Okay, so first a quick bit of background; every year for the past 2-3 years, I’ve followed the SSB I and II (High Volume) plans and completely nailed them. I’ve rarely failed to complete a workout other than on a bad day, and seen reasonable FTP bumps.
But then, every year, I progress to the Build phase with above-threshold efforts and VO2max work, and the coin flips. I can usually suffer through the first and second intervals, but then I’m trashed and can’t hold the required power at all, and end up bailing on the workout.
Earlier this week, I attempted Huffaker, following suggestions on these forums that it’s a good workout to benchmark what percentage of your VO2max you can repeatedly hold, as I suspect mine is lower than 120%. It was rough and I had to bail on 2 of the 6 intervals even when aiming for 110% during the second block.
Somewhat frustrated, I decided to attack the intervals from a different angle yesterday. I found a consistent 3min fire road climb in my local woods, and replicated Huffaker outdoors. I completed the workout, and my power across the 6 intervals averaged 117% FTP. However, the power output wasn’t quite as consistent as it would have been had I completed the workout indoors on TrainerRoad, with the watts straying into Anaerobic Capacity towards the start of the interval, and occasionally dipping slightly below my VO2 zone where the hill flattened out slightly. The screengrab below shows the 6 efforts, with the purple line indicating my VO2max power zone (105-120%)
So my question is; how important is it to strictly stay in the VO2 zone? By exceeding the zone at the start of each effort, am I changing the nature of the workout, thus negatively affecting the desired training effect?