two weeks was 25 min wu followed by 3 reps of 12 min of under/overs (3@98%, 3@102%) with 4 min rest between, the cd (90 min total). TR gave it a score of 4.9 Threshold.
This week had a similar wo…25 min wu followed by 4 reps of 8 min of under/overs (2@98%, 2@102%) with 4 min rest between, the cd (90 min total). TR gave it a score of 3.9 Threshold.
I felt today wo was as hard as last week, even tho i spent less time at higher power (36 vs 32). So, that got me thinking, if more reps at the same power makes things harder than more time at certain power…
If I would put a running comparison… running 3x1600 at threshold sounds harder than 10x400 at threshold, but in reality the 400s will probably FEEL harder,
Yeah… I thought about that as well. Maybe sleep? I didn’t had a good night sleep last night. But even so, there might be more than just that. Like a hypothesis I have: the long rest intervals cool down my legs long enough to make it hard. Or, a more philological one: the 3rd set was the last one, and had a short timer effect on me…
I think the perceived difficulty will vary greatly by person. I personally would find 4 reps of 8 minutes to be way, way easier than 3 reps of 12 min, mostly because of all the rest between the intervals. Longer intervals absolutely decimate me - my threshold PL is 6.8 but anaerobic PL is 11
There could be something there. I know when it is particularly cold in my basement I will actually get cold during rest intervals. Basically I stop working as hard but I have a fan blowing super cold air on me. If the rest is long enough I might start to tighten up a bit. Generally, it is not my legs that get cold, but maybe having a cold upper body affects my RPE?
I see what you are saying… but in your analogy 10 x 400 @ Threshold would feel WAY easier than 3 x 1600 @ threshold. I always felt, even in running, the longer reps were always harder (if at the same pace). The shorter reps mean more rest. But that’s me.
At a high-level, 98% and 102% are essentially threshold. That +/- 2% is in the same ballpark as the claimed accuracy of power meters.
So I would suggest simplifying the workouts as:
3x12-min(4) at threshold
4x8-min(4) at threshold
Believe you came to the same conclusion, and I’ll add my comments.
yes, an extra 4 minutes is really nothing if your threshold is set correctly.
Dunno, I’m over the more reps and tend to simplify and do one or two longer intervals. My experience at threshold and below is that harder is going long, really long. Jumping from 3x12@ftp or 4x8@ftp to 1x35 is more mental and does not increase recovery cost. However increasing by ~50% to 50+ minutes total (5x10, 4x12, 3x18, 2x25, 1x50) is noticeably harder.
Perception is reality, so if you can’t mentally get past 1x vs 4x for essentially the same duration, then harder is in your mind.
Example 1. My first 8-min test on TR, about 106% FTP evenly paced. Anaerobic capacity drops 5.4kJ (purple line).
Example 2. 20 minute field test, steady parts around 106% with last 90-sec at 111% and a mid interval turn lasting 22 seconds where power dropped to 0W and then back up.
Anaerobic capacity drops 14.6kJ. Yes, if I had low capacity, say 10kJ, then that will factor into this 1x20-min interval.
Case 2: Below threshold your anaerobic capacity doesn’t matter. Sweet spot example of 1x30-minutes.
Example 3. 30 minutes outside at 91% sweet spot (upper z3 / lower z4), anaerobic capacity only drops 0.1kJ because I’m outside and occasionally go over ftp.
Anaerobic capacity doesn’t drop at sweet spot and below. Not a factor.
Case 3: At and around threshold, like @Joelrivera 98/102% over-under example, your anaerobic capacity doesn’t really matter unless you are an outlier and it is small. Or you are outside and repeatedly going well over threshold.
Example 4. 50+ minutes outside at threshold, similar to 98-102% undulating over/under, anaerobic capacity drops 3.9kJ. You would have to have an unusually small anaerobic capacity for it to matter.
Click to see example details showing pics of power vs anaerobic capacity
My first 8-min test on TR, about 106% FTP evenly paced, anaerobic capacity drops 5.4kJ (purple line):
So depending on specifics, anaerobic capacity may or may not factor into the intervals.