Polarized Training Discussion (Fast Talk podcast & Flo Cycling podcast)

I love when people blow off inconvenient facts. So its really a 4 zone model :thinking:, with the “grey zone” being the top end :crazy_face:

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Can’t find the reference at the moment but yes I seem to recall there is a level that is not productive for any positive adaptation. The cost is too high and gain too small.

From a physiological point of view the top of Zone 3 is when you reach VO2max. From a power point of view, there is a wide range of intensity that can get you there but there are also very high power levels which can never get you to VO2max since you don’t store enough energy. From memory these intensities are usually described as ‘strength’ training in the Polarised model.



:thinking: Dr Tabata? :rofl:

I’d just like to chime in here and raise the idea that extremely high physiological cost interval sessions build mental resilience in a way that few other training methods will. They may be non-functional over-reaching due to the recovery cost but don’t make the mistake of thinking that’s the only gain.

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lol hate it when the quoting function misbehaves, it was Bbt67 and not me:


Yes, this was intended to reference both, sorry.

no worries its happened to me many times :smile:

Just gonna drop this here because it is exactly how I feel about this topic:


I know theres a few forums of polarized going but worth reposting this one from a tweet earlier today…someone asks if maximal aerobic power is ~6min power, to which Stephen replies: “The calculated MAP from a ramped incremental power test and VO2 measurements should approximate 6min power pretty well (or vice versa)”

File under fwiw.


That’s crazy! During summer I had some actual 40’ all-out efforts to compare my intervals to and I think those 4x8 and 4x4 prescriptions in terms of % of 40’ TT power would have been impossible to fulfill (maybe 4x8 with a taper beforehand :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).
I will stick to my 4x8’ (R 2’) at 105% FTP :woman_shrugging:

Yep…40min TT time for me is probably my FTP number. 4x8 with 2 mins recovery makes me feel ill thinking about it

I was doing my 4x8s, 5x7s and 5x8s at 102% with 2 min. recovery. My Max HR% seemed to agree with this and the workout didn’t crush me. On Thursday I did Budawang+5 and that’s 5x9 at 102%. Again it seemed to be just about the right effort for me. But the recoveries are 5 min. and that makes a difference both physically and mentally. I’m not sure how the longer recoveries affect the workout, probably a little less time at optimal HR.

I thought the same thing before doing a bunch of sessions of them last year. But (big but) if your FTP is set right, 4x8’s are def doable. The key for me was dividing them up into 2-min chunks. I just had to get up to 6 min’s and then it was all downhill. I’d take 3 min’s recovery, just to make sure I could get the work done.

The above refers to % of 40’ TT power and I did do 40’ all-out tests.

Red lake +8, 5x6min at 108% with 4mins recovery will do for me.

a little over a week ago I did a no-warmup hour of power at 330w

no way I could hold 120% – 400w – for 4min right now – I did my first 3-5min effort fartlek ride of the year yesterday, and I saw record HRs – I hit 176, which I haven’t seen since 1997 – for hard chunks averaging 380w. The engine was redlined but the watts weren’t going to go any higher, which is actually consistent with what I see for the first two weeks of intervals each year.

After three or four weeks, I’m doing them at 400+, but in the transition from base miles+once a week HoP to really hard stuff, I just have to go as hard as I can and let the watts take care of themselves.

All the guys in Seiler’s studies were self-pacing on RPE.

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Yes but still interesting to know what their efforts correspond to in terms of %FTP (or as in the table above, %CP40).

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I noticed that tweet and responded in there as well.

Basically though if you look at MAP, those guys only held 73% of 6 minute power for a 40 min TT. That is lower than what I was doing in SSB1 for Eclipse (3x20 min). I question how well trained these subjects were. Doing 4 minute repeats of 90% of your 6 minute max sounds a lot more realistic.

TR sets FTP closer to 80% of MAP, which is what the 4x8min intervals were. The 4x8’s are just faster than threshold. I would think that Lamarck probably has the same physiological affect.

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Read the asterix note in the tweet. Seiler is using a very specific definition of MAP which, best I can tell, excludes any anaerobic component. So MAP in the table is likely to be quite a bit lower than 6 minute power (which likely has a significant anaerobic component for many riders).