Threshold Workout Failure

Hi all,
Just yesterday, I was failed on the completion of one hour threshold training workout: 8min 105%FTP*5 intervals with 2min recovery in between. I did feel the HR maintained in zone3 (below than 95% of threshold HR), but could only complete 2 8min 105% intervals, and had to take 30s~40s break after 2~4mins hard ride for rest of workout because of very pain on my legs. I am sure the FTP is quited fit to me because I had completed most of SST workouts in last 4 weeks.

My questions is how to adjust the session? 8min under 105% is too long? or 2min recovery is too short? I even can complete one hour ride in 90~95%FTP without stop but can’t afford 8min 105%? That’s a little bit sad to me. Appreciate your advice :slight_smile:

That’s a super tough workout, most people would struggle with it. Did you jump straight from SST work to trying it? If so am not surprised you struggled. Would build up to it gradually, starting out with shorter and/or lower intensity intervals.

E.g. You could start out doing something like 6 x 4’ intervals at 105%. Increase to 8 intervals, then 10 so that you’re then doing the same amount of work as your original goal, but with double the rest time. Then start increasing the intervals e.g. 8 x 5’, 6 x 7’, and eventually 5 x 8’. Or follow a TR plan which will take care of that progression for you :wink:

1 Like

This actually implies to me that your FTP might be a little high. If your FTP is correct then you should be able to finish all the workouts. I would try the workout again with FTP set to 95% of what it is now.

Edit: Actually, I didn’t realize that you were doing the threshold workout isolated without a progression up to those durations. @cartsman advice is probably better.

Great and thanks!
I’ll try your suggestion in my next workout. You’re right! This is my first time to run zone4max at 8 min long. I can afford 3~4min long at 120% VO2max with 3~4 min recovery but failed on this session.

It could depend on a number of factors - so this was your first work out at this intensity? That will play a part into it. 8min workouts above your FTP are super tough for everyone.

How much stress did you have coming into the workout?

I gained TSS 88 based on incomplete workout. Ideally, the stress of the designed session is up to 100.
Ok…, now I know it is too hard to me, I will decrease it by considering @cartsman suggestion.

Thanks all, my friends :slight_smile::slight_smile:

Another thing that springs to mind when doing 4x8 is if you’re doing it in ERG-mode then you might try slope or whatever the non automatic-mode is called. Could be easier to regulate if you’re not used to ERG-Mode. Also you could increase rest to 3 minutes between intervals. That should suffice if your FTP is set right.

1 Like

Did you set your ftp based on a ramp test I’m guessing?

1 Like

I used to test ftp by traditional 5+20 indoor test and one hour outdoor climbing. Not yet by ramp test.

If 4x8 at 105% on 2min was done just after SST work, I would lay money that most people would fail it unless their FTP was set markedly low. That’s just an incredibly difficult workout.

For efforts at or above threshold, you usually want to start your progression at a 1:1 work:rest interval or close to it. Workouts like Stevens +3 could be far more managable (5x (6’ 105%:5’ recovery). But the progressions suggested here already are fine as well.

1 Like

If you recently tested with a 20 minute test then you already just did 20 mins of continuous 105% of ftp so there shouldnt be any reason that 8 min blocks of 105% should be harder after 18 mins of total time with breaks. Did you take a rest week after ssb? How much fatigue were you carrying into the workout?


Are you trying to replicate the Seiler intervals? Or something else?

Updated on 2019/10/3,

After passed 6 * 5’, 5 * 6’, 4 * 7’, finally, I’ve done 4 * 8’ and 5 * 8’ at 105% of FTP. Thanks for your great coaching here. Once I go to re-set a new FTP, there will be a new cycle of building then.