Should I use the Polarized method?

Many ask about using the polarized method of training. This methodology is recommended by Dr. Seiler. Most of the fitness podcasts and magazines analyze his system. The benefits of this system are as follows.

  • Improved lactate clearance
  • Higher volumes of training
  • Reduced risk of training injury

In these discussions, training volume or experience is not mentioned. With the case of the athletes that benefited from the polarized system, they were on the bike for 30 hours during the week. They also made sure to limit inflammation. They also completed yoga, stretching, and weight work in the gym. Can you afford all of this time?

In order to be a well rounded person, you should focus on improving all functional strengths. You want to be able to walk up the stairs briskly. You don’t want to complete a training workout on the bicycle and be unable to use any stairs for 5 days. You need to assess your goals and your personal time constrains. Don’t compare yourself to others. Do you really know how someone trains when you only see them on the bike for 1.5 hours each week?

Using a Polarized system is likely to reduce the amount of training injuries. The required amounts of high intensity and frequency of such are amounts are less than the requirements of a more traditional plan. You build the engine by riding many hours. Those hours often have less intensity. The muscle fibers don’t like the long hard hours at high intensity. Your heart will not have to run at 165 bpm indefinitely.

In a sweet spot typical plan provided by many of the coaches, you ride near your maximum sustainable heart rate for an hour or two. You come home tired. The next day, you might elect to skip training. Remember, you want to be able to walk up those stairs? So, you decide not to ride on the following day. You need time to recover. In the sweet spot plan, you accumulate TSS rapidly. You are earning those points.

In the polarized plan, you might find yourself holding out through the day’s workout and saying that you can repeat this, again, tomorrow. This is good. In the polarized method, you would repeat the same intensity, often. You might be able to actually ride more days in the week, consecutively. In the sweet spot training plan, you might need to take a lot of days to recover.

Article by Mr. Joel Friel

The polarized method might help to improve lactate clearance more than a more traditional approach for the typical American amateur athletes. The author of the cycling bible, Mr. Joel Friel, wrote a piece about polarized training. He referenced a study. You have to realize that the study was about elite champion athletes. Those athletes already have improved lactate clearance. Their Vo2Max numbers are in the 50s.

Is your typical new cyclist starting at a Vo2Max of 30? Mr. Friel dismisses the polarized method, which is contrary to his years of publications. His method pushes many complicated interval plans. Does your body really distinguish between all of these intervals?

Some of those intervals are really designed to make you think that the coach is spending a lot of time working on your plan, when they are not. They simply pull the workouts from a library. The library automatically updates the numbers within the workout based on your 20 minute endurance. Can you really rely on this method?

Go polarized. For your high intensity sessions just use the following intervals

  • HIIT – 30 sec Z6, 30 sec off – repeated many times
  • 4×4 – 4 minutes z5, 3 minutes off and repeat 3 more times.
  • 20×3 – 20 minutes z5, 8 minutes off, and repeat 2 more times.

How to set FTP

First, we need to know what FTP is. FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power. This is something that an academic researcher developed in Texas. This was not developed by a pro team’s coach. FTP is the power that you can produce for one hour within an aerobic capacity. You don’t necessarily have the ability to sustain this power for 2 hours. You can produce this power for 1 hour without any interruption.

How do we typically set FTP? We listen to folks with training programs. They have us take a test for 20 minutes and multiple the power by 95%. This does not work. Zwift does the same thing.

Were you riding through a big climb in Zwift and it lasted for 20 minutes? You set a new power record. Your heart rate was 180bpm. Perhaps you only spun the cranks at 55rpm. Was this not anaerobic? Zwift applied the 95 percentage against your new power record and displayed a window. Within the window it stated that your FTP increased. Can we rely upon this display?

Well not quite. Your heart rate was 180. Was this aerobic? No.

The best way to determine your FTP and your actual zones is to complete the 1 hour test. You might want to rest for two days to ensure full recovery prior to completing the FTP test.

warm-up for 20 minutes; ride for 1 hour.

While you are pedaling for the 1 hour, try to reach a heart rate in the 150 to 165 range. Hold your efforts while you maintain this heart beat. Pick flat terrain for this effort. Try to avoid stop lights and other traffic control devices. Pick a route with long sections that do not require stopping.

It takes practice to maintain that smooth pace and produce the power for an hour. If you don’t feel that you succeeded on the first try, then repeat the process on another day.

When you finished pedaling the second section, use the average power of the second section as your FTP.

Quick Tip – higher than normal resting heart rate

Use a Fitbit or another watch such as an Apple Watch to track your heart beat. The secret way to know when you need to take it is easy is now quantifiable. Use your watch.

Establish your normal resting heart rate. When you wake up, if your resting heart rate is higher than normal, then cut off the day’s intervals or take a rest day. For instance, if I wake up and my heart rate is 65, then I will reduce the work load. My average heart rate is 60. My body is recovering and needs time to make adaptations.

Sundays – Where do we go?

The club offers several streams of different pacings and distances.  This enables people to progress from beginner level to intermediate level rapidly.  We help develop you and progress your fitness.  So, now you can go on a tour!

The other week, Judy and Maria, went on a 400 mile bike tour.  Tracy rode from Montreal to Boston.   Ian is riding to Canada, next week.  We help you develop towards your goals.  Part of it is showing how to form those goals and measure progress.

Every Sunday we do the “flatter” area.  The coastal route on Saturdays has more elevation gain.  It is nice to have a change of pace.

