Many/most VO2max workout instructions from Coach @chad include something like this:
Important: Try to settle on a demanding but repeatable power output such that you can finish as many intervals as possible. The goal is to accumulate a productive level of stress at a high level of intensity while avoiding the need to frequently quit intervals early.
And that’s oft repeated on the podcast too. My understanding has long been that if you need to adjust down a few %, from say 120% for a 3-minute interval, in order to repeatedly complete the intervals on target then you should. As long as you’re above 110% FTP and/or reaching the desired HR and breathing levels for VO2 work, then that’s what matters most - not the exact % of FTP. For example, I’m having a great day and working really, really hard every single interval if I can complete a 3-minute VO2 workout at 115-118%.
Why are there not similar instructions for shorter, higher power anaerobic workouts like Merced with 40-second intervals at 135%? If I have to down-adjust intensity to complete Merced on target am I missing intended benefits? Or is this the realm where it’s better to skip an interval here and there to enable hitting the target in others?