Addressing anaerobic capacity in SSB2

I’ve gone through SSB1&2 Mid Volume, Sustained Power Build Mid Volume, and am finishing up SSB1 Mid Volume with extra endurance work in a couple weeks. I think that I have identified my anaerobic capacity (~30-45 second max power) as a limiter. Since I’ve done a good amount of VO2 work ‘recently’ and seem to be growing into it well still I thought it might be a good idea to sub the Tuesday VO2 max progression in SSB2 Midvolume with an anaerobic progression to try and push out my 30s power a bit.

Is this a stupid idea? I wasn’t able to really find any workouts in the library that had 180%-190% repeats, did I just miss them? I rolled my own 4 week progression, how awful is it?

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

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I’m in a similar position, though I’m going to complete General Build MV in the next 4 weeks before addressing my anaerobic shortcomings in the last few weeks before my race season starts.

This is the kind of exercise I like to do outside, or if outside isn’t available, just do it riding around on Zwift (3rd choice, TR but without erg mode). Because it’s more about going pretty much all-out for a short period than about the repeatability aspect. One of my favourite sessions is to find a loop with a one-minute hill, and just blast up that 6-8 times with 5+ mins rest in between. Or on another hill lasting 3 minutes, with 3 steep sections separated by plateaus, I sprint up the steep bits and recover on the flatter sessions, then roll back down and recover a few minutes, and do that 4 times.

Joe Friel has some good suggestions here, most of which probably work best done on feel and max effort:

Your idea of replacing the vo2 workouts with anaerobic ones is probably a good one - as long as you don’t expect to see any big FTP gains alongside the improvement in short power.

That Friel article is useful. Looks like my intervals are close. Need to make less recovery between the efforts and probably have a couple 5s spikes to dial in the gearing changes during the warm up.

My other thought is, are you taking the right approach to “progression” with anaerobic? Z4 and Z5 workouts are all about the intervals challenging you - for me, Z6 should be you challenging yourself.

Or to put it another way, instead of just making each week a more challenging set of intervals as you would with vo2 Tuesday workouts, why not do the same workout but see if YOU can make it harder?

My goal isn’t to push max power up, it’s to push my current 30 second power to a longer duration. A flatter curve not a steeper curve. So if week to week I was able to sustain the same power for 1-5s longer I would be pretty happy with that. Just doing the same basic workout; rail it 3 times in a row for 30s, repeat 3 times, seems a bit counter to how all other structured training is done.

I’m just trying to build in progressive overload through increasing number of intervals and duration of efforts which seems to align with my goals of pushing the curve right.

That makes sense. I’d just warn you that if you’re doing it in erg mode and 185% isn’t just an aspiration, the NP for your work intervals in FRC 3 are currently giving you 26 minutes at 115%…

Yea, I’m reworking them right now. I’ll just do them in resistance mode and just rail it for 40s using the power target as pacing for the first one, and a carrot for every other one. It’s gunna hurt.

@martinheadon I updated the progression. I feel like maybe I’ve lost what I was originally pushing for, but maybe it more realistic? This is why I give money to @chad I guess.

Week 4 looks like a good one to build towards, especially with that aim of holding higher power for longer. I’d suggest the progression is possibly too steep though, in that Week 1 will just be too easy (0.81 IF).

Also, because you’re varying the length of the rest intervals, it’s really hard to know whether you’re holding power for longer because you’ve got stronger, or because you’re giving yourself more time to recover.

So if it was me and trying to hold that same power for longer, I’d take week 4 as your template, and do weeks 1-3 exactly the same, except with 1:30, 1:40, and 1:50 as the length of the work intervals.

There are several sprint intensity workouts in the workout library. Which workout you replace will depend on your goals. According to the descriptions in the workouts, I did a block of 30s maximal effort sprints w 4 min recoveries instead of VO2max work since it indicated that there was a maximal oxygen uptake component of doing the sprint efforts as repeats. In my experience, FTP dropped… Even though I still was able to do the other two threshold/ss workouts in SSB2. However when I started the block, my average 30s power for the 6 sprints was around 500 watts, and for the last time I did the workout it was 590.

If you want to still have FTP gains, don’t skip the VO2max sessions.

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@martinheadon That’s fair. The way that it is laid out is progressing Time in Zone and the work:rest ratio. Maybe adjusting the rest intervals down in week 1 and 2 to bring the IF up a little bit? Just starting at longer intervals and locking everything else down is probably the right thing to do.

@Bioteknik If I wanted to maximize my FTP at the end of SSB2 I think you’re right. But am more looking to help the VO2 work that is planned after it. Peaking and the end of the specialize phase is more important than a linear power growth.