Polarized 80/20 8 Weeks to Peak Road Race - Coggan Classic Levels, Power, HR, PE - structured

Average Weekly Training Hours 10:36
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 10:36
Training Load By Week

Polarized 80/20 8 Weeks to Peak Road Race


written by Tim Cusick, TrainingPeaks WKO4 product leader and master coach with Velocious Cycling Adventures

WKO4 structured plan

Plan overview
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 mass-start road racing or group riding like Wednesday Night Worlds. The plan will increase your threshold and also improve your ability to repeat hard efforts, a skill you'll need in mass-start races and 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, 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.

More plans
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.

Questions?
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.

Sample Day -52
1:30:00
99.5TSS
VO2MAX SURGE - FTP INTERVALS 3 x 10

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1-minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS1:
3 x 10-Minute FTP with VO2max Surge - This is a 10-minute interval with the first 2 minutes at VO2max effort, immediately followed by 8 minutes at FTP.
TARGET: First 2 minutes target 120% of FTP or Threshold, 8 minutes in FTP (PW Z4/HR Z4/RPE 6-7)
REST: 10 minutes easy riding between
CADENCE: Self selected, but do not let cadence drop as you fatigue
TERRAIN: Flat to rolling (or steady, low-grade climb if available)
Ride any remaining time in your Endurance zone.
-------
CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW Z1/HR Z1/PE 2-3
Cadence: small chain ring

Sample Day -51
1:42:00
109.4TSS
FTP BREAKAWAYS 3 x 12 min

WU
15 minutes warm up, progressing to Level 2
TARGET: PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1-minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
-------
MS: 3 x 12-Minute FTP Interval
TARGET: Average watts should be at FTP. Power target is 95% of FTP for 2 minutes, then 105% of FTP for 1 minute, then return to 95% of FTP for 2 minutes, and so on throughout the interval. Ride all remaining time in your Endurance zone.
REST: 10 minutes easy riding between
CADENCE: Self selected but do not let cadence drop as you fatigue
TERRAIN: Flat to rolling (or steady, low-grade climb if available) or trainer
-------
CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW Z1/HR Z1/PE 2-3
Cadence: small chain ring

Sample Day -50
2:00:00
88.2TSS
ENDURANCE RIDE W/HC 1 MIN SPEED DRILLS

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
------
MS:
Ride prescribed time in Endurance zone
TARGET: Endurance (PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5)
CADENCE: 85-105 RPM. Vary cadence throughout ride and work on pedaling form.
CADENCE DRILLS: 10 x 1 min high cadence (HC) speed pedaling (110+ RPM), leaving 1-2 minutes between HC efforts
TERRAIN: Flat to rolling
------
CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW Z1/HR Z1/PE 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day -49
1:00:00
28.4TSS
Active Recovery

You get faster when you're resting and recovering, not when you're working hard! Rest days are about going easy enough to really allow your legs to recover, so no efforts over Level/Zone 1 today. Take it easy and look at the scenery.

Sample Day -48
2:30:00
140.8TSS
Option 2: FTP MICROBURST INTERVALS (3 x 10)

WU:
15-20 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
-------
MS1:
3 x 10-Minute Microburst Intervals
During each interval, vary your effort from 15 seconds at 150% of FTP (HARD) to 15 seconds at 40% of FTP (EASY) for the duration of the interval
TARGET: 180% of FTP / 40% of FTP
REST: 5 minutes easy riding between intervals
CADENCE: Keep cadence above 85 rpm at all times
TERRAIN: Trainer or long stretch of flat road
Ride all remaining time in your Endurance zone.
-------
CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW Z1/HR Z1/PE 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day -47
3:30:00
166.9TSS
ENDURANCE RIDE W/HC 5 MIN SPEED DRILLS

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
------
MS:
Ride prescribed time in Endurance zone
TARGET: Endurance (PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5)
CADENCE: 85-105 rpm. Vary cadence throughout ride and work on pedaling form.
CADENCE DRILLS: 1 x 60 minutes of alternating high cadence (95+ rpm) for 5 minutes and self-selected cadence for 5 minutes.
TERRAIN: Flat to rolling
------
CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW Z1/HR Z1/PE 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day -45
1:30:00
63.5TSS
ENDURANCE RIDE W/HC 1 MIN SPEED DRILLS

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
------
MS:
Ride prescribed time in Endurance zone
TARGET: Endurance (PW Z2/HR Z2/PE 4-5)
CADENCE: 85-105 RPM. Vary cadence throughout ride and work on pedaling form.
CADENCE DRILLS: 10 x 1 min high cadence (HC) speed pedaling (110+ RPM), leaving 1-2 minutes between HC efforts
TERRAIN: Flat to rolling
------
CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW Z1/HR Z1/PE 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Tim Cusick
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Velocious Endurance Coaching

Tim Cusick is the TrainingPeaks WKO4 product leader and the owner of Velocious Endurance Coaching. His expertise in training, racing, and data analytics offers a unique approach to training that guides his clients to amazing success. He currently coaches world champion Amber Neben, road pro Emma Grant, and numerous other pros and age group racers. Tim has 100 plans in all cycling disciplines! Need help picking a plan? Fill out our survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/bkGSAYA9VzV9tsq22.