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Polarized training (PT)...Good for low volume rider?

Old 02-15-21, 01:48 PM
  #176  
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A big drawback sometimes with these things is that they never assume an "end goal". Like, is it which works better for a "one and done" effort? Is it which works best after 3 hours of Z2 with some surges along the way? Etc..... Most "one and done" kind of things like this don't make sense in the real world. You have to surge many times in a race. You have to race to even get to the finish line. You may have to race several days.

Since current pros can't really mess up their training and plans to do things for these studies the way it would need to be done.......we might never have the data.

You'd have to split it up by cycling discipline. Track sprint, track kilo, pursuit, road racing with an anaerobic effort(s) after long or long multiple days riding.

It doesn't help at all to be able to say "weights help with XXX efforts". Like, when? In what circumstance?

You can't replicate in a lab the Tour de France. Or even an amateur crit season. As you won't get somebody willing to devote their whole year to a protocol to only wind up doing the test in the lab versus at their race.

You would need to start with: "we are going to test if weight training improves 30sec and shorter power at the end of a race during a season"
Then you would have to "simulate" a controlled season of training and racing for multiple people. Then do the test.

A real race might skew the result looking for the data. So all the stuff about "ignoring the pros turned coaches who worked with people on the studies" doesn't really help at all. That's just collections of anecdotes bolstered by "you should listen to me because I've done it this way".

In the off season pros have time to do weights, sure. Whether I follow the logic or not. Joes don't have much time. Most folks are on 6 hours a week. In the off season you might stand to lose a LOT of bike fitness substituting 2 hours a week of weights for 2 hours a week of bike if you can't turn that 6 into 7 perhaps and keep at least 5 hours a week on the bike.

I think best a lot of those short on time folks can do is ride the bike all the time THEN anytime you remotely think about looking at your smartphone out of boredom or are waiting.........drop and do some plank, pushups, bodyweight squats, lunges, etc.......

I can't postulate what a Cat 1/2 or pro should do as I'm not one. No need to do the same thing they do, or can do.
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Old 02-15-21, 06:15 PM
  #177  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
How can you be a "sweet spotter (medium effort focused)?" I thought sweet spot was a specific level of effort that becomes pretty challenging the longer you keep it up, i.e. not a medium effort.
I thought I was. In reality, I was doing polarized and still doing polarized at present.

20 minute threshold training per day, few sprints thrown in and the rest lower effort and training with weights (low reps).
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Old 02-15-21, 06:18 PM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
20 minute threshold training per day, few sprints thrown in and the rest lower effort and training with weights (low reps).
In other words, the antithesis of polarized.
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Old 02-15-21, 06:52 PM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
In other words, the antithesis of polarized.
I'm doing 12 yo 14 hrs training per week. So the majority of my training is low effort with only 20 minute threshold training per day. Sprints are less than 1 minute cumulative time per day and weight training is only couple reps per day, less than 5 minute sessions.
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Old 02-15-21, 06:55 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I'm doing 12 yo 14 hrs training per week. So the majority of my training is low effort with only 20 minute threshold training per day.
Good for you, but that's not what polarized training is (at least as it's commonly understood). Of course, you ran redefine terms and then use them however you want.
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Old 02-15-21, 06:56 PM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Back to the original topic - Dylan just released this video:

And interestingly enough the study he links shows that for as little as 6 hours per week the polarized routine yields bigger benefits than the intensity orientated.

Personally I will stick to two interval sessions during the working week for the most part, I do feel that cutting that down to one and adding yet another 1 hour zone 2 ride will do little and I don't want to do a two hour + ride after work every week indoors, in the summer around the lake might be a different story. I also checked my times in zones on GC and turns out that in a 3 zone model, I am in zone 1 for 70% of the time, 13% in zone 2, and 17% of the time in zone 3. Probably a bit more pyramidical but seems to me that two interval sessions per week is a good idea. I really don't buy the it is meant to be 4:1 session ratio, some weeks I just do 4 sessions, so what, I do zero intervals that week? Nah. And too much zone 2 is also boring.
That works. What you want to notice is your comfort level during those intervals. If they're comfortable, even vaguely so, make them longer, recovery half the work time, and a long Z1 cool down, maybe 1/2 hour. I'm hoping to slowly work up to 4 X 8 X 4 @105%.

