To VO2max or not to VO2max?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by DecaturNW, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. DecaturNW

    DecaturNW New Member

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    I'll try to make this as general a question as possible so it is not interpreted as seeking specific coaching advice (but of course I will use any feedback as I think my way through my particular issue ). Reading Allen/Coggan book I believe I understand the value of interval training on FTP and the value of VO2 max training as explained. But it seems to me the VO2 max training is responding to the racer need for accelerations and the dynamic nature of the race. Some of us, like me, don't race. My efforts are geared to hill climb rides (such as our famous Northwest ride next week- Ride Around Mt Rainier in One Day [RAMROD] a 140 mile 10,000 foot climbing ride - with 3 significant segments of 6-10 miles each at 6% or so grade. I climb these at around 85% of FTP. So in terms of training I have been doing the intervals 1x week to raise FTP and the hill repeats to raise VO2max (based on recommendation of former coach). But now he wonders - given I do not do any real dynamic racing (except for the weekend club ride) - why am I doing these VO2max workouts. Would I be better off doing the intervals 2x a week? The general question therefore is given the goal - is there more value in raising FTP through doing interval workouts 2xweek or does VO2max work contribute to raising FTP enough that it is worth doing even if the goal does not involve the dynamic race component?

    thanks for any feedback!
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Given your goals you don't necessarily have to do L5 VO2 Max work... unless you expect to go hard for 3 to 5 minute efforts on your target rides or your FTP progress has stalled by bumping up into your aerobic ceiling set by your VO2 Max.

    So if you ride with others in RAMROD or other rides and they hit a steep section pretty hard you may need VO2 Max fitness to stay with them on short hard sections. That's where racers need this capability for 3 to 5 minute hard efforts.

    The other situation is if you can't seem to push your FTP any higher with L4 work. Especially if your FTP efforts are fairly close to your VO2 max efforts in power terms. In that case you may be running out of aerobic headroom and may need to bump up your VO2 Max fitness to be able to bring your FTP any higher.

    -Dave
     
  3. DecaturNW

    DecaturNW New Member

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    seems sensible - thanks. SO what would an acceptable gap be to say there is enough headroom and it is ok to focus on intervals. For example right now my FTP is around 290 and I do VO2 max intervals (6 @ 5 min each) at 340-350 - so up to 20% above ftp.
     
  4. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    not trying to butt into the conversation .. but ... you're doing L5 work @120% of FTP as reported and that's right on the 'normal' L5 upper limit of 105-120% as per Dr. Coggan's training levels.

    To me that indicates your FTP is not close to being limited by either Vo2max or [email protected]

    Just o/o interest how many rows is your 5MP above/below your FTP in the Power_profiling tables? That's another thing to look at. I'd guess it's higher ...

    IME FTP can be built quite a lot w/o doing any structured L5 work but I realize I could be an exception to the general rule.

    My 5MP was historically (five years of data) 2-3 rows above FTP in the p-p tables but now it's a full four rows below. This is after close to a year of focusing on FTP with only ad-hoc L5 training (and above).

    I think of it as a push-up rather than pull-up approach.
     
  5. ccrnnr9

    ccrnnr9 New Member

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    I think rmur is right on target. The more exact way of doing things would be to get formal testing done. I would suggest doing some sort of metabolic testing as well as some LT testing. LT may not be necesarry as you could have a peak vo2 test done (so long as both o2 and co2 are being measured) and look at VT.
    ~Nick
     
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