Spencer +2 fail

Hi.

So I attempted Spencer +2 today (wk 5 on SSB2) and failed. On the 4th interval I completed it but cadence dropped to 50rpm by the end of it and then I dropped intensity by 5% on the 5th interval and only lasted 2mins on that one before I bailed totally.

Naturally there’s a whiff of disappointment in bailing but is this telling me anything or is it just a blooming hard workout?

At the end of SSB1 my FTP went from 230 to 244 which I was pleased about but one failure has left me me with more questions than answers!

Thanks in advance

Spencer +2 is a pretty tough VO2max workout and I’ve learned that some folks have an easier time working at high VO2max levels than others. Personally I respond very well to VO2max workouts but I’m terrible at sustained threshold efforts.

With regards to your FTP, SSB1 has very little in the ways of VO2max workouts so I wouldn’t read too much into your FTP and bailing on Spencer +2. Maybe dial it down to Spencer and try it again.

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Thanks for that, you could be bang on there about the V02 vs Threshold comparison. I done Mary Austin -1 last week and managed that fairly comfortably. 3mins @ 120% might just be a bridge too far at the moment!

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Yeah different people’s VO2 powers scale differently to their FTPs. Some people might be 120%, some people closer to 115%, and some people maybe closer to 125%, etc. It is a super hard workout, even if you are shooting for the correct power. I would just move on and if you want another go at it then maybe drop it 3-6% from the very beginning so that you get all of the time in zone. Its a small decrease but might just be enough to get you to hang in there.

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Spencer +2 is generally recognized as one of the toughest workouts. I would be fascinated to see what the compliance rate is.

Don’t feel in the least bit bad if you need to add in some backpedaling in the later intervals, if you need to drop the intensity, or extend a recovery valley. As has been said, VO2max can be really difficult for certain people, so don’t feel like you need to get it perfect.

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Yes, for me it was the opposite, Spencer +2 was relatively easy and I was able to bump up the difficulty but Mary Austin -1 was super hard and I barely finished it.

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I was about to go opposite and bring up Leconte, what’s the compliance rate on that craziness!

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You can also look up the workout on the website, scroll down to the bottom, and select ‘all rides’ to see other people’s (only those with public accounts) attempts. It definitely has a fair amount of “failed” attempts ranging from 1-3 backpedals during the last few intervals to just complete blow ups.

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i was feeling bad a failed hard on spencer today…but somehow i had messed my program up and did very well on leconte last week. i seem to do my best on over unders… even better than just holding threshold at times

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Yeah, you have to go ride-by-ride, though. @Nate_Pearson, is there any chance you could deliver us the Holy Gift of Data and say what the compliance percentage is for Spencer +2?

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Yeah, I know it won’t give you an exact percentage but it does give you a high level idea of how difficult it is.

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I see this come up often. How do people find out? Is there some TR statistic on this? I looked but I can’t find how people find this stuff out.

Edit: nevermind. I saw @mwglow15 response, which answers this.

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Cheers for all the advice, some wise words and much appreciated. Main takeaway is not to get too hung up on it I suppose. I’ll definitely go back to it and probably apply the 3-6% reduction tip. I’m sure many more challenges lay ahead when I get into build and specialty phases!

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From what I understand, Nate (or one of his data-flunkies) runs a custom query on their database of completed workouts, looking for Spencer +2 ones which have not been “failed” and then dividing that among the total workouts.

How you define “failed” is interesting (IF less than an set value?) but if we’re really lucky, Nate will descent from the clouds and bestow this knowledge upon us.

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Yeah sorry but I don’t think there’s a way to nail down a more exact percentage. As they’ve said in the podcast, that is most likely knowledge that gives them a competitive advantage so they won’t be disclosing it publicly anytime soon.

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Darn :frowning: Oh, well. Maybe someone will at least say if it’s “low” or “moderate” or make an exception for this one workout.

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We’ve changed our approach for workout compliance and the new way is almost ready. That’s why you haven’t heard anything about this lately. When it’s ready we’ll be talking about it a lot.

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Post edited. Check out Postcast #191, 43:17

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I hear you on this what. Congrats on making it through 4 intervals! (actually)

I did

  • 2 at 120%
  • 1 at 115%
  • 1 at 109%
  • 2 at 110%

I think next time i’m just going to do the whole thing are 110% and if i’m able to complete it up it 1% at a time. Also consider it’s week 5, you might be pretty worked with the fatigue building.

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All good points mentioned earlier. Also wanted to add for these hard VO2Max or anaerobic workouts, it helps to have proper fuel but also use music if you haven’t done so! Usually for recovery I have the tv going with some cycling race replay. But for these workouts I zone out with good hard rock tempo music. :slight_smile: