Failed Week 2's vo2 Max workout, should I repeat it this week, or progress to Week 3's?

I am doing General Build, High Volume.

Last week I did shortoff +6 (3 x 3 x 3min @ 115-120% followed by 40 min of endurance at 65%). I made it through the entire workout, but on the 8th of 9 vo2 intervals I had to stop and backpedal for roughly 15 seconds. I made it through the 9th interval with no breaks, but my power was about 5w lower than targeted. I use resistance mode, so 5 watts under isn’t hugely concerning.

My question is should I move on to Monadnock (2 x 3 x 5 min @ 110% followed by 40min at 65%) for my vo2 this week, or repeat the 3 min vo2 intervals in shortoff again until I can finish that workout as prescribed before moving to longer v02 repeats?

Any reason for that suggestion?

Completing workouts is not really the point. It’s about putting the right kind of work in at the right times. People also have off days and failing one workout isn’t necessarily indicative that your training plan is wrong. In this case, it’s the destination, not the journey. Typically that destination is a race or event that happens on a specific date, so extending training blocks to achieve perfection will either cause you to miss your event or not complete the workouts later in the block that might be more advantageous to you.

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Personal opinion, backpedaling for 15s in the 8th interval and missing the average power in the 9th by 5w is not failing the workout. Far from it.

In the 9th interval you were likely inside the power range that the interval is targeting, so no issues there. One 15s backpedal out of 9 intervals totaling 27min of V02 intervals is not going to impact the intended purpose of those intervals.


Agree with @Craig_G. That ‘failure’ is not cause for concern. You had back pedaled on the 6th interval and then bailed during the 7th and skipped 8 and 9 then maybe consider a different VO2 progression. But in your case don’t worry about it and maybe just double down on sleep, nutrition, and motivation going into next week.

I’m not sure how many of us have achieved full compliance if we’ve a reasonably correct FTP. I “failed” one workout in SSB pt1 but I’d had a cold (my first in six years!) and tried Tallac as my comeback workout! I got halfway through the second interval and my HR and breathing were insane. Then had three days’ rest before nailing Palisade. In SSBpt2 I “failed” on Galena +1 which was probably a bit of fatigue from my (physical) job the day before. Neither incident meant that I didn’t improve during the duration of each plan.

If you aren’t already signed up then it’s worth checking out for detailed analysis, there’s a big thread about it and the developer is part of that. On Sunday I was meant to do Antelope +2 but I felt tired so did a short endurance workout instead. When I looked at the fitness graph on I was just on the borderline of becoming over-trained, i.e. my fatigue level was greater than my fitness at that point so things tied in with how I felt and I was able to step back from the edge as it were.

The points above about sleep and nutrition are good ones - coach Chad regularly states on the podcast that getting good sleep is top priority.

I’d keep going with the plan as laid out, you’ll have gained a huge proportion of the benefits of Shortoff even without completing it to your satisfaction.

Thanks all! Monadnock it is tomorrow… can’t wait

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For anyone that cares…

I did in fact progress to Monadnock today, and crushed it. Increased interval 4 & 5 to 102%, and interval 6 to 103%. The 5 minutes vo2 efforts at 110% felt easier for me than 3 minutes at 115-120%. I have a recovery week next week, and then a ramp test, so I may be due for a reassessment.

It could have also been a factor of better recovery, but based on my whoop score, I had about the same level of recovery going into the two workouts. So, I like to think I’m actually getting fitter!

Thanks for everyone’s advice, glad I moved on through the plan.


I’m high-jacking a bit here but I’m trying to do a good search before starting new threads.

I’ve been pretty non-compliant with my build phase plan, but still riding regularly and at least trying to maintain some hard fought fitness. (I did gain 5W FTP recently) I’m surmising that for me, VO2 Max work is the most important thing to really nail down indoors. My outdoor rides are at least covering some SS and threshold - not to say I don’t need to focus on all relevant energy systems, I get that, it’s just that I think focusing on my VO2 Max (and going into Anaerobic) indoors is probably the best thing I can (do while still riding outside for fun and sanity). I feel like this is a good time to practice my weakness - VO2 Max efforts are really difficult for me. I know that’s universal but I can do threshold without wincing too much, when I see those VO2 days I have to really prepare mentally and physically.

So, given that I have only done up to 2 min VO2 Max efforts so far, and had to go back to 90 second versions after a month break from training this energy system (at least focused indoors) I thought I would go against the grain of the suggestions in this thread and stick with the 90 second 120% intervals in the form of Baird +2 yesterday. I got through it OK but really can’t imagine jumping right into the 3 minute versions (even with longer recovery valleys and a slightly less %) that is on my plan now. Kaiser +2 is what’s scheduled, but I’m thinking of doing Dade -1 instead. That takes me from a 1.5 minute interval @ 120% with 1 minute recovery, to a 2 minute interval @ 120% with 2 minute recovery, versus jumping into an epic 3 minute version.

Since my case is different, (terrible plan compliance) I think this makes more sense. I want to bounce it off the hive - thanks for reading.

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I don’t see anything wrong with slowly increasing the length of the Vo2 intervals if that’s what it takes to get them done without too much stress going into them and to prevent mental and physical burnout afterward. Better to do 2 min intervals and nail them and everything else then failing the 3 min intervals and taking the week off to recover.

Also Dade +4 and +5 are both 2.5 min intervals so they might be yet another stepping stone on the way to the 3 min variants.