Yes, correct. Sounds like there are a lot of similarities. The difference is that the Norwegians do more “threshold”-intervals even on the run, whereas Filliol’s group do go faster than race pace when they are on the track (even though they limit the speed).
Great observation, you are correct. I have definitely made a shift in my thinking in this direction. I alluded to one of the reasons in the interview. It’s easy to study intensity and difficult to study volume (who wants to take part in a 5-year study??), which makes it tempting to put too much stock in intensity. But I’ve just found anecdotally, and coaches that I talk to on the podcast and outside of the podcast seem to see the same thing in many cases, that intensity can take you a good long way if you go from non-structured training or sub-optimally structured training to well-structured training where intensity has a major part to play. But, at some point there’s always a plateau that comes up against the athlete.
With a greater focus on volume and “chronic load” (although I don’t really like to think of that in terms of CTL or TSS anymore as much as purely hours spent training, to avoid the intensity trap) this plateau seems to come much later, and with lesser risks of obstacles along the way (injuries).
Yes, I would view the Tues, Thurs, Sat workouts as 3 intense, demanding workouts, and it’s not something I would do, at least not in a triathlon setting or in a distance running setting. I’ve only coached a couple of road cyclists so I won’t speak for pure cycling. I know in swimming one of the greatest coaches, Jan Olbrecht (the number of Olympic medals that guy has brought home is crazy, he is also very scientific and uses a lot of lactate testing) is also an advocate for limiting the number of intense workouts the same way.
For masters athletes, it’s always worth keeping in mind
- the additional need for recovery, so I would definitely not do 3 hard bike workouts per week (at least assuming the week will have 1-2 hard swims and runs)
- the declining VO2max needs to be countered, so there is a case for including some form of VO2 work most of the year (doesn’t have to be very chunky VO2 workouts at all times, some parts of the year the lighter maintenance ones will do)
Something I’ve changed in my use of TrainerRoad is how I select the easy workouts. Where previously I might have selected your typical endurance ride from any given plan, often with an IF of let’s say 0.7, now I actively seek out the much easier ones, that have 70% FTP as the maximum intensity in the workout (many of the 0.7 IF have periods of 80% FTP or so). I see no good reason to be even close to the maximum “permitted” easy intensity. It’s not as if I’m doing pure recovery workouts, but definitely the easiest of what you might call Z2 workouts.
In terms of heart rate, where my threshold heart rate on the bike is probably somewhere around 150 bpm and max HR around 175 (at least in winter) I want to do rides that keep me at 120 or so, no more than a couple of beats higher than that. With most of the endurance rides found in the plans this isn’t the case, I easily get into the high 120s, sometimes low 130s. So seeking out the right endurance workouts (for an hour of chilling on the bike, Colosseum -3 is a recent favourite) has been quite important for me personally, and I’ve also had positive feedback from my athletes when I start to give them workouts like this.
Just note that this is what I’m currently testing out, not something that I’ve landed on conclusively or have a lot of case studies and anecdotal evidence on by any means. So far so good, but I don’t want to make it sound like it’s “the way to go”.