How to approach short VO2 max intervals? (New at TR)

I’m about 5 weeks in but have had only one one v02 max workout, which came right after my second ramp test so the progression level started from the beginning and it was a bit too easy.

I’m scheduled to do Taylor-3 tomorrow, which has a bunch of 30 second v02 max intervals. My question is, since these intervals are so short, do you go full gas once the interval starts to get to the power level? It seems like if I let it naturally increase, the interval will be halfway done before I reach the target power. What’s the ultimate goal here with each v02 max interval?

The 30 sec on and off seems very different from my TR riding so far so not sure how to approach it

I use erg mode so I start spinning fast 3-5 seconds before the interval starts. You want to get up to the power as fast as you can! (It’s not a ramp. If the interval wants you to ramp, it’ll have a ramp). You want 30 full seconds at full if you can get it. (Usually I am a few watts short on each interval Due to the resistance lag.

Use the warm up intervals to figure out gearing (I’m usually 52 x 15) and cadence. (85-110). For me to hit VO2 targets I need to pushing maximum leg speed.

Good hunting.

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Erg or not, inside or out, give a little more torque and spin it up about a second or two before the interval starts. You’ll figure it out.


Completed the workout and tried spinning faster a few seconds before the intervals, but it did not seem to make a difference whether I did this, or just spin at the same cadence and let the power go up. Each time it would take about 6 seconds to reach the target level. The first time I tried to spin more and my cadence just went too high (130+) while not increasing the power any faster. With a target power of 226, most intervals were 218-220.

Not sure what else I could do differently?

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which trainer do you have? I don’t “spin more” - instead I put more muscle into the pedal stroke when resistance changes. And keep the cadence somewhat the same.

On a Kickr 2017 (direct-drive), Kickr 2020, and Stages SC3 stationary bike (with resistance knob + “3-speed” lever) in the gym.

Click the analyze button after the end of the workout and view the lap power for the 30/30’s. If you matched it in there, you did it correctly.

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Typically I’ll shift into the gear I want with 10 seconds to go, with 5 seconds to go I’ll increase the power to ~sweet spot / threshold ish. At 1 to go I’ll stomp on the pedals fairly hard. Because I’m over geared still at this point the cadence isn’t especially high (yet).

It results in a few seconds of (usually) going over the target before settling back. It me keeps at the target power for the entire interval though.

I agree with @Flamingo’s suggestion.

I routinely see similar results when using my Assioma’s powermatched to my Kickr Core. In app (during workout), when running sessions in ERG mode, i’ll typically find numbers that are several watts LOWER planned vs. actual, but analyzing the workout after the fact in the web view shows the numbers spot on (generally). This is regardless of if I spin up fast prior to interval start OR use same cadence/higher torque as @WindWarrior mentions.

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I have the Kickr that was just discontinued, not sure what version that is. Yea with the later intervals, I learned to just keep the cadence the same for the most part while putting more muscle into it.

dumb question but where do I see the lap power for the 30/30s? Is this something I can see while looking at TR on my desktop? Looking at my workout today and not sure where this data is?

I wouldn’t be concerned if your unobtanium target of 226W is resulting in 218-220W for the following reasons:

  • a little lag on the front and back end of those 30 second intervals
  • some “ringing” because its impossible to precisely hit any target wattage

After your workout is done, you’ll see a clickable button on the bottom right that says “analyze”

That opens up a web browser page of the workout data

About mid-way down, you will see where each interval creates a lap.

Youll see a field that says Target Power and a field that says avg power or just power… cant remember. Those should be pretty close to eachother and are different numbers than what your “target” power is DURING the workout.

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Looking at that chart, it has “NP” and “Power”. NP numbers are what I was seeing I think (215-220) while Power numbers, I’m seeing 222-225/221 - what’s that mean?

please ignore normalized power for 30 second intervals

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All you ever wanted to know about NP (and more)…

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Have you ever done a 6-min max (all out) effort? That should give you an idea of the power you can do.

Consistency across all micro-intervals is important, but if you’re doing this in Erg mode, then it will automagically give you that consistency.

I love these workouts; one of my favourites along with the 5x 5-min at the same power.

Kickr or Kickr Core should have less than 2 seconds lag to jump from 140w to 365w. The resistance change should be almost instantaneous. If you change gears it can temporarily confuse the trainer but should be on target power a second or two later.

You can see the TR data on this interval shows very fast power changes. (I think it does anyway)

Is the Kickr forward up to date? You need to use the Wahoo app to check and update forward? You will need to update the app too.

Are you using your laptop? Phone? iPad? Test out the Kickr using an alternate to your usual controller and see if it still lags. Could be a problem with the unit and worth a call to Wahoo support.


Whats your power smoothing set to? I “thought” my Neo 2 took 6-7 seconds to get to target but actually my power smoothing was set to 5 seconds. When you look at the graph after the workout the actual recorded power shows about 2 seconds.

You seem to have power smoothing enabled. Doesn’t that make the Kickr show target watts instead of actual watts?

It is toggled on in the Wahoo app. believe it smooths out the power reporting over 3 seconds. I was Thinking that the steep power line was an indication of quick resistance changes. If it was slow to ramp up to target power the line would be less steep. Compare the image to your typical interval and see if it is similar. I’ll toggle it off and see if that gives a better view.