My Polarized Training Experience (Chad McNeese & others)


Good idea.

Any thoughts on how to do that? :stuck_out_tongue:

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I just finished listening to Phil Maffetone on Marathon Training Academy podcast, where he talks about the Maffetone method (180-age) and overfat items. His take on it - and your results seems to indicate - is that the more time below that HR threshold the faster you will run (in his case) at sub-threshold HR. The missing link for me had been the nutrition piece of carbs/sugar which keep preventing the body use of fat for fuel from an endurance stand point.


I have followed the Maff method for running. It’s a great way to stay healthy and build volume but it is not the same as 80/20. I had great results running around 80/20 after a solid base of Maff only

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Same. I’ve done a high % of low intensity training using the Maff method this year (staying under 180-age) and I’ve had decent results (set new PB’s for 10 mile cycling TT, 5K run and local sprint triathlon).

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Fancy livestreaming it?

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At the risk of dragging up already discussed topics, I have to mention this:
It appears the low intensity “bullseye” at 65% of V02 max coincides with middle of “tempo” in the 7-Zone model as far POWER is concerned. I have some reservations here, as the HR at this bullseye is put at 70% of peak HR. And the HR at the coinciding 7-Zone tempo is @80% of peak HR. My main concern is that if I’m trying to get that bullseye when selecting workouts at around 78% of FTP, or in my chart 203 watts, it’s gonna put me in too high a HR for POL, based on experience. The only explanation I can come up with is that these are GOAL watt values. I want to be able to eventually sit @203 watts (78%FTP) at a HR of 138 (70% of max) at some point, when my aerobic system is better conditioned and my LT1 goes up.
However at my current conditioning, 203 watts feels more like the 7-zone mid tempo zone and matches the HR @150-155 especially after longer efforts due to drift. This is basically what I always thought was to be avoided - these “junk miles” in 7-zone 3 tempo. Basically where most riders end up spending too much time in.
I think crux of the matter is that we are using this one metric of FTP and that most people are not doing real 60 min FTP tests, myself included. From there we calculate Vo2 Max, and from that Vo2 max value, we land on this so called bullseye. This could be problematic because it depends on how accurate the FTP number is. It might be worth doing a 6 min Vo2 max test, to get this bullseye? Or i think Dr Seiler also mentioned 2.5 hour power for LT1. Coincidentally, when I look at my seasons best 2.5 hr power it lands on 205 watts which is almost spot on at 78% of FTP. However my HR average for that ride was at 174 – a few beats under threshold, but this was a race so don’t know if that warps anything.
My conclusion is to just test a few workouts between 60-80% of FTP and then see what my HR does until if find a good % of FTP to base my low intensity workouts on. But I will be going more by HR than power as I am after an aerobic and metabolic adaption.
To sum up my rant: I think 65% of Vo2 max power is too high for my current LT1, at least compared to my HR at LT1 for the time being, but I will be using this as a comparison over the next few weeks to see if my power at LT1 goes up at the same LT1 HR. I hope this makes some kind of sense.


I would but I have procrastinated and haven’t learned how to do it yet.

Maybe I will record it and upload the video. One overall issue is the music issue and the restrictions on YT.

I may use Mixer for the big Disaster day to avoid that…


Go by heart rate to start with, and adjust up or down from there. I’m doing my Z1 rides at 73% of max heart rate, and this puts me at 66% of FTP.

This for me got pretty close - I think too high to start with several weeks ago, but recently I’ve noticed lower HR drift over the course of my rides, so I’m hoping this is an early sign of time aerobic fitness improving.


Very good to discuss this. I just woke up and my brain isn’t at full speed yet.

The short thing for now is that I wouldn’t sweat the Bullseye too much. Dr. Seiler mentioned it one time in FT Ep 51 and that’s it. It came up related to a comment about Sweet Spot from the Coggan model. Seiler said there are 2 SS’s ang gave the info via VO2 Max and HR Max references.

I did my best to correlate those to the power info, in context with my model. But I would NOT take those small areas for absolutes.

I even debated leaving them out. I had them and removed them a couple of times during the early evolution of my chart. But its interesting info, so I still include it.

I did adopt the “Bullseye” term recently. I did it based on a comment that using the Sweet Spot term from Seiler was confusing with respect to the Coggan model SS. So I came up with Bullseye, since the data was a specific point, instead of a range.

