Depends what your A race is, how you race, and what stage of the season you’re at. Benefits of anaerobic training come quickly, max out quickly, and go quickly! So even if your A event requires good anaerobic capacity it’s normally only the last block of training where you’ll incorporate structured anaerobic training (note - for many/most people, they’re going to spend some time in the anaerobic zone before this through group rides, B and C races, etc so it’s not like it’s totally unchartered territory).
And depending what your A race is and/or how you plan to race it, anaerobic capacity may not really be something to prioritise anyway. E.g. I have a friend who simply isn’t suited to bunch sprints, either physiologically or by preference (doesn’t like being in the bunch when things hot up and if he finds himself in the bunch near the end of the race will either try a late break or sit up and let it go rather than contest the sprint). But he has a big aerobic engine, is aero and TTs well, so he picks up plenty of wins and podiums in both crits and road races by getting in solo or small breaks which suit his strengths.
Personally I’d put VO2 and threshold as first equal, with anaerobic a distant third. I spend very little time in anaerobic zone during off season and base. And once racing starts I tend to race pretty regularly and do at least one fast group in weeks when I’m not racing (unless it’s a recovery week), so I amass enough time in the anaerobic zone from those rides/races that I don’t feel the need to do structured anaerobic training as well. That’s also a function of how I race - I can sprint a bit when I need to, but my best chance in a sprint is against a tired and depleted field, and the way to put myself in that position is from prioritising my aerobic engine.
To sum it up, if your racing crits no need to add the extra intervals “anaerobic intervals”.
I view myself as someone who can do anaerobic workouts pretty easily. Even when not training above my ftp for 5 months I can always knock out the 2 hour Spanish needle session. I struggle with threshold and vo2 intervals when the recovery is at 85% ftp.
Bingo. With the caveat (I believe also stated above) that you can work it in early races. If you were targeting a specific race (not common when racing crits as it’s more about the season or a part of the season), then yeah, do a few leading into the race itself (in the form of workouts or B races).
All the more reason to minimize or eliminate.
Then you should be racing crits.
Yep, which means it’s ok to dial those back when needed, but you most definitely would do well to train them regularly. The threshold sessions don’t have to be these crazy 1 hour long TiZ efforts either, or brutal over-unders. Even a sweetspot session (if long enough) can sub for one of the threshold sessions.
And finally, when it comes to any high intensity (threshold, Vo2max, whatever), remember your basics. You get better when you can train day-to-day (with scheduled rest) and be consistent. If the frequency or level of those HIIT sessions are depleting glycogen such that you cannot ride the next day, you are overdoing it. You should always be able to ride at least endurance unless it’s scheduled off day. Big part of consistency when incorporating intensity or higher sub-threshold work (SST etc) is being able to restore glycogen.
This points out a significant flaw in TR’s Adaptive Training. If you haven’t specifically done V02/anaerobic in a while but have kept up your fitness with threshold and below, your V02/anaerobic progression levels drop like a rock. They become laughably easy and can take months to get back to where they should be if you stick to the plan.
That has not been my experience (months). If you are low PL and end up with cake walk workouts, rating them 1-Easy should lead to a larger step in the following weeks prescription. At worst that should be 2-3 weeks if all you have is one workout in a given zone.
And if a person is willing and able to roll the dice and pick a Stretch or Breakthrough workout knowing or expecting they are better than the low PL, that is another aid in the progression.
When I was a 10 on sweetspot and a 1 on endurance, tempo, vo2, threshold, anaerobic, and sprint due to not working those zone I guessed I was zone 5 on vo2 and threshold and then went from there. I didnt really miss any training weeks.
I use AI as a guide but it comes down to be making the right selections for me. Since I am racing 2 crits sat I need to figure out if my wed or Thur intervals will be one of the options above. I was going to do vo2, but I think im going to do threshold or sweetspot.
After reviewing my race data it appears I do not need anaerobic workouts.
60min race I did 15min of coasting and 15min anaerobic with a tss of 101.
45min race I did 5min of coasting and 15min of anaerobic with a IF of .99.