I’d like to tap the collective wisdom and/or experience of the group as I’m thinking about doing my next 3 week block as intensive Vo2 based on something I heard recently.
My vitals for reference:
– 48 y.o. male
– 5+ years of structured training experience
– Hovering around ~300FTP / 4wkg for about the last 2 years
– I have a pretty important race on April 15th … not really my “A” race, but I definitely have goals.
– I read over the weekend something from a coach who described his philosophy as “reverse periodization” (which I had to look up). It was the reason for this philosophy that I found interesting. He said (paraphrasing): After athletes come out of their off-season it is their high-end fitness which has disappeared more rapidly than their aerobic – call that Z2/Z3 for the purposes of this discussion – and when he starts on a new annual training program with an athlete he wants to “raise the roof” so-to-speak and re-acquire the top end (or a portion of it) before filling it back in with aerobic base, TTE, etc.
Short story: My FTP has dropped from a range of 300-305 in early October to 275-280 currently.
Longer story via a time-line:
– October 8th - My “A” race after which I took a 3 week break from training. FTP: 305
– October 11-31 - Off season. Paused structured training. However the weather was so nice in Chicago at this time this year, I was still doing long rides on the weekends so I don’t believe I lost too much fitness.
– November 1: Resumed training and began base phase and weight training. Estimated FTP: 295
– November 1 - 24: Was absolutely crushing it. Nailing every workout, feeling strong; weightlifting wasn’t adding any fatigue to my rides. Dreaming of podiums and glory. Averaging about 550 TSS/week.
– November 24 (Thanksgiving): last healthy workout, and departed to head out of town for the holiday weekend.
– November 25th - December 25th: absolutely no training … due to, 1) Travel, during which I caught, 2) the flu, which lasted for about 10 days, after which I tried to resume riding and had two sessions before discovering I had, 3) a sinus infection. All of this kept me off the bike for a full month … and most of that month was spent in bed or on the couch with very little activity.
– Dec. 26th - January 1st: After feeling better for a full 3 days I did a “test” week where I rode very low between 90-120 minutes 1 day on/1 day off to see how I could take it. TSS: 350
– January 2nd – started my base phase over, and I promised myself I would accept whatever FTP the TR AI dictated to me which was FTP: 278
– January 2nd - present: I’ve been training at pre-illness volume and been averaging about 550 TSS all at SS, Tempo or Z2 levels.
Now that I have a pretty decent, 4-week base block in my system and am entering a rest week – I was thinking to do a 3 week V02 block followed by a rest week before resuming base so as to accomplish what the aforementioned coach said in “raising the roof” of FTP before resuming my base phase and then mini-build into my race on April 15th.
My weeks would be scheduled as follows:
Tue: Vo2 ~100 TSS
Wed: 90 min easy Z2
Sat: Vo2 ~100 TSS
Sun: 3 hours of Z2/tempo on trainer
Building through the three weeks from 525 - 600 TSS followed by a rest week.
The race I’m doing on April 5th is one in which I’ve gotten as solid AG top-ten the past two years, and my goal this year is/was and AG podium. And thus, I am trying to maximize my time with as best I can without over-doing it to get back to my October-level fitness … or as close as I can be.
I know I can’t handle 3 Vo2 sessions per week at my age without flaming out. Not sure I can handle two-per week for 3 full weeks, but if I make it through 2 I can play the third week by ear.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions🤘