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Threshold vs Anaerobic

For a while I won't be able to do a lot of exercices outside of work ( food deliveries on bike [ which, btw, allow me to build endurance ] ). So I'm limited to 1 training session a week.
For now, I'm doing an anaerobic workout on a short climb ( the one I did today as an example : https://www.strava.com/activities/2862157944 , usally I do the first half of the climb 6 times with less recovery, but it's been a while since my last session so I went easy ).

Do this type of workout improves my FTP efficently ? If so, is it as efficent as a classic 2x20min, or less ?
I can't decide which workout to do when I'm limited by 1 a week.

I chose to do the one I'm doing because it makes me work mental toughness a lot ( since i'm almost full gas the whole climb ), and I have flexibility ( I can either do the first half of the climb [ 1km ], or the whole climb [~2km ] ).

And since I'll mainly do crits next year, I feel like it's necessary to train my anaerobic capacity.
But at the same time, I need to be able to keep up with the group, to increase my FTP.

Sorry for my english.

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    What you are describing is not 'anaerobic' exercise though, as you should not be able to sustain an anaerobic effort, in principle, for longer than a handful of seconds. So the 1km or 2km climb is more likely to be a threshold effort - and specifically, it's going to be a threshold effort up a hill - which is not necessarily ideal if you are hoping to train to hold threshold efforts on the flat.
  • angrodangrod Posts: 43
    edited November 2019
    Oh ok I see, I guess I'll just go back to the 2x20 workout then.
    Maybe throwing a sprint at the end of each 20 minute could be beneficial to train anaerobic too ? ( If I'm able to sustain that amout of work, maybe go down to 4x10 )
    Thanks for the help.
  • Don't get too stuck in doing the same thing though.
    You'll need to mix it up with different length "intervals".
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,859

    What you are describing is not 'anaerobic' exercise though, as you should not be able to sustain an anaerobic effort, in principle, for longer than a handful of seconds. So the 1km or 2km climb is more likely to be a threshold effort - and specifically, it's going to be a threshold effort up a hill - which is not necessarily ideal if you are hoping to train to hold threshold efforts on the flat.

    If it's full gas for a few min isn't it likely to be closer to VO2 max? Above threshold anyway, depending exactly how long.

    2x20 might not be the best workout for crits either; something which includes some short bursts is likely to be good. Just looking at trainerroad's crit plan, they have a lot of VO2 workouts and a lot of sprints followed by sweetspot or threshold efforts.

    I think as above it's probably good to mix it up.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003

    If it's full gas for a few min isn't it likely to be closer to VO2 max? Above threshold anyway, depending exactly how long.

    Agreed..

  • I think you could benefit from finding your estimated Lactate Threshold Heart Rate, using a free site that you give permission to access your Strava data, such as https://cricklesorg.wordpress.com/ that I've used for ~2 years.

    You could then mix up your training days to try and improve your FTP, doing short intervals like that climb above your LTHR on one session and doing longer intervals just below your LTHR on the flat and up the hill.

    There's different ways to increase your FTP, VO2 Max intervals give improvements that can be seen within weeks, but longer rides around Sweet Spot can give a gradual FTP increase that some now think will result in a higher absolute figure over time.
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  • hdowhdow Posts: 146
    There may be an incompatability between a high FTP and your crit racing. FTP being about sustainable power. Crit racing being about head to head racing with very high intensity chasing downs and break-aways mixed with easier riding in groups or on someones wheel. I'm sure others will correct me here. If so, there will be periods of very high anaerobic work lasting from seconds to several minutes as well as long periods of aerobic effort.

    Analyse the needs of your crit races and train for those.
  • angrodangrod Posts: 43

    2x20 might not be the best workout for crits either; something which includes some short bursts is likely to be good.

    hdow said:

    There may be an incompatability between a high FTP and your crit racing. FTP being about sustainable power. Crit racing being about head to head racing with very high intensity chasing downs and break-aways mixed with easier riding in groups or on someones wheel.

    At first I was thinking about incerasing my FTP because I think it's necessary to build a high enough average speed, so I don't get droped right away. At least not the easily.

    Just looking at trainerroad's crit plan, they have a lot of VO2 workouts and a lot of sprints followed by sweetspot or threshold efforts.

    Seems interesting. I can't wait to be able to affort a smart trainer, TrainerRoad looks awesome.
  • angrodangrod Posts: 43

    I think you could benefit from finding your estimated Lactate Threshold Heart Rate, using a free site that you give permission to access your Strava data, such as https://cricklesorg.wordpress.com/ that I've used for ~2 years.

    I'll check that. Although I have a pretty good idea of what it would be I think. It would be 180bpm ( 207 being my max HR right now ).

    You could then mix up your training days to try and improve your FTP, doing short intervals like that climb above your LTHR on one session and doing longer intervals just below your LTHR on the flat and up the hill.

    dannbodge said:

    Don't get too stuck in doing the same thing though.
    You'll need to mix it up with different length "intervals".

    I've thought about mixing up, and that's what I was doing before. But with just 1 workout a week, I thought it wouldn't be as benefecial since there a lot of time between each session.

    There's different ways to increase your FTP, VO2 Max intervals give improvements that can be seen within weeks, but longer rides around Sweet Spot can give a gradual FTP increase that some now think will result in a higher absolute figure over time.

    Interesting, I'll do some more research about that.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,699
    How and where were you having issues in the crits that you have ridden.
  • on 1 session a week you are unlikely to create any physiological adaption anyway so it won't matter what you do. I would just try to replicate a crit race with lots of hard intervals so I'm at least mentally prepared on race day.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,859
    edited November 2019
    angrod said:


    Just looking at trainerroad's crit plan, they have a lot of VO2 workouts and a lot of sprints followed by sweetspot or threshold efforts.

