I feel I could use some help from the community both on understanding exactly how different types of training impact fitness, and also how to choose from the different build plans.
So, I’ll start with why I’m looking for advice. First off - This year, I’ve completed sweet spot base and short power build twice now. Now moving into the CX specialty 2 weeks before cross season.
I’m looking over my year of training, and making note of the times I’ve made gains during blocks, the times I’ve not made progress, and the times I’ve essentially stayed the same.
I slid backwards a bit earlier in the year when I the weather turned nice, and I replaced most of my trainer workouts with outdoor rides, mostly unstructured. A bit higher volume, but definitely less intensity overall.
Now, I just finished short power build, and went backwards 5 watts. Perhaps it was a bad day - I was low on sleep. But I felt great, and I doubt a great night sleep would have changed the result significantly.
So causes - I did every workout, on the trainer, except save 1 or 2, which I completed per the structure but outdoors based on RPE. However, my overall volume was lower. I remembered how brutually hard short power build was, and I think I ‘saved’ myself for these plan workouts by reducing outdoor endurance rides. Further…I have a very hard time with VO2 max workouts; this seems to be pretty common. I am wondering how much backpedaling, reducing intensity 3-5%, etc are impacting gains from the plan.
So to sum up, and sorry about the rambling post…
What impact does overall volume have on fitness gains, assuming extra volume is going to be endurance paceish?
If I am having a brutally hard time with VO2 max workout…to the point I wonder whether it is helping my training, might subbing another type of workout be more beneficial? sweet spot, threshold, maybe 30/30s or something like that?
I train mostly for CX. VO2 workouts do not seem very close to the kind of work I put out…which seem closer to over-under type work with a few short sprint efforts throw in. Is VO2 work still beneficial? I think I am, counter-intuitively, the more I read and learn, understanding less and less what impact Vo2 work, endurance training , etc actually have on fitness.
Any insight would be appreciated, and sorry about the long post.