Vo2max plan to imorove

is there a plan that will give you workouts to improve your vo2max ? looking for free if possible :slight_smile:
ps: why 15 characters minimum in title descriptions ?

I’m sure there are some generic build plans out there, but I guess it depends on what you’re specifically looking to achieve. Are you only looking for a Vo2 max block or a general build with vo2 max in it? (personally I typically prefer the first but want to see where you’re coming from). Is there a reason for a Vo2 plan, or is your Vo2 max your current limiter?

Ironically, I’m almost complete with a new Vo2 block that I’ve been designing given some research around stroke volume and some other factors to make Vo2 intervals even better. I’ve already seen some good results and haven’t even recovered from it. It adds on quite a bit of fatigue, so needs to be pretty individualized. Of course, there are always more standard Vo2 blocks that could be written out (riding at 110-120% of FTP for X amount of time).

What does your riding experience look like? How much time per week do you currently train?

Thanks Jeremy for the feedback. I am 57 and i used to train 5 days a week but realized it was too much cardio and it was eating up my muscles it looks like. My wife said i looked bad although i felt great. So now i am down to two or 3 times 1 hour a week and i alternate with strength training. Looks like it is working better. I used to have a garmin forerunner 245 and although i do not run, it was giving me a vo2max of 45 just by walking. I upgraded to a fenix 6 two weeks ago and it can connect to my flight trainer from 4i innovations. So now i can use power. After two weeks my vo2max is at 41. That may be more correct but i feel disappointed i guess. I will redo a ftp test with the watch to see if it matches the one i go with trainer day. I assume this value is important on computing the vo2max. right now i am at 153 Watts. I found some workout on the site to improve vo2max. how often should i push and do them ? once a week to try to improve ? Not sure if i can improve though, maybe at my age it may be hard to do. Let me know what you think.

So your watch is just comparing HR to speed and giving you an estimated VO2max, it’s probably in the ball park but not an accurate VO2max measurement, I have a Garmin watch too as well as had Polar, so I have looked at this. Since this is just an HR to speed/power relationship you just need to improve your aerobic system. The primary aerobic increases in most individuals come from aerobic capacity not improving your VO2max.

The primary way to improve aerobic capacity that will make your watch thing your VO2max is higher is by riding more :slight_smile: Lots of easy miles consistently over a long period of time does wonders. Reducing from 5 hours a week to 3-hours a week will likely not help your aerobic system although at 57, depending on the intensity of your rides 5 days a week may not be the best for performance i.e. “VO2max” unless 1 or 2 of those days is truely super easy recovery ride. I would say 3-days a week with a 2-3 hour long ride on the weekends would likely bring you the highest benefit.

The most common aerobic “shortcut” when you are on a small number of hours (3 per week for example) to improving your aerobic system is HIIT or Tabata intervals but each person is unique and what works best for you we can’t say for sure. Still 3-4 days with a one long ride is probably optimum and you should not need the HIIT workouts. You can always try them and see if you like them. I do small hours and do HIIT at 150% 40s on 20s rest but that is individual and you have to play with it.

Something like this is a good place to start.

Riding more really is going to be key here, but my guess is that with the reduced volume, just riding isn’t going to be enough to get you to where you’re wanting to be so you’ll need a bit of intensity unless you can at least get in some good weekend rides (2-3+ hours) and occasionally increase the volume over a set period of time. It’s okay if it’s 3 days per week still, but maybe if you could increase the time on the bike on some of these days…

Assuming you are working with what you have now though, as a general recommendation I would say to start with less-intense efforts, then slowly build up to threshold extensive work (trying to built your FTP time-to-exhaustion out to 60minutes+ in the form of longer intervals). Do this for 2-3 weeks, rest and re-test then add some intensity on top of it for another 2-3 weeks (over/unders, FTP with sprints, etc)…

From that point you could decide on either a full block of Vo2 or another block of more general build and FTP training.

From my experience I’m not a huge fan of adding in HIIT type training each week as I feel this can be a little bit counter-productive depending on the systems you are building, but there are people who do this successfully. I would rather have a full block dedicated to more specific Vo2 Max and FTP limiters rather than mixing and matching with volume. It’s definitely going to be unique for you, though. And as with most things cycling/sport related, “it depends”.

Don’t worry about your age, imo you’ll be amazed at the adaptations you can get :slight_smile:

I agree with Jeremy’s suggestions.

I do need to clarify on my point I would only use HIIT one day a week if at all and try it as a test and see how it works for you if more traditional approaches such as Jeremy’s are not. HIIT seems to work when you are really short on time or don’t want to do longer hard sessions (I find them easier). I for example know a guy that does 1-hour a week total cycling with two 30-minute HIIT sessions (which is actually only abot 5 minutes of hard effort of the 30)… and maintains his 235 watt FTP… Still Jeremy’s advice is more on the classic, solid recommendation front. Building up TTE is the recommended approach by starting out easy and building slowly.

Below is a very starter level threshold workout. You could extend the entire workout to 1-hour, and then just keep increasing the length of the hard intervals slowly.

Alex and Jeremy, thank you for these awesome advice. Vo2max on a garmin requires a power meter. I can only do that indoor with my smart trainer. If i go outside for the long weekend ride, i would have to purchase power meter pedals and doubt i am going to do that. I had a polar and it would tell me i had a vo2max of 51. big difference with garmin. I noticed that i lost a point with my vo2max when the watch told me to sprint 6 times at twice my ftp for 20 seconds and i was not able to maintain the 317 Watts required during the full 20 seconds. I will work more on building anaerobic load as i have a deficiency there. Ok, i’ll look at the workout you suggested. Best

Yes sorry, when you said watch, my mind merged running and cycling together so when I said speed I really meant running pace. I think stages and 4iii are both doing a good 299$ power meter these days but you want to make sure if you get one of those you plan on sticking with your bike for a while. I do think the low cost power meters are coming… not sure when but we should be able to get something for $100-150 :slight_smile:

I would say that 2X recommendation is a bit arbitrary as you point out that is based on anerobic and very individual. Saying your anaerobic is not good at 2X is like saying your FTP is not good becasue it is not 300. You don’t need to have the same anerobic / aerobic relationship as someone else. For sprinters with low ftp 2X for 20s is easy (I fall into that category) but for natural TTers it can be impossible. You might need work there but that test is not a clear indicator of that. Sounds like you are on the right path.