Also if you're looking at doing a certain number of Z1 (3-zone) hours/week, it's best to do them in as few rides as you can manage. There's a training word for that . . .depth?

There's no need to bore yourself to death on Z1 trainer rides. You can do anything you want with the pedals as long as you stay below AeT. So low cadence (50-55), high cadence (120), OLP, your favorite climbing cadence on 2000' climbs, etc. Variety is good. Nothing like sitting there for 2 hours and grinding away at 78 & 75% or so, eh? Builds character and pain isn't usually boring.
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Old 02-16-21, 06:50 AM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That works. What you want to notice is your comfort level during those intervals. If they're comfortable, even vaguely so, make them longer, recovery half the work time, and a long Z1 cool down, maybe 1/2 hour. I'm hoping to slowly work up to 4 X 8 X 4 @105%.

Also if you're looking at doing a certain number of Z1 (3-zone) hours/week, it's best to do them in as few rides as you can manage. There's a training word for that . . .depth?

There's no need to bore yourself to death on Z1 trainer rides. You can do anything you want with the pedals as long as you stay below AeT. So low cadence (50-55), high cadence (120), OLP, your favorite climbing cadence on 2000' climbs, etc. Variety is good. Nothing like sitting there for 2 hours and grinding away at 78 & 75% or so, eh? Builds character and pain isn't usually boring.
Which is why I do a really long ride on Sunday and then interval on Tuesday and Thursday. That's the core of my training. Anything on top of that is bonus. E.g. atm I ski almost every Saturday and Wednesday I might do an hour of endurance riding in between the intervals.
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Old 02-16-21, 09:12 AM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Which is why I do a really long ride on Sunday and then interval on Tuesday and Thursday. That's the core of my training. Anything on top of that is bonus. E.g. atm I ski almost every Saturday and Wednesday I might do an hour of endurance riding in between the intervals.
Copycat.

Tuesday and Thursday are VO2 and team time trial with my wife outdoors on the flat local TT course and Saturday and Sunday are longer 2 hour plus endurance rides. We are just trying to stay in some semblance of shape and dodge the virus. We are skiing in Park City, UT at Deer Valley Ski resort this week so no riding. 10,000 vertical feet yesterday for our first day. My wife works for a large Swiss company so she is plugged into the Swiss culture and activities.
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Old 02-16-21, 01:00 PM
  #184  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Back to the original topic - Dylan just released this video:

Who?
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Old 02-17-21, 02:32 PM
  #185  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Copycat.

Tuesday and Thursday are VO2 and team time trial with my wife outdoors on the flat local TT course and Saturday and Sunday are longer 2 hour plus endurance rides. We are just trying to stay in some semblance of shape and dodge the virus. We are skiing in Park City, UT at Deer Valley Ski resort this week so no riding. 10,000 vertical feet yesterday for our first day. My wife works for a large Swiss company so she is plugged into the Swiss culture and activities.
That is very cool and a lot of climbing for skiing!
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Old 02-17-21, 02:32 PM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by Wattsup View Post
Who?
You could click on the video. Dylan Johnson, he does training videos on YT that are well-sourced.
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Old 02-18-21, 05:42 PM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I'm a "sweet spotter" (medium effort focused). I'm also time constrained (12 hrs / week). Sometimes, I combine HIIT with sweet spot.

https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/fit...spot-training/
After reading the article I see better what sweet spot is!
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Old 02-18-21, 06:45 PM
  #188  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
After reading the article I see better what sweet spot is!
Ha! I don't do sweet spot anymore though. I have devoted more time for low effort high cadence sessions.

I have structured my training around my daily work schedule. 2x 5 minutes strength and core training with weights (only few reps), Hour and a half low effort high cadence with 4x short sprints, 20 minutes threshold, and 10 minutes low cadence high resistance per day. If muscles are sore, I won't do any strength training.

Majority of that training done in trainer. Incredibly boresome but it's better quality, healthier, and much safer training than doing it in city traffic.
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Old 02-18-21, 06:48 PM
  #189  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I have structured my training around my daily work schedule. 2x 5 minutes strength and core training with weights (only few reps), Hour and a half low effort high cadence with 4x short sprints, 20 minutes threshold, and 10 minutes low cadence high resistance per day. If muscles are sore, I won't do any strength training.
This might help. https://www.amazon.com/Cyclists-Trai...s%2C192&sr=8-3
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Old 02-19-21, 08:41 AM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
In the 5th edition, did Joe Friel add a section on polarized? At least in 4th it wasn't apparent.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Copycat.

Tuesday and Thursday are VO2 and team time trial with my wife outdoors on the flat local TT course and Saturday and Sunday are longer 2 hour plus endurance rides. We are just trying to stay in some semblance of shape and dodge the virus. We are skiing in Park City, UT at Deer Valley Ski resort this week so no riding. 10,000 vertical feet yesterday for our first day. My wife works for a large Swiss company so she is plugged into the Swiss culture and activities.
I wonder if there should be formally an event for Mixed Pairs Time Trialling?
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Old 02-19-21, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I wonder if there should be formally an event for Mixed Pairs Time Trialling?
Sanctioned team time trials exist at the state, national and world levels for road and track. And there are sanctioned team time trials as local races that have mixed categories and there are unsanctioned races that have mixed categories.

For example, we race a local unsanctioned team time trial for two racers. In this case, it is an open category so we compete against men and women. We did a sanctioned two person 3k team pursuit at the indoor Carson Velodrome by getting special permission from the refs. USAC refs have a lot of flexibility in allowing racing as long as the opportunity is open to all and it is fair. When we lived in NorCal, there was a sanctioned two person team time trial that mixed two person team categories as well as tandem. We raced our tandem.

At the state level and national level, they have mixed tandem by age. We have done tandem racing at state championships.
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Old 04-15-21, 08:33 PM
  #193  
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Progress report on the OP topic, "Polarized training (PT)...Good for low volume rider?"

I'm a 75 y.o low volume rider. No time constraints, only recovery constraints due to age. I'm getting in 6-8 hours/week, TSS of 300-500. I started over at zero last September due to Covid restrictions and a horrible saddle sore. I was way out of shape. I've gradually worked my way around to my usual schedule for the past 20 years or so: I'm now riding as hard as I can, to exhaustion, every Sunday when weather is decent. Mid-week, I only do moderate rides using HR and breathing, not power to determine what's moderate. HR is in the origin story of Polarized Training, not power. So for instance I might do a normal Z2 ride at a steady power, or I might do a long FastPedal interval with Z2 HR and Z1 power, or I might do low cadence intervals at a Z2 HR and Z4 power, that sort of thing.

To give myself some extra grief on the Sunday rides, I do them on our tandem with my wife. There's nothing like accelerating a 340 lb. tandem to make your legs feel it. So that's the high end part of my Polarized week, all I need to keep my legs sore until Wednesday. My wife and I also are trying to hike on Monday, the day after the killer ride, so that's several hours of Z1. So far, we aren't in good enough shape to be able to do that, only maybe an hour's walk in the neighborhood, but I think a couple weeks more of this and we'll be hiking again.

The reason I'm posting now is that it's working. I'm riding at about the level I was at 3 years ago. I did a Z2 breathing and HR roller ride today, but at 10-15 watts more than I was doing in December. That's the effect of adding in intervals and the hard tandem ride.

I know most of you aren't familiar with the rapidity of the age-related ability drop-off, but that's actually a pretty amazing result. I'm amazed anyway. I put it all down to the endless Z2 roller rides I did from September through December. I did the same 6-8 hours/week, 300-500 TSS, but all Z2 on my rollers. Then I added in 105% FTP intervals, FastPedal, and low cadence work in January and when we felt strong enough, 40 mile tandem rides in March.

