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

Good question and I am not sure there is a good answer.

Based on other threads and replies it seems the Guys a TR are slightly obsessed with the intervals used in the 2011 study by S. Seiler, K. Joranson et.al. 4x 4’, 4x 8’, 4x 16’.

No ideal why you’d put 2x 16 @ 100% in a β€˜real’ world training plan. In the study its 4x 16, but personally I wouldn’t use 16’ intervals very often if at all.

Yes it is a β€˜hard’ day (but 4x 16 in the study), given that aren’t many hard days it is important to complete them, hence the comments people failing them off over inflated FTPs or the ramp test.

It is worth noting Seiler, uses hour power

Also 4x 16 is the easiest session of the three in terms of reported RPE.

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Maybe you already mentioned it in the thread, sorry if is the case :slight_smile: , but what would be your β€œideal” threshold progression in the 6wk POL plan? In terms of intervals, %FTP and progress? Would you put emphasis on getting longer intervals? or shorter intervals but with more repeats ? I would be interested to read

Not sure if this question is meant for me?

I’m not doing POL training and to be honest, I don’t see myself doing POL training. I was just reading the thread and saw an opportunity to educate myself.

I was trying to get a gauge of what is considered a hard session with regards to POL Plans :+1:

Actually it was for @Bbt67 :slight_smile:

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I have posted a fair bit in various threads most have dropped down the order now there is a TR Polarised Thread.
There is a lot of good information in the older threads, and I don’t mean by myself. There is also the normal $*Β£%^&. to sort through… :wink:

I’ve answer some of your questions here…

and (and the post below, scroll down)

The shorter intervals less than 5 minutes I’d tend to do a 2 sets, an example 2 sets of 4x 4’
I don’t think I’ve ever done the 4x 4’ session, it has always been 6-8x 4’ or the 2x 4x 4’ just mentioned.

If a TTer I would progress longer Supra-Thresholds sessions extend them to close goal event time, otherwise I’d focus more on the punchy, Breakaway and Rouleur efforts 5 - 10 minutes and then start increasing the power and or start sitting closer to FTP in the recovery valleys.

Generally I like to keep the hard days over 105% FTP but never do these intervals based on FTP. I use the PDC and take ~92 - 95% as the target.

Getting event specific do the intervals and then just sit on FTP as long as possible (a total killer to be used sparingly before a good taper)

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For ease as a reminder of what POL 6 week MV looks like in terms of threshold and VO2 intervals I have re-listed them. Count * Minutes @xxx%

WK1 Ramp Test , 4 * 8 100% recovery 5 mins
WK2 4 * 4 106% , 2 * 16 100% recovery 8 mins
WK3 6 * 2 120% , 3 * 16 100% recovery 8 mins
WK4 9 * 2 120% , 4 * 16 100% recovery 8 mins
WK5 9 * 2 124% , 4 * 16 102% recovery 3 mins YES 3 mins not 8 mins
WK6 Easy week

So all the talk about 2 * 16 minutes at 100% being hard is nothing compared with 4 * 16 minutes at 102% only three weeks later. However the workouts are progressive. I am looking forward to seeing how it goes


I gave the PDC tip earlier in this thread (something I picked up from WKO seminars)

It worked out for @Shrike


Is that with 3 minute recoveries as per S. Seiler et.al.
If I remember correctly the well-trained subjects did 4x 16 at 95-97% FTP, the prescription, as with all, was do 4x 16 as hard as you can.

Anyway if you can do 4x 16 at 102% your should be in for a good FTP bump and higher sustainable power (wonder how well that will show up in a ramp test).

I’ve done the classic 2x 20 Threshold session at 104% and 102% and three weeks later tested my FTP and it was up ~7%


Updated the post to show the recovery time for the longer intervals. 8 minutes for the 16 minute efforts bar the last so 4 * 16 @102% with 3 minute recovery between. I bet that 3 minutes goes past quickly.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record on this point, but I totally agree with you. I dont understand the obsession with 4, 8 & 16m intervals, particularly when done like a 2x16?

