Sweet Spot Base LV vs Polarized Base HV

Kind of an odd question, but something I’ve been thinking about since the polarized plans were moved out of beta.

I’m just about to wrap up a build phase and am looking to jump back into base rather than go to specialized.

For years, I’ve been doing LV + extra Z2 to get myself into the 6-10 hours per week range.

That works out something like this.

  • Monday : Rest
  • Tuesday : Low-Volume Workout
  • Wednesday : 1 hr Z2
  • Thursday : Low-Volume Workout
  • Friday : 1 hr Z2
  • Saturday : Low Volume Workout + 1 hr Z2
  • Sunday : 2-3 hr Z2

Now, I’m looking at the polarized plans and I’m kind of surprised how closely they match what I’ve already been doing. Kind of the key differences I notice are that under what I’m currently doing I have three workouts per week, but the HV polarized plan really only has two workouts per week. That being said, it looks like the polarized workouts are indeed a higher level of difficulty.

So now I’m thinking, do I just commit to a HV polarized plan, or should I stick with what I’m doing?

I guess one of the challenges with the polarized plan is it does involve some weekday rides that are longer than one hour.

Probably, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really make a difference, but it is an interesting thought.

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I’m debating this as well as I do the exact thing you’re doing. Interested to hear what other think. Personally, I think I’m going to do the polarized this summer since the workouts are probably easier to do outside than the traditional plans. Those long midweek Z2 rides, I’ll probably cut them a bit short if needed, then just make up the time on the weekends.

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What does “low volume workout” mean?

The thing that quickly jumps out to me is that you’d be going from what I assume is 7-8 hours a week to 10-12 hours a week. That could lead to very fast burnout. You might want to try the mid volume Polarized plan first.

They just mean the workout assigned by the TR Low Volume Plan.

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By low-volume, I just mean the workout as prescribed by the low-volume plan.

Looking at the high-volume polarized plan, at least the base phase, the weeks range from 7.5-10 hours per week. Which is exactly the same amount of time I’m already aiming to put in each week.

I think maybe the biggest time difference is I’m currently doing higher weekend volume and lower weekday volume.

Not sure what you’re seeing, but what I see for Base HV Pol is
Wk1 - 10 hours
Wk2 - 12 hours
Wk3 - 11 hours
Wk4 - 11 hours
Wk5 - 11 hours
Wk6 - 7 hours (rest week before next phase)

Pretty much what I do except I drop the SS workout. So; LV +

Mon LV threshold
Tue 1-3 Hr Z2 or rest
Wed LV Vo2 or 1 Hr Z2
Thur 3-4 Hr Z2 outdoor solo
Fri LV Vo2 or 1 Hr Z2
Sat 4-5 Hr z2 climbing group ride (tempo when needed to get over climbs)

Basically my wed/fri is interchangeable pending schedule. If I have a busy week or am feeling tired I’ll drop a shorter z2 day for an extra rest day.

I put more value in at least 1 3-4 Hr z2 day than others. I find that it makes a big difference when I have to produce power in the 3,4,5th hour of an event.

Look at the weeks

He could have lower endurance PL score, which make the volume lower than yours. the good thing is endurance PLs are a lot easier to build up than any other.

Agreed. That’s why i shared the weekly volume I see. I’m just trying to get him to look at the actual plan and not just the overview. The overview is skewed because the rest week is significantly fewer hours, which makes the average week appear shorter than it is. If you go into HV with time constraints and then find out you have to skip workouts every week, then you’d have been better off with MV.


I just switched from SSB Mid to Polarized Mid and it gave me longer workouts during the week and an extra rest day. I plan to add a Z2 ride and maintain my two rest days which has been working out pretty well.

My question - is it better to schedule a Z2 workout and do it outside for my added day or just do the ride and let TR figure it out?

For sure, next week I’m starting MV polarized build with the shorter rides during the week and the longer ones on the weekend. Adding extra minutes where I can depending on life. I’ll average around 10 hours similar to HV but I can’t commit to HV.
So I agree MV+ would be better for OP.

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I’m in my first week of switching from LV Build to MV POL Build and I’m tying something similar. I can do the 2 higher intensity workouts on days I work from home (usually outside too). I can then do 1 of the 2 longer Z2 workouts during the weekend. I then use the middle of the week to add in some Z2 which “makes up” for the other longer Z2 I can’t do (these are indoors late at night). With work and family comittments, this is pretty much as best as I can do. It’s not perfect but I think it gets me 80-90% of the way there. My schedule looks like this:

  • Monday : 1 hour POL Vo2
  • Tuesday : 1 hour Z2
  • Wednesday : 1 hour Z2
  • Thursday : 1 hour Z2
  • Friday : 1.5 hour POL Threshold
  • Saturday : 2 hour POL Endurance
  • Sunday : Rest

I’m telling you, even when i look at the weeks, on my computer hv is 7-10 hours per week.

To me it would seem the pre built plans are different on each others computers?


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@Foodpedaling has a good point. I wonder if the progression levels in the case of the polarized plans actually change the prescribed volume? I haven’t seen this to be the case with the normal plans, but maybe it is the case with the polarized plans. That would explain why we’re seeing such different volume numbers.

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My endurance PL is 5.5
POL HV weeks 1-3 are 11:00, 11:20, 11:30
5-7 are 12:00, 12:05, 12:25
I think that’s why there’s discrepancies in each of our “plans”.

My schedule For POL MV BUILD;
Monday: Vo2 90 mins
Tuesday: 90 mins endurance
Wednesday: 90 mins endurance
Thursday : off
Friday: 90 min supra threshold with an extra hour Z2
Saturday:3-5 hours Z2 depending on life.
Sunday: rest and eat

Comes out to around 9-11 hours depending on life and
Work. I don’t have any events for a while, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes!


Yeah, so here’s where I’m at. My endurance PL is much lower and it would seem that has a downstream effect on how it plans my weeks.


Indeed, my current PL’s and POL Base HV for reference: