Polarlized Training

Polarized Training

What is Polarized Training?

Keep the easy, easy, and the hard, hard.

There are essentially four common methods of preparing athletes of endurance sports such as running, cycling, triathlon and cross-country skiing.  These include:

  1. High-volume low-intensity exercise (HVT).
  2. Lactate Threshold (THR or LT)
  3.  Low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  4.  Polarized Training (POL), a combination of the aforementioned concepts.

There is much debate as to which training method  maximizes adaptations and performance.  However, of the four, POL results in the greatest increase in VO2. A superior VO2 fitness results in more efficiency and longevity for endurance sports.

To optimize your training routine devote approximately 75% of your training time to easy Zone 1-2 HVT, 10 percent to Zone 3-4 LT, and 15 percent to Zone 5+, very hard efforts, or HIIT. Although tempo intervals are important, the middle-intensity zone should remain the zone where you spend the least amount of time.

To enable you to get the most from our Computrainer classes, it is essential that TCR know more than simply your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). You need to know the power associated with all of your Zones 1-6.

To calculate these Zones, we highly recommend you get a VO2 test done in our metabolic lab.  In addition to establishing power zones, the V02 will establish your metabolic efficiency i.e. are you fat burner or a sugar burner? 


The following is an example of the Carb : Fat burning ratio from a member of our Tri team who tested his V02 on the bike last November.  He was re-tested after 7 months of consistent training, using the POL approach, his metabolism registered the following carb:fat burning numbers:

ZoneCarb BurningFat Burning
12773
25347
36337

POL training caused physiological adaptations to how his body responds to the demands of exercise, enabling him to tap into his fat reserves for energy, rather than relying on the quick fix of sugar.

By combining the POL training to our classes and VO2 testing, we can establish ALL your training zones and metabolic efficiency. Through the upcoming season, we will help you achieve the Extra-Ordinary!

 


23 WEEK PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

Here is a breakdown of what you can expect over the course of the season with TCR – the WHAT and, probably more importantly, the WHY! We will break into 4 week blocks – 3 build weeks and 1 recovery week to allow the body to absorb the physiological gains made during the load phase.  

Block 1

WHAT – technique, pedal drills.

WHY – developing pedaling efficiency will allow for more power and decreased injury risk with no extra effort due to increased muscle recruitment.

Block 2

WHAT – neuromuscular work + strength drills. Short intervals (6-60sec high power).

WHY – hardwire the neural network of muscle recruitment required for optimal cycling. Develop power by increasing muscle strength through low cadence work, which develops glute activation – ‘functional strength work’. These type of intervals have also been shown to boost mitochondrial function.

Christmas Break

Block 3

WHAT – neuromuscular work + strength drills. Short intervals (6-60sec high power).

WHY – hardwire the neural network of muscle recruitment required for optimal cycling. After a 2 week Christmas break we want to ensure this is drilled in before progressing! Develop power by increasing muscle strength through low cadence work, which develops glute activation – ‘functional strength work’. These type of intervals have also been shown to boost mitochondrial function.

Block 4

WHAT – VO2 intervals. 3-8 minute intervals above threshold.

WHY – now we have efficient pedal technique and leg power developed, we can work on raising threshold by stimulating the VO2 responses.

 

Block 5

WHAT – Sweetspot training. 15-20min at 90% threshold, with short (10-20sec) bursts to 120-150%.

WHY – as outdoor (and race!) season approaches, we want to teach the body to flush out lactate at hard efforts to allow you to hold closer to threshold for longer periods. Short big power bursts will also force recruitment of Type 2 (power) muscle fibres. Exclusive use of Type I (endurance) fibres will over time encourage body to lose Type II, and thus loss of ability to do power bursts when needed.

 

Block 6

WHAT – Max power, races.                               

WHY – time to show off your new found cycling fitness!