Looking for "Inigo San Millan" style workouts (Zone 2 with VO2 max at end)

Hello, I am looking for a TR workout that is similar to how ISM described how he does his outside rides.
Total ride time 60-90 minutes. All zone 2 for first, longest portion, then a couple VO2 efforts at the end. He wasn’t clear how many efforts he does at the end, but just sends he does them then, after he has accumulated good clean time in zone 2 first. He may only do one effort as he suggests that most of his rides follow this format instead of having his zone 2 rides totally independent from his VO2 max rides.

I am also not sure what length the VO2 max/zone 5 efforts are or should be, but I am thinking they would be 2-4 minutes maybe (maybe closer to the 4 minute duration, with equal duration recovery between efforts)?

It would be nice to have 3 workouts, one 60 min, one 75 min, one 90 min.
I looked and I cannot find any workouts that have this format to them.

If anyone is aware of such workouts please share them here.
Thank you.

You’ll need to make your own. Easily done. Base the number of intervals on what you do in regular VO2 workouts, maybe (for the first time you do them) trimming off 30 seconds per interval to account for the fatigue caused by the workout structure.

Better still, do it as a free ride first to assess what feels good, then create your workouts.

For this I put 2 workouts to calender. First is 1 hour Z2 and second is the 30 minutes treshold or VO2Max. I do them back to back.


i would ask why you would want to do this? why not just set aside 1 maybe 2 workouts where you hit your high intensity properly? do your Z2 and be happy. friend of the channel Dylan Johnson did a recent video about this very thing. spiking your CNS a little bit but often, could be less effective. you may certainly carry less low level fatigue about.


It can be good fatique resistance training + if you have only 4-5 days weekly and you want to do 2 higher itensity traings + endurance then you can spend one day doing both but you must do endurance and after it vo2 max (so you can avoid riding endurance on lactate…)

Agreed. Think of what’s the goal of the workout and try to maximize the result. If it’s VO2max do the intervals fresh to get the best quality work done.

I would only add the intervals in the end if you’re really time crunched and don’t have time to do separate endurance work. If I understood Inigo San Millan right this is the reason he does it that way. He’s not riding that much or try to be in top shape, it’s just a convenient way to get quality endurance work done and add little bit of top end work too mostly for health benefits.


For winter maintenance in the off season, would you want your intensity to be VO2 Max or threshold?
I was planning to do Low Volume Traditional Base I, II and II this winter starting in a couple of weeks and for 10 weeks add in an extra Threshold workout per week and then in the final 2 weeks of Trad Base III add in a VO2 Max workout per week and then hopefully will have a race calendar to input and start back up with an AT plan.

Does 3x Z2 and 1x Threshold or VO2 Max make sense as a good mix for a sustainable amount of intensity while building a big base for the first time?

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Thank you all for the great suggestion (doing 2 separate workouts back to back) as well as recommending to keep them separate.
Right or wrong I am planning to edit what plan builder prescribes for me.
Currently I am doing the polarized plans. Just finished the 6 weeks and will be starting the 8 weeks next.
I am doing the 2 intensity rides, VO2 and Threshold, and then also doing all of the zone 2 rides but the days where the rides are over 90 minutes, I split that up into 2 rides, 1 morning 1 evening.
In January when I am done the polarized 8 weeks I plan to use plan builder, low volume. I am getting a pretty traditional base, build, specialty prescription, sweetspot base 1 & 2, sustained power build, century specialty.
I am planning to keep only 2 of the intensity rides per week throughout the plan and then adding in 3-4 zone 2 rides per week (i,e, replacing the 3rd intensity workout with a Z2 ride). My thought was to cut out the VO2 max rides until at least the build phase or maybe even specialty as I am quite certain my big weakness is the zone 2 and long sustained efforts at SS and Threshold. I have been short twitch fiber my whole life, 40+ years, I believe I need a big dedication to a strong base to see the most gains in the area I am looking for. I am not sure I can handle 3 intense workouts per week combined with I think I could benefit from at least 3 Z2 rides per week. I think I can consistently ride 5 days per week but maybe not 6, every week. This is why I am thinking to cut the VO2max rides until later in the season as my understanding is I can bring back the VO2 max more quickly.
Once I add back in the VO2max rides in build or specialty, and assuming I only do 2 intense rides per week, I am not sure which ride to drop, a sweetspot or threshold ride?
Maybe I will just alternate each week, drop a sweetspot ride one week and the threshold ride the next?
Comments, feedback, and suggestions welcomed.
Thank you in advance.

I am of the belief there are many ways to get to where you are going. The awesome thing about this sport is that there is as much art to coaching as there is science. What works for one (or sometimes most) doesn’t always work for someone else. Because of this I think experimenting and sometimes going against the trend to see what happens is what keeps it interesting. After all if there was ONE correct way of doing things everyone would be doing it.

The idea of dropping in some intervals during a “long” effort is nothing new. This has been prescribed by Daniels for marathon runners for decades. I know the current trend is “polarized,” and keeping your easy days easy, avoiding bumping up to other training zones. Some of my favorite runs were building up the last few miles and trying to hit that sub 5 on the way home. Those runs were in the summer base phase when there was little to no intensity outside of a tempo or fartlek run and long run. Personally, I wouldn’t want to go for 1 hour and then crush another hour of VO2 work. That stuff is hard enough without the extra challenge. I have thought about going out and riding for an hour or two and then heading into the singletrack and hills to work the endurance of longer XC MTB races.

Your plan sound like a good experiment. Like any experiment you are going to need to get constant feedback, make adjustments and be flexible. My only advice here is to map out a framework of what you want to do, track what works and what doesn’t, and don’t be afraid to scrap it and start over with what you learned if it doesn’t work.

Good luck to ya and remember to have fun with it!

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Last year I did something like this, 1 hr of zone 2 followed by one set of VO2 intervals working up to 2min on/2 min off at 120% ftp. This year I’m planning a pure VO2 day, and the rest zone 2, for Dec/Jan/Feb. After that, plan to add in threshold work. I’m not racing and mostly want to keep up on the weekly group ride. Age 68. For us seniors, I think its important to work on VO2 most of the year, in an effort to forestall even more age related decay.

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