How to train with a power meter for VO2 max

Training with power meter (SRM, Powertap, Ergomo etc.) gives you opportunity to focus on specific parts of the physical demands for cycling. E.g. you want to increase your maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), then I suggest you perform a test showing your maximal sustainably power output at your VO2 max. Normally it is possible to maintain a VO2 max power output for about 5 minutes.

The basic rule of training is to train what you aim for. Training at VO2 max is very, very tough, so we split it up in shorter intervals. I prefer intervals around 3 minutes with 2 minutes active recovery.

Example: A 5min maximum power (MP) test shows an average power output of 391W.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Recovery training3x(3+2min) 385-395WLong ride15min 340WRecovery trainingEasy ride, 1x5min 310WRace
Recovery training3x(3+2min) 385-395WLong ride3x(3+2min) 385-395WRecovery trainingEasy ride, 1x5min 310WRace
Recovery training3x(3+2min) 385-395WLong ride15min 340WRecovery trainingEasy ride, 1x5min 310WRace
Recovery training3x(3+2min) 385-395WLong ride3x(3+2min) 385-395WRecovery trainingEasy ride, 1x5min 310WRace
Recovery trainingNew test 5min MPLong ride3x(3+2min) New 5min MPRecovery trainingEasy ride, 1x5min
80% 5minMP
Race

This program is made to show you how to use your test results in a training program. This program is made specific for and therefore I have pulled out all sprints and anaerobic sessions.

Normally I recommend training programs with different kinds of intervals, so please remember that this training program is made only to illustrate an easy way to . If you prefer to train for two or more specific goals you can try to mix different kinds of intervals.

Like you made a 5 minutes test for your VO2 max you can make an anaerobic 60seconds test and try to make a higher average watt after a couple of weeks training. It is very challenging to attempt for new personal bests. Remember to notice your body weight when you perform a test.

4 comments… add one

  • Jeff Street

    I really like your website. Your studies are very insightful and it is clear that you are striving to optimize power meter use to improve racing success. I an an avid “student” at this training game; and am always looking for better ways to train.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Laura

    Ok, so I’m new to this I guess… but why would I need to notice my weight?

  • I’m thinking about buying a power meter. Which one do you recommend and why?

    Thanks for your advise.

    P.S. Are you interested in exchanging links?

  • Simon Fearby

    Excellent and straightforward into the nitty-gritty of power meter training. Apologies for my igorance but what does (3+2 mins) mean? Is it 3 mins effort then 2 mins recovery?

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