Best workout for improving 5min power

Which training sessions or plans would you guys recommend for improving 5 min power?

I struggle with punchy and rolling hills where guys who have lower watts per kilo is able to drop me…

Thanks for the help!

?? You mean higher watts per kilo? or the problem is that even guys w/lower w/kg can drop you?

Either way, if you want to improve 5min power, you need to incorporate some VO2max work into your training. There are entire threads on here regarding VO2max work. Here are a few good ones:


Not everyone Vo2 is at 120% This has been talked about countless times on the podcasts It just represents average across the board for Vo2 work. It is my understanding that you should not drop the percentage below 110% because it changes the whole focus of the workout. If you find that 113% challenging but do able i would start to through in 114% or 115% efforts once in a while to help strengthen your range. At least that is what i do. We all have a ceiling that we will eventually hit and it will slowly decrease as we age. The important thing is that we slightly overload our system to drive improvement


Guys with lower W/kg are dropping me. Being a smaller guy, I can’t seem to match people with burst of higher raw power.

I think these are two good workouts for developing 5 min power…curious what others think.

Vandever and Stevens Both have me at vO2max for at least 3-5 min per interval. I can’t do anything above 115% of FTP for longer than 2 min, so I tend to favor longer intervals at a lower percentage of vO2max in order to get more time at vO2max, but at lower watts.

I think another option would be to do a progression where you do:

4x4 (16 min work) @ 110% of FTP
4x5 (20 min work) @ 108%
5x5 (25 min work) @ 110%
4x4 @ 112-115%
4x5 @ 110%-112%
5x5 @ 110%-112%

You just have to experiment and adjust based on how your fitness increases. You might find you’re able to ride at the higher end of the vO2max (106-120%) range.

Lastly, if you’re doing power building intervals, make sure your rest between them is sufficient. You’re not going for repeatability, you want to hit the best power numbers possible for the duration of that interval, not exhaust your system and do the subsequent intervals at lower power. Example: 4x4 @ 110%. Take 8 minutes of rest between sets.

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It looks like you have been focused on TT workouts. You might consider doing the Short Power Build plan and then either the Rolling or Climbing road race plan.

Or you can try doing 3-4 weeks of focused VO2 work for a change of pace and VO2 boost. For example, make Tue and Thurs VO2. Wed and Fri easy. Weekends go long outside or do some sweetspot or longer endurance on the trainer.