Ok…the Laursen protocol (which is a little bit ancient!) G1 variety dictates two workouts per week for two weeks, then a test. The test is a stepped MAP test (is there another kind? ) followed by a TTE@MAP. For those that don’t know MAP means maximum aerobic power and a stepped MAP test is what TR have you do to test your FTP…except the figure of merit is your MAP or maximum power output in the ramp test. So TR tell you your FTP is 75% of your best 1 minute power during a ramp test…that 1 minute power can also be thought of as your MAP. (queue all the pedantic eggheads…you know I love you guys!)
Well, two weeks has gone by. Only four workouts. This morning I woke up early & tested. That’s gonna mean inhibited performance but it’s the only time I could do it. MAP was my third highest ever…I had a little kidney problem earlier this year that knocked 60W off my MAP & helped me enjoy the wonders of sepsis & now I’m almost all the way back from that. 3W off my best ever.
Not earth shattering but not bad either. For the past couple months I’ve been doing ultra training so really nothing over threshold and a lot of sub-threshold work. It’s a little bit amazing to think the body can adapt back to near peak all-time condition on the back of four intensity workouts. Which I wasn’t even able to complete.
Or maybe another way to think about it is my base was YOOGE after all that ultra work. I mean, that was enough to win a national championship, grab the course record from a RAAM solo record holder, and qualify for RAAM on a course where nobody in my class has ever been able to…all facts which I brazenly brag about. So the base was big. But, for sure, my FTP suffered.
This afternoon I’m gonna do my TTE @ MAP. And that’s gonna suck. Then I’ll reset the next two week’s workouts at 60% of that TTE. And we’ll go from there.
So, I did this…not because I thought it would work too well…I didn’t think it would. But I had a month to screw around & since concentrating on Ultra endurance racing for more than 6 months there was a big base to build off.
First of all, I sucked at it. Never came close to completing even one workout. Right away I switched from the Group 1 protocol to the Group 2 protocol. Did not help. Each workout was one big psychological battle. In the end, my hands would be shaking almost in terror just when I was clipping in. This workout really, really sucks. Can’t imagine doing two or three of these blocks in a row. Good news, though, if you dare to attempt this everything else will seem easy afterwards.
In the end it resulted in an all-time best MAP. During that workout I achieved my all time highest indoor HR. So some positive things happened for sure. This is ~8 months off a brief run in with sepsis & some kidney function problems which saw my MAP plunge 40 or 50 watts.
So in the end I gotta admit this was an effective protocol. Thought it would be good for a quick 10W boost but it was good for a lot more.
I’m at the end of another 2 week block of Laursen Tmax intervals. For the first time ever I was able to complete all 8 intervals at the prescribed work rate.
It’s mentally tough to keep banging these workouts out. There are many workouts that I just don’t want to do but the expectation of these actually cause me some anxiety. They suck. I legit don’t like them. After a good threshold/sweet spot workout there is a post-workout endorphin high for a couple of hours. After a properly executed tmax workout I’m still a little nauseous for a couple hours post workout.
We’ll see if there is still a positive improvement in MAP after this block.