My FastPedal work is back up to what I did 20 years ago, steady 117 cadence on the rollers in Z1/2. I'm trying to gradually work that up to a 45' interval, the most I ever did. I'm a happy boy.
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Old 04-16-21, 12:25 PM
  #194  
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FWIW, if you apply the polarized model to a low volume rider (6 hours/week) on the 80/20 # of workouts and 90/10 time in zones idea...........you get 10% of 6 hours. Or 36 minutes. 36 minutes per week of the high intensity zones isn't enough to build fitness. IMO.

When you apply PT to higher volume riders, it makes sense. 10% of 10hrs a week even is 1 hour. 10% of somebody spending 20 hours a week is 2 hours. 60min and 120min is a LOT more time at intensity than 36min.

I know they define that 10% differently depending on who is talking. Sometimes it's that 3-zone system, other times the normal zone systems saying Z4+ or something. I typically get 20 to 30% per week time spent in Z4 and above. So, not polarized.
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Old 04-17-21, 11:06 AM
  #195  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
FWIW, if you apply the polarized model to a low volume rider (6 hours/week) on the 80/20 # of workouts and 90/10 time in zones idea...........you get 10% of 6 hours. Or 36 minutes. 36 minutes per week of the high intensity zones isn't enough to build fitness. IMO.

When you apply PT to higher volume riders, it makes sense. 10% of 10hrs a week even is 1 hour. 10% of somebody spending 20 hours a week is 2 hours. 60min and 120min is a LOT more time at intensity than 36min.

I know they define that 10% differently depending on who is talking. Sometimes it's that 3-zone system, other times the normal zone systems saying Z4+ or something. I typically get 20 to 30% per week time spent in Z4 and above. So, not polarized.
I dunno. Seems like 3 X 6 X 3 Z5 within a 60' Z2 ride twice a week would do a lot of good. Give your current training twenty or thirty years and see how it goes. I know that's a complaint about the CTS time-crunched theory. After 2 or so years of that, one stagnates. Not enough aerobic training impulse, too much anaerobic. That's also the reason that CTS says the their TCC program is only effective for rides of up to 3 hours. There's also this interesting bit, that riders who have focused on high intensity for many years, seem to get Afib. I'm now the oldest person in our group of ~130 riders who's still able to ride hard, those my age and older having dropped out due to Afib. I want to keep riding indefinitely so I'll keep limiting the high end.
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Old 04-19-21, 06:12 AM
  #196  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I dunno. Seems like 3 X 6 X 3 Z5 within a 60' Z2 ride twice a week would do a lot of good. Give your current training twenty or thirty years and see how it goes. I know that's a complaint about the CTS time-crunched theory. After 2 or so years of that, one stagnates. Not enough aerobic training impulse, too much anaerobic. That's also the reason that CTS says the their TCC program is only effective for rides of up to 3 hours. There's also this interesting bit, that riders who have focused on high intensity for many years, seem to get Afib. I'm now the oldest person in our group of ~130 riders who's still able to ride hard, those my age and older having dropped out due to Afib. I want to keep riding indefinitely so I'll keep limiting the high end.
I don't recall if it was here or on Slowtwitch somebody recommended that CTS book early in my riding days when it was still a journey to go 15 miles.

I did the intro roadie plan which was the best-of two 8min tests then a bunch of workouts like 3x8, 3x3 two sets, 3x9 under over, etc... It worked in the short term to get me competent up to A rides and able to hang.

Issue was, I didn't realize when they said in the book "this works but your 'matchbook' will be smaller" that it meant you almost only have a single match. I didn't have the aerobic engine to burn multiples and recover. So when I raced a road race and did something, that was it! And was frustrated.

2020 and into this year I've made a concerted effort to "consume" a looooot of tempo, sweetspot, and 95% level power. I'm a bit smarter also now but at weeknight worlds out of town at the "tough" A ride, I used to barely be able to hang in the lead group.

