First failure- on Monadnock +5 vo2 max 6x3 mins at 122%. Too long too soon?

Hi Guys -

Am on second half of sustained power build mid-volume. Tested initially at 241 watts, and first retest had me at 249 (I weigh 147, Age 48). Been racing and riding for about 10 years roughly, so not really a newbie I suppose. I switched to TTs (last 3 years) and prior was crit/road race.

Anyway, have gotten through the first 25 or so workout and drilled them all. Don’t get me wrong, I learned to embrace the suck - but so far had hit them all.

Today was Monadnock +4. (2 sets of 3x3-minute VO2max intervals at 122% FTP)

Got through first 4 and hit my targets +/- 3 watts. But I had to bail on #5 about half way through. Regrouped for the six and was able to hit it. Added in 4 more vo2s @ 30seconds for good measure.

In reviewing all the prior workouts, the over unders, sweetspot - they all seem to build on each one and make total sense. But so far, there’s only been two other v02 max ones - and only at 90 seconds.

• Baird +6 is 3 sets of 5x90-second intervals at 120% FTP followed by 30 minutes at 65% FTP.
• Bashful +6 is 3 sets of 5x90-second intervals at 122% FTP followed by 25 minutes of Endurance work at 65% FTP.

So it just seems like jumping into 3 minute intervals seems a bit much - even with the longer recovery.

Wondering if next week, I should substitute Shortoff +4 (3 sets of 3x3-minute VO2max intervals at 120% FTP.) with Shortoff +5 (consists of 4 sets of 4x2-minute VO2max intervals between 115-120% FTP.).

Seems logical to me to start trying to up to longer v02 max efforts than to jump from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. I normally run a high heart rate, with a max of around 193, but can usually sustain mid to low 180s for a bit. Maybe following week push to 2:30 etc.

Just wondering. Maybe its totally normal and its just a stupid hard workout. Which it was. There’s just wasnt enough Metallica pumping through my head to pull me through.

I think what you are describing is why Chad changed SSB2 to include a VO2 max duration progression. If you are where you are in Sustained Power build, it might be why you aren’t quite used to the longer duration, although tbh 5 out of 6 is pretty good.

I just looked at SS base and do see some of that progression. I skipped that phase because I thought I had some decent form actually coming off a few cross season races and a whole lot of Zwift racing (2-3x a week). Hmmm…

If you had done SSB2 you would have had a workout 7 weeks ago which is as hard, or even harder, than the one you struggled with.

It’s a reason for TR advising against skipping base, and especially skipping SSB2.

That being said. If you can’t do VO2max interval 5 of 6 after a relatively long break and managing number 6 afterwards it might be that it was your head and not your legs that called it quits.

I wouldn’t call that a failure. You did 5 out of 6 intervals fully and the other one you bailed out of early.

I’ve heard Coach Chad say in previous podcasts how if you do 90% of the workout at least you can consider that a good attempt. (Sorry @chad correct me if I misunderstood you)

If I hit at least 90% of the workouts TSS then I am satisfied.

But I sometimes backpedal in VO2 intervals and I end up hitting 98/99% and it sounds like you probably hit 97/98+% so I’d say you can do better but you did pretty good.

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I wouldn’t get too hung up on the progression from 90 to 180 seconds idea.

The point of Baird and Bashful is that the recovery intervals are shorter, so while the first couple of intervals in a set may feel easier, by the last two, they should feel as hard as any 3 minute intervals do. The Intensity Factor for those workouts is just as high, if not higher.

Monadnock gives you 5 minutes recovery between sets. So you’ve got 3 minutes, but you’re starting each one pretty fresh.

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Wait, I bet I know what happened. The first four intervals were Master Of Puppets era, then your playlist moved onto Re:Load just before the fifth interval.

Rookie error.


LOL. I gotta keep that in mind for Budawang +3 tomorrow.

That’s good info. Thanks.

Thank you - that makes a lot of sense. I was thinking all the Zwift racing, which I was regularly doing was probably enough of a base. But looking at the program I see that there’s some areas where racing probably was not focused enough on.

Could be off day, too, I suppose. Im finding the longer 102% stuff to be uncomfortable for sure, but seemingly more manageable once you get into a zone. On the one I bailed on, power started dropping and found myself in a hole, and then it seemed like pushing harder wasnt getting me out of the spiral.
FWIW I do these on resistance mode, not erg.

Looking again at your workout, I would tend to agree with @Torneng that it was more likely a mental than physical block in interval 5.

In interval 4, you get your heart rate all the way up to 187. In interval 5, you only reach 178 before throwing in the towel, but then you get it back together for interval 6 and reach 187 again.

In my experience, it’s rare to be able to bounce back that much from genuine physical exhaustion. Once you’re done, you’re done.

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So instead of doing 3 sets of 3x3-minute VO2max intervals at 120% FTP (with 4 minute recoveries) - Shortoff 4, I did 4 sets of 4x2-minute VO2max intervals between 115-120% FTP with 2 minute recoveries - shortoff 5 and completed it fine. Well, fine is a loose term. These sucked badly.

Thanks for all the support. I guess I found this ‘easier’ than 3 minute v02 max efforts.