Simon Ward, The High Performance Human Triathlon Podcast

Polarised Training and much, much more * Simon Ward and Stephen Seiler

January 15, 2020

This week’s guest is another person I have been chasing for a long time. Stephen Seiler has written extensively about ‘polarised training’ and I have used many of the principles he talks about in his papers and presentations in both my own training and that of the athletes I have the honour of working with. There is no doubt in my mind that while there may be other approaches to developing fitness for endurance events, this one offers the most sustainable long term benefits for both health and fitness. You may have heard my previous podcasts with Dr Phil Maffetone, Dr Dan Plews and Prof Paul Laursen and each of these eminent coaches has spoken of methodology that has polarised training at its heart.  This is a loooong podcast, almost 2 hours, and the time absolutely flew by. Stephen has such a great message and it’s easy to listen to his stories and experiences. I have absolute confidence that you will find so much value in this conversation that will be of benefit to your own training or coaching. Please enjoy this show as we talk about:

  • The ‘holy trinity’ of monitoring intensity and why you must learn to use all three
  • Why 95% of endurance athletes can thrive using just three training zones
  • The simple, three step method for determining training zones without visiting a sports science lab
  • How the African distance runners use internal measures of intensity for much of the time and only use pace when preparing for races
  • What the 80/20 numbers really mean and how they apply to you
  • Why the principles of polarised training are even more important if you have only 8-10 hours to train each week
  • Hierarchy of Training Needs - what should come first when developing your fitness

Here are links to some of the references in our discussion:

Hierarchy of Training Needs. This is the diagram on his Twitter account representing this theory

The first Seiler paper that I read, "Intervals, Thresholds, and Long Slow Distance: the Role of Intensity and Duration in Endurance Training

“Experimental Challenges” 12 “aerobic” challenges created by Stephen Seiler, for you to attempt in 2019

Stephen Seiler posts a lot of good information on Twitter. You can follow him HERE

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App