This last time, was able to help cause the entire group to splinter and then rotate with just 4 of us total to the "line". Guys definitely punching above my class also on a skills and power standpoint.

I credit that with the improved aerobic engine.

I think the time crunched folks that need some aerobic improvement should figure out how to work deals with life on how to get a couple longer rides a week with day off in between. Like instead of HIIT all the time with 60min workouts 5 to 6x a week.........do one hard 60min workout then two 2hr workouts per week. Both are 6 hrs a week.

YMMV. That's just random thoughts on my part.
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Old 04-19-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I don't recall if it was here or on Slowtwitch somebody recommended that CTS book early in my riding days when it was still a journey to go 15 miles.

I did the intro roadie plan which was the best-of two 8min tests then a bunch of workouts like 3x8, 3x3 two sets, 3x9 under over, etc... It worked in the short term to get me competent up to A rides and able to hang.

Issue was, I didn't realize when they said in the book "this works but your 'matchbook' will be smaller" that it meant you almost only have a single match. I didn't have the aerobic engine to burn multiples and recover. So when I raced a road race and did something, that was it! And was frustrated.

2020 and into this year I've made a concerted effort to "consume" a looooot of tempo, sweetspot, and 95% level power. I'm a bit smarter also now but at weeknight worlds out of town at the "tough" A ride, I used to barely be able to hang in the lead group.

This last time, was able to help cause the entire group to splinter and then rotate with just 4 of us total to the "line". Guys definitely punching above my class also on a skills and power standpoint.

I credit that with the improved aerobic engine.

I think the time crunched folks that need some aerobic improvement should figure out how to work deals with life on how to get a couple longer rides a week with day off in between. Like instead of HIIT all the time with 60min workouts 5 to 6x a week.........do one hard 60min workout then two 2hr workouts per week. Both are 6 hrs a week.

YMMV. That's just random thoughts on my part.
I assume you're using supercompensation theory to space your hard workouts. How do you structure that? I'm using HRV and find that I get a high HRV 2-3 days (varies) after a hard or long workout, so I'm trying to do the hard work on high HRV days but that's not easy either.
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Old 04-19-21, 12:02 PM
  #198  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I assume you're using supercompensation theory to space your hard workouts. How do you structure that? I'm using HRV and find that I get a high HRV 2-3 days (varies) after a hard or long workout, so I'm trying to do the hard work on high HRV days but that's not easy either.
Haha, that term is beyond my knowledge. After leaving the time crunched cyclist book, here's the best way to describe what I do:

-Used the USAC discount for Trainingpeaks
-"Periodize" weeks of sweetspot or more volume and weeks with "hard" workouts with at least a full day off before a hard workout

A sweetspot or volume week might be 4500KJ for me. Still not a lot of time/effort. An "intensity" week will be like 3500KJ.

Sweetspot/tempo week: 5 rides totally probably about 7hrs........30% of time in zones at upper Z3 or Z4. Almost zero time in Z1, Z5, Z6. Some Z2 is unavoidable outdoors.
Sweetspot/tempo week with "long ride": 4 rides total, one of the rides grows to 120 to 180min closer to upper Z2
"Hard" week: 1 workout of something like 3x8, 1 workout of something like 5min "pursuits", 1 time trial simulation (25-35min), one lower Z2 workout

I'll go usually two weeks of the sweetspot/tempo majority work, then a week of "hard". Repeat. Then a double day off before starting the "hard" week.

That is NOT very official or super structured. But I follow my TP pretty religiously WRT time in zones, KJ spent, and during workout TSS spent.

I am pretty darn pleased so far in my real world segment, TT time, weeknight worlds results. Race results are at mercy of other competitors, so may vary. But I'm setting all manner of PR.

My gravel skills are way down, but PR's are up right now. I hadn't ridden gravel for half a year almost, but killed some PR's during a 3 hr ride yesterday. Not even an all out shorter ride.
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