VO2 Max Workouts Unachievable

I’m currently following a TR training plan and it’s recently added in VO2 Max workouts. I am unable to complete them. Sometimes I drop the intensity and other times I just have to stop. Has anyone else experienced this? Do I just keep trying to complete them? I worry I’m not getting the right things out of these workouts because I can’t complete them.

It would be helpful to include details of the workouts and explain more fully in what way you’re failing them.

Hey there, @HVCook,

Welcome to the forum! :partying_face:

I’ve taken a look at your career and it looks like you were prescribed “Breakthrough” VO2 Max workouts two weeks in a row. :pleading_face:

I think this is because your VO2 Max Progression Level is currently at 1.0, and we don’t have any workouts that match the “Traditional” classification and are also 45 minutes long which you’ve set as your custom duration cap.

In these cases, if there aren’t any Workout Alternates that look more approachable, it’s usually best to hand-pick a workout from our library that is more fitting to your current abilities.

I totally get that this isn’t necessarily the most ideal solution, but it’s something we’re working on addressing. :technologist:

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have other questions.

It looks like you’re in the clear now though! Sorry for the trouble! :persevere:


Thank you for replying. Appreciate the response :+1:t2: I’ll know for the next plan to adjust if needed

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Have you tried increasing the cadence to hide the effort? I am the opposite, VO2 is generally easy, sweet spot and unders and overs are my problem


If you are limited to 45 minute workouts (as @eddiegrinwald 's answer suggests), then just unticking the “traditional” box in the filters (leaving the 45 minute and VO2 boxes ticked) will present you with 53 workouts to choose from.

They range from workout level 1.5 (Sleeping Beauty -4) through to workout level 9 (Hansford), so you should have plenty to go at.

The lowest workout level with the “traditional” box ticked is level 4 (South Twin -1), so by unticking that box, you should find plenty of workouts that are easier to complete.


If you went as hard as you could, you did a VO2 max workout. That’s what the max in the name is. The only way you can fail is if you give up when you could have gone harder (or if you are sick/not rested).

I’m not an expert on how trainerroad works, but it has probably prescribed you a target power based on FTP that you can’t reach. That’s just your physiology and the best way to improve your VO2 max will be to do the workouts. If the TR ones don’t suit, just do 3x3 mins with 5 mins rest and see what numbers you can hit. No erg. Then build up 4x3, 4x4, 3x5 etc. I’d do something on those lines when TR suggests a VO2 max workout. You probably don’t want to do lots regularly for a long time or you’ll burn out.

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Can you share an example of the workouts you’ve failed? Is it 30/30s? 3x3’? Etc? Are you failing them mentally or physically? Early in the workout or on the last interval?

Are you able to complete your Sweet Spot and Threshold intervals with an appropriate FTP?

I know you’re new to all this, but if I was failing every VO2 workout, even at PL 1.0, I would find it demotivating, so I’m wondering if there’s a better way to ease you into the intensity.

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Or, and this strikes me as more likely, perhaps there is something (bad data?) messing with aiftp?

You could force me to fail a 1.0 if you stuck my FTP to 525…

It could be that i’m wrong and OP did a ramp test, for example, but I’m not sure how you could ramp test an FTP number that you then went on to not be able to push for a few seconds on a workout?

If it was a 20 minute, you’d still only be asked to do something a hair above your 20min power for maybe 1/10th of that time?

Reread and he’s not failing 1.0s, but breakthroughs for a 1.0. Still, v confused.

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Yeah, I think the question still stands of what the workouts were. Without that, it’s hard to know anything else, so I intentionally didn’t get on my frequent “do a real test” podium :rofl:

The workouts were 45 mins breakthrough VO2 Max sessions. I find sweet spot and threshold sessions fine and can complete them. Like the TR guys said, the system didn’t have the correct type of workout for my requirements so gave me something very difficult. I reduced the intensity to 90% the first time and completed, the second I just had to stop after 10mins.
It’s all good learning for me as I have been blindly following the training plan since march, understanding how it all works will help me adjust things if I need to.

True, there’s not a lot under one hour, until you start looking at taper workouts like South Twin -3/-2. Is there any possibility you can push the session duration out to one hour? That’ll certainly give Adaptive Training more opportunity to serve you something suitable. Even if you can’t, you could set it to one hour anyway, pick alternates like Cuevas or Safford, then after each interval/set scrub through the workout to cut down some of the recovery time between.