Seller’s 9-day cycle

Didn’t see it mentioned here, but Stephen Seiler only trains one athlete - his daughter. And he tweeted last week about how he moved her from a 7-day training cycle to a 9-day cycle to help regulate intensity.

I have seen that concept discussed here before, and I’ve even played around with it myself, but I thought I’d share. Note that his daughter is a runner, not a cyclist…as you might expect, it’s polarized.

If any of you have tried anything like this, I’d love to see the plan. I couldn’t get past the fact that I have more time to ride on weekends than during week…and it was hard to account for that in a 9 day cycle.

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Since WFH lockdown I’ve moved to an 8-day POL cycle…cuz everyday is the weekend.

2x 3 on/1 off (3 on = 2 easy/1 hard).

It’s made it so I can do both a proper mix of volume and intensity vs only certain workouts on certain days.

The 7-day TR cycle is obviously designed for the standard 9-5er work week, so some compromises will eventually happen.


I think it’s pretty common if you don’t have real world commitments to go to a longer ‘internal cycle’. I’ve heard of coaches pushing it out to a 10-14 day cycle if the athlete just has ‘unlimited’ time.

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I wish I could. I can’t do long rides during the week, which makes it impossible unless I go to a 14 day cycle.

What I found interesting is that she needs that much easy days. But also, she always goes off plan and adds more intensity than prescribed.

I also found it interesting that she uses a 5 zone model and does work in Z4.

Well when it comes to running easy running is key. Most of the top runners in the world do a whole lot of slow miles. Its not like cycling where most bodies can handle 3-4 days a week of smashing it.

There is nothing “biological” or “scientific” (at least not that I am aware of) about a 7-day cycle…but it simply fits the societal schedule of most people. Most people have more time to train on weekends, etc.

The key, it would seem, is to find an appropriate stress / recovery schedule that works for your lifestyle / availability to train.


How do you implement recovery weeks ? after 2 cycles (16 days) ?

I have been doing a 3 or 4 day on (2 hard rides, 1 or 2 easy) 1 day off thing for last 5 weeks without trying to fit it into a 7 day week. Doing an easy week now cause legs are knackered but I like the setup. I like being able to add in extra easy ride as needed.

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Not really any need for recovery weeks when recovery is built into the cycle, especially with Polarized.

I know from past experience that I can handle a lot of Z2 volume without recovery. Adding intensity/hard days means I also add ‘off’ days, giving me 3 days of restoration between those hard days.

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How does it look on a calendar? Personally, I’m intrigued by keeping a 7-day block (for easy scheduling), but structuring it like this.

M: Hard (4x8 min Supra-Threshold, 1 hr)
T: LSD (2.5-3 HR Z2)
W: EZ (75-90-min Z2)
F: Hard (vO2 max, 1 hr)
S: LSD (2.5-3 HR Z2)

Total HR: 9.5 (realistically could be 8-10hr). What I like about this is that I have 3-4 nights of rest between my two high-intensity days. It lets me be a normal human on the weekends.

Curious to see an actual calendar from some folks who are doing 8 or 9 or 10-day cycles. This would be something like what I’d plan on a 2x 9-day cycle. Lots of saddle time.


It’s not going to look like a regular per week schedule; it’s independent of day of the week.
The easy/hard/off days will always be rotating.


I really like this, will give it a go!

On the 9 day topic, it’s great from the training point of view but would drive me crazy for planning other life activities / group rides etc

It’s a great idea. I could see a lot of benefits of following a non-7day cycle.

But like others with real world commitments, the small gain that I can see getting from following a different cycle is outweighed by the difficulty of getting the long workouts in during the week.

For instance, I’d have to take time off of work to shoe horn in a long workout during the week. I don’t think that is worth it (just for training).

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I also like consistency with my high intensity days, it allows me to better plan for the workout ahead. I know that Monday’s and Friday’s are going to be really tough, but also not more than 90 min. Throttle myself, be done, go to work.

The 9-day thing does seem neat for those who don’t have as many commitments or can explorer a bit more with their training schedule.

Hiya, I have modified SSB LV1 to a nine day schedule. I am 63 and retired. My primary aim was to control my fatigue. I have completed four weeks of the nine the plan has expanded to. I inserted a recovery week at week 4 as I felt I needed the extra recovery.

Hope this helps. As others have stated I have the time to do this.

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For 20 years I have wished for training purpose that there were 8 or 10 days in a week to make training cycles easier to plan.