July 12, 2021 at 7:25 pm #13256
I’m just about 2 weeks into my first 80/20 plan but I’m not new to structured workouts. Curious about the CAn4 workout which is supposed to be a VO2 max workout. I’m using a watt based plan and the workout called for 6 x 2.5 min Zone 4, followed by 5 min Zone 1 recovery. I executed the workout exactly to the Zone 4 watts – careful not to go into zone 5 like it said….but my HR only went to the top of Zone 2 for the short 2.5 minutes. Shouldn’t VO2 max workouts not cap your watts to a certain zone in order to get your HR into an actual VO2 max workout? It said “These intervals are challenging, and the athlete must take great care to not perform them at a Zone 3 or Zone 5 intensity. The unusually high rest period compared to a Zone 3 work reflects the difficulty of the interval.”….but I feel like I didn’t get the actual benefit of the workout. Are there times when a watt based workout isn’t the right thing? and I should have actually done this to a zone 4 HR???
July 12, 2021 at 9:39 pm #13258
- This topic was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by tri2_inspire.
Tri, thanks for positing on the forums. For sure, the intensity was not high enough. These should be very challenging. Zone 4 can only be held for 6-8 minutes, so if 2.5 minutes is easy, it’s wrong.
Let’s establish how you determined your FTP:
– What is your FTP
– How did you determine it?
– When did you last determine it?
Additionally, 2.5 minutes is too short for HR to reach Zone 4, so HR will rarely align with these intervals. Power is the best method for establishing them.
DavidJuly 13, 2021 at 8:14 pm #13287
I have my current FTP set to 160 watts.
My last official test was a Zwift test in April but it came back low so my coach at the time and I decided to keep it at my previous setting of 155.
I raced a short distance Tri in late May and my Garmin Edge auto-calculated it to be the 160 – which seemed reasonable since I basically did a full hour at max effort. Its been set at that point since…July 14, 2021 at 6:23 pm #13297
Thank you. I propose that you use RPE for your Zone 3, 4, and 5 workouts for the next few weeks, and reverse engineer your FTP from those efforts. Your FTP is on the low end, so this means that your Zone 4 is only 3 watts higher than your Zone 3. I can see why that would not be challenging.
Instead, perform the 2.5 minutes at a perceived effort of 9 on a scale of 1-10. About a minute into a Zone 4 interval, you should be feeling “this is doable, maybe I’m too low?” At a 1:30, should be saying, “this is pretty hard, I hope I have not started out too fast.” At 2:00, “I’m dying, can I hold for another 30 seconds?” At 2:30 “that was tough, I hope I can do another.”
If you do that, and you keep the watts within a 10-watt window (I’m actually guessing 175-185 for you) for all intervals, then that’s a successful Zone 4 interval.
DavidJuly 14, 2021 at 9:39 pm #13298
thank you! Yes! Its good to hear you confirm what I’ve been feeling but hard to explain to people. My zones are so compact that its very difficult to execute workouts outside with wind/road conditions – any minor blip and I easy move from Zone 2 to Zone 4 or even zone 5 watts. For reference. I’m female, 40, 5’5, 120-123 lbs. My HR also seems to be lower than other people that I know. Resting has been about 45 average but my max HR on the bike is only 163. (run gets up to about 170). Those zones are so narrow that I have the same issue as the watts. With IM 70.3 WI getting closer – my plan just switched to race specific…so I don’t see another Zone 4 workout now.
For additional information I did CCI14 today for 1h30 min and it was quite challenging workout with 4 x 7 min Zone 3 being 155 watts.July 15, 2021 at 8:02 am #13301
Excellent, that CCI14 tends to validate your 163 FTP, you just may have to slip into Zone 5 on your Zone 4 intervals to get them right.
I struggled in my last post to not say “wow, 163 FTP is really low. Unless you are a 120-pound female, that’s crazy low.” But, you are a 120-pounds female!
And, actually your power to weight ratio is 3.0 at 120 pounds, which is a solid FTP, so it’s not low at all for your size.
Yes, I suspect that individuals on the extreme end of power or HR will have a harder time fitting into any zone system and might need to adjust on the top ends.
DavidJuly 17, 2021 at 12:10 pm #13311
Haha! Yeah – I get it. I’m usually embarrassed to tell people my FTP, mostly because the men around me are big talkers about pushing 300-400 watt efforts and I’m over here doing max efforts under 200. Thank you!
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