INSCYD Test & Training Plan

Hi everyone,

I had an INSCYD Test before subscribing to Fast Talk Laboratories.

My results were as follows:

VO2max: 53,2 ml/min/kg, 332 W
VLamax: 0,6 mmol/l/s
Anaerobic Threshold 241 W (3,1W/kg), 72,7% of VO2max

The laboratory recommended the following training for the base phase to me:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 1:30h VO2max Intervals, 3 x 10 x 30/30 sec. at 350 Watt
Wednesday: 1:30h Low Cadence Training 3 x 15 min, Cadence 40-60, fasted
Thursday: 1:30h Base miles Z2
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 1:30 Base miles Z2 + Sweet Spot 3 x 15 min
Sunday: 2:00 Base miles Z2

What do you think about this plan for the base phase?
It seems to have too much intensity for me and also doesn’t fit your recommendations about base training (54 year old with job& family).

I’m very curious to hear your opinion :slight_smile:

Best,
Marcus

Welcome to the forum.

That looks to be about 9 hours of base for the week, which is inline with 450 annual hours (I’m referencing Joe Friel’s Training Bible). What are you wanting to achieve for the year (hours or TSS)?

I put your data, without knowing the exact details, into a week and it shows the follow TIZ:

You don’t specify what your goals are, what you’re training for, and also there seems to be specific workout data missing in some of the workouts.

How does this compare to your previous year’s data?

Hi,

it’s 8 hours per week. The specified times are the entire training of the respective days.
In the past, I trained 6 -8 hours a week, with a weekly TSS of 350 - 450 with the Time-Crunched-Cyclist approach, but I stagnated last spring.
This was the reason for the INSCYD Test. In 2022 I can train 7 - 9, sometimes 10 hours a week.

My goals … I don’t race, my goal is to become more powerful for hilly gravel riding of 2 - 5 hours duration and maybe some Gran Fondo´s or Century’s.

I wonder above all if the VO2max Intervals are a good idea in the Base phase …

Best,
Marcus

Any thoughts from @trevor or @ryan ?

Thanks a lot !

Have you started this training plan? Even a week or two? Do you have your data loaded into intervals.icu?

I want to start it next week, the trainings are planned in intervals.icu

The weekly distribution:

Z1 +2 : 83,6%
Z3 +4: 13,6%
Z5+: 2,7%
SS: 13,6%

Ok … did you know you can adjust your zones in intervals icu to match your test…say your fatmax as top of zone 2, and threshold as threshold.

It might make your distribution more accurate (unless you have already done this)

Let me know then I can come back to you but it doesn’t look all that hard to me (the training you have posted)

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Thanks Steve!
I will adjust my zones in intervals.icu and try the training plan for the next few weeks.

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Forgot to mention make sure your power zones match heart rate, by that I mean if you use 3 zone system for power, same for heart rate. 5 zone for power, same for heart rate.

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Hi @mweber501, it sounds like @steveneal has this under control and is getting the information he needs from you. So, I’ll keep my response short. Just want to address those couple questions you asked me specifically about.

First, based on a fairly quick read, it looks to me like the coaches who tested you want to focus on your aerobic system. Makes sense - you were following a time crunched approach which really elevated your anaerobic capacity and plateaued likely because the aerobic system wasn’t strong enough to take you any further. In particular, I’m looking at the fact that your anaeorbic threshold is 71.7% of your VO2max which is low. Lots of opportunity there! So, using the base phase to really target the aerobic system is a good idea for you.

One interval session per week in the base season is fine. Frankly, I give most of my athletes two sessions. My bias is more towards threshold style work and not “VO2max” or anaerobic capacity work. My reason is that VO2max intervals, like the one’s you’re doing, tend to produce all of their gains within six to eight weeks, while you can see gains with threshold intensity intervals for 12-14 weeks. But, I have seen good coaches use higher intensity sub-two minute intervals very successfully in the base, so that’s just my bias.

Very interested in hearing what Steve discovers after looking at a couple weeks of your training

Thanks,
Trevor

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Thanks for your answer @trevor . Happy new year to you !

There are 3 interval sessions per week, not one.
After the VO2max session on Tuesday there is a fasted Low Cadence interval training with 3 x 15 minutes at sweet spot intensity (50 - 65 rpm) and another sweet spot workout with 3 x 15 on Saturday.
I´m advised to add length to the two sweet spot sessions until I reach 3 x 20 min.

