Weight and VO2 Max, Why Interval Order Matters, Training Camps and More – Ask a Cycling a Coach 189

Well to be fair I didn’t vote for either yet!

Really interested in the part where chad talks about what percentage of vo2 your threshold as I usually here it discussed the other way i.e., what percentage of your ftp is your vo2. I am strong at vo2 but relatively weak at threshold and want to work on this. So I can do 248 for 5 minutes but only 185 for an hour, (I am a small female rider so power to weight is reasonably good especially for 5-15 minutes). I time trial various durations from short hill climbs to 50 mile it’s so I have a good idea what I can do as a max effort for different durations. From my understanding he said sweetspot, over and under and threshold were the best solution to this? It seems to me when I work at this I just rise everything up so I guess it’s partly my physiology but interested to see if i can work on my weakness. Any thoughts appreciated.


In the discussion of lactate metabolism, you say that glucose metabolism is always anaerobic. This is incorrect. Glycolysis is an anaerobic process, but the resulting pyruvate can then either enter the Kreb cycle and be processed aerobically, or it can be converted to lactate. The difference with glucose, as opposed to fatty acids, is that glycolysis itself generates some energy, so that muscle can use it to generate energy anaerobically, whereas fat is only aerobic. Because the ability to deliver oxygen to muscle is limited (i.e. VO2max), lactate metabolism allows for more power output than aerobic metabolism alone. Also, when the lactate is recycled in the Cori cycle by the liver, this process requires aerobic metabolism in the liver. In that way the liver can help power the muscles. It’s also worth noting that all of these different energy systems are in use at all times, but the extent of their use shifts as power output changes.

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I was an oarsman in college. In grad school, I started cycling. I did a VO2 max test by running (in clipless MTB shoes, which was weird). My VO2 max was over 70. I think it was because I had been an oarsman, but the score was while running. All this to say, I think that VO2 max is more about how you train than how you test. Interestingly, I never did any exercise in high school.

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The goal is to hold more power for longer. ‘Everything going up’ just happens to be the way that most armatures will improve. When you start bumping against your limits you can start getting your hour power and threshold closer together.

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GCN just put out a “why cyclist should run” video.

I heard someone somewhere, maybe it was the podcast?, say that running helps cyclists only if they’ve already been/are a runner; trying to make a non-running cyclist run could be bad news. :man_shrugging:t2:

The only good thing about running is that it’s free. It really is the exact opposite of cycling in a lot of ways.

Oh I have no desire to be a runner haha, just providing an opposite view point of anyone wants it.

yeah. I often wonder if the triathletes here who are at the pointy end of w/kg are doing so with less cycling TSS than a pure cyclist at the same w/kg. Although there did look to be a decent amount of >4 w/kg cyclists doing LV plans, I wonder how many are only doing the same TSS as the LV plans or doing LV and adding a fair amount of outside rides.

As @Nate_Pearson said, when you go on vacation it is really nice to only have to remember to bring shoes, and trying to work in some runs where you only have to worry about not getting lost. You still have to generate power in a cadence that is different, but has some similarities to cycling cadence. I usually visualize smooth spinning up a hill when I am running up a hill. And the same notion @chad has in some workouts of juggling a soccer ball applies, trying to keep the cadence quick but not too forceful.

But this only works if you are already running somewhat before the time away from the bike, otherwise it might not be easy and a good part of an easy work week.


Can you expound on this please, so I don’t make a wrong assumption of what you mean. :+1:

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I think this statement is definitely very wrong.

Still quite an oversimplified view of the sport. As I’m guessing you’ve never seen a draft legal triathlon.

If talking about amateurs, I was talking about people at the pointy end of the curve and in my experience many high level triathletes also compete in other cycling disciplines. It really depends on the focus they need for their specific event. Long course guys/gals won’t work >FTP much, but they aren’t the only ones out there.

Edit: stupid uselessness conversation that should never have

Because one of the top triathletes in the world does a LOT of work pushing his top end, i.e. work far above his FTP.

Feel free to attempt to stay in his draft for 90km (or 180km!).

Edit: stupid uselessness conversation that should never have

Taylor Phinney’s 2018 P-R 30min peak NP was “only” 410w… and you’re saying Sagan could hold 500+ watts for over an hour?

I’d pay to see that.

Also, let’s not confuse sprint training with top-end or repeatability training – very different things.

Neither can Sagan.

Sagan also couldn’t win a TRI WC.

And Sanders couldn’t win a RR WC.

What of it? :man_shrugging:

Seems like you know a little about this topic :).

Can you recommend any website that provides a good overview of the energy systems in the body, and how to differentially “train” them? In particular, how to improve fat metabolism? I’m OK reading reasonably technical stuff, and tend to prefer that vs oversimplified explanations…


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There’s a lot of Leadville you could ride with drop bars, but I would not want to ride any of the big descents at speed in drops. Even the flared kind like on the salsa cutthroat. I think it would be just too sketchy.


Agreed. I’d rather just put some foam/togs on the inner part of the mtb handlebars for a smaller frontal area.

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