Something is off and I need help figuring out what. Here are the details:
Completed SSB1, took a long recovery (due to work trip).
Work trip was harder than anticipated (poor sleep, jet lag, etc.), but I came into the ramp test with 2 full nights of sleep and an opener workout the day prior, and that was with 5 full days off the bike and 1 full week of ‘recovery’ rides.
I tested at an 11% improvement over start of SSB1. (256 at 89kg to 279 at 88kg).
After the test (immediately) I did a 1 hour sweet spot workout. The next day I didn’t bike but did a brutal leg workout in the gym.
Today, I reluctantly started Taylor -2 (3 sets of 30 on 30 off VO2 Max intervals at 120%) I was reluctant because of how sore I was from yesterday, but I decided to give it a shot and see how I felt. This is where things get weird.
First set of intervals was ridiculously easy. Conversational easy, no sweat (literally). I upped the intensity 5% for the next set of intervals, and they too were also easy but now I was working in what I’d define as a sweet spot range. Third set of intervals I bumped another 5%, but this wasn’t much harder either. Halfway through them I went up another 5%, and then another 5% ending at 130% intensity… but it wasn’t a hard workout by any stretch of the imagination. The text from Coach Chad was totally out of step with my RPE (ie, it felt WAY easier than it should have).
So what gives? Did I test wrong (even though it was an 11% improvement?!). My power meter didn’t seem off (its a direct drive cyclops) and it was consistent throughout the workout. Could I just need my VO2 intervals to be significantly higher for the workout impact to occur?
I’m really disappointed because I was mentally psyched up for a brutal workout and now I feel like I messed something up. Any insight would be appreciated.
My math shows an 8.98% increase in your raw FTP or a 10.22% increase in your W/kg. Either way, good work.
Short effort 30/30s workouts are not brutal. They are actually quite friendly in terms of VO2 workouts. They are a good starting point. If you continue the plan, the durations will get longer (e.g., 1min, 2min, 3min) Also, those 30/30s were at 120% making it even more mild. There are other 30/30 workouts in the TR library that are both longer and at higher intensity.
Not every workout needs to smash you to help you improve. With VO2 work, 120% or whatever it might be may feel very different for two riders w/the same FTP. Hence, if you need to adjust it up/down a bit, then do so.
I just did this workout last week on SSB2MV and I also upped the intensity at the end. It was easier than I anticipated, but not stupid easy.
When is the last time you did a spindown on your trainer (I see it says you are using a Hammer), and did you do the workout in the same gears that you did your ramp test in? If you did the ramp test in the little ring and this workout in the big ring it could make the RPE seem lower.
It could simply be that you’re one of the lucky people who’s VO2 max range sits well above 120. Up to 3 minute intervals, I’m fine at 120. More than 3 minutes and I notice a significant ramp in workload.
Don’t be too disappointed, there are a fair number of VO2 workouts that require more than 120 and for extended periods of time. I’m sure you’ll find something that pushes you soon
Taylor -2 has an IF of .83 which is pretty low for a VO2 max workout that is an hour in duration. I look at the IF before most workouts because it typically gives you an idea how bad something is going to hurt. Less than .85 and often it’s not going to be terrible. .86-.9 and I’m ready for a difficult day. .9 and above and I’m usually ready to hurt.