Overall volume for a week is about 8 hours.

Do you think that these three interval sessions per week in the base season is fine?
After reading through your Base Training Pathway I have some doubts …

Thanks,
Marcus

When I refer to intervals I would be referring to the vo2max above threshold ones, so once a week.

The sweetspot work, although intervals is fine in my opinion as set out.

Steve

I agree with @steveneal fully. I really only see the VO2max workout as a true interval workout.

Obviously, you know I’m a fan of the polarized approach which has little sweet spot work (I use it with myself and my athletes only at certain points in the season.) So, I personally don’t like to prescribe it in the base phase. I’d give you one or two interval sessions in Seiler’s zone 3 and keep the rest of your work in zone 1. But that’s my bias.

I have seen sweet spot work help give a good kickstart in athletes who have an underdeveloped aerobic system. So, if it’s used judiciously, it can be effective in the base phase for a season or two while you develop that engine.

Thanks,
Trevor

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Thanks for the advice Steve and Trevor.

@trevor, after reading your Base Training Pathway and your Interval Training Pathway my heart goes with your polarized approach. I will use it to target my aerobic system this base phase.

2 weeks: Two sessions 4x4min threshold, rest z1 (Seiler zones)
4 weeks: Two sessions 5x5min threshold, rest z1
4 weeks: Two sessions 4x8min threshold, rest z1
4 weeks: One session 4x8min threshold, one session 3x16min threshold, rest z1

It makes more sense to me to save the VO2max intervals for the race phase.

What percentage of the VO2max is on average for the FTP achievable?
Do you think it’s a good idea to add in some short high intensity work once or twice a month to maintain my VO2max (especially with regard to my age of 54)?

Thanks,
Marcus

At 54 years, I would strongly consider keeping the recommended 30/30s weekly or at least every 10 days. My personal experience using Weber’s (INSCYD) concepts as well as polarized and pyramidal, etc. with different athletes is the volume can really matter. If riding 12-14+ hours a week, then the volume can take care of things nicely using polarized - raise VO2, lower VLAMAX, raise threshold = better performance in gravel or longer events. However, if riding ~8 hours a week, then the zone 1 rides tend to be too short and easy to stress the fast twitch fibers in a way that is likely to lower VLAMAX and raise threshold IMO/IME. I think the sweet spot work or flirting with Seiler Zone 2 becomes important when riding less hours weekly if the goal is to improve threshold/endurance. Again, there is a time and place for most different training concepts, but I do find genius in the INSCYD approach - test. what do you want to achieve? implement a training program targeted at that for 8-12 weeks and re-test to see what happened and adjust as needed. The approach is to address the physiology needed to perform rather than use specificity for the event. Base, Build, Race may not be the best or only way pending what the goal is. To my understanding, Seiler’s ‘Base’ is actually High zone 1/Low Zone 2 (could be Tempo/SS/Medio) and low Zone 3 (Threshold) - higher volume. His ‘Build’ is Low Zone 1 and high Zone 3 - less volume. The 30/30s end up being kind of a threshold workout, so the plan as laid out could be considered ‘Polarized’ and closely fit with Seiler’s recommendations for the base or prep period. I’d consider trying it for 8 weeks and see how it goes. Only way to know and I think it is low risk versus following a standard Base approach.

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Slightly off topic, but related to INSCYD testing…how do you take the power zone results from an INSCYD test and enter them into Training Peaks? I looked at the various TP power models and there isn’t one that correlates. And when I took a closer look at the zones from my INSCYD test, there were overlapping and a gap at the higher end.

Rob

I really like your contextual statement about link between training hours and the training concept.

You won’t be able to get them exactly but you can add your own zones and rename them (also better and easier in Intervals.icu) but in most if not all software you can’t have an overlap or a gap. I always track them based on the ceiling or most important part of the zone - so maybe in Inscyd you would create a ceiling slightly above the target.

Hi @scottcox12 ,

thanks for your advice.
Your comments about the INSCYD approach are very interesting (address the physiology needed to perform). Because I´m not racing I thought about this a lot of times, wondering if I should still perform a base, build, race phase approach …

Do you give your athletes the 30/30s (or some variation) for the full season? If yes, wouldn’t this lead to burnout or stagnation?
How long should the zone 1 rides be for lowering VLAMAX and building Mitochondria?

Best,
Marcus