Vo2 block periodization

That’s a serious first week!

See Chads recommendation on a vo2 intensive period here.

Yes, to be honest, I’m a little scared. Taken individually, each workout is productive, but stacked up like this is terrifying. But that’s the goal, right?

I’ve tried this before, but short intervals have always been easy for me. That’s why placed longer intervals at the beginning of the week and shorter ones at the end, when motivation starts to drop.

I did a 3 week block this spring with great results. In short:

  • In total, 11 or 12 workouts and races
  • abt. 25 hours of volume per week
  • took me about a month to recover fully
  • great improvements in aerobic fitness all-around

Anything specific you want to know?

I once did Hickson intervals on an ergometer in the lab 3 d/wk for 18 wk. Does that count as a “VO2 block”?

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25 hours a week is amazing, I’m lucky to get 10-12

What was the outcome of that 18 week “block”?

If it helps, I can quarantee you that it gets pretty boring pretty fast - especially indoors. It might take a month to recover from physically but probably a year mentally :sweat_smile:

Myocardial fibrosis?

I hit the same limit for VO2max (i.e., 5.4 L/min) as I have achieved training other way. OTOH, my sustainable power (‘FTP’) was disappointing.

Specificity, specificity, specificity, specificity, specificity.

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I did something similar this year, 3 weeks of focus on vo2 (2-3x) per week. Then recovery week and
following that two weeks with high volume with 1x over under and 1x vo2 workout.

To be fair in the final week I was too cooked anyway and cut the vo2 and only did (poorly) the over under session.

I should have probably ended the vo2 sessions after the first block.

Anyhow, result? Meh :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
I think for me it might be more beneficial a mixed approach with a vo2 and thr/SS.

It ha been taking me a while to get power back while doing threshold and it has not really improved over last year.

Other info: I’ve been training for 5 years on average of 12-15 hours pw.

This year I also upped the volume hitting regularly 15 hours plus but somehow I fear my recovery weeks were also too easy (6-8 hours due to weather commitments etc).

Putting aside that somewhat less desirable outcome of myocardial fibrosis for a moment…

Did you reach that VO2max limit only after the full 18 weeks, or were you banging along at pretty much that level from earlier in the block?

If it was sooner than 18 weeks, was it quicker / slower at getting you there than the other way training you mention?

I only measured my VO2max at the end. However, based on my power:HR ratio (surrogate for O2 pulse), I was probably very close to my limit after only about 6 wk.

I can’t really answer your second question. I’ve trained a lot of different ways that led to essentially the same result, but except for that one experiment, don’t really have any good time-course data.

(I will say this: I was always a diligent off-season trainer, and would be flying about 6 wk after introducing intensity on a regular basis. But, 6 wk to ice the cake isn’t the same as baking the cake in the first place.)


What workouts did you progress for vo2?

I was lazy and did just one workout over and over trying to execute it as well as I could :smile: So no real progression in terms of TiZ and likewise the power didn’t really improve due to accumulating fatigue.

The workout was pretty much hard start intervals with high cadence and a slight “bumb” in the middle to increase heart rate even higher. Intervals were on the longer side, decending in length towards the end (6min, 2x5min, 4min and 3min).

I noticed first improvements in the fitness after about two weeks after the block. And once I fully got rid of the fatigue I managed to break my previous power pr’s in pretty much everything over 1 minute in length. You really have to give your body enough time to recover fully and not to rush to get back to grinding trough workouts.

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