Not understanding TR logic on these intervals

I am wrapping up my last week of build, i am 120 days out from my 200 mile A event. I have standard threshold, vo2 and sweetspot this week. Of course they they have 30/30 for my vo2 intervals which i have swapped out for 3 sets of 3x3min @ 110%

When I look to the start of my build phase, they start me off with 30/30 vo2, anaerobic and threshold. I dont understanding giving me such high % intervals 15 weeks out.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

How did you define your A-event on the calendar?

Is your Build defined as General, Short Power or Sustained Power?

My build is a general build high volume.

A race is listed as a 12 hour gravel race. My goal is to go sub 13 hours. Last time I did unbound i was 13:50 with 45min of stopping, hoping to cut down stopping to 15 min and not come a part 75 miles out like last race.

Sadly, I don’t think TR is actually using event duration as a factor in the training. It seems purely set by the event type from all I have seen.

Not sure what underlying assumptions TR is making per “Gravel” definition, but it seems to be applying a more variable power assumption along the lines of Rolling Road Race. Purely a guess by me though.

I’d suggest considering your actual power profile expected to be used and potentially alter your event type to match… even if that is a different event type.

  • For instance, if you aim for a steady roll and not attacking hills or following packs / attacks, I’d try swapping the type to Gran Fondo. I’d think it will lean towards Sustained Power Build and Gran Fondo Specialty (used to be Century). Those seem more aligned with that type of effort IMO.

  • But if you are approaching the event with the goal of hanging with packs and such, the current setup might make sense.

I personally have been altering many of the VO2Max workouts which default to short/shorts and setting them into those longer ranges you mention. I do have my A-Event as MTB XCO which makes sense to a degree for those shorter hits. But those happen to be a strength for me already where I need more longer duration over-thresh power so I adjust as needed.

Anyway, that is a fair bit of guessing from me and you may be best to email TR support to see what they can really share to shed light on your plan.


My strength is def 30/30 or 15/15.

Maybe I should trust the logic, but I feel its to far out to start sharping the knife. Esp when we are told that the high end stuff comes around very quickly.

30/30s are actually great aerobic training especially when you do long sets of them, but I agree with @mcneese.chad for a 12 hour gravel race you should definitely be doing sustained power build and gran fondo specialty. For some reason plan builder seems to default to general build and rolling road race specialty when you put your discipline as gravel.

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I should add that you can also just alter the Phase definition from the Calendar interface as opposed to fudging Event type. Probably a case for either one but realized I needed to mention this option at least.

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I’ll prob start making changes to the plan.

I am also not opposed to 30/30 as I will race some crits. Just not for 10 more weeks till the crits, I can add them 4 weeks out and illicit the adaptation.

My A event is in mid August, and set as a TT (it’s a long hill climb). I’m starting the first build phase now, it’s set to Sustained Power, mid-volume, and every week of the build has the three work days as VO2, SS, threshold in that order.

Coming form a long “career” of XCO, I like the VO2, but have similar concerns as to their suitability this early in the plan. But, they’re on the longer side, not 30/30’s or 15/15’s so probably more applicable.


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Hey there,

@mcneese.chad nailed it for you with his comment here already – just wanted to confirm what he said above.

Event duration isn’t currently a factor that Plan Builder takes into account when creating your plan. The event type is what will have the most impact on what types of workouts you get.

Gravel/Rolling Road Race plans are great for events that are under 5-6hrs in length. For those durations, you’ll still find yourself hitting power numbers far over Threshold pretty frequently, which is why there’s that balance of Threshold, VO2, and Anaerobic zones.

For a 200-mile race, we’d second Chad’s recommendation for the Gran Fondo plan. That plan would have you focus more on longer, steadier efforts that you’ll probably be more likely to do in a race that long. As Chad also mentioned, though, that depends on how you want to approach the race!


The 30/30s are likely more about increasing your VO2Max and your aerobic capacity, than meeting the SPECIFIC demands of your event.

30/30s typically have a lower phsyiological cost than traditional 3 minute VO2Max intervals, and I’m not sure I agree with your move to swap them out.

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I don’t think 30/30 illicit as good of a response as 3+ min vo2 intervals.

I haven’t seen any coach state 30/30 are better then 3+min intervals in zone. I can be wrong and if there is a study or data to show the effectiveness I am willing to change my opinion.

I do think 30/30 have a place in training, it’s just not 15 weeks out from an event.

“There were no significant difference between the HIIT and SIT group when looking at time trial performance.

However, if one would only look at those in the HIIT group that performed longer intervals (> 4min), then a significant increase in time trial performance of about 2 % could be seen compared to the SIT group.”

Good thread about this topic also. At this point I want to extend time in zone. When I’m 8 weeks out, I think those 30/30 will have a place.

Aren’t 30/30 more for muscular gains, improving your intermediate fibers? Doing 30/30, you are not limited by your heart.
3 min efforts would be more for cardiovascular gains, especially if maxed?
I know that TR calls them all VO2max efforts, but I have the impression that these workouts would trigger different adaptations.

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Will need someone else to give you feedback on that. I know the rpe is much lower for the same time in zone on 30/30 vs 3min blocks at the same %

Is the 30/30 selected to make people stay consistent at training is my question?

I suspect that more often than not people prescribing 30/30s “for VO2 Max” are doing so because they’re easier than sustained intervals, and so have a much higher compliance rate.

For people early in their endurance training journey, 30/30s will very probably give VO2 Max improvements, but so will almost everything.


Some existing discussions:

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Well today is 2 sets of 3x3min @ 122%

I’m 2 in and the pain is worse then anything all year

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You’re posting here while doing VO2 intervals :hot_face: ?

Yup, just finished