Cycling - Improve your Vo2 Max
Updated: Nov 12
Improve your top end cycling fitness and power with this proven progression. It doesnt require a huge amount of volume, but does require some specificity but the results will follow.
What’s the session?
Cycling Vo2 Workout
The “Main set” is as follows;
12 x 2mins Hill Repeats@Vo2Max HR or Power with roll back recovery
Very simply this is a lung session, not a leg session and by that we mean, cadence should be reflective of something you aim to lean towards in your Sprint or Olympic distance event. Despite the session being a ‘hill workout’ it is not specifically a ‘hill strength session’ in this instance. In terms of intensity, if you don’t have access to either heart rate or power, then again using the BORG Scale of RPE is appropriate here with a value 8 or 9 out of 10.
Who’s it most appropriate for?
Most commonly used and most effective for draft legal or non-drafting sprint distance athletes. When done properly, this is a truly brutal session and at it hardest, 6 x 4mins is one of the hardest sessions can do on a bike. If you have not done any Vo2 work before it is recommended you start at 4 x 2mins and progress from there.
When could I use it and how could I apply it?
For either group of athletes, versions of this session could be used in the final 6weeks, prior to speed work or tapers leading into a block of shorter course racing. Ideally placed on a ‘hard day’ this will require plenty of recovery (48-72hrs) maybe greater depending on your adaptation to the work. Hill selection is important. You want to aim to find something that is relatively non technical where even though it is a hill you can still generate some reasonable speed. Something between 4-6% would be ideal. The ‘recovery’ or downhill component ideally should not just be freewheeling as none of the potential lactate accrued is being flushed out, so turning the pedals lightly over is vital.
What’s the progression leading into it and on from it?
Week 1 | 8 x 2mins Hill Repeats@Vo2Max HR or Power with roll back recovery
Week 2 | 10 x 2mins Hill Repeats@Vo2Max HR or Power with roll back recovery
Week 3 | 12 x 2mins Hill Repeats@Vo2Max HR or Power with roll back recovery
Week 4 | 8 x 3mins Hill Repeats@Vo2Max HR or Power with roll back recovery
Week 5 | 6 x 4mins Hill Repeats@Vo2Max HR or Power with roll back recovery
Athlete choosing to utilize these sessions, do so at their own risk. You agree to assume the risks of such training, and further agree to hold harmless Jarrod Evans & Triathlon Gold from any and all claims, suits, losses, and/or related causes of actions and damages, including, but not limited to, such claims that may result from my injury or death, accidental or otherwise, during or arising in any way from copying and or implementing these session suggestions. These session concepts have either been created from scratch by Jarrod Evans and or adapted from existing workouts from other athletes and coaches over the last 25years.