Polarized Training - Swapping one ride for Zwift race, but which?

Hi All,

I’ve started the Polarized MV base plan (sort of, these past 2 weeks have been nuts with other life events so kind of patchy with consistency).

I’ve been thinking that maybe I might swap out one of the intensity rides for a Zwift race, so either the VO2 workout, or the Saturday threshold workout.

I don’t race in the summer, so I train just for fitness but I do like to go to places where I can do some decent climbing on the bike on holiday (hopefully off to the Alps next July).

Question then, which workout to swap out (VO2 Max vs Threshold)? The Tuesday VO2 Max workouts are an hour and the Saturday Threshold up to 90mins.

Any ideas on any good races? My FTP is about 240w currently (probably a bit lower now as have not been too consistent as mentioned for a couple of weeks). My w/kg is about 3.5 but I can get it up to 3.9 with regular training. My preference would be climbing races. I’m 51yo.

Thanks all!

Depends on the nature of the Zwift race. If long climbs, then switch for threshold session. If more punchy, switch for the VO2.

Doing this, you will probably be sacrificing quality, but if racing on Zwift is fun and motivating, probably a decent strategy.

Thanks, makes sense regarding race type. Interesting point about quality. I guess my view would be that ‘real world’ riding also provides quality, albeit more aligned to actual efforts on the road. So 4x8 min intervals might help build that physiological response but that’s not how one rides outdoors and so the quality is in the realism if that makes sense.

I’m leaning more towards losing the VO2 Max and going for shorter races instead, and keeping the long threshold rides as true ‘quality’ to build my climbing engine.

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Alp de Zwift races can make a great threshold workout, one big long climb 40-50min near ftp

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Well you flatter me by suggesting an AdZ race would be 40-50 mins but thank you! I can do a sub-hour AdZ but that’s at peak fitness and it’s pretty much a high Sweetspot effort. Anything above that and I burn my matches pretty quickly.

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