this is where I really like the progression approach of AT. I just got into build, so starting v02 work for the first time since last july really. 30/30’s are such a manageable way to ease back into v02 work. 45/45 was this week. one good thing about v02 is that you can get a decent response without killing yourself to start. Yeah, you eventually have to get to the tougher workouts if you want to push the adaptations, but you don’t need to go there in your first week of build to see adaptations.
That’s also a particularly difficult workout to start back with. I’d have got back on the VO2 horse with 30/30s or something. At the very least I think I’d have started back into sustained VO2 work with something like 2min on, 30 sec rest, 2min on, 2 min rest rather than going straight to uninterrupted 4 minute blocks!
Can someone explain what the benefits of VO2 work are? I dont get it. I know there is talk of floors and ceilings…I dont get the analogies and metaphors being thrown around. What does V02 work actually accomplish? Is it just improving power at that range? Is there some other benefits? Would there be advantages for substituting Vo2 for threshold?
I ask mostly because I actually LIKE vo2, and wonder if perhaps this could be a substitute for threshold efforts haha
Ok right but…well let me rephrase my question into some more specific - why do you want a higher VO2 max? Why is it beneficial? Would someone with a V02 max double that of someone else be faster? In what circumstances? That isnt answered in their article.
VO2 max is a measure of maximum oxygen uptake. The ability you have to take in oxygen, and supply it to working muscles, is one of the main determinants of athletic performance. In illustration, a healthy and not overweight but sedentary 18-30 year old man will likely have a VO2 max of around 40 mL/kg/min (that’s very much an average, but you get the idea). For a fit club cyclist, that’s likely around 55; a high-level amateur racer, say 65, and a pro will be 75+. Greg Lemond was apparently ~90.
If you improve your VO2 maximum, you’re raising your ceiling; think of it like the max revs on a car. In theory, working at lower power levels/efforts are then a lower percentage of that, and hence lower revs - i.e. easier.
I’m not convinced that the spiky VO2 efforts are as helpful (to me, anyway). Under a coach, I would work up to 5x5s, (we probably didn’t start with 4x4’s, probably 4x3’s IIRC) and if I got the 5x5s, even if I sometimes could only handle 4 out of 5 - they really did help with climbing outside! These broken-up, spiky (30-30’s, etc.) VO2 intervals are easier to complete, but I don’t get that “invincible climbing legs” feeling from that work.
And yes, the steady-state VO2 intervals are very -worthy.
Since mid January I’ve been slowly pushing up the power on some 5 and 10 minute above threshold work, these were prescribed as above threshold and not vo2max.
Some weeks ago was hitting 109% on 5 minutes, steady threshold HR, steady breathing, felt a little like riding at ftp and not too hard. It was a week after setting an all-time 20-minute power PR on a field test. That was a pleasant surprise.
My personal best from Sept 2017, a CTS/Strava climbing repeat workout of 4x5-min (3-min rests). Those were 110-113%. Feels like my 3-6 minute fitness is back to where I was six years ago except I’ve had some unplanned downtime from a allergies/cold/flu and top-end fitness is definitely going backwards right now Easy come, easy go.