Progression workouts

Hi, in a few recent podcasts @chad has mentioned inserting VO2 blocks with a footnote to ensure they are progressive. Assuming I’m always filtered for one hour workouts, should I be progressing based on intensity or on TSS? There’s not a huge difference in the workout order but just curious to any views.



TSS is a product of time and intensity, so if you’re only looking at 1 hour workouts, TSS and IF will sort into the same order.

:bulb: thanks, I hadn’t made that connection

Actually I just tested it and it isn’t quite the same order. But it’s so close as to make no difference.

TSS formula here:

My recollection was that in the context of VO2Max, Chad was referring to starting with shorter (30s on/30s off) VO2Max intervals, and progressing from there through 1 minute, 2 minute intervals before the classic 3 minute VO2Max intervals. Rather than judging things on overall workout TSS/IF.


Hey @Portobello_T, mcalista nailed it: just make them longer. Once you find a repeatable but high enough intensity that raises your breathing/HR, makes your legs light up a bit toward the end of each repeat and gets a little more demanding with each subsequent repeat, you’re on the right track.

Then you can make them longer (e.g., 30s to 1min to 90s to 2min, etc., all at the same intensity) or make them denser (e.g., 30/30’s, 30/20’s, 30/15’s) or even a bit of both (e.g., longer sets of 30/30’s, back to shorter sets of 30/20’s, then longer sets of 30/20’s, then back to shorter sets of 30/15’s, then longer sets of 30/15’s…you get the idea).

In all cases, you can cram quite a bit of work into an hour. Typically, VO2max work reaches a ‘productivity tipping point’ around 30 minutes of an hour-long workout, but there are always exceptions–riders who can effectively recover from more than 30 minutes even within 60 minutes, riders who can tolerate more than 30 minutes if the VO2max total is distributed over more than an hour-long workout, riders who are so accustomed to 30 minutes of VO2max that more than 30 is necessary to serve as an effective training stimulus.

1 Like

for example you can build your own progression from a list like this:
30-sec intervals Taylor-3
40-sec intervals Stanislaus-4
50-sec intervals Thimble+1
1-min intervals Freel+1
1-min intervals Bashful
1.5-min intervals Baird+2
2-min intervals Mills
2.5-min intervals Dade+1
3-min intervals Spencer
3.5-min intervals Mist+3
4-min intervals Mist+1
4.5-min intervals Shortoff+2
5-min intervals Shortoff+3
6-min intervals Denali+1

There are a lot to choose from in TR library, that list was extracted from a set of bookmarks I’ve collected. Also think about how many quality sessions you can do per week in a 2-4 week block. Hope that helps.


I’m going to go with something Nate mentioned in a podcast a while back (maybe 2016 lol) and that’s adding a couple of points to my ftp week on week and choosing workouts that I enjoy. The workouts will loosely fit in with sustained power and 40k TT plans after doing SSB 1 and 2. For reference I’m 54 and ftp is 186 (this week).