VLA max and VO2 Max intervals

I want to make my training plan for 2021. I do mostly races with 120-150 km and lots of climbing. Therefore I choose to have a low VLA-max. I don’t understand which intervals are the best to do so. Only treshold and VO2 max intervals ??

Anyone an idea ??

My general suggestion is periodization. Focus on the big picture. You can’t keep improving 12-months in a row. You must have variation within your season. As you get closer to race time then do more race specific training. Now there are some exceptions to this but this is the general rule.

Your anaerobic work capacity (AWS/W’ VLA…) improves rather quickly. In your case you might want to look at reverse periodization, shorter with higher intensity (anaerobic) in the winter, especially if you are on a trainer for the winter and move towards longer, lower intensity outdoors as you approach race season. I guess a small amount of anaerobic right before race season is a good idea too. Just google reverse periodization and see if that resonates with your thinking. Again everything is “in depends” on a lot of details. But I think for many distance riders this is the right approach. I got to this idea from a friend of mine that is a pro-coach.

Yes, I have been think also to do reverse periodisation but I do need to look at more details. But beside that my question was about VLA-max !

I’m a bit of an odd ball - or so it seems - but I do a lot (really a lot) of Sweet Spot.

If you have the hills or mountains in your area, you can take another approach, but I don’t have any, so I train like that for my tours in the Alps, which are all rides like you describe.

The only thing is, I do 10 - 15 of those (days) in a row and I suppose you do one every week or so?

Anyway, maybe this will help: https://gccoaching.fit/2019/02/18/breaking-down-ftp-vla-max-vs-vo2-max/

Thanks “Cyclopaat” for your comment but nevertheless still no answer…I don’t understand what you mean by doing 10 -15 days in a row ? That’s quiet a lot if you talk about intervals. If that is the case you are talking about “block periodisation” .

Like I said, I’m the odd ball around here.

When I venture into the Alps (I live below sea level, so it takes another approach to even be able to get anything done, if your base camp is at 1800 meters above sea level), I do a 100 km ride with two, three, four, big mountain climbs.

Ten to fifteen days in a row, usually no days off.

I thought the article might shed some light on what would be the best way to approach your query. Guess not then.

(Exit stage left)

Okay now I understand. For me it is not possible to be that long away from home but now I have a Tacx and I can climb any mountain I want on the smarttrainer :grin:. But I hope someone can help me with my question. And yes I also have to do sweetspot training a lot. And I live in France (department Tarn et Garonne) where I can climb but not the climbs I need for the courses, and that is why I use the Tacx.

At least I’ve been close when cycling Gascony on the Tacx :sunglasses: There used to be a (5 part) Gers ride, going south to end on the horrible Hautacam, but I think they’ve scrapped that from the new app?

(Edit: actually, Gascony is the one ending on Hautacam :rofl: and they scrapped the rides through Gers)

So I don’t know if this answers your question, but as I guess you know most cycling is 90% aerobic. One you are a fairly high level, you are not likely to improve your VO2max very much.

I know over the years many grand tour Racers focused on threshold and z2/z3 long rides with some additonal on the bike strength work. So while you can do some VO2max work I don’t think that should be your focus except maybe for a month or so prior to race season. But that is just one opinion and a bit of knowledge from my friend that is a pro-coach that has coached many grand tour racers.

I have a high VO2Max capacity (or so it seems) and probably a low VLa - this would explain why I can do those tours, but get my ass kicked in anything that looks like a sprint.

If you go for long races with lots of climbing - assuming these are real races and not ‘just’ Gran Fondos, or maybe something like a Marmotte where you would want to go for Gold - I would think the high VO2Max is most helpful.

How you train that, is another matter - mine is probably not the best method, but it works for me.

Alex, I know all the stuff you tell me so no news for me and the effect of VO2 max intervals is not effective within a month.

For Cyclopaat: I just take a look for you in Tacx but the Gascony Tour Stage 5 Hautacam is still alive but you do have to have a premium account though :disappointed_relieved:. I want to try a cyclo in Spain next year Volta Als Port d’Andorra :smiling_imp:

Yes, I saw that, hence my edit. The ride through the Gers is gone (it was available on TTS4).

I thought you have to pay for any subscription anyway and that there is only a difference in quality, i.e. 720p or 1080p, but all films are available for all subscriptions?

So they now have a standard and premium subscription, where the number of available videos also differs?

Oh well, it’s Garmin now, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

If you want to pay for something better, depending on your budget and your hardware (not only the trainer, but also the PC), you should have a look at BigRingVR.com

Or even VeloReality.com - they have a streaming service too and the software is free (but only Windows, I think).

You are talking about TTS4, the old software. I don’t believe the videos are for free. I am very happy with the Tacx software with all the possibilities they have too. And for the virtual races I am gonna use RGT cycling (free).

Yes, TTS is the predecessor of the current TDA. It came free with my Genius at the time, but you had to buy the videos. I have ~150 :joy:

They have converted most, but not all, maybe added new ones.

RGT is okay - I don’t like riding in a cartoon, so no Zwift either (expensive like Tacx TDA too).

I’m having a hard time understanding what your question is. You choose to have a low VLA-max, so you’re wanting to keep it this way. (?)

Are you asking if you should do only Threshold and Vo2 intervals? If so… probably not…? Also, if you’re asking if you should do reverse periodisation. The answer again would be, probably not

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I do agree VO2max intervals will not improve your VO2max in a month :slight_smile: I was suggesting that anaerobic work (VLA based work) will improve more quickly and this is the primary benefit you are going to get from VO2max intervals. Since you seem to not want to focus on anaerobic work anyway then minimize the amount of focus you put on it. Again to Jeremy’s point… sadly is every answer is “it depends.” It sounds like you know all this so to his point what question are you even asking? I don’t think their is anything we can tell you and you need a good coach to do a real assessment.

I will rephrase my question. For the rides I want to do, a large endurance is needed with a low VLA-max. I did an Inscyd test and it appears that I had a higher VLA-max than I thought. So I want to lower my VLA-max by endurance rides (SST) but I also want to use my “W” as much as possible by doing Treshold and VO2 max intervals. When I say VO2 max intervals I am talking about the range of 1.06-1.2 % of my FTP. Nowadays I see people do much short intervals like Tabata because they should be more effective but I think if the duration is shorter than 90-120 seconds you are getting more anaerobic and that’s just what I want to avoid to keep my VLA-max low. So is it smart to do the shorter intervals when I want to keep my VLA-max low ?

Maybe I am a bit odd like Cyclopaat but I am a person who want to find out myself with trail and error (if you don’t mind). I see many coaches all doing the same stuff with anyone and that’s what I want to avoid because I think everyone is different. Don’t put me in a frame I don’t belong in.

I think we are all a bit odd here and TrainerDay is focused on the self-coached athlete, so you are very welcome here. I would love this to be the place cyclists discuss science projects with a single individual in the study :slight_smile:

My suggestion is for people to start with the fundamentals but once they feel they have a solid grasp of the basics, like you do, then you can focused on a more individualized program. I agree with you on the other side that too many people are just following the herd and the herd is not following some of the time proven fundamentals and not individualized for them.

And yes cycloplat has found what he feels works for him, which includes how he likes to train. I think finding what you like, that is healthy, and seems to produce the right adaptions is a reasonable approach. In his case he rides 20 hours a week so his program is very different than mine at about 2 hours a week (I hope that changes soon)