Change to address weakness in style of Threshold workouts

Limited training history (started riding summer 2020, TR/structured start April 2022), last winter did Trad base but then found the intensity in block 3 challenging and struggled with VO2 work into mid summer.
This year I’m running adaptive throughout the winter, finished 3 blocks of masters general base and now am in Masters Sustained Power Build.
which means 1 VO2, 1 Threshold and 1 endurance but I’ve tweaked it from LV to my own MV style plan with ~5:30 worth of endurance to go along with the VO2 and Threshold workout.
I got up to Wheel -2 in Threshold (3.5), found it really challenging so repeated it the next week (did this with Yukon 3.3 as well before progressing onwards) and failed it. Then had a recovery week with no intensity and then did Myles (3.0 VO2) and then Kennedy (Thr 3.0), my front page never showed that it decreased my PL after failing Wheel -2 the 2nd time (still showed 3.5) but when I did Kennedy it said I increased 0.2 to 3.0. Kennedy was successful but really tough, likely would have death spiraled in ERG so toggled between ERG and Standard mode to hit the power targets, If I had of stayed in ERG I think it would have ground me to a halt in the threshold intervals.

My question is, I feel like I’m progressing well through VO2 but find these warm up, Z2 interval, followed by threshold intervals, followed by Z2 interval style Threshold workouts (Kennedy, Yukon, Wheel -2) hard to progress through with a much higher RPE than similar level VO2 (shorter higher intensity intervals) workouts. Is there something I should be doing to address this weakness in the other work I’m doing? Sweet spot progression, sustained power Tempo work? I feel like I’m in the opposite situation as I was last winter where I found suprathreshold stuff really hard to progress through (Would spike at the start of the interval and then couldn’t hold the power). It seems like a bad time of the year to be stronger in VO2 than Threshold.

Which VO2 workouts did you do that you found easier? Low PL VO2 recommended by TR aren’t really VO2, which is likely why they’re more doable. Wheel -2 should be doable without over extending yourself.

Myles Vo2 3.0, Leons VO2 2.5, Cuevas VO2 2.5. Now perhaps once I get into the >3.0 level VO2 stuff I will similarly suffer. I’m also trying to do stuff for the most part with longer VO2 intervals rather than the 1 min or 30 second stuff. With so much recovery time between intervals I feel like I can nail each interval.
But I also feel like the interval style Threshold stuff like Frissell, Zabriske, Beacon -2 is easier than stuff like Kennedy, Yukon etc.
At this time of year I feel like I want to develop ‘sustained power’ but the warm up, directly into high Z2, directly into intervals followed immediately by high Z2 again seems to be exposing a weakness in my ‘sustained power’ but I’m not sure what to do about it aside from trying to progress through these Threshold workouts that I find particularly challenging.

Was kind of thinking maybe I should be substituting every 2nd week’s VO2 for a Tempo workout like Popomanaseu, if that might help me build up the fatigue resistance to be more successful for those Threshold workouts.

You can’t compare different PLs directly. VO2 will for most be a bit higher than threshold. For me the difference is usually in the range 1,5-2,5.

It could be a couple of things:

  • Your FTP is too high, so these longer just below threshold intervals are actually above threshold
  • You might not have the underlying muscular endurance

Have you recently done any sweet spot ~90% of FTP intervals? If so, how long were these? Maybe instead of the threshold intervals, try doing sweet spot intervals of the same overall length. If you can’t do the intervals at sweet spot, then I’d definitely say your FTP is set too high.

Did SS90/32 4x8 in mid December, Round Bald -1 in late november, Steam Boat +3 late December, then switched to no SS just VO2, Thr and Z2.

Those are still probably easy / short duration sweet spot intervals. My suggestion would be to replace the threshold interval workouts with workouts with longer duration (10 - 20 minute) sweet spot intervals. Once you are doing at least 50 - 60 minutes of sweet spot TiZ, then transition to threshold intervals

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For the record thresholds suck. You are fairly new to training and it just takes time to learn how to suffer. Maybe it’s how I am reading it, but it seems like you are trying to build from the top down rather than the bottom up. You may want to work in the tempo and sweet spot zone and work on extending time in zone (sustained power).

Another thing… get out of erg for the harder intervals. It is natural to have up and down pacing throughout a long interval. Maybe even try “negative splitting” an interval to see if that helps. Sometimes we get caught up on keeping the line even but that is t what happens in a race. It’s ok to go up, down and around the goal target.

Keep building the VO2. The stronger you get, the faster you get. Keep up the volume. Touch upon threshold every now and then to test if you are improving but not too often. And most of all don’t give up. Keep it manageable and consistent.

Best of luck to you!

Any suggestions for workouts in that 3.0 PL range? I’m actually 2.0 PL for SS because its been like 8 weeks but looking at the workouts I can’t see SS stuff that works for what you are suggesting, maybe Iron Crag (3.2)?

So substitute the Threshold stuff for SS or Tempo for a while? Would something like Rosalie and Popomanaseu make sense? Not sure what I should do for SS workouts if the stuff I was doing a few months ago wasn’t appropriate.

All of those are relatively short intervals followed by long rest periods. Not at all comparable to 9 minutes of work, which is likely your struggle (longer work intervals).

Unfortunately, TR like intensive progression instead of extensive.

Maybe things like
McGregor -5 the McGregor series starting at -5 and working your way to +1 would be a good progression
Spruce -2
Lowe
Round Bald -1
Seneca Rocks
Tallac -4

Good luck

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So that’s what worked for me. Other may be different.

I would suggest start building time in zone at 85%. As mentioned above, Spruce is a good workout for that. Start with Spruce -2, then next week -1… and so on. If that is manageable look for something around 90% next cycle and build up from there.

When I was young it was all about going all in to hit my goals (or crash and burn trying). Now, with my days of youth behind me, I’m all about slightly undershooting and being successful rather then shooting too high and failing.

But that’s me.

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