The Polarized Training Model

Lone Peak Performance, Bozeman MT

Testing Training Planning and Execution
August 30, 2018
Simply put, many skiers end up going too hard on their easy days and too easy on hard days.
Tom Cuddy Sports Physiologist

By Tom Cuddy

What are Ventilatory Thresholds? And how can I apply them to training?
Establishing Training Thresholds – A key to success in competitive Nordic Skiing 
 
A common pitfall for endurance athletes is lack of structure when planning training intensity. Even with the plethora of training tools like heart rate monitors and other fitness trackers, there is often a disconnect with intended intensity and the actual training intensity. This mismatch in intensity distribution can lead to serious disappoint when race day shows up. Simply put, many skiers end up going too hard on their easy days and too easy on hard days. Undoubtedly, there is a close relationship between these two types of training. For instance, ramping up intensity too often on training days that are intended to be easy leads to poor recovery. Furthermore, this poor recovery results in worthless high intensity days where you are better off just staying home.

The question is: What actually signifies an easy day versus a hard day? 

With the plethora of training tools like heart rate monitors and other activity trackers, one would think that it should be simple to understand how hard they are pushing themselves. However, when looking at training data, it instead looks like some sort of cryptic code that shows up when your computer crashes. 

Within the Member Resources section I will cover the use of Ventilatory Thresholds for establishing training intensity. These thresholds, VT1 and VT2, are used to establish a 3-zone heart rate model, known as the Polarized Training Model. 

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