Polarized 80/20 8 Weeks to Peak FTP - Classic Zones
Tim Cusick - Coach of World and National ChampionsAll plans by this Coach
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Polarized 80/20 8 Weeks to Peak FTP
written by Tim Cusick, TrainingPeaks WKO product leader and master coach with Velocious Cycling Adventures
Train with the coach of national and world ITT champion Amber Neben! This 8-week plan uses the popular 80/20 polarized approach to training and is an excellent way to peak (or re-peak) once a solid fitness base has been established (such as completing one of our full-season plans). This plan is designed for the intermediate/advanced cyclist who is interested in threshold races like time trials, gran fondos, century rides, and/or triathlon bike events. This plan will increase your threshold and also improve your ability to repeat hard efforts, a skill you need in a mass-start race or on hard group rides.
The plan uses Coggan Classic levels and is designed for use with power, heart rate, or perceived exertion. It contains two specific training cycles, the first an FTP focus and the second a VO2max lactate tolerance cycle. Grueling back-to-back intensity workouts will help push you to your peak performance for your big race or event!
The idea behind polarized training is that one should train either easy or very hard, at the poles of the intensity spectrum. So on the days that you ride hard (20%), you go really hard, and on the days that you ride easy (80%), you ride at an easy endurance pace. Where the plan can derail is when athletes cannot go easy on the endurance days, so when it’s time for the hard days, they can’t go hard enough.
Even though the workouts have been structured for your convenience, don't rely on the structure on the hard days, because the workout needs to be maximal intensity.
The workouts can be used in the traditional format or as structured workouts, which load automatically to select devices (Garmin, RGT, Zwift, ErgVideo, TrainerRoad, Racermate, and more) so you can see your workout and interval numbers right on your device.
Included with your plan:
- Instruction sheet (attached to the first day of the plan)
- Testing protocol throughout the plan
- Weekend group ride option
- Coach Cusick's training goals at the beginning of each training cycle
- Coaching tips and encouragement throughout the plan
Need help loading your structured works to your device or smart trainer? Click here to read instructions.
Tim Cusick has written dozens of training plans for many different areas of cycling: road, gravel, time trial, mountain bike, cyclocross, indoor training, and more. Click here for a full list of his current plans by sport type and click here for a comparison chart of his major plans.
Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions about our training plans. If you don't find your answer there, please email Coach Kathy Watts.
Training Plan Sample Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
|Workouts||Weekly Average||Longest Workout|
|10:53 hrs||3:30 hrs|
Day Off x1
|Workouts Per Week||Weekly Average||Longest Workout|
||10:53 hrs||3:30 hrs|
Training Load By Week
This plan works best with the following fitness devices:
- Power Meter
- Heart Rate Monitor