Polarized.......hard, off days, hard, no LSD?

This one is right up Trevor’s alley, he being from Toronto and I in Chicago.

As a very longtime cyclist that is really doubting we will be doing any racing in 2021 motivation is a challenge.

What would be the advantages and or disadvantages of doing 4x8’s then taking a few days off, doing 2.5-3hrs up close to LT1, taking a few days off and doing 4X8’s again, repeat. Say for a 10-12 week time frame.

And NO, from doing so many computrainer rides in the 90’s when I raced full time, that there is not a big enough pot of gold for me to get much past an hour indoor. I racked up several 7-8hrs rides in October, so putting in the time is not a problem.

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I am in a similar boat (originally from Chicagoland) in Madison WI. I do get outside on the trails to do a 2-3 hours LT1 rides but overall my plan looks similar to yours. One thing I do is that every 3rd or 4th “4x8” session I would do the 8 minute interval with a variety - rather than a steady power for 8 minutes do one or all as 30/15s or over/unders or 2x2s or something to get something different and working the higher end every now and then.

That would allow you to tickle some higher intensities. Interesting.

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Hi @JimV and @bgkeen, welcome to the forum and thank you for your questions and comments so far!

My thoughts are that the 4x8 are an excellent way to keep your fitness going when paired with the longer LT1 rides. My main concern would be over 10-12 weeks not bringing in any other types of overload, so what @bgkeen suggested is excellent. Mixing up a few of those sessions can help keep the intensity up and manage your top end. 30/15 and similar are great. For the off-season, when I’m working with athletes who are just starting back up and doing a good amount of base-focused riding, we go with 1 hard open-ended/freestyle session every 7-10 days to keep the finger on the top end, but not do too much. This way they are free to choose the day when they feel good - when that day comes, they might do something like 30/15, 20/40, or some longer 4-5 min blocks. It also allows for the freedom to choose on the fly if you’re outdoors (e.g., if you have a few good mailbox sprints on your route, or if there’s a particularly fun climb that you want to play on, etc.)

I like the way you put it, @jimv as tickling the high intensity. Unless that’s your main focus, I do like to keep some of it in there fairly regularly so we don’t completely lose those capabilities.

And your rest between days is sufficient to allow for some great recovery so you can have a lot of quality over those 10-12 weeks.

Coach Ryan


Yes. 7-10 days seems about right. The 8 minute interval is my “happy place”. But like with anything sometimes you get to a place when you need more. If I find my mind wandering and 8 minutes seems too long during that first or second 8 minute block, I know, this time of year, it is more because I need something different than fatigued. When that happens I usually then make the adjustment for the next block or two in the workout.

BTW, @JimV I love the “Tickling the High Intensity” phrase as well. I am thinking of naming a workout after it :slight_smile:

if 4x8 gets mundane, if you’re outside then make the hill the interval. I do that so can do 4x8 or I can do 1x15,1x8, 1x12-13 and 1x 11 with varying amounts of zone 2 in between. Sort of getting the intensity to fit the terrain. I mix it up with doing some of the above and then strictly doing 4x8 with varying amounts of rest, but never less than 2 minutes, but that does mean riding up a hill and then coasting slowly down and repeating. I also have a ride where there is a 2 minute and 3 minute hill and do 6x2 and 4x3 at VO2 within the ride, everything else is zone 2. I do the above every third day if I’m commuting easy in to and back from work so polarising the week. Doesn’t’t answer the OP question though. As a side, I’m also thinking of doing 30:30s or 30:15s nearer an event to hone my top end and hopefully improve lactate clearing

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