proprietary to TR. More of a β€œramp test estimated” FTP vs actual power at LT2 determined by a blood lactate test. Similar to how you can estimate your VO2 by doing a graded treadmill test and entering your numbers into a formula vs actually using a metabolic cart to measure your oxygen consumption.

Just checking… you don’t need a blood test to measure FTP, right? You can simply do the full FTP test i.e., pedal at threshold for as long as you can hang on.
I don’t think TR cares from where you obtain your FTP, simply that they need one to drive the intensity of the workouts. TR does promote the ramp test, but only because the protocol is easier for most people, not because they expect/want the number to be different from other protocols nor because that protocol works better for driving workout intensity.


Yes. Actually you do, assuming FTP is defined as LT2. There are many ways to estimate FTP and as you can tell by this thread there can be a lot of disagreement on FTP testing protocols as they all have their pros and cons. I feel that there really is an over reliance on FTP since TR bases all their workouts on percentages of that. But as FTP is an estimate for most, VO2 and SS workouts may be achievable but Threshold may not. Hopefully this is where Adaptive Training can help where it adjust workouts to make them achievable even if FTP is off. In the meantime, this may take manual adjustments to either FTP or workout intensity based on HR, RPE, or achievability.


That seems like a fairly arbitrary assumption. Why wouldn’t I use Coggan’s definition?

Its been said on numerous podcasts that THE most important test of your FTP is your ability to complete the workouts. Chad, Nate, Jonathon have all said it multiple times.

If you can’t complete 2 x 16 then you need to reset your FTP lower and try again. At some point you’ll find the number that makes this achievable.

The ramp test is one of several TR tests that aims to estimate your FTP and they have also said that it only works for a % of the population. Try the 20 min test and see what result that gives you. Odds on you’ll have a different result.


Is it possible that if we put as much prep into an anticipated tough workout like we did for our ramp test, we would find workouts like 2x16 more achievable? I tend to psych myself up for ramp tests and probably come out with a somewhat inflated value.

Miller Peak intimidated me leading up to it after a tough experience with San Pedro. I had guessed that I was not fully recovered from a previous day’s run and had under fueled for San Pedro.

So for Miller Peak I took the same level of care preparing for it that I would for a ramp test and rested properly as well as fueled the workout with a bottle of 84g of carbs that I usually save for long weekend rides. I guess it all depends on everyone’s physiology and habits, but I found this worked well for me and had no problem completing the workout.

Hard to determine which had more impact (fueling vs rest) but I think the mindful approach to prep was the difference between a poor workout on San Pedro than a successful workout with Mount Grant.


2x16 shouldn’t be a hard workout.


Some feedback for TR on the plans:

  1. I’m overwhelming positive on the plans. They match much better with my life and the way I prefer to train anyway. Whether they make me faster remains to be seen.
  2. I think the biggest difference is mental. Mentally, they’re a lot easier for me knowing that Tuesday and Thursday are very hard, but the rest of the week is comparatively less intense.
    3). The emphasis on long and steady rides on the weekends again works well with how I prefer to ride. It also doesn’t overwhelm my ability to recover which, being over 40, is the biggest challenge for me (and I suspect many TR users). Dialing down the intensity lessens that mental load and makes it much easier to recover.
    4). I greatly prefer the 4X4 minutes at less than 120%. The 3X3 at 120 during MV build just destroyed me and I couldn’t recover from the efforts. By contrast, 4x4 at 106 or 110 sneaks up on you. By the end I’m suffering, but it’s much more gradual, which makes it easier from a mental standpoint.

The summary, for me, is that the reduction in intensity is mentally easier and makes it easier to recover. Whether it makes you faster is open for debate and we’ll see.

  • Adrian

I am really puzzled, why people are looking for complicated theories about why they are not able to perform the longish 16mn threshhold intervals, when the answer is obvious.

San Pedro is 8mn intervals. Something you can definetly do if your FTP is overestimated by 3-4% with anaerobic contribution. But 16mn intervals of Miller Peak is way more difficult. First interval is doable thanks to the anaerobic contribution, but everything is gone in second interval and you blow up halfway through it. For sure you feel they are mentally challenging. You are over your capability.

But guys, I think whatever the evidences, and whatever the advices from competent people here who are able to sustain 40mn+ at threshold, and are doing it regularly, you will not hear and prefer ignore the truth. Please keep doing it the same way, it is looking like you will fail every single threshold workout of the plan. Nice way to sabotage your training. But hey, at least you gained 10W on the Ramp test result, so you are definetely a better cyclist… Nevermind if you can’t hold FTP only 2x16mn at a time consistently (yes you might be able to do it fresh and well fueled and pumped up by music and whatever, but after 1 or 2 hours in a road race or a punchy group ride, forget it you will explode)…


I’m not on a Polarized Plan and I certainly don’t claim to know the science behind these plans, but this left me scratching my head.

Sorry @ErickVH I quoted you because your response is to the point.

If 2x16 isn’t hard, why is it in a plan? I thought Polarized Plans encouraged you to go hard on the hard days, easy on the easy days. Is this thinking too simplistic? Is 2x16 not a hard day?

Coming at this with my overly simplistic view of training (TR Platform), I struggle to understand why people fail any workout. Lets leave sleep, nutrition and whatever else to one side and focus on FTP.

Why can’t everyone, with a correctly set FTP complete O/Us? Why do some TR users hate those workouts? They’re a good test of your FTP. Can you recover and go again, and again, and again? Why not?

Personally, O/Us are something I enjoy. I know that’s not the case for every TR user. I don’t believe that everyone is ever going to find Carpathian Peak +2/+3 something they look forward to doing. You build up to those efforts and you feel great when you crack it.

So I guess my uneducated question is, are 2x16s not supposed to push you? Do you not have to build to that effort?

1 Like

There is hard and hard. There is hard like I stop in the second 16mn interval because my ftp is too high. And there is hard like I am at threshold and able to finish the workout as part of a progression which will bring me to the point where I can go 4x16mn with 2mn rest. Which would be very very difficult to finish, even with a proper ftp setting if you go 4 days sweetspot before. That is what polorized is about. It does not mean go easy and wreck yourself to failure on each hard workout.


Hard is β€˜this might not be possible’ not β€˜I’m a baby and don’t want to do it’. You should have several of the latter and very few to none of the former.


It is odd but I am mentally challenged by an upcoming 2 * 16 minute at threshold when in reality I know I am perfectly capable of it…
How do I know - well I did an average of 265w for 29 minutes in the Kolie Moore Baseline test (available in TR workouts) only 10 days ago without resting in advance.
Furthermore I have a 25M TT in 10 days time (best get the TT bike out on the road before then) and I would expect to deliver an hour of power of ~265w depending on how I feel on the day and conditions.

Every other metric I have (WKO5, Xert) all say that my FTP is ~265.

and yet I am concerned about 2 * 16. Mind games.


Yeah, exactly the definition of ErickVH of β€œhard”: I know I can do it, I know it will be unpleasant, eventually it will suck. I am a baby I don’t want to do it. This is the good β€œhard” definition.

1 Like

Nice summary Adrian. I am 1.5 week into HV and enjoying it.
I am a bit frustrated to see my CTL drop but I will accept that for now. It has not been the best weather to get out for the longer outside rides at the moment either.

I have no idea of how it will pan regarding FTP but I am prepared to try it. It is experimental after all.

Keep updating us on your progress.

1 Like

What volume are you doing? I was thinking about trying POL plan, but when i saw that it contains 2min intervals @ 124-130% i was not thinking anymore. I really struggle on 2-3min @ 120%, noway that i could manage 2min @ 128%…