I know its not true reverse periodization but people get what we mean. Also it doesnt mean to start at L6 and go down from there.... Its simply starting with high intensity training while I (we?) cant ride outside and raise power that way. When we can ride outside, then the focus can be shifted toward more sustainable efforts at or arround FTP.
I wouldnt use that kind of model if I could ride outside during winter. It also doesnt mean I am doing no threshold or sweet spot work. L5 training is still training the aerobic system and stressing the upper bounds of FTP.
No, its not. We've had this conversation before and I'm not sure why it didn't get through, but that is NOT reverse periodization. L5 work, IMO is a bad idea in the winter for so many reasons. Even if my time and hours were limited I still wouldn't do what people are proposing in this thread. L5 work does have SOME aerobic benefits, but can reduce mitochondrial density, saturate plasma and reduce hematocrit, and really trains the use of lactate as fuel. Furthermore, studies on running show NO EVIDENCE that training at this intensity does anything to actual vo2 max in the short or long term. There is no trickle down effect like that being proposed and really no benefit to it since you're not trying to bring about a peak. You simply can't just train something that has some tangential aerobic benefits and think that it is going to develop the aerobic system in the same manner. Do not cherry pick adaptations to fit a mindset.
Oh im not cherry picking!
Some evidence suggest this sort of training induces major aerobic adaptations like increased mitochondrial density and efficacy and increased buffering capacity. Some experts also brough up a point regarding increased recruitment of motor units, which would increase the number of fibers who would get potential adaptations.
Though keep in mind I did not do L5 all winter and did my fair part of sweet spot and threshold work. I did include some dedicated L5 blocks and since december 29 I probably did something like 13 L5 workouts, rest being either tempo, sweet spot, micro intervals (low volume) or days off.
I would not recommend such an approach for everyone or every discipline, though for my level, experience, constraints and events, it seems very appropriate
So far it seems to work just fine for me, especially with a particular workout I did yesterday, sort of training is testing!
Those studies are only 6 weeks long at most. Studies done over longer durations show that this activity is detrimental used beyond the 6 week mark and/or often. I know from our personal convos (yes people, believe it or not I'm not an unapproachable asshole) that you also did quite a bit of steady state aerobic work. In retrospect I think the L5 and above was risky, but hey, you aren't in some giant fatigue hole so you're probably OK in the long run. You're also very experienced and self aware with regards to training with power and many are not.
Back to the thread topic, reverse periodization is not starting at L5 or L6 and moving onwards. It is a method of training that is STILL aerobic and focuses on increasing target pace first and then extending that pace over time. It makes sense that Tim Kerrison is a proponent of it because in swimming the only real way to measure intensity is by pace and residual HR measurement. Furthermore, swimmers basically work in sets of intervals the entire year, even for long duration aerobic work. In running its always been the same and typically used as speed work for short to mid-distance runners and even some marathon runners.
In cycling if you look at the very limited information about its usage it typically starts with shorter intervals around lactate threshold and works on extending this power to a longer and longer duration. This is why I brought up the most prominent example of Wiggins who started with few, shorter steady climbs and TT's and gradually moved to more and more volume and longer efforts. If you read his reports in context he started with very few, very hard repeats at threshold in his first camp. By the time he was in Tenerife for the Tour he had already won multiple stage races and TTs, each of which got longer and longer. By that point he was focusing on volume of climbing and training at threshold to mimic the tour.
Moreover, triathletes use it in the same fashion to work on cycling economy/speed and build towards longer intervals at and above their target pace. They use power, but its a lot different than you'd immediately think.
With regards to this thread its simply one tool in a big toolbox. Its en vogue and attractive because of a few quotes from Kerrison and the fact that people simply don't like training in the winter, but it rarely applies to amateur cycling. Its also dangerous because, if done wrong and if you want to believe Lydiard, Wilson, Liquori, or any of the other endurance running dudes you can blow an entire season right away before moving on to this work before establishing the qualities of base aerobic fitness.
Since someone tried to call me out above and failed, my approach is heavily conditioned by the fact that I have a few people that are personal friends that trust me to get them consistent training results so that they can compete consistently on a high level. There is no room for error like this so I am much more geared towards underdoing than really putting all the eggs into one basket with elaborate peaking/tapering strategies that rely on a lot of top end work. In addition, over time I've used less and less L5 and even work at 100% of FTP and the results for every person have improved. One client this season has not done a single interval over 95% and his 20min test is already better than it was during his peak last season when inherited him from another prominent coach that was having him do a fairly absurd amount of top end work all year round.
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