Which high intensity first?

So I’ll be starting my zone 2 base work fairly soon. Just deciding on which high intensity to match it up with first between VO2Max and Threshold.

Any pointers on how to decide? My summer riding has been mostly pyramidal with long (100-120km) rides with more threshold than VO2Max.

Oh and I’m just recovering from my 3rd dose of Covid :face_vomiting: :face_vomiting: :face_vomiting:

Whatever your limiter is. Do you see gains from threshold work? Do it till the gains stop and then move to vo2 max. You like gasping for air and feeling of waterboarding? Do VO2 max or mix it into your training.

And as you are recovering from covid I would start with sst/threshold and build TTE. Then focus more on vo2 max work


I really find TH much harder… VO2Max I find much easier generally. With TH, my legs burn and burn and burn.

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  1. They should not till around the last 5-10 min close to tte. Threshold should be felt in phases (example for 4x15):
  • first 5 min of first and second interval - it’s easy and you do not feel anything special - RPE 5-6
  • second 5 min - ok, you are working, breathing is completely under control, you feel you are pushing the pedals but nothing more than that - rpe 6-7
  • last 5 min - ok, it’s somewhat hard and boring, rpe 7
  • last 5-10 min of the last interval - you have to focus and stare into your screen a little bit more, rpe 8, maybe 9 if you are really pushing over your TTE.

EDIT: to calibrate my RPE: 10 is the feeling you have close to the end of vo2 max intervals (done as max), so 8 is similar to the beginning of those intervals - very hard, but you can do this.

Personally, I have never felt anything in my legs during threshold work other than increased tension in muscles or having the feeling of emptiness if not fueled enough - no matter what my level of training was. It felt different only when my FTP was off. If you are doing sst and you feel in a similar way I described but the threshold is hard I would check your FTP or if you do not want to bother just do sst work instead of the threshold.

Then is a matter of duration. If you cannot do more than 4x10 or 3x15@95-97%FTP - your threshold is not your threshold but you are working over it. Those are doable almost without any riding. I have returned recently after 3 months of no cycling and was doing 4x10 without any other feeling than “OK, it was a good workout”. Yes, I am a slow twitcher without any power in durations shorter than 1 min (which is 100W lower than my sprint).

  1. But if you find vo2 max easier and more enjoyable maybe you have way more anaerobic contribution and you are lacking aerobic fitness? How long are your intervals during vo2 max? Do you do them max or by percentage (tr way)?
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That’s me down to a T. Strong on anaerobic strength but weak on aerobic fitness, so really I need to build that - and that’s where the Z2 + high intensity comes in. Have done a lot of Z2 over the year and definitely feeling stronger for it.

4x10 - that’ll be hard for me, especially not having cycled at all for nearly 2 weeks with Covid now.

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Covid is a completely different variable in this. To be honest, if you are knackered by FTP work, you should not do proper vo2 max work (as max power) because after those you should feel completely destroyed if done properly. So my personal opinion would be - do lower intensities like longer tempo or sst work to work on the weaknesses and with improvement increase intensities.

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