Not hard Enough?

Yesterday I completed Taylor -2. My question/concern is my exertion was not what I expected. I maintained my power target of 120% of FTP during each of the 30 second intervals (candence ave during interval 105-110). Knowing this was a VO2 Max workout I anticipated higher elevated HR rages which I just did not see. My max HR rate is in the high 170’s (I’m 54), but I never went above 145 bpm, which was surprising to me. I feel my ftp number is pretty close, just want to make sure I’m maximizing this type of workout, it was my tough workout of the week. I was mentally prepared for a difficult workout, but didn’t feel like I maximized it. For what’s it’s worth I’m on a Kickr in ERG mode which could have something to do with this?


Taylor -2 is introduction to vo2 max - workout to accustom you with this type of efforts. It is quite easy workout. Every week vo2 max workout will be harder.


Taylor -2 is not hard by VO2max standards. I routinely run a different VO2max progression during SSB2MV because I have good history of those types of intervals and want more challenging work.

My progression and some other ideas here


30 seconds at vo2 is hardly going raise your heart after 30 seconds. It doesn’t mean you’re not getting a training stymlus from the effort. The workout is probably more about teaching you not to set off guns blazing and blow yourself up within 30 seconds and be clinging on with finger tips on proper vo2 efforts. To get your heart to raise in that time or almost to max you need to be doing anaerobic effort and would be training the wrong system. Think of the effort more for when riding in a pace line and you want to keep the speed high when it’s your turn and do 20 to seconds you wouldn’t go all out a shatter the group when you come through


Buckle up…that was just the appetizer. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Ditto everyone else.
Burst intervals have to be done at much higher %FTP if you’re looking to raise HR into VO2max zone. Or reduce the ‘off’ interval time (e.g. 30/15).

I’ve done 120% 30/30s breathing through my nose (Sleeping Beauty). I did the Isolation w/o yesterday, which is something like 100x 15/15s but I did them at ~130% FTP and ended up spending ~40min at >90% HRmax.


Chad should replace this workout as it doesn’t serve any purpose in the plan. It’s far too easy and isn’t a stepping stone to the longer efforts as the recovery intervals are too long. 30/15s would be a much better stepping stone.

The only purpose is psychological (at least for me, when this was my first ever structured Vo2 efdort). After Taylor you believe that vo2 max workouts are not so horrid like everybody say. Of course the Mills is harder but I remember that I have done it more intrigued and enthusiastic than terrified.

The problem is, this isn’t really a VO2 max workout. VO2 tracks close to heart rate, so a heart rate of around 90-95% max is what you’d be looking for. I don’t ever reach 85%, and I don’t think I’m the only one. The last time I did this workout I increased the intensity to 105% and then to 107% for the final set.

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I know this is not a VO2 max workout, I am only talking about psychological aspect - it is an introduction to VO2 workouts and after successfully finishing it, you feel better before the next workout (Mills as I remember). This only works if you do the SSB2 for the first time and, as me, start with any type of training. You would not do this during second run though SSB2 and probably should replace it with something valid.

Weeeelllll…yes and no.

If you’re looking to do a VO2MAX session – emphasis on the MAX – then yes, you have to crank the HR up. That said, almost every Zone improves VO2max capabilities, just not in the same way. For instance, doing a lot of Z2 work will improve/create many of the physiological infrastructures required by the VO2max system. So doing a workout like Taylor -2 is still going to spark up those adaptations and in a much more compliant manner than a 5x4min @ 120% workout would do.


I get that. I decided to repeat my SSB2, given I’ve been off the bike for about 12 years, my SSB1 was kinda spotty and all races have been postponed. I forgot I had even done this workout the first time through, but I do remember Mills and Spencer+2. I’m focusing on patience and building a solid foundation…bring thing to a boil slowly.
I really appreciate all the very helpful feedback.

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if you did SSB2 like a year ago, there were other workouts instead. they were changed.

here chad explained why: Did SSB2 LV change? (Low Volume) - #2 by Ian and Did SSB2 LV change? (Low Volume) - #37 by chad

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Nope, I’m doing back-to-back SSB2 blocks, but with higher (12%) FTP this round. My strategy is to have a very strong foundation for base and specialty blocks given I’ve been off the bike for so long. I started back the second week in January with SSB1 but it was spotty given business travel, vacations and sickness. Hence why I repeated SSB2.

While I love 30/15s myself, Chad’s limitation is he’s writing one size fits all plans meant to work for experienced athletes as well as those totally new to structured training. Taylor -2 is a pretty good intro to VO2max for some folks, but those experienced with the soul-crushing intensity of VO2max work won’t feel the same. It’s really the only weakness of SSB2 LV and MV in my opinion, and is easily remedied by changing those workouts to a different progression. There are a few good options out there… simply subbing Brasted for Taylor-2 might work well for some, others will want to dive right in to 2-minute jobbers like Mills and get to a few weeks of 3 minute intervals instead of just the one.


Those are like the light breeze and sprinkles you feel before the hurricane winds actually hit shore. Once you stretch those out to 2 minutes, then 2.5, then 3 and so on, you will in fact be right in the middle of the V02 storm :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

When i first started trainer road, man some of these workouts are easy, i need more.

after a year and a half. !@#$ me, all i want now is some nice sweet tender tempo and endurance so I can actually enjoy my time on the trainer.

you learn as you go, coach chad said, these workouts are guidelines, if you know what you’re doing you can change them, but keep it to the said power zones.

personally, i’ve switched taylor -2 and brought forward the 1 min interval forward so that towards the end of SSB2 I will work it up from 2 mins to 2 mins 30 seconds and finally 3 minutes. instead of 1 min - 2 mins - 3 mins which I find the last week completely unbearable and too much of a step up.

This is after multiple attempts at SSB LV so I kinda know that the last week of SSB2 I need to somehow manage the stress so that I can complete it. If its your first time, try to follow the plan with 100% compliance. If its still easy the second time even at 3 minutes VO2 max, might be time to experiment.

Hope it helps.


Weeeelllll yes.

This is a 1 hour workout, if you wanted to improve mitochondrial density then go ahead and choose a long zone 2 ride, or a 90-120min ride fasted. I don’t think coach Chad has that in mind here, he wants to illicit central adaptations, but given the structure of the workout, people aren’t ever reaching a suitable % of V02max.


Cool story, dude. :v:

This, to me, would be a much better progression. The 1 minute on/off workout is still pretty tame so would work as the first stepping stone. Having the new workout with 2m 30s intervals is a great idea as the jump from 2 to 3 is hard.