I’m already thinking about my training goals for my upcoming off season. I’m a triathlete (primarily Oly/half), but I’d like to focus on becoming a more well-rounded cyclist overall.
I’m wondering if there are specific TR workouts that serve as good benchmarks to gauge ability level across different zones/energy systems and determine what needs the most work.
E.g. If I can make it through “XXX”, I’m solid for sweet spot. If I I can make it through “YYY”, I’m solid for tempo. If I fail “ZZZ”, I should work on VO2 max.
Obviously there are a lot of workouts in each zone target, and by doing a bunch across each you can probably put together a good picture of relative fitness ability across them. But I thought it could be fun and informative (and most efficient) to have an “apex” workout for each that’s generally most representative of fitness in that zone.
Personal example: I’m at the tail end of the half distance triathlon base, mid-volume (fairly new TR user). I’ve had no problems getting through the sweet spot, tempo, and endurance workouts (e.g. Tray Mountain, Pioneer, Boarstone). I tend to fall apart when it comes to the sprint and VO2 max workouts though. Berryessa is 8x20s at 200% and I could only hit 185%. Even if I didn’t have to repeat reps, 200% for 20s one time alone is a lofty challenge. Today I tried Dade -1 which should be 3x3x2 at 120%, and I had to turn it down to 115%. Though I was able to do Baird -1 the other week, which is 3x5x1 at 120%.
Based on this, it seems obvious that if I want to balance out my weaknesses, I should be working on the shorter stuff. But I’ve barely touched the TR catalog - none of my workouts so far have been categorized as anaerobic or threshold. So I feel like I don’t have a complete picture, and I’d like to round out my self-assessment in the most efficient way possible.
Or alternatively, is the best approach just to look at my power curve and make an assessment from there?
As a related follow-up Q: Is there an optimal ‘order’ to prioritize working on weaknesses? E.g. if I’m theoretically below par for VO2max, anaerobic, and sprint work - does it make more sense to start with a focus on VO2 max and then work towards sprint, or start by focusing on developing my sprint capacity and then pushing towards anaerobic and VO2max?