Periodization vs polarized training

Hi Frank and the team,
I’ve been hearing rider’s at local club racing talk about polarized training, after reading about it, it seems to have a lot of low intensity with a little high intensity, how does that work?
Thankyou Scott

The physiological benefits of sweet spot training are illustrated in the table below:

Expected Physiological Adaptations in Sweet Spot

As you can see, there are more x’s in the sweet spot column than there are in zone 2 and tempo columns for several key physiological adaptations that are fundamental to endurance cycling performance. Therefore, athletes accomplish more with one hour of sweet spot training than they do with one hour of zone 2 training.

However this does not mean that good sweet spot training plans excludes zone 2. When I was asked by the VeloNews FasTalk podcast, which is better, sweet spot or polarized training, naturally I advocated sweet spot but also explained that athletes want to balance out their training with an appropriate amount of zone 2. Listen to the podcast here:

During this podcast I made 2 points that are the secret sauce of using sweet spot training to raise your functional threshold power, chronic training load and build a hemi-powered aerobic engine:

  • sweet spot training does not exclude zone 2 training
  • proper sweet spot training plan design uses a fatigue dependent training plan design

Sweet Spot Training elicitis more physiological adaptation specific to your racing than zone 2 alone. Better bang for your buck:

Awesome, thank you so much Jake, well explained, watched the clip, makes sense to me, my friend who used to race elite, 3rd in the world TT and silver in the RR and gold at last year’s Com game’s, Katrin Garfoot did plenty of sweet spot efforts, i know i trained with her, ouch.