There are plenty of ways to create a effective progression of β€˜hard’ sessions for a polarised plan that use some of the excellent progressions already put together by TR in other plans.


The only real explanation is that TR have tried to be as exact as possible to whatever Seiler might have stated (or inferred).
I am hoping that as people complete the blocks that the plans will change/evolve. They are labelled as experimental after all

One example might be adding a bit of variety to the workouts I have listed a few posts above. I dont think Seiler was specific on exact workouts and TR must have a good history of a series of VO2 workouts that have a good completion rate. The current ones are a bit unadventorous

Seiler has said a lot of things, including β€˜solve the problem’ and β€˜solve the equation’ which simply puts the ball back in the athletes court.

Seiler is an exercise physiologist, not an experienced professional cycling coach that has been paid to solve athletes programming problem for 10+ years.

The net-net is that TrainerRoad took a shot at solving the programming problem, using whatever logic they decided made sense. Bottom line is you either get happy with TR’s plan, change the plan yourself, or find a good coach to help out.


And the Seiler intervals are the perfect starting point. According to the original study, they work in a POL structure, and work very well.

Better to start with that, then improve upon them if needed as data rolls in.

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I did not say that I was unhappy with the plans. I was saying that I expect that, as they are experimental, that they will change over time.
I have wanted TR to produce these plans for a long time and I hope they have a good take up and completion rate.

My thinking too - would be impressive at an FTP of 233, then again maybe the lab test is on the low side? FTP, or LT2, or whichever metric we’re talking about is not a perfect point estimate, it could vary on better days vs. worse days. You may have improved since your visit in the lab.

Last but not least, the conditions in the lab may have been worse than the conditions you train in. Wearing stuff on your face and being stung doesn’t really help achieve top performance does it? Were you even on your own bike? Was the power measuring device the same one you use in training?

Can we compromise on 240 watts? :wink:

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I’m doing the POL HV. I’m not doing the Friday workout (or every some days the Wednesday workout). So it boils down to hard Tuesday, easy Wednesday, really hard Thursday, then easy and long as you can the rest of the week.

I’m also lifting three days a week and I find that really impacts my ability as the absolute intensity increases. I.e 16 min at threshold is much easier than 120% for 2 min - even if ordinarily i prefer intervals of 2 min or less (or 15 min or more sub threshold)

One thing I wonder about is the progression between polarized base and build? It seems like there’s such a crazy drop between week 5 of base and week 1 of build which basically makes you just start over? I’m doing HV.

So here is my plan. I’ve been fairly stagnant for over a year. Also I have been getting quite worn down. I took part of December and January off and dropped about 30 watts but have made that back.

I am 52 and I am a mailman and walk about 21 km or 13 miles 5 days a week. My garmin 945 is always saying my activity is to high from walking but I do not have a choice lol.

As I have given up on getting adaptive training for quite a few months I have switched to a polarized plan to try and build my base more.

I am on the 8 week polarized mid volume plan that has me riding 4 days a week. I am then adding 2-3 days a week of zone 2 rides either on the trainer or outside. I really feel better when I’ve ridden.

I am also working out 6 days a week for 30 to 40 minutes a day but this is mainly upper body and core work to balance things out.

Any advice or guidance? I am really trying to build my base fitness. I am trying to stay away from hardish rides but its so hard not to push. I visited my kids last week in Kelowna. The nice roads, mountains and weather… Had to push it a bit. Was a blast!

Welcome to the thread. Riding 5 days a week, strength training 6 days a week and walking a HM 5 days a week. And you say you are looking to boost base fitness.
Base sounds pretty good to me.

I thought so as well. Then I bailed on today’s workout. Seems I’ve done too much this week. I could have struggled through it but realized I would pay later. Going to drop all my indoor rides to zone 2 and then have fun with outside rides within reason. I’m also quite overweight still.