Trad base + something to keep short power?

Well, I’ve lost hope that I’ll be racing anytime before July, which means I need to refocus. Since I’m able to squeeze 2-3hr workouts into the morning now (no commute!), I’ve decided to try out a nice block of traditional base to try to avoid the trainer burnout that I’d usually get by now. My question is whether I should throw one high intensity workout in a week (or so) just in case the road calendar opens up in July and I need to be ready. Thoughts on if that’s needed (how much short power would I lose by ignoring the system completely) and what length/type of workouts I should add in if I’m looking to maintain some short power.

Any thoughts out there? Also - anyone find that their Z2 power zone is not matching up with Z2 HR zone at all? I’ve been training with power for so long I wasn’t really paying attention to low power heart rates - but I’ve done a few of these 2hr Z2 workouts now and my HR barely edges into Z2 from Z1 for any amount of time. Just don’t want to be cheating myself if I’m going to be spending all that time in the saddle!

Go polarized :slightly_smiling_face:
My Polarized Training Experience (Chad McNeese & others)

1 Like

If racing is going to start I don’t think it’ll be overnight, so you’ll have time to prep if you want. Also you’ll probably be more fit than your competition if you’ve been training a lot so there’s that. Traditional base 2 and 3 start integrating work up to 105% so your losses will really just be top end which tune up with a ‘vo2 max camp’ and you’ll be fine.

As for the HR piece, I wonder that myself. I’m in the same boat, using the Joe Friel HR zones, my HR is spot on for threshold efforts and then continually towards the low end (or down into the next zone) as I go lower in power. That would mean, to me a broscientist, that I need to train at roughly 5-10% higher power to reach the desired HR, which seems like a recipe for burnout given how the workouts feel ‘correct’. At the end of the day I trust in power, especially if you’ve been doing other training prior and you can be confident your ftp is set properly.

It could also be a good time for experimentation. TB1 is basically all shorter endurance rides 60-90 minutes, and you could increase power until your HR gets to the desired range, and see how your legs feel after a block of that. Also I know HR decoupling is a pretty hot thing with polarized work, so might be worth spending a little bit of time on that.


I have made the same observation re: low heart rate in endurance zones. If I’m right at the top of traineroad endurance range ~ 75% ftp, i’ll be just on the border of friel Z1/Z2 heartrate. Any thoughts on why this might be? I’ve thought about upping the intensity, but as you said it feels about right and going any harder on long rides would probably wreak me.

I hadn’t looked ahead to TB2 and TB3, but that type of progression could work well. I think I’ll also be incorporating one “hard” ride a week during TB1, just from wanting the social/competitive angle that racing/riding against locals and internationals on Zwift provides. It’s not structured at all, but I found that it really helped the mental side of things this week.

I’m starting to dive into the rabbit hole that is decoupling (thank you…I think, lol) and I feel like I know enough to shoot myself in the foot - so will likely stick with the power targets TR lays out. Interesting area of study…but I might as well err on the side of caution rather than risk burnout before I even get outside!

I’m unsure why this is, but this week I did both Gibbs (2hrs, .64 IF) and Boarstone (2hrs, .70 IF) and I was 100% in Z1 HR for Gibbs and 90% in Z1 HR for Boarstone. Minimal HR decoupling either (1.3% Gibbs, 1.7% Boarstone). I’m going to keep to the TR zones (though I do need another Ramp Test - waiting for a few locals to test out the Group function) and just continue to gather data for now.

My best guess is that your aerobically fit and you’re body’s becoming more efficient, by products of that being lower HR and then HR efficiency across longer and longer durations. I started using HR in my threshold efforts to either help gauge if I’m punching above my weight or just need to HTFU. TR’s based all around power, so I’m gonna go with that and not worry too much about the HR.

@James TB1 is only 4 rides a week, and they’re pretty easy especially if you’ve put in a good amount of training already this season, so adding a 5th hard ride would probably be kind of nice. Definitely keeps you a little engaged rather than just mindlessly spinning for hours watching bbc doc’s on bees.

1 Like

More than likely you are aerobically fit. I did Brasstown today, power figures were: Z1 - 6m25s; Z2 - 1h13m, Z3 - 9m45s (a few power surges here and there took me over the boundary). My HR zones were: Z1 - 1h21m; Z2 - 9m.

So basically one whole zone less. I’ve very much a diesel though, get to the other end of things and my HR would be one zone more.

1 Like

Interesting data point today, slept fine (bed at 11ish) but had to wake up for an hour and do work from 3am-4am, woke up at 7:30. Now on the bike doing Townsend and my hr is a good 10-15 bpm higher for the same power then it was on carter and Collins. Legs feel so much better though. So according to hr the more environmental stress I’ve put on my body yields a “better workout”. I’ll stick with power and use hr as an interesting thing to look at from time to time.