Coach Jack: How to create a very polarized plan

Dr Seiler and Dylan Johnson for example make it clear that polarized will always have some moderate work (zone 2 of 3 zone model) as well. It will never be pure polairzed.

If you want to take polarization to the extreme and quickly tweak to match your definition of polarized (because the definition has some flexibility). You can see below an example of polarized. Seilers pure definiton means 5 rides a week and 4 of them are easy. A lot of people prefer time in zone and Dr Seiler points out that is likely to be closer to 90/10.

These zone 2 rides are about 60% so pretty much guaranteed to be easy for everyone. You can boost ride feel to get closer to your own maximum zone 1. The best defition of easy is below AeT but for most that’s keeping it under 65-70%.

You can see with these settings. Your easy is easy.

In the final of this 12 week plan it is only about 12 minutes of hard so using ~90/10, so this would support up to about 2-3 hours a week of training. If you want to increase the ratio of hard for a longer duration plan just increase the intensity slider or add another day with some more hard intervals.

There is a lot of flexibility here. 80/20 or 90/10 is a very rough estimate. It does not need to be exact at all. The point is do more easy and make sure your hard is hard, or in coach jacks case you slowly build up your hard.

See below a 5 day a week plan, looking at time in zone this is probably closer to 90/10, with intensity level 3 and 2 vot max workouts a week or one, vo2 max and one hiit for example.

Thank you for this, my new winter plan now looks a lot like the above :wink:

There are a lot of options in TR CJ, is there a user guide / similar tutorials for other plans (not that I need them at the moment)

I have said this other places, but I will say it again here. I think the main idea behind polarized is good. Less moderate intensity more easy rides, make sure you get some hard sessions in. I think whether it is polarized or not the idea of more easy work seems to be well supported by many top coaches. Polarized training doesn’t for example have a solution for periodization and no studies have been done to compare a classic periodization schedule (which seasonally is also likely to be 80/20 - 90/10), for example the old school Joe Friel and following Polarized all year long. One big difference is that just prior to your desired peak, 4-8 weeks of focused event specific training, that is less polarized is what virtually all elites/pros do.

Polarized plan is great in the fact that you don’t need any planning. If you just want to ride the same all year round and don’t want to think about it then Polarized Training seems to give a accpetabl solutions to this. My guess is that doing this would take you to a reasonable level of health, fitness and you would not burn out. I would think most cyclists would plateau and break out of this plateau very slowly if at all. I am not saying Polarized is wrong. I am just saying it’s only part of the equasion.

The main point I believe Dr Seiler has proven is that putting max daily TSS as the primiry criteria for succes does not appear to be as successful as including a lot more easy sessions (lower TSS). Doing huge amounts of sweet spot is equated to a very high CTL or TSS/day average. It works for some people for a while, but not for most. Doing the right training and recovery, and secondarily improving your CTL is more likely to give you what you want.

To say it again, TSS, TSB, and CTL are very useful but maximum CTL should not be the primary goal. My opinion is also that doing two VO2max a week is not likely the best plan, although if you take a polarized approach and really like VO2max it’s likely to produce reasonable results.

The most complicated part from my perspective is that many cyclists want a training plan to improve their performance in the winter and spend the outdoor season less structured. Trying to create the perfect annual training plan in such a case is very difficult :slight_smile: What you don’t want to do is kill yourself all winter to be burned out in the spring. You can kill yourself in the winter but then you should probably do a mini-recovery aerobic period before the spring.

I seem to repeat myself but I feel I come up with better ways of stating this. Hope the above is helpful :slight_smile:

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Yeah I totally agree, I spent most of last winter doing Z2 and Z3 with a little bit V02 work mixed in (Friel over 50) and that worked well for me this year, plan to do pretty much the same this year, most of my plans for next year are endurance events, 100 mile plus off road

My question was more aimed at the usablity of CJ, I’ve played with it before and was impressed, and then followed your instuctions above and there are a lot of options (more than I rememmber last time) and you ordered the Zones (1 , 2 ,3) they other way up to way I expect to do it, and it had a very different effect on the output, I was just wondering if there was a resource / guide on using it (although the orignal post made things clearer for me, so maybe I should have just done the How to Create a very plarized plan as a training exercise)

I think it’s to easy to get dragged into the numbers, I am terrified when I look at my friends TSS / intensity / CTL on intervals and think “am I doing enough”, and then we ride and THEY struggle soooo much later in the ride

I think to many people read to much into the Dr Seiler 80/20, because of the intital study where the Norweigan Skiers were doing 80/20, and my taking from when I’ve listerned to him is that you should ride as much as possible (Z2) and then add in as much intensity that you will recover from and be able to do the same again next week (not all year round, that was just a general statement)

Exactly!!! :slight_smile: You got it. Generally human bodies are not a math equasion or at least not the simple ones we are using. I need to create a Coach Jack Guide Video. I hope to start doing more videos again soon. It’s pretty powerful now and we are working on improving the heart rate based training experience which even gives more training options.

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That’s like a putting a mirror in front of me :wink:
Winter season = all structured, very little HIT
Outdoor season = all about having fun! Solo rides are mostly LIT, Group rides go, depending on who’s there, from too easy (junk miles but still fun) to too hard (not so funny anymore). But mainly fun rides with a mix of easy/hard if the winter season produced enough fitness…

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Exactly, if you do enough base, you will be stronger at the end of longer events. Experienced that myself so many times from both sides.