This episode contains expanded musings on VO2max and FTP training and progression, based on the years of feedback since the VO2max series debuted. We talk about whether or not you need to work in blocks, ways to determine the effects, interval durations, whether to start hard or not, recovery timelines, and more. We also answer your listener questions on time in zone, breathing, periodization, high cadence, testing, and more.
Andy Coggan joins the podcast again to discuss everything we didn't get to in the previous episode. We get back stories behind the adaptations by training zones chart and the category and w/kg chart. We also go in depth with nitrate supplementation, vo2max training. if burning fat makes you burn more fat, if signaling studies translate to performance, and the nature of adaptation itself. There are plenty of pithy proverbs along the way.
In this episode, Andy Coggan discusses FTP and its context among various threshold definitions, the infamous "hour of power", and the legacy of Training And Racing With A Power Meter. We also discuss Andy's lack of social media presence, the chapters he's written on the history of exercise physiology, and delve into some topics in exercise metabolism including VLamax, substrate use at FTP, methods and interpretations of the lactate shuttle, and more.
Muscle contraction paper
Mitochondrial potassium paper
Andrew Coggan at IUPUI
More FTP may be better, but not always. This episode explores ideas around how FTP can be overemphasized in training in both the short and long term, leading to suboptimal fitness and race outcomes.
Think your FTP is the power you can hold for 60 minutes? Think again! We dig into a classic Billat paper on time to exhaustion (TTE) and training threshold by adding time in zone. Then we discuss into the metabolic implications of these results, how they align with real world experience, and how this affects training and assessment of its effectiveness. Finally, we answer your questions as asked in Kolie's Instagram stories @empiricalcycling.
Billat TTE paper on masters runners
Introduction to TTE in WKO5
Should you always train like you race? In this episode we investigate three myths related to this idea, and find some grains of truth along the way. The myths are 1. Sprinters and non-sprinters really need to train aerobic systems differently. 2. Crit racers mostly need to focus on anaerobic efforts. 3. You won’t need to train FTP if you don't race time trials. We touch on some track sprinting as well, and of course answer listener questions from Kolie's instagram, so follow him there if you'd like to ask a question on the podcast.
Kolie and Kyle discuss the mental and physical aspects of going into an FTP test and add some perspective on nerves, rest, and softening blows to the ego. Then three alternative RPE or data based, submaximal methods are discussed. We also touch on tests that go too well and how to adjust to realistic numbers for training, and why it's better to be consistent than play whack-a-mole with occasional good days.
Kolie spent yet another year on Instagram (@empiricalcycling) answering questions in the stories for 51 out of 52 weeks to add a bright interlude to doom scrolling. This podcast contains 32 questions under the topics training intensity, periodization, adaptation, and general. Timestamps for the headings are below.
Timestamps (approximate) for question groupings.
Intensity related: ~2min
This episode takes a cue from Kolie's recent webinar on balancing aerobic and anaerobic training (linked in show notes) and delves deeper into the temptations of training to a metric or fitness test. We deconstruct some common FTP tests and metrics like FTP, FRC or W', and VLamax, and their interpretations and over-interpretations. Most of the discussion is about what drives these metrics, the pitfalls therein, and if you're actually getting less fit when they shift.
WKO5 Webinar: Balancing Aerobic and Anaerobic Training
This episode revisits FTP testing. We look at the progressions outlined in the 2018 FTP testing article, intensity domains, FTP, heart rate, and critical power, ramp tests, and defining terms in the sciences. We also look at "training ruts" and their effects on open-ended FTP tests, and methods to avoid those ruts. The podcast concludes with discussing definitions of various thresholds in the scientific literature.
FTP testing article
"Gray Zone" paper