Legs telling me "yes" but my body, my body wants to throw (up)

Hi all

I’m just coming to the end of Sweetspot Base 2 (mid volume) having previously completing SS Base 1.

I’ve been managing the work well except for the recent vo2 max sessions.

On Spencer (5 x 3min) and Kaiser (6 x 3min) I’ve had to stop in the final minute of the fifth & sixth intervals to dry wretch (sorry, I don’t know a better term!). My HR has been high, but I assume that’s to be expected. The frustrating part is that my legs feel absolutely fine with the workload but the rest of my body seemingly can’t keep up.

Any tips or thoughts on what I can do as I don’t really want to dial things down because otherwise, I feel strong.

The last couple of weeks of SSB 2 is hard, there is no doubt about it.
However I would expect the sysmptons of failure to be unable to keep the cadence up and eventually slow to a crawl - that is what happens to me anyway.

The dry retch feeling would appear to be uncommon. Are you well hydrated and do you have food inside you - not too much of course.

Has it always happened or just recently?

Sorry I could not be more helpful

Thinking back to last year, I remember attempting “Banner” (5 x 5mins @120% from memory) a few times and having a similar thing happen.

These v02 max workouts have been done earlyz before breakfast. All on last night’s dinner. I don’t think food is the issue here as there’s less than 20 mins real work and all within the first 45 mins.

I feel hydrated and consume roughly 500ml per hour during a workout.

My tip would be to weigh yourself before and after a workout. Just to figure out how much you sweat. I recently did that and saw that my 500ml of water intake is extremely insufficient. The scale told me I loose about 1kg/hour of HIT-work. Perhaps get yourself a gel 10 minutes before your workout and add more water.

At university I was on the amateur boxing team. Once a week we had hill runs at 7am (not only before breakfast but we were dieting anyway). Dry retching was a regular feature and effected some people more than others. Never did any harm. If anything it shows effort. Personally, if I run up a hill and don’t feel nauseous I know it haven’t tried. I also get tingly finger tips and need the toilet urgently sometimes. Not as common for me cycling though. On VO2 intervals (or higher intervals with short rests) I want to dry retch…

Im guessing your body isnt as adapted to vo2max work as your legs are to endurance work. Minus any fueling / bad eating habbits before a ride issues. More vo2max will be in your future as you enter build phase. You are right on track. Keep up the good work.


Thanks @RLucky82 - gave me a little bit of a boost to read that! :+1:t2:

When I was younger, I used to have this happen during tough rugby practice sessions. Seems like my body got used to it however, and I haven’t had this happen in the past 20 years or so during tough sessions.

Is this only a recent phenomenon for you during VO2max sessions? Give it a few more weeks/months, and it may go away.

By the way, making it through those workouts is no easy feat - well done :+1:t3:

Ive been sick this past week and have been using Spencer to see if I’m recovered. The answer is no! Had to dial down the intensity both times.

By the way, if your legs are feeling fine, it’s likely your cardio system that’s your limiter. Same with me. When I get up to 97%+ of my max HR during intervals, it sometimes feels like I’m going to die - I think that’s my brain’s way of telling my body to stop :grin:

Update… Just finished SS MV B2 and very pleased with how everything went apart from a couple of V02 max intervals. But I’m pretty sure that if I had dropped the cadence from 100rpm and loaded the legs a bit more I could have given the heart a (small) rest. Anyway, I’m delighted with the shape I’m in moving into recovery week and will be ready for the Build plan! Cheers all.

While I feel my legs build up a good burn during VO2 Sessions, they are not usually the limiter (and AFAIK neither should they be). When doing these kind of Intervals you are looking to improve maximum aerobic capacity and to do that, you need to be kept near/at maximum oxygen uptake for as long as possible. I would say a very high heart rate and fast breathing are not only to be expected, but a sign of you doing it right. If you would drop your cadence too severely you might shift the effort to a more muscular one, which might be counterproductive in this case. I would rather swallow the ego and decrease the intensity a percentage point or two. VO2 Max percentages are quite individual in any case! Always possible to increase it down the road.

And, believe me, you are not the only one who has dry wretched after a hard VO2 session. Good on you for working hard!

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