Anyone have feedback on how VO2 max intervals should feel?
I finished the half distance low volume base plan last week and I’d been upping my FTP throughout base as I kept being able to complete the workouts fairly easily. The long SS intervals are normally medium hard, but doable, however I rarely feel like I am panting or breathing hard on the bike.
The last 4 weeks of base did have VO2 max Intervals, but I always feel like muscle fatigue knocks me out before any sort of breathing or HR limitation. Am I doing something wrong or is muscle fatigue limitations without feeling like I am dieing for air an indicator of hitting my V02 max?
Not sure where I read it or who said it, but it was a pro who claimed VO2max intervals felt like you are drowning. I agree…to a point.
If you’re slogging out 5-6 Classic style 3-5min 120% intervals…yeah, expect death-like symptoms. However, if you’re into doing these new fangled hard-start declining power intervals (Rattlesnake) or even longer & lower intervals (8min @110%), then you might get away with simply feeling really gross instead of almost dead. Each person has their own personal point of failure — legs, lungs, heart, head…
if you’re fresh enough to do the workout, they really shouldn’t feel that bad. you should have the adrenal reserves to punch them out – I find that the worst sensations are right after you stop the interval and the endorphin+adrenaline flow cuts back.
I don’t do any zone 5 interval over two minutes long indoors anymore – not after a full day at work. Indoors, they’re just awful.
on the flats, I try to do the VO2 intervals at 100rpm – I get too bogged down to get the power, otherwise
uphill is a different matter. Unless the grade is over 8%, I just keep it in the big ring and stand, grinding away at 60-70rpm. Strava says I’ve done my interval hill 1265 times over the years. I’ve tried all kinds of cadence and gear combinations, but the best way for me is to stand for 2:30 or more of the 4min climb and just muscle the gear. pretty hideous, really.
I know I’ve had a good VO2max workout if I can get to the last interval and then I just kinda blackout for however long it is and not even remember what song was blasting on my speakers. When that happens, I know it was dialed.
If that happens before the last interval, it was too hard. If that doesn’t happen, it wasn’t hard enough.
Similar for me, but a panic about my breathing upon completing a set… that I may not be able to breath enough to catch my breath. Mild scared feeling and almost immediate question of why the heck I do this to myself… on purpose
I am midway through half distance low volume build phase and almost mirroring what you describe Owens nearly killed me this week!. I can manage just about everything apart from the 3 minute vo2 max/110-120% intervals. I usually manage the first 3, but struggle from then on. One of the TR podcasts mentioned back pedalling for 10-15 seconds (which shouldn’t impact interval quality or training gain) which I’ve tried but never seems long enough. I’ve dialled down intensity to 90% of the target for up to 1 minute and this seems to help and I can the finish the last couple at the prescribed target power. Hopefully I’m still getting the performance benefit. Or am I?
If you look at the example graphs, some are solidly following a target, but most are starting way harder than target and dropping to sustainable power. I’m thinking personally never to do these in erg mode and just aim for the heart rate zone, as per his description there.