Every Sunday the A group and the B group ride different routes that are created by the ride organizers.  It is nice to do something different.  These also enabsample route 08-13-17le to adjust the intensity of the rides and customize the rides to suit the level of the riders.  It also keeps everything fresh.

I generally try to find flow.  Right turns are always better.  Intersections that take less time.  30 seconds versus a 5 minute wait?  No brainer!  I also seek those low-traffic roads and the butter-smooth pavement.

Usually the A group does at least 50 miles on Sunday.  We often reach pacing of 22mph on large segments of the ride.  We can come back with an average of 19.6 or 20.5.  The B group averages 18-19mph.

Chasing those Strava Segments also helps your training.  Together, it is like we work intervals.

Bill

 

Wompy Tuesday & Wednesdays

WOMPY TUESDAY August 1, 2017

The views today were magnificent. Judy killed the bumps (as Melissa calls them), especially on the cliffs as she blew by all of us. To avoid the reconstruction of Rockland Street, we took the Whitney Spur Rail Trail back to Wom20476046_10208880732287056_2202617777595150807_npatuck State Park.

Today’s riders.
Welcome to first time Wompy Tuesday riders John and Dan. Hope to see you again next Tuesday.
Also riding were, Dana, Melissa, Mike, Judy, Darlene and myself.

Same ride tomorrow, Wednesday. 8:00 am.

Paul

We really have a lot of club members working hard! This is wonderful. Last week, no one could beat Coach Tony. He is holding the top spot week after week. Awesome!

Rob rode another century and he is riding those left and right!! Great job!

Aaron is on the board with lots of mileage and elevation gain. Great job!

The Time Trial is moved to 06-30-17 at 7PM due to the threat of thundershowers. Norwell ride is at 8AM on Saturday. 30 and 50 mi options.leaderboard 06-19-17 week

Martha’s Vineyard May 2017 Trip Report

MV 2017 Aquinnah
MV 2017 Aquinnah

We learned a few things from this trip.

  • The Menenshma bike ferry never runs when you want it.
  • The Black Dog Cafe is a nice spot with a beautiful railroad car.
  • The boat never sells out for walk-ons and bikes.
  • Martha’s Vineyard is not flat.

The trip went well.  Almost everyone found the boat on time.  Most parked at the lot on Depot Avenue in Falmouth.  We biked down the Shining Sea bikeway towards Woodshole.  We picked up Gregg and Allison at the Locust Street parking lot.  Everyone purchased their tickets and we boarded the boat.


We rolled from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs.  We passed the lighthouse at West Chop and the MV Hospital.  In Oak Bluffs we saw the gingerbread houses and the Flying Carousel.  No time to stop for coffee!

We rolled along a secret Ocippolini route into the middle of island devoid of cars and onto the bike paths around the Manuel Cornelius state forest. I saw that South road is under construction, again.  The pavement is constantly replaced and South road seems to take the brunt of the abusive New England winters.  We found a nice path through the woods of the state forest and avoided all of the drama of South Road.

We waited at the Alley General store and VP Mike went for coffee.  We had a nice break and we waited for a bit.  We headed on ward to Gayhead light.  We reached the town of Aquinnah.  Some of us went straight up the rollers, which were shorter.  Others went down the hill to Lobsterville and round the coastline of the peninsula.  We met at the Gayhead lighthouse on the Aquinnah reservation.

Next, we rolled eastwards into the east wind!!  Going downhill helped to preserve our average.  Eric was flying down some of the roads.  We had 3 guys pass our long line of 20 riders.  They were tired when they reached the top of the hill.  They promptly pulled over.  One of them started to puke.  Eric lead the line past them on the hill.  Perhaps we will see those speedies on another trip.

We reached Middle Road, which has become one of

Middle road profile
Middle road profile

my favorites!!  The pavement was smooth and the farm scenery is idyllic.  The road looks daunting to the uninitiated.  It has a bit of roll to it.  We regrouped at the end of the road.  We proceeded from there to the luncheon at the Black Dog Cafe.

See you next week at the club century.

Martha’s Vineyard Tour May 13 2017

8:15AM BOAT DEPARTURES FROM FALMOUTH – WOODSHOLE ! ! !

We will ride the ferry over to MV for a 50 mile tour. We will meet at the Woodshole Ferry Building and take the MV Steamship authority to MV. We will stick together for a social ride to see the Island. This ride is spouse-friendly. We will have a lunch stop on the reservation in Aquinnah overlooking the water(food is on your own).

Go to Depot Avenue in Falmouth MA for parking.
Please park your bike at the bike path parking lot for the Shining Sea Trail. Ride to the Ferry Building. The bike path terminates at the Ferry Building. The parking on the bike path is free.

You must purchase a round trip ticket(good for both locations) and a bike ticket. Total cost is $25. It is $8.50 for each way plus $4 for your bike.

We will take the 8:15 boat to Vineyard Haven. We will be taking a 3:45 boat back to the mainland.

This is an all day ride. We will stop for lunch on the ride in Aquinnah.
Please RSVP.

Bill

Club Flat Century

17632156_10155200154709923_7156237476919269744_oWe meet at the Hanson Shaw’s Supermarket on May 20.  We roll at 8am.

We will stick together as a group and travel cranberry roads towards the south coast. We will stop for food at some general stores and covenience stores. This will be a 100 miler designed to get you going for the season. The elevation gain is actually less than the TFCE!

Allison and Mike will lead the 50 miler.

This ride will take time and we will stop at convenience stores along the route. Think of a social ride designed to get the 100 miles. We will aim to average 15 to 16mph. Think of this taking all day.
The 50 will start at the same time.

We will have a SAG vehicle.  Food purchases are on your own.