I did Spickard 6 last week. It was my hardest workout to date, but I DID finish. I was drained, but I felt amazing after, and the next day. Just did Azurite 4 yesterday, and it was my first ever technical DNF; after 2nd interval, slid difficulty down to 95%, held, finished, but barely. Had to come to upright position in last & highest section of interval. Felt pretty overcooked after, few hours later I felt a bit sick, like just not well. Feel ooookay today, but WOW. Done-zo.
But why? By all measures, graphs below, Spickard 6 was WAY higher output.
-Sleep was same.
-Nutrition almost identical [I monitor pretty darn closely]
-Lead-up / recent workouts seemed similar
-All other variables I can think of were the same
So why did AZ absolutely rock me, when I did like nearly twice the HR & power output on Spickard 6 ?
Sometimes my work day feels relatively low stress but I had to focus very carefully all day on detailed or technical work. That leaves me with mental fatigue that only shows up in workouts like these. I feel physically cooked because of it. Only a few intervals in but all of a sudden I’m done-done.
If this done-zo reaction doesn’t happen next time, mark it as a one-off. If it happens occasionally, maybe there’s something else like in my case—mental fatigue.
Looking at these side by side…Azurite just looks like a way harder workout. Spickard you never spend more than 2 minutes at a time over FTP. Azurite you spend 10 minutes and 15 seconds at or above FTP which include spikes that are higher total than you ever hit during Spickard.
The final 6 min 15 seconds of the Azurite intervals AVERAGE 110% of your FTP. I don’t know a lot of people that can do 6mins at 110% let alone having that 6 minutes start after riding 10 minutes around threshold.
@slipdog thanks for your input. I think you’re right, that’s a better and more logical way to look at it.
I was just looking at the total times spent in HR & power zones. There’s 3 times as much Z 5 power time in Spickard 6. I was just looking at that, and not getting why Azurite 4 so badly drained me.
But you’re right; that’s a better way to look at it. Sure, total time was more, but it was after rested intervals, in short bursts. Not after the brutal escalating lead-ins in Azurite 4. You’re right; that’s exactly how I was feeling during it: As I got to the half way mark on each interval, where you now stay above FTP, 15 sec sprinting way above it, I thought “How am I going to do this??? I’m already drained and wanting this interval to be over, and the hard part is just about to start. What the heck?!!?”
Ya, that one totally rocked me. I felt pretty crappy about having to smash the down button to 95%. I did feel a bit better when I found someone in the forum had once said that some of the threshold workouts were “not possible to complete with an accurate FTP”, but had no clue if that was right, or they just felt that way.
Pre PL’s I would have said Spickhard + 6 was slightly harder that Azurite +4 by the traditional metrics (they are both very hard workouts though @Chris1982 ) but I see TR with their PLs rate it slightly the other way round (Azurite +4 has a higher Threshold PL). Perhaps it the frequency of punches above threshold up to 125% and constantly being at or over threshhold from just over 5mins into the block; thats harder than sitting for longer at 115% with rests below threshold in between (if you can count 98% a rest).
Taking other metrics to oneside it sounds like TR have it right with their PLs
The effort of getting through Spickard may have left you too fatigued to do Azurite. I find my fatigue generally shows in a lower cadence, I just can’t spin up and maintain a normal ~90 cadence when fatigued.
I’ve found in the past I’ve toughed it out to make it through an extra tough week of workouts, set a bunch of PRs and then be too fatigued to do the next round of progressively harder workouts. Need to step things back in terms of PLs and spend 3 or 4 weeks progressing back to the point I left off. Alternatively, I could likely take an extended period off the bike 3-4 days and recover but try to maintain a minimum weekly volume.
Some of it may be mental as well. You stating that you were already tired and wanting the effort to be over shows that you were (rightfully) worried about being able to finish and thats when you had a lot left! With Spickard the intervals don’t seem as brutally long at that power. Maybe knowing how badly you were going to suffer made the workout harder.
I do a lot of my workouts while running zwift in the background, and sometimes, especially during the 5 minute vo2 max type efforts, I will turn off the graph below because I just cannot look at the time. Feeling toast at 2:30/5:00 is no fun.
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