Too much Vo2, Anaerobic with Plan Builder?

Writing because I’m hoping someone can help me understand the logic behind the amount of Vo2 and Anaerobic workouts that I’ve being assigned through my General Build - Low volume plan.

Taking the advice that I’ve heard many times before on the podcast, here on the forum, etc. I used Plan Builder to setup my training leading up to my A-event in mid-July.

I started the year off with Sweet Spot Base, Low volume back in January which entailed 3 structured trainer rides/week with 2 lifting days. This all seemed pretty manageable and I was getting what seemed like a balanced dose of Sweet Spot, Threshold and a sprinkling of Vo2 - all pretty standard stuff.

Then mid-February hit and Plan Builder suggested a General Build - Low volume so, that’s what I did. At this point, things started to get ‘odd’. By the second week of General Build - Low volume, I was getting only Vo2, Anaerobic and Threshold workouts prescribed. I was trying to get out for a longer ride on Sunday if weather allowed.

I’m now into my second Build block and the Vo2 and Anaerobic continues. I’m hitting most of my marks in terms of workout targets and my FTP is going up - just over 3w/Kg as I type this and I’m feeling good at that level. If the progress that I’ve seen since January continues, I expect to have a decent year.

Is this what I should expect from Plan Builder? Is this amount of Vo2, Anaerobic and Threshold rides reasonable and to be expected?


I’d say it is to be expected. General build is really what its name suggest, a bit of everything and while doing a low volume plan, vo2 and threshold work is really effective. The anaerobic workouts are just to get you to be a more well rounded cyclist.

  • Yes, that is the template visible in the primary plan page for General Build Low Volume.

  • The default appears to be a VO2 Max on Tue, Anaerobic on Thu, Threshold on Sat for the “work” weeks.

  • Add in the following 2nd & 4th paragraphs from that page that parallels what is shown for workouts/days:

So the overriding goal of the General Build plans is to place fairly even emphasis on Threshold training and its focus on extending your durations during efforts near your FTP, VO2max work and the ability to repeat hard efforts and often in quick succession, and anaerobic intervals aimed at increasing your repeatable, near-maximal power outputs.

This even combination of key workouts suits riders with more general aspirations and target events. All-around riders like stage racers - road or dirt - and competitors looking for multi-faceted fitness in everything from sprints to climbs to time trials need to administer frequent combinations of near-FTP output, high-end & repeatable aerobic power, and near-maximal bursts of speed. Evenly addressing all of these requirements is what the General Build plans are all about.

  • “Expected” per what the TR plan is designed to provide, Yes. I think what you describe follows their planned assignments (days/zones).

  • “Reasonable” per an individual needs relative to their training history, current state, general training principles and such is likely to fall into the “It depends…” category.

If you are in doubt of the TR AT/PB functions and what it is giving you, an email to TR support makes sense. If you are questioning training principles in a broader sense, TR support may be able to help or members here can shed like via their research and experience.


Nope, not questioning the training - either the principles or the actual workouts. Simply trying to calibrate what I’m seeing in the TR app vs. what TR is supposed to be subscribing

Appreciate the re-direct back to the Low Volume General Build write up on the plan description page.

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I don’t subscribe so can’t see or comment on the workouts prescribed. General principles dictate if someone is on a low volume plan and time crunched, if they want to see gains then they need to accumulate time well above threshold. The days you ride will be hard - on a low volume plan you need to make the rides count.

Been there and done that - I’m a time crunched rider that’s realised if you can’t do volume, you must do intensity.


Yep. This is what you should expect. You’re in a BUILD phase on a LV plan (me too). If you want to BUILD with 3 rides a week, they’re going to be hard work. I add in an easy hour (or some mtb) on Wednesday and then a longer easy ride on Sunday to increase volume. As mentioned above, if you can’t do volume, you’ve got to do intensity if you want to see improvement.

Weird thing to me is Short Power Low Volume is VO2, VO2, Threshold, but General Build Low Volume is VO2, Anaerobic, Threshold. Wouldn’t that be Even Shorter Power Build?

@Pbase - it sounds likes you are basically doing the mid volume plan but u take the extra gut punch on the intensity for the 3 days TR prescribes. You and others are saying that is what needs to be done because you are not getting the volume. However, u are actually getting the volume because u are infact riding 5 days per week.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to get the right intensity on the 3 days you are riding for intensity by picking the mid-volume and then simply skip the Wednesday and Sunday TR workouts on the calendar to do what you are already doing outside on those days?

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Good question. Here’s my reasoning. The TR team has repeatedly said you’re better off adding workouts to LV than skipping workouts from MV. Also, with the introduction of machine learning, I think it’s better for the algorithm to add volume than to delete workouts but then add workouts.

If we ignore that advice and just take a look at the two plans, we find that the sum total difference in both workout type and total TSS (over the 3 days) is very minor, so I just go with the LV and add as I see fit rather than waste time deleting and re-adding other workouts.

Example - here’s Sustained Power Build weeks 2 and 3

Example 2 - SS Base weeks 2 and 3


I’d have a think about what you want to develop in your cycling. If you don’t really need or want to develop a good sprint. Then you could say, you’ll skip the anaerobic and do a long ride instead.

I think it’s likely more about energy system development than actual need for a strong spring ability.

I also think there’s something to the pull (up) of FTP from the top (I.e. energy systems above threshold) as well as a push from below (I.e. sweet spot, tempo, endurance)

I’m no physiologist though.

Responses above all make sense to me…thanks all for the input.

LV general build really isn’t as general as MV or HV, which both also include sweetspot and endurance work

Yeah but the only other energy system you are going to hit with very short very hard anaerobic efforts is phosphagen. That energy system isn’t much use other than a final kick in a race or something. If it’s not something you need to improve, as in it’s not specific to your type of riding, I would drop it in favour of something that is, such as improving your oxidative system via endurance rides.

Jumping in here randomly. Believe there are a handful of studies showing that if you don’t have much time to prepare for an event, a 2-4 week sprint interval training (SIT) intervention can provide some nice gains.

Here is a conclusion from one meta study that immediately popped up on a search of my laptop:

“Programming Interval Training to Optimize Time‐Trial Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis” by Rosenblat, Lin, da Costa, and Thomas.

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That’s my logic as well

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