Specialty Phase VO2 vs Anaerobic?

I have a lot of racing on my calendar this summer so during my specialty phases I have 10 anaerobic workouts but only 4 VO2 workouts with a build phase between that has 3 VO2 workouts. Because of all the race weeks I am missing that second intensity workout on several weeks which should be VO2. I’m wondering if in these periods I should swap some of the anaerobic workouts out for a VO2 workout as an alternative so maybe one week intensity workout is anaerobic, the next week is VO2 and so on?

Any thoughts on that?

What do you need more? 1 minute power or 5 minute power?

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I don’t know, not a sprinter but probably both to race XCO and road.

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Then I’d probably focus on whichever feels like a weakness or limiter. In my case that would be 5 minute power.

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Are there tests on TR that you can complete to assess your 1 min and 5 min power in a way you can then make decisions around training. I’m thinking there is more to it than just doing a capacitive 1 min or 5 min effort.

Would this be appropriate to assess? Log In to TrainerRoad

I’m from the school of max efforts. Then figure out “the curve under the curve” as a % of max for each duration. You can find info about that in the WKO webinars on YouTube.

If you sync your data with intervals.icu you can compare your power for any specific length of time vs everyone else as a percentile. Then you can choose to work on your weaker area or you can try to increase your strength.

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I have that but only ride TR with power, no Zwift or outdoor power to see spiky random power. So thinking it might not be useful.

Made this in custom workouts if I did this in resistance mode not ERG would it be a good gauge?

This is just my personal opinion but if you’re going to be specifically testing power for a length of time (with that custom workout or any other method) and that length of time is shorter (5 min or less) I’d say to do it NOT in erg mode. Every time I’ve tried that in erg mode it has ground me down pretty quickly before the end of the test, whereas in resistance mode or outside I can go harder or easier throughout portions of the test as needed. It might be different if you’re slow-twitch dominant but for me it makes a big difference. As an example, I can average about 800w for 60s, but that’s with riding at >1000 for 30s and then tapering off. If I try to ride at 800w using erg I’d probably get crushed well before 60s. And if you go that hard you would want to do it outside, a trainer is just too locked down to do 1 min all-out efforts IMO.

Yeah that would be the plan, to do it in standard mode, the % for each interval would just be guidelines rather than what I would actually try to hit.

Do you have your first race of the season as your A race? I understand that its quite romantic to do this, but if you are planning on letting it ride and peaking later then you should adjust your race focus rankings.

A race is June 30th, haven’t started either VO2 or Anaerobic yet.

You’re probably going to get plenty of anaerobic efforts during your races. However, it is hard to get specific VO2 efforts during races. Generally they are too short or not consistent enough (depending on your race terrain). So I would swap out all your anaerobic training for VO2 early in the week. For instance, I just raced my first race of the season yesterday and I was anaerobic for 10%, 15 minutes, of the race.

Yeah I don’t think TR is actually making a decision beyond skipping the Friday intensity workout due to the race on the weekend. I think the Anaerobic falls on a Tuesday and VO2 on the Friday with my plan so its the VO2 that gets consistently skipped rather than the Anaerobic.

Exactly. Go into the Specialty plan and swap the Friday to Tuesday’s and Tuesday’s to Fridays. Then, all your vo2 will now be on Tuesdays and your anaerobic workouts will be Fridays and thus removed when it proceeds a race.


My suggestion…. train for what your race. XCO is all about repeatability and staying on the gas for 75-90 min. Road is about tempo/endurance (until it ramps up and isn’t) and building your “speed reservoir.” Just my opinion, but this means most of your time should be building up sweet spot, threshold and extending the endurance ride. The more resistance you have to fatigue the better. VO2 is also an important but should not be the priority. So in an 90 min race (XCO) or hours on the road anaerobic is only important at the end of a race and in terms of repeatability (i.e. sprinting up hills in XCO). To me… high intensity 30-30s or hill sprints are more valuable here than pure anaerobic power (unless you are fighting for the top over-all win).

Why? If you are gassed who cares what your max power is? It is about who can use what they got, when they need it. In endurance events that comes from lots of volume & extending time in zone at tempo/sweet spot/threshold.

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Aka “Why You’re Training Too Hard For C̶r̶i̶t̶e̶r̶i̶u̶m̶s̶ XCO”