From the Coaches: Are you training with accurate 4DP targets?

I concur. I did Omnium yesterday (tougher than I thought it would be 10 weeks into plan) and Tool Shed(mash up) tomorrow. It’s already playing on my mind


I do believe my FTP. Since I’ve updated it I’ve found it very hard to achieve some targets. It does magnify my weakness which is recovering after MAP. I nail my time trail efforts and other endurance workouts but when I’m in the extreme red for too long I need more recovery. I could get through these MAP workouts before but now with my update I’m failing. It’s discouraging but I know will eventually adapt and meet my targets(hopefully!!)

Keep on working at it and you will get there @HoneeG! Are you following a plan at the minute?
Also, if you do find the numbers to be a little too out of reach, you can adjust the MAP target and make it 5% lower for a MAP focussed workout. At the end of the day we want you to go through pain, misery and agony but it’s important you experience honour, glory and victory at the end of the workout to keep your motivation running high!

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Well, as from today, I can say that I train with the accurate 4DP targets. Just finished FullFrontal. FTP up by 13, MAP up by 5, AC up by 4, NM down by 29. Last test was beginning of October.

Training was aimed not not loose to much fitness after a small break end of September. It succeeded. Im happy.

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I’m finding the same. Tougher MAP/AC workouts are seriously pushing my limits and I’ve failed to complete some of the sessions on target - but not by a long way, so I’m not too disappointed.

I may try reducing MAP intensity a little midway through sessions where I know I’m likely to crack at 100%. At least I know my 4DP numbers are the best I could achieve at the time. I certainly wouldn’t want to raise them just yet!

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After testing, do we need to delete and reload any future scheduled plans to utilise the adjusted numbers? Or does it automatically pull through?

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I’d like to know that!

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After doing the Full Frontal Test, all your scheduled workouts will use the new and updated 4DP metrics. No need to reload your plan(s).
But; if your new 4DP metrics include a change in rider profile with new strengths and weaknesses, a reloaded plan (delete and reapply) could lead to different workouts that cater to your specific profile.

Half Monty generally only updates your FTP, MAP and LTHR, which means going forward with your “old plans” will always be fine.


Great to know, thanks! My first FF coming up next week, so might need a reload to make sure the plan fits with the as yet unassigned rider type etc.

So if I reload the tour I will get some easier workouts ( I wish)

I’ve recently done an HM as I’ve upgraded my hardware (new PM). I plan to do the FF in 3 weeks. My new 4DP numbers are:
FTP 177, MAP 233, AC 226 and NM 414.
AC can’t be lower than MAP so what do you advise I should I edit it to please.
Thank you for your help.

Monthly ok?
Then they’re definitely current :slight_smile:

I’m guessing you were dying a thousand deaths in that one minute of AC hell!!

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That AC number is not just your one minute power, it is also a measure of how well you recover from repeated efforts. What does the test say your weakness is?

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I’ve not done a FF yet. From personal experience I would say that I’m a time triallist - I’ve never had a sprint and never won a point in a circuit race or road race.
I’m half way through the Kickstarter plan and have a FF scheduled for the end of it.

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Based on the SUF science and collected data on 4DP, a male with your FTP will have an AC between 228 and 508. You might want to take a peak at this training article Why You Should Drop FTP and Train with 4DP – The Sufferfest


Hi Rob - you’re right to manually set the missing numbe (AC) as having not done FF, it’s just an estimate.
Glen has shown the data ‘range’ so maybe just pick thr half way point of that until such time as you do a FF (which would be 368 i guess). And if you then do AC workouts where that’s just silly, manually adaprt it until that FF comes along … fun times ahead :slight_smile:

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I’m wondering about the upper advisable limit of 4DP testing. For example, if you tested every 2 weeks, you’d spend half your time either tapering or recovering instead of doing hard workouts. Maybe 4 weeks? Under what circumstances is it better to manually tweak the numbers instead of testing?

I ask because I’m seeing easy beginner gains. I got a smart trainer and started indoor cycling for the first time in mid-December. Past cycling experience consisted of 15 minute commutes, but I used to be a runner. I wasn’t in great shape because I had been nursing a sprained ankle for a few months. I found the Sufferfest workouts so effective that they would start to feel too easy very quickly (like 2-3 weeks) after each test.

First ride on Dec 16
FF on Jan 1: FTP 151, MAP 177, AC 251, NM 510 (I’m 56kg & female)
HM on Jan 9: FTP 172, MAP 213 (but I stood for the last bit, didn’t know you shouldn’t); also manually moved AC to 275 and NM to 550
Jan 16: Failed during the last section of ISLTA
Jan 31: Completed The Tool Shed at 100%

I would have retested in early Feb, but I decided to instead do ToS at 100% with the expectation that this would be equivalent to doing it at 90% with accurate numbers. So far (after Day 4), ToS hasn’t felt too hard.

My goal is basically to maximize improvement during Covid times. So if you were me, how often would you test? How would you slot extra tests into a 12-week plan like All-Purpose Road? All-Purpose Road has HM at the midpoint and FF at the end, but not every plan includes tests. Or enjoy easy workouts? Pick 4 week plans? Tweak numbers manually in between tests?

Hi, do you mean ramp test or constrained effort phase? In ramp you can stand if that helps to push deeper afaik.

First of all, there is only 8 days between your FF and HM and diff is big, especially in MAP which is hard to pace, even for seasoned cyclists. So its hard to say if those are real gains or not and which results are closer to reality.

I believe there is a rule of thumb to retest every 12 weeks or so, since you are already training for some time I would probably schedule a test after ToS and few days of rest. I vaguely remeber there are some guidlines on testing after ToS depending what option you choosed.

I would not add any extra tests into 12 weeks plans as this could ruin your recovery. That being said I would retest if the RPE and HR is lower than the workout targets AND you are fresh (your lower than training targets HR is not casued of acumulated fatigue).

You can probably up the numbers manualy but its kind of a guessing work so extra caution is recommended, imo better to schedule another 4DP, so that you get the stimulus you need. You can also finish a plan early, schedule a test and start another plan if you feel that it will suit you best.

You can see here on the forums that Sufferlandrians also retest when they can finish Nine Hammers on 100% and easy xD

During the ramp test. This is where I read that you shouldn’t stand. Can I Stand in Half Monty?

I don’t think I’d just stick it in as extra, I’d do it instead of some other hard workout, preferably towards the end of a recovery week. But it does mean sacrificing a more targeted workout, maybe more than one, which is why I hesitate to do this often.

Regarding the improbability of real gains in 8 days between FF and HM, I think it was >50% real gains because this was still in the off-the-couch phase. I paced FF quite evenly. FF was a great workout in itself.

The Tool Shed is probably harder than Nine Hammers and I completed it 3 weeks after HM. So that would have been a good time to re-test. Nine Hammers was Day 2 of ToS; I wouldn’t say it was easy at 100%, but it wasn’t awful. I completed Norway on Day 5 at 100% with an average HR of 132. It’s only been about 5.5 weeks since HM. This is just beginner gains, I don’t think it means I screwed up the tests.

I know that testing frequency is only a short-term issue, and it’s a good problem to have; I would expect improvements to slow down after a few months. Caveat: my improvements are probably faster than an average beginner’s because it’s easier to regain fitness than to build it the first time. I’ve also been doing more volume than what a typical beginner would do.

I normally see training plans for running build in expected improvement by having you keep the same pace for longer distances or with shorter recovery. Obviously, that’s not how Sufferfest is designed.

Definitely going to test after recovering from ToS!