Include 1x VO2 workout in plan, substituting 1x SST/Threshold workout


A few years ago, when i first started cycling, i’ve had FTP tests done in a lab. It showed i was good at pushing through lactate and had a very high tolerance. But my calculated VO2 (mid 40’s) was very unimpressive, although that was at the start of my cycling ‘career’ and have not had it tested again, so possibly its better now. Over the years, i’ve never really trained VO2. So i’m contemplating modifying my current plan a bit to include 1 VO2 workout a week, substituting 1 of the SST/Threshold workouts. Probably the Tabata protocol.

Does this make any sense or …"stick to the plan.?

Some additional info:
My plan is SSB1 + 2 - Short power build - cyclocross season.
I train specifically for cyclocross.
I do the Low volume plan (3.5 hours a week) but include additional road rides at lower endurance intensity to end up between 10 to 14 hours a week.
38 years old
current FTP 300 Watt / 3.60 W/kg


PS1: I do see that the SSB 2 plan already included VO2 on the tuesday…so maybe stick to the plan is correct for this phase

PS2: after CX season, i stick to strictly low endurance base training for a few weeks before i start my new plan. Would it be beneficial to include some VO2 work at that point? Of maybe do 2/3/4 weeks of just VO2 work?

PS3: first week of february i started with base training (Z0/1/2) for 10-14 hours a week. Started SSB 1 on 31st of March, so a good base to start with.

What is your current fitness like? Do you already have a bit of base fitness, or do you come from a long break?
You could just go directly into SSB2, which already has a progression of vo2 workouts factored in.

Rarher than doing 1 Vo2 max/week try 2 weeks VO2 max block - for example 3 VO2 max workouts day after day and then rest of the week Z2 riding. With stacking the workouts you overload your system but you will see much more gains than with 1 workout per week.

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I’m doing this right now to get a boost before I hit my build block. I would be cautious about jumping straight to this approach since their experience with VO2 work is fairly limited though. If you’re used to do a weekly VO2 work and have adequate rest planned it’s a good option. That doesn’t seem to be the case here though and could overly trash their body, especially the 6 x VO2 in 2 wks version. That’s a major increase in high end stress in a very short time.

Welcome @Thanas_Stefanes_V. If you want to be a well rounded cyclist, VO2 work is important. That doesn’t mean you have to do it every week but you should incorporate it regularly. Once your body adjusts to regularly operating at this high an intensity weekly would be a good idea because keep in mind you gain VO2 fitness rapidly, but also lose it rapidly. Tabatas are fantastic so great idea to start there.

Cheers and good luck!

Current fitness seems ok. have been averaging 10+ hours since beginning of february. See my PS3 in my opening post.

I’d really like to do a short VO2 block jus to see wat it does. I think at this point in my plan, fitting this in is too late. I think for next year, after the easy base training phase, i’ll do a 2/3 week block of just V)2 (+ some easy base training) to experiment.

Here is a link to the VO2 intensive thread if you’re interested:

Short Intense Period

Also to expand on my prior reply, make sure to keep VO2 in the context of your overall plan. If doing VO2 work starts preventing you from nailing your plan’s key workouts, then I’d back it off a bit, maybe consider opting for “-“ versions of the VO2 workouts. Until your body adjusts make sure you have adequate rest/recovery following the intensity to make sure you’re ready for key days.

I vote for stick to the plan. SSBII LV has 1xVO2 a week and then you’ll probably get plenty of VO2 and anaerobic work in SoPB. Or consider Sustained Power Build as it has the 2-3min 120%FTP VO2 intervals as well as the longer 8-9min 105%FTP VO2 intervals. You can also choose “+” versions of the VO2 workouts.

Like you, I do what I call LV++ plans and end up with similar total weekly times. When I finish SSBII LV++ in 4 weeks I’ll be moving into SuPB LV++ again. I did learn that hard way the first time through that my weekly schedule of stacking TR workouts on Tues/Wed/Thurs was okay in SSBI/SSBII and the first half of SuPB, but the second half of SuPB I had to adjust my schedule due to extra recovery being required from and for the VO2 sessions.

If cross is your jam (and it’s mine) then I’m not sure how critical flogging yourself with VO2 is right now. It builds quickly when you train it regularly, but do you really want to maintain it thru summer? I think you’ll get more bang-for-the-kj by sticking with the scheduled sst/threshold workouts. Hold off VO2 until 4-6 weeks before cross starts (eg, specialty or the VO2 touchup mini plan).

I start CX specific training in the first week of september, and wont do my first cross race untill start of october. So that is a good time to include VO2. i’ll stick to the plan.