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

Zone 1 :wink:

I couldn’t agree more, I felt as though my FTP should have been higher because I felt strong with the weeks prior threshold 16min intervals. I bumped it up 5% and got through the first interval but only just and then dropped it for the second and third but had blown myself up on the first. It’s a simple fact my FTP is what it actually is.

In my opinion follow the FTP that you tested at and if you feel strong in the last interval maybe ramp it up a bit towards the end of the interval.

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Zone 1 is usually used in a 3 zone model? I’m using a 7 Zone model I think. So Zone 2 would be a zone 1 I think.

My values, but shows the general comparison of 7-Level (used by TR in most cases) and 3-Zone (specifically for POL use). Note that Coggan is using β€œLevel” as the term vs "Zone. But most people (me included) slip and use β€œZones” when it’s not the best, which leads to some of the confusion.

General practice when discussing POL training is to use the 3-zone model info. Delightfully confusing, right? :stuck_out_tongue:


Can POL Z1 be 80% FTP?

Delightfully AWESOME POST!!! Thank you Chad!

Depends on who you ask, not to mention the rider in question.

My chart was made based upon some wishy-washy information from Seiler on the 3 or 4 podcasts in late 2018, that kicked off the POL craze. I had to interpolate multiple data points and try to connect the dots they never offered.

I don’t claim my sheet is perfect and is likely not something you want to rely on for fine tuning. But based on some review and comments from others, it’s reasonably close and can help understand the basics of POL zones.

Seller in particular says you don’t necessarily want to flirt with the zone boundaries in most training. So hitting something in the middle of Z1 and Z3 should be fine for most planning.


Yeah and reading about Pol a lot on forums here lately… seems it’s still not clear.

I’m interested in upping my Z1 efforts and seeing if I can still complete the Z3 work. Will try more this week and see how it goes. Might try a week or two around 80% FTP for Z1 and see that goes.

Would be very interesting if you could ride a ton of 80% FTP all week and stay fresh enough… Would turn you into a beast I think.

Some sort of beast - but generally what happens when you push LT1 higher and higher is that you lose some of the ability to increase your VO2 work. So basically you start to turn into a Luke Rowe or Tim Declercq type rider - a bigger and bigger engine who can ride at high power (relative to threshold) for long periods of time, but cannot punch much above threshold at all. If that suits your goals, then by all means carry on

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Was thinking that VO2 max is kinda always capped short term anyway season on season. Seems to be volume that can really push it into new areas over the years. Surely you could just take an easy period and sharpen up each season.

Best of both worlds?

I’m actually doing loads of Z1 work now to see if that boosts my VO2 max in the years ahead. But if I can do a lot of that work at say 75 or even 80% then that would be even more fun.

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Based on what he says in YouTube videos, I think 80% HR max is the cutoff for endurance work - not 80% FTP. Depending on your body, 80% FTP may take your HR above that cutoff and your endurance rides might not be easy enough.


Thanks Matt, will try that this week. See what watts my 80% HR is and compare it to 80% FTP. Thing is I’m not really sure what max HR is… especially as I had a habit of riding without HR strap in past year. Might have to did back though old workouts in years past and find some standout efforts that might have taken me there…

First week of MV complete… Plan is drop my running from 5 days to 4 days to work alongside this plan which has gone fine this week. Is it normal to be getting (5 zone) Z1 heart rates when doing POLZ1? My endurance HR ATM is around 30 BPM lower than the equivalent when I’m running.

Happy with it being easy as this is the point, just wandering if I shouldnt be concerned too much about hr with this

Seiler says running has highest HR Max, and cycling maybe you should call HR Peak instead of you wanted to be really accurate with language there.

Think he said running maybe six or seven beats higher than cycling max on average. So I guess 30 watts difference in a zone is too much.

Yes, it is possible that your/ours ftp is higher during the polarized training each week, that’s why your last ftp intervals accumulate to a 2x16=64m at 102% and 104% of ftp but you have to take in consideration your fatigue and TSS , and i think the algorithms also take that into account.Outside you/I can do easily that 105%.

LT1 around 80% FTP is very possible, probably even common.

No evidence for the following statement but I suspect it is generally higher the better shape one is in.

The middle to end of the session mine seems to be about 80 - 82% of FTP
I noticed when I was pretty badly detrained (back in 2017, almost 6 months off except a ride or two a week) it was about 78%

Agree with those saying its not a target, you don’t need to be training up to the limit. Not using a POL TiD at the moment but typically if my LT1 was ~80% I’d be doing my Z1 rides around 70 - 75%

(When it was around 78% I did my Z1 rides around 65 - 70%.)


Shared numbers are helpful, so we can see the level of variation out there. I don’t consider myself unfit or detrained but I definitely have the power curve of a sprinter. Today was warm and my ratio was 64% FTP : 73% HR max.

There is pretty much always a difference in HR zones betwen running, cycling and swimming. It has been documented for around 30 years. Have a read of β€œSerious training for endurance athletes”. It is basically because cycling is NOT weight bearing, and swimming more so.

When a serious triathlete (Ironman etc.) I had around a 7-10 beat drop from running to cycling, and again a drop to swimming, across max and my threshold and endurance zones.


That should be cycling is NOT weight bearing unlike running. Which is why walking, jogging, hiking, running is suggested for your bone health but cycling isn’t.


Of cycling, swiming and running yes. Cycling is normally the lowest, swiming second (if you are any good at it) of the three.

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