Year round training plan

Hey guys,

I always hear about periodization and base->build->specialty, offseason etc.
I don’t plan to race or peak at any point during the year, what do you guys think is the best way to train year round if one has no planned event?

Some info about me:
I’ve been cycling for about a year and been stuck at around 200w(3w/kg) ftp for a while now.
I feel like I have no aerobic engine, my HR is at 130 just putting my shoes on.
My max HR is 216. I once avareged 200bpm for 40minutes (just an interesting point :smiley: I’ve never seen anyone with such high HR, btw I’m 23).

Past 2 months I’ve been trying polarized approach - 10hr/week volume. No improvement and now I feel really tired, with stiff legs and could not finish 4x8 today. Nice weather is coming and I have lots of time but no idea what plan to follow. I’ve been thinking about MAF method or just reducing the volume for polarised approach.

Those of you who haave been riding for a long time - If you could go back to your first years of cycling, what would you do differently? :slight_smile:

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Here is an article from the TR blog about your situation.

Have a search on the forum and on the blog page as there’s a few discussions about this.

Can you describe your polarized approach?

It’s been working great for me. For awhile I was doing nothing but Charing indoors and solo road rides, 70-100mi at 0.7-0.8 IF. Now I’m repeating Short Power Build MV and hitting it full force.

Edit to add: fueling was critical for those outdoor rides. Really helped eliminate any lingering fatigue. Did a solo century on Saturday, and was back on TR on Monday doing Gendarme.

Monday: day off
Tuesday: high intensity day (4x8 or so)
Wednesday: 60-90m easy recovery ride (50%ftp)
Thursday: 2-3h Z1 (70-75% max hr, 130 watts for me)
Friday: day off
Saturday: 2h Z1
Sunday: 3h Z1

I’m not really sure where my aerobic treshold is. I try to hold around 70-75% of max hr on Z1 rides. I don’t have much cardiac drift during 2h rides, but when I do 3h Z1, my HR really starts to climb in the end if I try to hold the same power.

Is this Seiler Zone 1 or Traditional Zone 1? If Traditional, this is so much zone 1 it definitely explains why you aren’t making gains.

Add some intensity to thursday with an interval session and ride endurance pace on the weekends.


You asked about the first few years, I’d actually say I took on structure and worried about numbers too early (about 9-12months in) on.

I’d just enjoy riding my bike, explore (after Covid) all with an eye on progression. So maybe do some harder efforts on climbs or stretches of road just to gauge some idea of progress. Everything is quite motivating early on as just riding regularly should bring about improvements.

Also, can you join a club? A good club will learn you lots of stuff, techniques, mechanics, road rules etc and riding in a group will likely push you on. Later on you can dial back the club rides as doing them all the time might stagnate you a bit (lots of freewheeling, no proper time in zone etc).

After a while you may find yourself gravitating to certain areas if cycling, time trialling, hill climbs, crits, longer events and then you can look to see what areas you need to work on.

I always remember my first few rides, there is a 12% Hill round the corner from me, it’s only short (3-400 metres), the first 2 rides I had to walk up it (I wasn’t overweight or generally unfit, just not cycling fit and poor technique). Fast forward to now and I’m a different animal :grinning:.

It’s Seiler Zone 1. I don’t feel like adding more tbh, I think 10-12 hours of volume was bit too much for me.

ahhh okay cool, makes sense then. seems about right!

First, you sound tired. Are you taking low volume, low intensity rest weeks? Every third or fourth week should be a rest week.

I’ve had a really good respond to polarized training. I did it in blocks of base (hardly any intensity), then a block with some tempo and sweet spot, and then finally a block with the 4x8 intervals. The progression seemed to help to build up enough endurance to be able to handle the 4x8s.

This is a great idea I think, easing into intensity, thanks.