VO2 Max workout – IRONMAN® Level 3


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  • #20322

    Hi guys !

    I am a subscriber and I applied the IRONMAN® Level 3 140.6 plan (https://www.trainingpeaks.com/training-plans/triathlon/ironman/tp-113005/80-20-triathlon-ironman-level-3-pace-and-power-7-to-19-hours-per-week) to my TP but I don’t see much Vo2 max workout on the plan ?

    Is that usual or normal ? Can you guys elaborate why not increasing the ability to do Vo2 max exercises should be part of this plan ?

    Thanks !

    David Warden

    V, thanks for posting and sorry for the delayed reply.

    VO2 is the “tide that rises all boats” in endurance training, and is a direct predictor of triathlete performance. Triathletes measured with a higher VO2 have better race times.

    Additionally, VO2 directly improve FTP, and FTP is another direct predictor of race performance.

    Is this causation or correlation? Do elite triathletes get a higher VO2 as a byproduct from elite training, or does VO2 training help develop an elite triathlete? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that elite athletes perform VO2 training.

    There are abilities that can only be developed at certain intensities. If you divide moderate and high intensities into submaximal (Zone 3), maximal (Zone 4) and supramaximal (Zone 5) each of those intensities provides specific benefits to lactate threshold, cardiac stroke volume, VO2max, lung capacity, muscular endurance and more. By using a “diverse portfolio” of intensities, particularly in the early general phase of training, we ensure development of all endurance performance capabilities.

    Or, imagine the opposite. Based on the argument that you should not train at any intensity outside your A race intensity, IM training would only include high Zone 2 (race specific) intensity, and that’s it. Sprint training would only include upper Zone 3 and nothing else. Clearly, a broad range of intensities is best-practice for all endurance athletes. Yes, the VO2 dose should be different for Sprint and IM, and it is in our plans, but it’s always included.


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