How are 5min 105% intervals tagged as VO2 and Threshold?

I did a V02 workout on Monday (Cramer) that was tagged as a 5.7 progression level. It has four 5min intervals at 105% FTP (with the exception of the 2nd interval at 108%)

I was looking at possible alternate workouts for my Friday Threshold workout (in the same week), and Yellowjacket is a 3.7 PL threshold workout that is 6x5’ intervals at 105%.

Rest periods are the same for both workouts (duration and %ftp)

I’m struggling to wrap my brain around how the PL is higher for the “V02” workout than for the threshold workout.

trainerroad vo2 workouts are actually rest days

not sure why they’re all so easy, try cranking your progression level to like 8 as a starting point


Just a computer algorithm. It’s a plot on a number line.

I am a stat geek so I get it, but your body doesn’t use PLs, so why worry about it? Do the workout you need, the rest is just noise.

You won’t get anywhere near VO2max with 5 min at 105%.

TR porgression levels don’t make any sense a 6 threshold workout is waaaaay waaaay harder than a 6 VO2max workout. TR knows that but they always deflect with: you shouldn’t compare Threshold with VO2max progression levels blablabla. Which is corporate talk for: our algorithm isn’t smart enough.

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That’s not a vo2 interval

You should swap it for something a tad harder. Couple recent threads discussing this topic

100% agree on these points. I’m kinda reverting to my ‘spidey sense’, instead of using Progression Levels.

It really depends. For slow-twitch folks with a high (and new) FTP, 105% FTP may actually be a decent stimulus for VO2max progression. If the athlete is absolutely gasping for air by the end of the interval and their lungs are on fire, I’d say they are pushing their VO2max higher.


Hey there,

Welcome to the TR community!

Progression Levels between power zones aren’t meant to be comparable. Think of the difficulty of the VO2 Max workout compared only to other VO2 Max sessions. Same for the Threshold workout.

To @pnzr’s comment, I’d like to mention that for some athletes, a Level 6 Threshold workout is waaaaay waaaay easier than a Level 6 VO2 Max workout – different athletes have different strengths and limiters! That’s why Workout Levels between zones aren’t comparable. For example, consider comparing a Level 6 Endurance workout with a Level 6 Threshold workout – those two sessions wouldn’t have the same rate of perceived exertion, so it’s not a fair comparison to make. The same is true when comparing Threshold and VO2 Max workouts.

That said, some VO2 Max and Threshold workouts do have some overlap as you’ve found here. Your plan’s settings and your current Progression Levels may align “perfectly” as they have in this instance, where your progression with Surprathreshold intervals match up just about smack dab identical to your sustained VO2 Max progression.

Generally speaking, these Suprathreshold workouts will increase in duration, while the VO2 Max sessions will increase in intensity. You just happen to be at a “crossover” point right now, from which you’ll diverge soon enough as you continue along in your plan.

For now, using Workout Alternates can be a good way to find a replacement workout for one of your sessions if they’re too similar for your liking.

Hope that explanation makes sense – feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions!


this is ridiculous. please point me to an athlete who thinks this:

is harder than this:

Just accept that PLs are completely arbitrary and unintuitive.
I’m not saying they are bad. It’s a tool for further gamification. Instead of seeing a number go up once per month (FTP), you see a number go up every time you do a workout marked as productive - which is great.


It’s a tool to get people to be consistent.

People will get better. The average rider prob isn’t going to do a true vo2 interval session 3 times in 20 days likes someone racing will

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You eventually get there with 1-2min rest periods. It might take you 10 of those tho :sweat_smile:

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Thanks for the response. Generally just a curiosity, and I appreciate all the other feedback in this thread. I will try to find some of the recent threads discussing V02 workouts.

Generally as a tired dad, I’ve struggled with consistency and am happy to trust the algorithm and follow the plan. I’m not focused on the PLs just curious. (fYI I shifted to the masters plan as soon as I heard it was announced )

My fatigue level during a TR training block seems plenty high and my limiter seems to be recovery. So no complaints.

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Sorry that is simply not true. There is a saying “pick your battles” this really isnt one to pick, if by “some”, you mean one in a million maybe. It totally discredits the rest of the more general points you are correctly making imo.

Probably has much more credibility to say they shouldnt be compared. Why should they?, as you point out different strenghts and weakness, it will be different for each individual, however they nowhere near align.

I maybe wouldnt phase it as ridiculous, but I do agree with you.

Here are some sample searches that will get you some good results.

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It’s not, but I don’t think any two V02 max and threshold workouts at the same PL are the same in terms of difficulty. I don’t think it was ever meant to be that way. Hasn’t TR said so since the start.

Is anyone thinking an endurance 5.2 and a threshold 5.2 are the same difficulty? I look at each zone as totally separate.


I’ve also always viewed them as completely separate things. I’ve never even considered the PL levels for different zones to have any relationship whatsoever.