Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Training & Nutrition (
-   -   Intervals and VO2 max (

Spld cyclist 08-27-14 09:25 PM

Intervals and VO2 max
I'm in week 7 of my 2nd Time Crunched Cyclist 10-week cycle (I did the intermediate commuter program both times). At this point, during various sessions I'm doing what TCC calls "power intervals" of 2 min, 1 min, and 30 sec duration. TCC doesn't use the zone system for defining training ranges. The minimum power output for a PI is at least 10% above lactate threshold, but it should generally be higher than that - that's just the minimum.

Anyway, I'm curious about how the power levels I'm training at compare to my theoretical power at VO2 max. Obviously, power at VO2 max can't be determined from the information I have, but maybe someone could give me a ballpark.

Here's what I know:

(Please note that the wattage figures are based on my bike computer speed reading and the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine power formula. I don't know that these are completely accurate, but should be in the ballpark. At least they're consistent, so let's assume they're correct for the purpose of this thread...).

- TCC field test average power was 250 watts. This test supposedly produces a result about 10% above lactate threshold power, so....

- Lactate threshold power is probably around 225 watts (could be higher now because that was before I started this training cycle).

- I do 2 min PI at around 278 +/- watts. I'm breathing pretty hard after doing a few of these, but could say a few words.

- I do 1 min PI at around 310 +/- watts. Breathing very hard, but could probably gasp something intelligible.

- I do 30 sec PI at around 343 +/- watts. Pretty out of breath at this point, and couldn't go much harder for any length of time.

So roughly where would my VO2max power fall into this range? I'm guessing I'm at least there, and maybe over, during the 30 sec intervals.

One other question. TCC has two different types of PI, which are steady effort and peak and fade. In some of the programs they give guidance as to which type to use, but not in the commuter programs for whatever reason. I've been treating them as steady effort (i.e. pick an intensity that I think I can sustain throughout the interval). Are there situations where peak and fade intervals are better? I'm thinking of experimenting with them over the last couple weeks of the cycle.

gregf83 08-27-14 11:08 PM

I've always assumed my VO2Max power was roughly equivalent to the highest power I could put out for 5 min. In your case I suspect that would be considerably below 343W.

Whether you actually reach your VO2Max oxygen uptake during a given interval is a function of power and time. If you go just a little over your threshold power you will eventually reach VO2Max but it will take longer than a higher intensity interval.

I would stick with steady state intervals for the most part as they are more repeatable. You can use an all-out 3min test to estimate your threshold power and anaerobic work capacity (AWC). In this test you just go as hard as you can from the beginning and try and maintain power. Your power will naturally drop and level out around your threshold power in the last 30 seconds.

korbjonathan 09-13-14 01:17 PM

all i can say is when i was running alot and trying to raise my endurance and speed. the best way i found was to actually sprint a mile. i was able to run a 4:59 mile and after that i have been running without getting winded at all same is true on a bicycle...

gl98115 09-13-14 03:46 PM


Spld cyclist 09-14-14 11:21 AM


Originally Posted by gl98115 (Post 17127087)

Or maybe the answer is 42, same as the answer to life, the universe, and everything! :)

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:37 PM.