We are continuously working to make the JOIN training plans even better. Those plans reflect that we are big fans of the polarized training model, which many studies have shown to be very effective.
Polarized training means doing a lot of easy endurance work and only a small percentage of your training efforts at a very high intensity. The reason seems simple, because also with sufficient hours at a low intensity you can expect the same aerobic training adaptation as with less hours at a higher intensity. Lower intensity is preferable because higher intensity can lead to injuries or overloading. Especially long blocks at your threshold heart rate or FTP carry this risk and it is therefore wiser to train more hours at low intensity and occasionally train very briefly and intensively just above your FTP.
- polarized training means avoiding zone 2 in a 3-zone model,
- you still incorporate sufficient Tempo intervals in your plan,
- you avoid a lot of threshold work.
The big "but" arises when you don't have the ability to train a lot of hours per week. The answer lies in what is explained in the polarized training model as the energy flux. Ultimately, training causes your body to produce triggers that prompt it to react and improve. The size of this energy flux depends on the training intensity and ultimately determines the degree of adaptation. In addition, most polarized training studies assume that you can afford to train at least 6 to 8 hours per week and often much more. Many amateur cyclists, however, can only manage less than that and therefore it is actually quite logical for this group to also do a threshold or sweet spot training session from time to time. And you guessed it, that's exactly what JOIN does and maybe you have already come across it. Now you know the reasoning behind it, too!
Learning more about Polarized training? Watch or listen our "Beter Worden" Podcast: