Average HR for VO2 Max interval section = 156 / ~84% of max HR
My questions are:
Given the % of max HR these VO2 max sets are averaging, do these seem like they are generating the benefits that VO2 max intervals are supposed to?
On the latest podcast, everyone made it seem like completing VO2 max interval sets is close to “soul crushing”. While these workouts were all hard, they only felt like a RPE of 6 or 7.
I’m pretty sure that my FTP is set correctly from doing a sweet spot block + being sick for a week before this VO2 max block. So the 120% of FTP should be correct. In addition, historically I’ve never been a really punchy rider, so I don’t think I have a lot of anaerobic contribution making these “easier”.
Quick glance…1min @ 120% isn’t going to be “soul crushing”, especially if you have a 1min rest period. Look at how much HR oscillates, it’s recovering far too much in order to get up to VO2max during the 1min of work. In a “good” on/off VO2max workout, HR will dip a bit during rest but will remain elevated or even rise over the course of the entire session.
Couple things to try: i) do each interval with a 10sec hard start, 180% FTP or so; ii) reduce the rest period to 15-30sec. Don’t be surprised if it takes a few intervals to get your HR up to ~90% over the course of the workout.
If all else fails, start doing longer intervals until you feel your soul starting to crush.
Yeah man, I feel you on this—I can push 1 minute VO2 max intervals well past the 120% mark. 3 minutes seems to be where the “soul crushing” comes into play, so you’ll probably have a new perspective after doing Charybdis. The +2 of that one put me in my place real quick earlier this week.
As @Captain_Doughnutman mentioned, for shorter duration efforts, it’s good to experiment with the work to rest ratio as well as intensity. 30 seconds on, 15 off in sets of 12+ are the VO2 sessions that ramp me up quickly and keep me in or very close to my VO2 zone.
On longer, lower intensity efforts such as 108-110%, I find that my body adapts to the workload and it’s harder to reach my VO2.
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