Training Polarisation Concept

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  • #59415

    I saw an article written by Austrian sport pofessor in which he says that most folks should follow Polarised training plan. Most workouts in Z1 (under AeT) 75-80%, in Z3 (above AnT) 15-20%, basically nothing in Z2 (between AeT and AnT) 0-10%.
    While Pyramidal training plan (Z1, Z2, Z3) which includes training in all zones should be mainly used by only absolute elite athletes.
    Here is a link to the article:
    What are your thoughts? Has anybody tried training exclusively under AeT and above AnT?

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    Anonymous on #59416

    I think there’s some confusion about the typical zone definitions. I haven’t read the article, but in most five-zone frameworks, “under AeT” means zones 1 and 2 while “over AnT” means zones 4 and 5. In that context, it would be zone 3, not zone 2, that is to be avoided minimized.

    The reality is that zone 3 is useful, but too often over-emphasized and over-used (because it’s gratifying and most people confuse effort and gratification with progress.)

    An effective approach would be to use a largely polarized model early in a macrocycle and then include the appropriate amount of zone 3 close to a goal event. As suggested, “appropriate” is often over-estimated.

    Polarised training with Stephen Seiler, PhD | EP#177

    wk.mat on #59417

    Please read the article. Author intentionally simplified the zone scheme to three zones instead of five, seven, etc. I also explained it above, Z1 – everything under AeT, Z2 – everything between AeT and AnT, Z3 – everything above AnT.
    His conclusion about this type of training is: “It has been shown that switching between low-intensity and high-intensity training is better tolerated, less monotonous and protects against overuse.”

    Anonymous on #59420

    That makes sense and fits with the UA perspective (and most professional endurance athletes.)

    Current zone systems grew out of a three-zone model where ventilatory thresholds (VT1 and VT2) marked the bottom and top of Zone 2 in a three-zone system (and corresponding to AeT and AnT, respectively.)

    Later on, Zones 1 and 3 were split into 1/2 and 4/5, respectively. So Zone 2 in a three-zone model corresponds to Zone 3 in a five-zone model.

    Dada on #59489

    I train polarized in the early phase of prep. It works awesome and I apply it with great success. I go from least specific to most specific so this is how I setup my progression:

    1. VO2MAX improvement with highly polarized training (90% below AeT, 10% above AnT)
    2. Decreasing maximum production rate of lactate (Vlamax) through muscular endurance and highly polarized training (90% below AeT and 10% between AeT & AnT)
    3. Increase speed below AeT by training solely in our UA-defined Z1&2 (below AeT)

    That was my best season so far.


    wk.mat on #59550

    Interesting, it’s kind of reversed version of what I always did. I usually start new season with base training – everything in Z1&Z2, then I add 10-15% under AnT, and at the end I change it to training above AnT.

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