Weight and VO2 Max, Why Interval Order Matters, Training Camps and More – Ask a Cycling a Coach 189


Same here and I had 11 races in 2018, that’s a lot of poor sleep! I also suffer from Daily Persistent Headache and migraines, which poor sleep makes even worse. I’ve introduced sleeping meds the night before a race. It’s done wonders for me.


Mind if I ask what meds you use? And do you think the meds impact on your performance?


Ambien very low dose, but that requires a prescription. I also use other migraine abortives that have sleepiness as the side affect. According to the doc they are out of the system by race start and they also don’t cause that drowsy feeling in the morning. Melatonin 2.5mg tablet (dissolves under tongue) works well and can be bought over the counter.

I haven’t noticed any issues regarding performance. In fact I took it last night and had a FTP personal best on today’s ramp test.


I think in my case @Captain_Doughnutman I’ve neglected the VO2 Max stuff in favour of SST and FTP a bit too much in the past. Being a new convert to TrainerRoad and the plans VO2Max has come as a bit of a shock! I’m going to be finishing SSB2 on Sunday and after a recovery week (which happily falls over Christmas!) I’m going to be starting the Build phase. IHave got a few spare weeks so before diving into Sustained Power Build I’m going to do three weeks of the more VO2 Max focused Short Power Build to try and “raise the ceiling” a bit. Not sure this is @chad approved but kinda makes sense I think.


I can certainly recommend Short Power Build. The VO2 Max efforts really vary and keep things interesting. What I’ve found most rewarding is the effect the sessions have on your ability to recover, quickly. 15 seconds goes by in the blink of an eye!




One thing I haven’t seen mentioned here regarding running by cyclists is the positive effect on bone density. Cyclists often have low bone density in their spines due to the non-impact and non-weight bearing nature of cycling. Running serves as a good way to counter that. As a male diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 40, I’m keen to stay on top of this. Run enough to build bone density but not enough to start getting more stress fractures.

Also, running is so portable. You can do it practically anywhere with gear you can easily fit in your suitcase along with everything else. Having enough running “base” to be able to take advantage when the unplanned (or even planned) travel takes you away from your bike is it’s own reward when you’re not totally devastated after some early morning run from some hotel in whatever destination you’ve selected.


As does strength training with free weights, and walking. Strength training in particular should be considered required after 40.


Doing those, too. But the gym smells bad and I already walk the dog an hour a day.


Wow, great work, you are way ahead of the game!


I wish I was ahead! An osteoporosis diagnosis at age 40 means off-season is really bone season. I’m just trying to not fall any farther behind. But I also just like to run in general, so I’m biased.


seriously you are so far ahead of most people 40+ yrs old so take credit where its due! My wake-up call was torn rotator cuff at 50, six years later finally putting all the pieces together to kick ass in the second half of my life!

My knees don’t like running anymore, although last weekend I was finally able to deadlift in the gym (using trap bar) so who knows maybe I’ve fixed the biomechanical issues and might run again!

Hope you find a better gym!


I came here to talk about this topic too. I really wish @chad would would slow down when he drops this complex knowledge on us. but after listening to it again I took some notes to summarize.

"Fractional utilization is (FTP)/(5-min Best power) x 100 = _%
Low: 60-75%
Average: 75%-85%
Ceiling: 90%

If you are in the low range and want to grow your VO2 Max, you could address this with more VO2 Max training, focus on intensity and time at VO2 Max.

If you are at the high side of average, you will need to raise your FTP in order to get more productive gains in VO2 Max. Grow your FTP by focusing on sweet Spot, Over/Under’s, and Threshold work."

So to answer your question, if sustained power is your perceived weakness, then the general recommendation of the podcast is to train your weakness. Your VO2 Max may be on the low side of average for general cycling but it may give you everything you need for time trialing at the moment. I hope that helps, as I am just trying to recite what I’ve heard from the coaches. Thanks for letting me summarize this info on here.


Great summary. Yes I listened to it again too, goes by so quick.

My V02 may seem low but I am a 50kg women so my 5 minute power is 5 watts per kg, which is above average for a women. I am short and petite hence my seemingly low power numbers. I ride with people with a lot more power than me and keep up just fine so I know the numbers can seem low, just giving context. Obviously on the flat my weight matters less but I am still more aerodynamic because I am small which helps a little. FTP is 3.7 watts per kg, which is comparatively a weakness compared to 5 minute power. Did 3x20 at 90% today, it really helps me through a tough workout if I have a plan that I think will work :+1:.


Right, So if you don’t believe your VO2Max is a limiter you can focus on the Sweet Spot, Over/Unders, and threshold work by selecting a plan that will support your goals or next event. Good luck.


Really late here, but listening to this episode again. I think Nate should skip LVT100 this year.

I think it makes more sense for the guys to divide and conquer with different events.

  • That way the 2 can fully support the other rider in that big event.
  • Additionally, they can do more different events in a given season if they vary a bit and don’t just match them 1:1.
  • Not that they can’t do some together, but I see some real advantages to only one or two of them doing the marquee events each season.