All that us to say, don’t worry about it too much, as it isn’t a focus apparently, since it had only been mentioned one time in all of the recent podcasts.


As said before, VT1 is really easy to estimate. I would put more faith in a talk test than in a fixed percentage of (0.95xCP20) / VO2max / HRmax.

But just knowing VT1 does not solve the riddle: how easy is too easy? Should you train at VT1, below VT1, far below VT1 … or … gasp … even slightly above VT1 in order to actually stress it (->Alan Couzens take)


But it IS a start :slight_smile: I made up my own “VT1” Ramp Test base on input from you @sryke in this thread:

My VT1 came out slightly higher than MAF (boy that guy sure got lucky with his little calculation, didn’t he), and almost exactly where Matt Fitzgeralds calculator put me. @tomblack It put me at 77% FTP (very close to what you see). Also I believe it was Trevor Connor who pointed out 2.5hr power for LT1, but Seiler didn’t disagree with him.

@sryke The point about knowing VT1 (or whatever threshold) “not solving the puzzle” I think is very valid. Once one knows a threshold (even if accurately), do you train slightly below it, right at it, or above it. Heck, maybe ever over-unders! :slight_smile: Interestingly, the lower end of TR/Coggan Sweet Spot is right about 105% of my power at VT1. Could it be that the technical interpretation of “bringing it up from the bottom [with SS intervals]” is that you’re spending a lot of time at right above LT1 (and therefore increasing it with a corresponding bump in LT2)? That might be reaching.


Have you got any details of the VT1 Ramp Test you could share please? AlsoI really don’t know whether the determinant for the ratio of Carb to Fat burning at a given intensity is Power or Heart Rate.


In the lab, an increase in burning carbs is measured with a slight rise in blood lactate. The easiest way to figure out VT1 is the talk test. You can then come up with rough guidelines for power and HR.


I used the following as resources:

(usual caveats: no bourbon night before, sleep, rested, hydrated, etc)

  1. 10 min warm up, my HR was 65% of max and steady. Quiet room. No TV, no music. This test is sub-threshold. Very easy.
  2. In the creator, I had pulled in the regular FTP Ramp Test and shortened the intervals to 3-5 watt increments (creator is % based so I just went small percentages) over 1 minute in length. So every minute, I’m going up about 5 watts. I start at some value that I know is lower…like 65% FTP
  3. I use a memorized passage (in my case, the US Pledge of Allegiance) of about 30 words in length. I said it ~3 times per incremental step as I got closer to where I thought it would be (yes, I sounded odd doing this)
  4. Based on past experience (doing this before) and watching videos of ppl doing it, I recognized the point that my breathing changed. This is the most important part. I spoke out loud, fairly deliberately, and PAID CLOSE ATTENTION to how my breathing changed. I thought “oh, it’s right there”. I noted my power and HR.
  5. Backed off a bit, did the whole thing again.

Took about 20mins. There probably some flaws in all this but honestly it’s just really going in small increments and paying attention to your breath change.

Happy to provide the file but I need to get home tonight.

Can I test my aerobic base?

Thanks - just got to think of something that’s approx 30 words long that I can remember.


or get on the phone and start carrying on a conversation

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If you use a Wahoo Elemnt you can start and record from the BSX.


Coincidentally I’d created something similar except I want to look at a graph of Heart Rate against Power to see if there is an inflection point where the the slope changes. The theory being that is VT1. I’d done 1m steps but put a 15sec segment at the end of each one with the intention of taking the average heart rate and power for that 15 secs. I’ve not got round to doing it yet though. PS I’m retired so I’ve got plenty of time to do these things.


As a rule, I would suggest shooting for the lower to middle parts of the Z1 section, especially when you plan to stretch the rides beyond 2 hours. I think this is one place where staying away from the zone split lines is a very good goal. Better to “under-perform” and be low than to be too high and risk getting too much stress.

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Full analysis and speculation to follow, but Ramped it and gained 1w from 254w to 255w for the FTP :stuck_out_tongue:

Lungs felt good even though I peaked at 183 bpm HR again. Legs felt it most and I took it to 70ish rmp cadence before bailing.

I didn’t have my coach cracking the whip. Did it solo tonight and might have been able to eek out a bit more with that encouragement. But I’m happy considering I usually do worse on my own.

I have the Disaster-Half and a long Zwift Fondo this weekend to test other power and endurance. Obviously it’s a bit early to make any real calls, but I am still optimistic based on this small picture.