    Seems interesting. I can't wait to be able to affort a smart trainer, TrainerRoad looks awesome.
    Yeah, sure, I was just using it as an example of what types of workouts are recommended for crits (i.e., short efforts significantly above threshold followed by longer efforts at sweetspot or just slightly sub-threshold).

    I don't agree with the comments that having a high FTP is "incompatible" with crit racing as such, clearly having a higher VO2 max (<5 mins) and sprint will be relatively more useful - but to some extent a rising tide lifts all ships, so to speak, which means improvements in FTP will give *some* improvements elsewhere on the power/duration curve... Just less of an improvement than better targeted training.

    If you are very time limited my personal experience is that VO2 max intervals give the quickest improvements, although they are hard. And you have the other cycling to help with the endurance side.

    The weekly Trainerroad "ask a cycling coach" podcast is free and they cover questions like this quite often, could be worth a look.
  • angrodangrod Posts: 43
    webboo said:

    How and where were you having issues in the crits that you have ridden.

    I never raced. I'll start racing next year, and try to prepare for it.

    on 1 session a week you are unlikely to create any physiological adaption anyway so it won't matter what you do. I would just try to replicate a crit race with lots of hard intervals so I'm at least mentally prepared on race day.

    Well, it's 1 "real" workout a week. I forgot to mention that I do food deliveries 5 days a week, 3 hours a day. Mainly endurance pace, with 10 to 20min sweetspot / FTP pace for at least 1h during the whole shift, and 1 or 2 sprints when I try to not catch a red light.
    So it's not really just 1 session a week.
    It's just that the rest of the time it's not structured training.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,699
    edited November 2019
    I would suggest if your plan is to start racing crits then you need to be getting out with your local chain gang and get some experience at riding in a bunch at 25 mph+
    Also although your food delivery workout might be hard but unless you are riding at the speed required for your races. All you will be doing is becoming slow and strong.
  • angrodangrod Posts: 43
    I plan to join a club. I just don't do it right now because it's winter.
    There are some local rides, but I'm afraid I'm too bad to keep up with them.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Winter (ie right now) would actually be the best time to join a club - especially if you plan on racing next season..
  • angrodangrod Posts: 43
    edited November 2019
    In terms of timing, yeah. But I don't have the adequate gear yet, even for work.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,699
    angrod said:

    I plan to join a club. I just don't do it right now because it's winter.
    There are some local rides, but I'm afraid I'm too bad to keep up with them.

    Well unless they all elite cats on these local rides. You are going to completely rethink your training because if you can’t keep up. You won’t last a lap in a race.
  • angrodangrod Posts: 43
    I can just handle 35kmh at ftp on the flat, but they seem to be able to go 40/45kmh.
    If I manage to stay in the wheels that my do it, I don't know I never did this.

    I have ~3 month to train though. It may be enough to be able to last a lap when I start racing haha
  • hdowhdow Posts: 146
    Apologies to bobmcstuff for my ambiguous use of the word 'high'. It was meant in the context of the original post where angrod asked about raising FTP rather than training for his racing. Fully agree with your comments about raising the curve and targetted training
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,699
    edited November 2019
    angrod said:

    I can just handle 35kmh at ftp on the flat, but they seem to be able to go 40/45kmh.
    If I manage to stay in the wheels that my do it, I don't know I never did this.

    I have ~3 month to train though. It may be enough to be able to last a lap when I start racing haha

    Most crits even at 4 cat level are going to be averaging 40 kmh for the duration of the race. The attacks are going to hitting 50 plus.
    You need to be able to respond to the changes in pace. So being able to ride at endurance at your sweet spot is not what’s needed especially when it’s 10kmh off the pace.
    As has been mentioned above you need to do intervals of different duration.
    Try 15 seconds sprint 15 seconds cruise times 3 1 minute easy then 5 1 minute easy then 7, then 9, then 11
    You need to be able to ride at40kmh plus. So you need to achieve this even if it’s for 15 seconds then build on it.
  • I assume the 35kph on the flat will be on your own, so sat in the wind.
    In a bunch it will be much easier to sustain higher speeds.

    Just sitting behind someone drops my power to sustain ~40kph from 300w to high 100ws.
  • angrodangrod Posts: 43
    edited November 2019
    webboo said:

    Most crits even at 4 cat level are going to be averaging 40 kmh for the duration of the race. The attacks are going to hitting 50 plus.
    You need to be able to respond to the changes in pace. So being able to ride at endurance at your sweet spot is not what’s needed especially when it’s 10kmh off the pace.
    As has been mentioned above you need to do intervals of different duration.
    Try 15 seconds sprint 15 seconds cruise times 3 1 minute easy then 5 1 minute easy then 7, then 9, then 11

    Thanks for the advice. I'll definitly try the "anaerobic workout followed by sweet spot / FTP" first, it seems pretty good to work all I need for crits.
    webboo said:

    You need to be able to ride at40kmh plus. So you need to achieve this even if it’s for 15 seconds then build on it.

    Interesting, didn't think about this that way at all !
    dannbodge said:

    I assume the 35kph on the flat will be on your own, so sat in the wind.
    In a bunch it will be much easier to sustain higher speeds.

    Just sitting behind someone drops my power to sustain ~40kph from 300w to high 100ws.

    Yep, it's 35kph on the flat alone ( and during over-reaching, well rested it should be around 37kph I think.

    Yeah, it's easier when in the bunch to go faster, but I didn't know how much it is.
    Your numbers are pretty encouraging though !
  • I think sometimes it's good to remember that improving takes time. The more you ride, the stronger you will become but it doesn't happen very quickly. Also, the thing with racing is some people have very expensive bikes! That really helps.
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