Why i cant do a proper vo2max workout?

Well of course they are, that’s the point, that you can really work those high intensity sessions rather than gravitate to intensities in the middle.

What he said (with all the fancy science-y terminology). :laughing:


Just copy-pasted it from chat gpt :laughing:


You sounded really smart. Ha! All that stuff is what I was trying to crudely describe above, and that’s why I usually opt out of trying to describe exercise physiology terms because I’m not an exercise physiologist! I’m just a practitioner. :laughing:

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Would take a brake and begin with low progression levels… . Tryv to work it up .
And maybe only 2 VO 2 workouts and an anaerobic workout. Low PL

But only roughly one in 5 workouts will be very hard and thus you should be fresh enough to complete them?

How is it going in week2?

Polarized MV has two workouts with intensity, and I’d usually run into trouble with the second one. Polarized blocks are bitter medicine for me :slightly_smiling_face:

Polarised TR MV style is bitter for you would be more accurate, yes?

I’d rather do a dedicated threshold block and a separate dedicated VO2 Max block. That way it’s easier to see what’s moving what needle.

Bitter medicine as in good for me, but not enjoyable in the moment.

I’ve done 3 things r 4 polarized blocks so far, they have become part of my training. I like doing a pre-season polarized block and sprinkle them in at other times if I think they are what I need in the moment.

I tend to prefer them mixed as I find VO2 easier on me then threshold. I can jump PLs in VO2 quickly but I am slow in the threshold. I have done them separate but the threshold workouts take more out of me then a VO2 workout.

He messaged me about it. Was still struggling. We talked through his workout graphs and determined that he was still focused too much on power, so we talked about reducing the power target and sustaining the high cadence.

I’ve had three athletes who’ve done VO2 blocks that all wanted to maintain power and drop cadence to make it “easier” and I had to tell them all the same thing… flip it… drop the power, keep the cadence high.


A lot of very interesting stuff in your posts, thanks


It went better than last week (and did it without ERG), but cadans 105 and higher feels unnatural, so when i shift my cadans going to 95…thats to low. You can see in this graph the moment i shift, so i have to learn to stay around 105-110 RPM.

In the yellow you see, power is going up and rpm is going down due shifting…

I get the following tips from @kurt.braeckel

Today i will try it again and hope it will going better and better…it’s difficult to beat a person who never gives up :laughing:


With the comments in this topic and @kurt.braeckel today it went a lot better.

Higher cadans, so less fatique in my legs. Today i could do 4x 3.5min and 1x 2min

Tuesday i got 6:22 above 94% max HR. Today 9:43

I’m not there yet, but we’re making progress


With regard to HR, it is normal for time above 90% max HR to go DOWN as the block progresses. Don’t worry about HR too much. Yes, you want it to go high, and it should be higher than a threshold workout, but the sets aren’t less effective if HR is going down day to day. In fact, if you’re holding the same power set after set and HR goes down, that means EF is going up and that is a sign of progress.

I look for EF to initially go up (average of the interval and the last minute or so of each interval) then start to drop as you fatigue through the block and that’s a good sign it’s time for rest. That’s something you look at after the workout.

So a simple explanation for three intervals might be:

First day EF:

2.04 2.01 1.99

Second day EF:

2.10 2.05 2.02

Third day EF:

2.01 1.98 1.96

That’s a very simplified example. Obviously it won’t happen in three days like that, and you’re doing 5-6 reps per set, but that’s the idea

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I have been following this thread with great interest, as someone who only recently overcame panic attacks at the end of VO2 intervals.

Unfortunately resistance mode does not work with my trainer and TR. (Seems fine in zwift, but have not been able to resolve the issue with support.). I guess hard starts would then be my best option? Unfortunately those don’t show up as alternates in the polarized plans.

Thanks @kurt.braeckel for your time responding to me. I did another VO2 workout today and reading back on your notes, this quote particularly resonates! I only did 4x4.5min at 110% FTP today and last 90-120 seconds of the last two intervals required alot of focus. I was able to hold 110rpm fairly well and drifted downwards to 100rpm during the tail end of the last two intervals. I still blows my mind that people are doing 5x5’s at anything over 110%. Makes me wonder if my FTP is set too high (ramp tested at start of current block).

Time in HR Zone (90%+) increased each week, with my latest workout being over 14min above 90% HR (out of 18mins possible), which is really the goal, right? I could see lowering the power target a bit to extend the intervals (or add more) and increase that time spent at elevated HR and breathing.

Your tips have been helpful for me identifying what productive should look and feel like. Thanks again.


I do my VO2max workouts in erg mode. They have a hard start, and power declines with subsequent intervals.

The reason I went this approach is to prevent myself from going too hard in the initial 1-2 intervals. My HR responds slowly to hard efforts, so if I try to get my HR high in the first interval, i have to push a lot of power and then I’m cooked by intervals 3 and 4, and end up with power somewhere around threshold. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, but I like the consistency of the erg mode workouts, and it allows me to calibrate over time if VO2max workouts are getting easier.

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