I have noticed a few topics in the forum recently discussing a workout being too hard, a plan too easy and athletes questioning their 4DP profile. Although workouts and plans are tailored to your rider type and 4DP profiles, the app can only work with what it knows, meaning it is up to the athlete to make sure they are revisiting these numbers on a regular (every 3months) basis.
Testing your 4DP numbers regularly ensures you are working with SMART goals. More often than not we see people using the best 4DP stats they have ever achieved. Using your accurate 4DP numbers, allows you to have a structured and periodised plan helping you to get closer and closer to your genetic potential.
As you can see in this example, the rider is going from a beginner level and you can see an encouraging increase in fitness in a reasonably short space of time. The rider has responded well to the stimulus of structured training following an effective routine which was new to the rider and maximised the adaptation phase. Once the body has seen this maximal gain and enters the plateau section, it is important to then make adjustments to avoid the body fatiguing.
Once the stimulus is adjusted with new 4DP numbers or applying a plan with a new focus,the process can restart but as the new stimulus is still cycling related with slightly increased 4DP numbers, the marginal gains over the course of this plan will most likely be smaller than the first time around. The higher the fitness level gets, the smaller those gains will be as your body becomes more powerful and efficient and gets closer to its genetic potential
I wish we could all just keep training from where we last left off and keep seeing fantastic gains but unfortunately the body goes backwards at a worryingly fast rate. As the saying goes: ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it!’.
The maintenance phase also becomes challenging here as the body is under continual stress and high fitness levels can only be maintained for a certain amount of time to peak for your chosen events. Our current transition plans are a great option to ease down intensity of training gradually without losing all the gains you have worked so hard towards.
Of course, throughout this entire process the body may have some days where it simply hasn’t recovered enough. When these days happen and the body is feeling lethargic, Coach Mac has put together an awesome flow chart to help you decide what to do.
Coming back to the original question of “is a workout too hard or a plan too easy?” , the answer is it depends on your 4DP profile and when you last tested. We never admit defeat in Sufferlandria and nobody can ever leave, but sometimes goals need to be re-assessed and self reflexion is key. As we have seen fitness levels can go up as well as down so if you know you are not at your best right now, be the bigger person and admit unfortunately you are not at your peak. However, why not set your goal to return to peak condition?
So go on and schedule your next Half Monty or Full Frontal workout! This may be a daunting feeling but think of it more as a fitness assessment, the piece of the puzzle which brings all of your training together. All you can do is give your best and whatever your 4DP numbers come out at, they are only going to help you train better in future. Your workout targets will be set more accurately for your training and allow you to keep achieving great things time and time again as you keep seeking your genetic potential!
Consistency is key and with hard work and determination your personal best may only be a few weeks away! If you want something a bit more personal, you can also consider our Customised plans which give you the opportunity to discuss these topics with your coach and then put a plan together to help you achieve your best!