My one regret from when I raced (like 30 years ago now) was that I had a few absolutely breakout performances like where I was a monster for one ride and was able to ride people off my wheel. The next ride I’d be back to my usual self. I had no idea how to repeat those peak performances.
I feel like discovering Seiler (polarized) and ISM have opened my eyes - like I could see the forest through the trees. It’s all about the aerobic engine (90%). The rest is icing on the cake (10%) and managing fatigue.
I’m also a fan of Steve Neal, Kollie Moore, and Tim Cusick (WKO). You can build the aerobic engine throwing in a bit of tempo as well and doing the extensive/intensive thing.
Through last fall and winter I just did tons of Z2. Tons for me is 7-8 hours. Any time I don’t feel like I know what to do, I do some Z2. If I feel tired, I take a day off or do some light Z1. Maybe I throw in some tempo efforts just to mix it up if I’m feeling good. If I start to feel cooked, I rest or go easy.
Into the spring, I did a SS/threshold block (extensive) and got good gains - like 2 sessions per week and the rest of the sessions Z2.
After that I tried a VO2 block (intensive) and felt dead after three sessions. I rested and then tried again and got farther along and made some new 3/5 minute power PRs.
Lately I’ve been mixing in some neuromuscular efforts (under 10 seconds) - maybe a few per ride a few times per week.
Finally, I’ve been doing a new group ride where I’m way over my head. The first week I got dropped but the last few weeks I’ve rode well and exceeded my expectations.
And voila, I’ve been flying. I think I’ve built the pyramid. I got a new high eFTP on intervals.icu after the last group ride.
My training was more polarized. The big group ride every Saturday is making my distribution much more pyramidal.