by Simon Wegerif
As you may know from a recent blog post exploring threshold and polarised training gains I agreed to start a polarised training programme in my training ahead of the Etape. To get started I began with the 4 minute/2 minute zone 3/zone 1 workout structure.
This screenshot from Precision Pulse shows my first attempt at Zone 3 intervals. After a brief warm up on the garage turbo-trainer, I raised the effort level to near maximum (RPE 8/10) and as you can see my heart rate increased rapidly, and was still increasing at the end of the first 4 min interval. After precisely 2 mins of easy peddling, I raised the effort level again, and the max HR reached was a little higher this time, close to the top end of Zone 2. After another 2 mins easy, the 3rd interval finally broke through into Zone 3, and again was still increasing at the end of the interval.
Although the effort (RPE) was high for each interval, this test showed me that the intensity required is very high, and 4 mins is probably a stretch target for me to maintain!