I have been doing XCO (I think) speciality for the last couple of weeks and really brought up my v02max level. My V02max is now 7.0, while my Threshold level is 2.0, and sweet spot is 5.2. This makes my workout plan seem super weird. I did 5 minute intervals yesterday at 111%(Coyote) and my next workout (Garfield) in the plan has 5 minute intervals at 100%. Both are deemed to be “productive”. To me this sounds a bit off. If I where to turn down the intensity 11% yesterday I’m pretty sure that would be considered a failed workout and not a productive one.
But you did not turn down the intensity 11% yesterday, so what are you asking here?
Coyote = 5 min @ 111% = VO2 = VO2 Max 7.0
Garfield = 5 min @ 100% = Threshold = Threshold 2.0
If those PL levels are at or just above your current PL level, then they are productive. If you focus on Sweet spot and VO2, you probably will be good at threshold too, despite not specifically having trained threshold, but so what, you’s PL is low, if you do a productive threshold workout, even if it is easy, it was still productive, because you finished the work out and didn’t fail.
Emphasizing Sweet spot and VO2 seems correct for XCO, as it corresponds to the type of efforts you need to do. XCO races are 70-90 minutes or so, so too long to do threshold, so you’ll be at sweet spot more. And you have to punch here and there, so VO2.
If I did turn it down it would basically turn in to my next scheduled workout. How can any workout with the intensity turned down by 11% be productive? (Barring recovery rides)
Exactly. My threshold is probably 2-3 levels higher. I’m doing low volume and I want to squeeze out as much fitness as I can.
I agree. In my experience i’ve had 6-7PL VO2 session that felt good. After that i did a 5ish TH workout that felt a bit harder but right in where i would expect it. Look at the alternatives and a 4-5PL TH workout should be fine for you.
PLs are a record of what you’ve done recently, not a prediction of what you can do, and it sounds like your Threshold PL is a bit below your actual capability. Adaptive Training will get itself up to speed in a couple weeks if you do the assigned workouts and answer the post-workout survey, but like @PhydomiR said, you can also jumpstart it with a Stretch or Breakthrough alternate:
It could also be worth describing your situation (and those two workouts in particular) to firstname.lastname@example.org. It may help them tune the AT model.
Skimming the XCO Specialty phase, the only threshold workouts appear in Week 8 in Low & High volume versions, but nothing in Mid. This raises a couple of questions/observations itself.
I think there’s some form of Adaptive Training (AT) taper protocol - assuming that Week 8 is “A” race week, then AT will scale down the week significantly. So, in reality, I speculate that the Threshold workout would be much lower Workout Level than in the stock training plan. But then, it’s also the only Threshold workout in the entire schedule, which makes me question why it’s there at all. What is the training purpose of a single Threshold workout at this point in time? Perhaps it dovetails with long sustained VO2 workouts preceding - i.e. long 105-108% VO2 isn’t that far away from 102-104% Threshold in the stock plan. But as you’ve seen, 8 weeks without any training of Threshold is going to deprecate your Threshold PL, which means they don’t fit together nicely.
The wider question is whether there is a logic flaw in the application of AT here. AT doesn’t give you credit for long extended VO2 helping raise Threshold. So the lack of Threshold work diverges incorrectly the workouts, wherease in reality the VO2 may be pulling up your Threshold. I think it probably underplays the secondary energy system impact.
Your point is very relevant for general development, but perhaps in Specialty phase week 8, there may not be a two weeks time that is useful - being a week after the A event. Equally, in Specialty phase week 8, we should be tapering, so for that reason, perhaps it doesn’t actually matter.
Thanks for your input people I use Workout Alternates VERY liberally. Also I have been moving workouts around the week (and sometimes between weeks) and switching between inside/outside to fit my schedule. This might make AT wanky but I don’t think so.
This is what I think is happening. And I usually accept what AT is suggesting to me but when it said that the Coyote and Garfield where Productive it gave me pause. Anyway I did what @PhydomiR and did a 4.6TH workout and that felt very similar to my previous 7.0V02 workout.
Yeah maybe worth mentioning that my A race got cancelled a week ago, and It was scheduled to happen a week from now. So when I removed it from the calendar AT really got to work on my plan. If my A race was only a week away I would trust AT 100% to give me the right workout, but now my new A race(XCM) is like 8 weeks away and I feel like I can afford do work harder.