Quality over Quantity vs. 80/20 (or Chad vs. Matt ;))



One thing I took away from the podcast was that “in general” MLSS is about 10% below FTP. In other words Sweet spot calculated by FTP is very close to slightly above MLSS or highish intensity although not VO2 max.


I haven’t had a chance to catch up with the recent stuff posted on this thread (having to actually do work sucks) but this drew my attention so I’ll give that a listen on my way to work tomorrow.

I’ve always felt that despite the intention of the different FTP test there was always going to be quite a risk of actually training on the wrong side of MLSS when trying to train close to it.

When you read about some user’s experiences doing Sweet Spot intervals, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ramp test actually had them traing above MLSS.

One of the problems may be that the 0.75 multiplier was based on completion rate of workouts, but as far as I know, there was no real way of knowing how they were completed: Was it 3 x 15 SS intervals? If your FTP is equal to your MLSS, these shouldn’t have you slumped over the bars at the end; Was it VO2max intervals which are a little more independent of MLSS?

Certainly very interesting that they thought it was as much as 10%.



I’ve already posted this in another thread but it’s more appropriate here:

Intrigued about the claim that MLSS is about 10% below FTP I approached Mikael via his website to ask him about that claim which on the show made reference to the 20 minute FTP test.

He responded fairly quickly citing a paper which compares the 8 minute Carmichael FTP test to MLSS:


The trouble with this paper appears to be two-fold:

  • The MLSS test was done indoors on an ergometer (as you would expect) whilst the 8 minute test was carried out outdoors on the riders’ own bikes.

  • The 8 minute test was not carried out in accordance with the protocol of 2 x 8 minutes with a 10 minute rest between - they only carried out a single all out effort over 8 minutes.

Taking these two factors into account doesn’t look good for the claim that MLSS is about 10% lower than FTP.



I’m looking for the exact quote from Coggan, but he has confirmed that he intended FTP = workrate at MLSS


Chapter 3 of the book:

MLSS is another name for LT as far as I know…

and this:


Very interesting about what he says about the potential issues with having a lactate test done. I think you’ve just saved me £80


I always thought the definition of lactate threshold is the steady state of a high level of lactate, where it is no longer increasing rapidly which sounds about as close to MLSS as I can tell. Chad even was using the two terms interchangibly in a recent episode.


Impressive follow up to this podcast, worth mentioning. These guys just swept the podium again. Tried to follow their training on Strava but can’t grasp the overlying principle. However, they really don’t do any >LT2 work. At this race durations! Still impressed.


From what i remember reading, they do a considerable amount of >lt2 during the training camp just prior to their season. A draft legal tri will have a decent vi compared to the non draft itt format. So they do a lot of surges over lt2 in their races.


It’s real interesting to hear how these guys train, although their approach isn’t something that can be easily adopted by age-groupers, as it relies on doing loads of lactate testing throughout the year.


Now what a relief, Velonews allows you to do SST and still carry the polarized label :slight_smile:


Kinda funny that the apparent justification is the claim that the FTP commonly used via “short tests” (1x20, 2x8, etc.) inflate our Lactate Threshold (MLSS, LT2, VT2), meaning that these workouts fall into Z3 (not Z2 based on the definitions provided by Dr. Seiler).

More fuzzy logic in a way, but maybe that’s jut my first impression gone wrong?

I will listen again and see if I take something different from that.


I was interested to hear that too. From memory he talked about 88% of HRpeak which is at the very bottom end of the Norwegian training zone 4 rather than in the middle zone. Logically for a well trained athlete 4 x 16 at max pace should be very close to LT2 but just above.

Looking forward to hearing part 3.



Trevor mentioned 85% HR Max for the 4x16m efforts in this podcast.
That is just below the 88% HR Max I have from the Dr. Seiler definitions.

So, that puts it a bit below threshold and around the upper end of the Z2 area, assuming my chart is still correct.


That’s very similar to the logic used in That Triathlon Show to say that all the threshold athletes were doing tempo.



I’ll have to listen again too and maybe have a read of the newer paper.



Just for clarity, my reference to 88% HRpeak comes from the original paper. Trevor Connor does make reference to 85% in the podcast. I’ll have to check we’re that comes from later.



Yeah, I am guessing (reverse engineering) that my 88% HR Max listed on the 3-Zone model is from Dr. Seiler, when he defined the zones in the original FT podcast (ep 51?).


I’ve requested the full text of the new paper. I guess we’ll see what it says.



You know, lactate monitors are actually pretty cheap (a lot cheaper than I thought) and would pay for themselves over just a couple uses. I think the trick is getting someone to help measure during the tests.