Polarization: specific easy rides and then specific hard rides or can I aim for a 80/20 split for every ride?

I’ve decided to give polarization a shot but as the question in the title asks: should I have specific easy rides and then specific hard rides or can I aim for a 80/20 split for every ride?

At the end of the week the accumulated totals in each zone would be the same. The difference would be the higher intensities would be spread out through the week.

I ask more out of curiousity and as someone without a lot of spare time to do specific rides.

I have listened to a lot of polarization podcasts and I do not think I have ever heard of splitting it between sessions. It is always done by doing two out of 10 sessions (or 1/5) at high intensity and the rest at Level 1 in the 3 zone model.

That’ pretty much what I’ve read and heard, but I wonder if it’s because no one has tried it (spreading it across every session) or if it doesn’t work.

I’d assume you probably get the most benefit when you work specifically on whichever zone.

The problem is that each session is a little bit harder whereas doing 80/20 the ‘normal’ way you get one very hard workout in five. That is the thing that extends you

I agree.

I’ve been playing around with a 80/20 for multiple rides this week and while I feel fine physically, mentally I don’t know if it is sustainable.

I’d definitely split sessions, and not target 20% above TP by time in zone (at least not for long) as that probably means about 40% of workouts are ‘hard’ (assuming warm up, cool down and recovery intervals are roughly equal to total interval time).
As johnnybike said, you need the easier days to recover and adapt

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The research by Stephen Seiler, showed that 20% of the training sessions would be hard. Time wise it is 10% of the eg weekly training time would be hard, 90% low. So NOT 20% of the time hard. And a general point he has, is that accumulating time is much more important than the specifics. Which should give a lot of freedom when designing the training.
At the moment, my hard intervals are at 310 (3 min x5 or 30s x 12) and easy riding 160 (my aim is to have heart rate at no more than 70% of max HR).

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I would have thought that if you are doing all your rides split 80/20 on each ride you will be getting far too much intensity and that it would a sure fire recipe for eventual burnout. Also Xert would have you with permanent yellow, if not red, stars.

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Only 10% of the total training time should be hard. And it should be VO2 max level hard, not threshold. If you have a typical 20 min FTP, the intensity should be 120x140% of that. If you have the proper 1 hour FTP I don’t know.
I had my levels established from a lactate testing protocol.