Tonight is the night to try the new 4x5 session which is 4 very hard (maximal?) efforts to try to raise my VO2 max. I wasn't sure how this would go and in the event it went really badly. My motivation is falling off at the moment anyway and this evening's session has done nothing to improve it, pretty dispiriting but I suppose it was my first go.
I actually only managed 2 efforts and on the third my legs had just "gone" with no strength in them at all. After some steady pedalling I tried to do another effort later in the session with the same result so called it a day, thoroughly dispirited, I thought I could do now this.
Seems to me like the same old story, as soon as I try to do intense efforts I just cave in, not from lack of trying, just that my legs won't do it. I seem to be fine on the turbo or road churning out a decent power output for hour after hour but it seems to be a real problem when it's a sudden very hard effort that I have not been able to build into, my legs just don't seem to want to work like that and there is no way back once they have "gone".
I am sure this related to blood lactate levels suddenly being shoved through the roof and I just don't recover from it, I know from my reading, must dig out the reference, that it takes 10-15 minutes for the level to drop from a single short supramaximal test. A 5 minute recovery means that I'll be starting the 2nd effort with a blood lactate I would guess of 7+ mmol/l!
Can't help but think that I'd be better building up to this with either less efforts or build it up slowly using power measurements to allow my body to adapt as I feel it's just being asked to do something which from past experience it can't do. Need to think about this, my HR seems to respond quite slowly so I'll never get anywhere near my maximum HR for a 5 minute effort unless at the start of the effort it was already very high but it drops very quickly following an effort. I'm always therefore working hard during the effort with a lowish HR which is never sustainable, not by me anyway!
Anyway, some data from the first 2 efforts follows:
Average power output: 336W
Average HR: 161BPM
Average cadence: 96RPM
Average power output: 322W
Average HR: 164BPM
Average cadence: 94RPM