Sweet Spot Polarized Zone 5 VO2 Efforts

I recently finished 18 weeks of SS (with a bump in FTP) and went right into the 6 week SS Polarized plan.

I am in week 2 and just did my second VO2 interval session (4 minute intervals) and barely got through the last two intervals.

Next week I’m looking at 5 minute intervals and I’m wondering how I’m going to manage that. If I find that during the 4-5 minute part of the interval I’m gassing out what’s the best strategy (besides sucking it up and ploughing through lol)?

Would I be better to stop the interval short and extend the recovery interval or decrease the effort slightly so that I still complete the interval?

(I don’t even want to think about the 2x10 full gas efforts in week 4!)

I should note that although I’m following the plan I’m doing much longer weekend rides than called for given that it’s just too nice after a long winter to not make the most of the warm weekends - I’m still hitting the recommended targets but am extending the Zone 2 efforts by a lot so my TSS is higher than recommended in the plan, which may be carrying over fatigue to my Wednesday VO2 workouts.


Congrats on the FTP gains Marko!!

The first thing to consider is if you are going too hard out of the gate (aka exceeding 120% of your FTP)… which we cover in these 2 training tips:

Another thing is to make sure youre in the right mindset to nail your intervals (mindset watts as coach @FRANK likes to call it :wink:).

If you are doing all of that and still struggling to finish your weekday workouts, you need to pull back on your weekend rides as those efforts could very likely be impeding your recovery. Remember, quality over quantity :wink:


Thanks for the reply! Some good info here.

I don’t think I’m going too hard as I’m working to hit the power targets that are set out in my plan. Could be I’m overcooked from the weekends…or just weak haha.

I’ll try to pull back a bit this weekend and maybe skip leg training this Monday and hope for a good session on Wednesday!

Hi Marko,

My approach to this has been that if I can’t get through 5 minutes at 120% of FTP, I see if I can get through it at 115% or 110%. As long as I’m staying at the highest point in that Zone 5 VO2 max range of 106-120% that I can, I am getting the training benefit that FasCat intends. Over time, I should be able to push closer and closer to holding 120% for the whole interval.


Thanks for that…that’s the approach I’m going to take if it starts to look like I can’t hold 120% for the entire 5 minutes.

Also going to dial back on the lower body strength training 2 days out to avoid carrying in that leg fatigue…and hopefully I’ll hit the full 5!

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Kevin is 100% right! And once you can consistently hold those intervals above the 120% it may be a good indication that you have an FTP higher than what you have it currently set at #paingains

Also, I think that answers the question to “why” you are struggling with these intense efforts. Lifting heavy weights during the race season will impede your progress on the bike, not accentuate it like it does if you do it in the off season. Best to put those weights down and stick with just some light maintenance work (such as the revo & foundation exercises). If you do that, no doubt you’ll start nailing those workouts :wink:


Just to follow up; I completed all four 5-minute VO2 efforts as planned…go figure. Tough session but just manageable.

Now…as for next week’s increased effort… :slight_smile:

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YEAHHHH BUDDY! Way to push through and FtFP @MarkoP :muscle:t3:
Keep that recovery game strong and you will nail the intervals next week too