Re-do 'failed' workout or attempt next progression?

One thing I love about TR is you can see the progression in difficulty it puts you through. One set of workouts I’ve struggled with is Pierce/Whiteface/Mitchell style where you have short VO2 intervals with equally short sweet-spot ‘recoveries’ (yeah… right…). Ive not managed to complete any of these on 100% (reduced to 95% after 4-5 blocks to finish it).

Question is, since I didn’t complete Whiteface last week on 100%, is it more beneficial to a) scrap the harder Mitchell today and attempt to redo Whiteface or b) just do Mitchell knowing I’ll probably have to dial it back at some point or c) just start Mitchell at less than 100% and try to complete it at 100%?

I’ve a feeling I’m talking about very very marginal differences.

Q:

A:

:wink:

1 Like

I agree you’re talking about marginal differences, and some further context might help.

Do you complete all your other workouts at 100%? If you’re regularly turning down the intensity then you may have your FTP set too high. Likewise, if you consistently struggle with V02 max intervals then you may find that (because V02 max can vary between individuals) you need to lower the intensity on all V02 max workouts despite having your FTP set correctly.

In most cases, you’ll get similar adaptations throughout a range of power outputs (within a given zone) so 5% isnt going to be the difference between a great workout and a terrible one.

Lastly, do whatever you feel is achievable on a long-term consistent basis. Best to plug away consistently doing slightly lower-than-optimal intensity than pushing yourself too hard and getting sick/fatigued etc.

3 Likes

Yep, I as expected really. It’s only this very specific workout I struggle with. Other vo2 workouts are achievable (NOT EASY THOUGH!)

I’ll try Mitchell at 95% and see how it goes.

Normally, my answer is keep it moving and move on to the next.

However, I’m kind of in a wierd spot in my training where I’ve collected a handful or so of recent “failures” and I don’t have anything really specific to do next, so I’m planning a tour of my “failures” to repeat all of them over a span of two weeks.

It will go something like this.

  • Spencer +2 (“failed” twice in one week)
  • Lamarck (dismissed after 5 minutes)
  • Mary Austin (got about 95%)
  • Bashful +2 (got about 97%)
  • Spanish Needle (went outside instead)
  • Leconte (skipped)

I think it will be fun to get them all a go again.

A few weeks ago I failed a workout and it irked me. It was right before I went on vacation for a week so when I returned I decided to repeat my failed week. And then follow the normal progressions. To date (3 weeks) I’ve managed to complete all of the workouts which is great.

The one thing I’ve found helps me is listening to my body:

  • this week I was tired after having a few drinks with my neighbor so rather than work out I moved the workouts a day back and took a rest day
  • repeating the week with the failed workout above meant I had one important workout I could prep for (sleep, nutrition, etc). I made sure I was ready and that was a great motivation.

My theory (with zero scientific research) is 1 ‘failure’ isn’t a big deal. Consistent failing means you either have something to address - physiological or psychological.

1 Like

Depends on whether you class 95% as a “failure” or not- if you’re still in the correct zone I’d personally say no, but if you’re consistently struggling with v02 work relative to other efforts and it’s bugging you it might be worth focusing on that at some point.

Haha, I like that idea! That sounds like a super rough two weeks though- but kudos if you make it out alive! :joy: