Vo2 vs Anaerobic capacity

So, I’ve been wondering actually when I should incorporate one versus the other in my training plan.

In TR’s sustained power plans (which is what I base my workouts on) the focus is mostly on Vo2 and this is what I’ve been doing over the past few years.

However I struggle to find valuable info as to when I might incorporate or rather substitute vo2 for AC workouts, which I haven’t done a great deal of to be honest.

What are the benefits of one versus the other? How do you pick which one is the most suitable? Are AC workouts better as openers for races and vo2 workouts are better during build phase?

If your FTP or 30 minute power PR is more than 80% of your 5 minute power PR, a VO2 focused block is probably a good idea with the intention of raising the ceiling. You’ll hopefully get a nice FTP bump once you recover from it, and then it’s time to take that new FTP and do some more threshold work to extend how long you can sustain it.

Do anaerobic capacity work if you need to do repeated sprints or hard efforts up to about 90 seconds. If you don’t, don’t.


Here you have best explanation what, how and when: https://youtu.be/qWc880LkplE?feature=shared

Despite opinion as a “threshold guy” Kolie has great track of record with sprinters and track riders. You will probably find all your answers in this webinar.



Anaerobic capacity comes and goes quickly. Work it 2-6 weeks before you need it maxed.

VO2max work can be done any time if you need to raise your aerobic ceiling, and should be followed with work to benefit from it (e.g. FTP work).

They are two very different physiological traits with two distinct purposes.

I see, so AC would need to be trained specifically to target those events that require those type of efforts (almost none in my case).

On the other hand vo2 raises the roof for further ftp gains.

Good to know as I was under the impression that AC could be a substitute for vo2 leading to similar adaptations.


If only there was an alternative to VO2 Max work. :pensive: