Hell hath no fury is driving me nut

It’s vintage.
It’s stilish.
It’s hard for me!
Maybe no one does this workout anymore because I didn’t found it in the latest plans.

This 2x20 workout is probably not, and will never be my favorite, but it is becoming a real challenge.
Perhaps the thing that bothers me the most is the high cadence from the start rather than the power target.
Immediately I perceive difficulty in turning the legs and heart threshold is quickly exceeded.
In the rare cases when I manage to get to the last 5 minute effort without interruption, I inexorably fail gasping for air after few seconds.
I often do cadence exercises as scheduled during 12-week training plans. I can manage peak cadences of 180 and 136 during cadence drill and hold.
My profile is sprinter with repeated effort weakness.
Is it possible that my weak point is rather the sustained effort? If so it would explain why I never finish ISLAGIATT without pausing, trying to lower my heart rate.
I always struggle after Colombians’ TT.

Thanks in advance.
Any advice will be apreciated.

HHNF is my favourite workout in the whole SUF system. I really like the way it gives you the classic 2x20 but with some added spice that, for me at least, keeps things interesting.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy, it’s never easy, but the beauty of SUF is how it gets you doing things you don’t think are possible.

I find a good way of approaching it is not focussing on the fact that it’s a 20 minute effort. Trust that the system knows your capabilities and will push you to where you can go but not beyond (all else being equal of course. Like all the tough sessions you still need your A game). Look at the 2 long efforts as a set up intervals, but whilst the ‘recoveries’ are not easy, the intervals themselves are not sky high. They’re MAP based, but they’re not all out NM/AC intervals.

I tend to look only to the end of the next <20min section. So in the first effort look to only the 3rd MAP spike. Then, consider the next 4 mins as a ‘breather’ and then concentrated on the sliightly higher FTP-based 2-ish minutes. Have faith that whilst even that 2mins might seem tough the effort will reduce again, and SUF knows what you’re capable of.

I’ve often said that I see SUF’s real genius is how it knows your capacity for effort AND THEN RECOVERY. Many many times I’ve just about finished an interval thinking that there’s no way I can do another, but the recovery is just right and maybe even seconds before the next interval I’m ready again. But you have to trust it. Everything is a mind game with these things. This applies just as well in a longer effort like the HHNF 20-mins.

I’ve set my 20min all time power record on HHNF. It was still in ERG mode but I was approaching a needed 4DF test so I cranked up the power targets a bit. I was absolutely hanging by the end of the first 20mins but that record still stands even now. I now use HHNF (and, 9H, obvs) as way of gauging where I am and how far off a new test I am.

I’ve no idea if that helps. We all have our own coping mechanisms. My rider type is Time Triallist, maybe I just love the long burn too much and you’ll be reading this thinking I’m odd in the head. But we all are really.

Oh, and one final note. Again as I’ve mentioned before elsewhere, the last 3 minute TTT effort in HHNF is brilliant. I love it. The music is superb, the video is great, the team are awesome. It’s worth pushing yourself through the prior 40 minutes of misery just to get yourself to that. It doesn’t matter what state I’m in after those 40 minutes, if I finish them I will ALWAYS manage the TTT. My favourite three minutes in the whole of SUF (except for the 9H cool-down. Don’t tell Grunter.)

That all said, how has training been? Are you fatigued? Have you had a drop off in training / do you need a retest that may give lower targets? Despite what I aid above nevrer discount the idea that perhaps the system is working off levels that aren’t realistic?

L

8 Likes

I just did HHNF this past Monday, and I had a hard time of it.

It is certainly a mind game, and I had to use a great deal of mental discipline to get through it. Nonetheless, since a good deal of the effort is at or above your FTP, if you are not fully rested, hydrated, or even fueled, it can be extremely difficult, even if sustained efforts are not your weakness.

As @leebo said, the last 3 minute TTT effort is something of the “cherry on the top”.

Of course a lot of this is subjective, my favorite workout is “The Omnium”, especially the last 40 seconds before the cool down.

3 Likes

It’s funny. Search back through the forum for the names of different workouts. You’ll find that different riders enjoy and have trouble with different workouts.

I enjoy Defender. I’ve even done it at power 5-10-15w above the targets, and I’ve hit some of my all-time high power records on it. But I’ve seen other people who find Defender near impossible to complete and will avoid it.

But I find workouts with repeated AC or high MAP targets to be very difficult or near impossible. And some riders have no problems with some of the workouts that I find difficult or impossible.

So it eventually does all come down to rider type, strength, and weaknesses.

That said, like Leebo said, the beauty of SUF is that it gets you to do things you didn’t think you could. Don’t underestimate the mental side. I forget the source, but the saying goes something like “whether you tell yourself you can or you can’t, you’re probably right.”

6 Likes

I love that workout!

Most. Favourite. Workout. Ever.

3 Likes

I love it as well, though it always pushes me right to the limit on accurate power numbers. I usually finish in a crumpled, gasping heap on the handle bars.

I am also surprised that HHNF doesn’t appear in training plans that often. Surely 2x20 is one of the most effective workouts for increasing FTP? Same goes for A Very Dark Place and MAP improvements—5x4mins should be one of the most effective VO2 workouts, but it rarely seems to appear in the plans.

Is it because Neil Henderson favours shorter intervals, since they induce less fatigue? I’m sure I remember reading that somewhere…

Possibly. I used to get HHNF on my Mountainous GF plan…Sustain weakness. If I can do it (barely) then it’s time to retest. 9Hammers isn’t my classic retest indicator, I love 9H, especially the low cadence grind parts.

Thanks a lot for all your reply I very appreciate this.

I analyzed the recordings of the track keeping a cool head, relating them to what you said.
I did “the bat” two days before. Not the easiest workout but it leaved me pretty confident of my potential and condition (maybe the mental training did the work), followed by a day off.
After the warm-up: we start immediately with a nice stretch at 100 rpm for about 10 min just below threshold, with three shots to MAP inside. After some illusion that things are going good, the Misenbergen wall approaches.
When I face difficult stretches in the open air I usually respect the climbs in order not to die before the end. But here it would not be Sufferlandrian enough. The cadence dropped under the advice of the workout, the power is now just below MAP and then, in the false flat, again 100 rpm in a crescendo of efforts until the end of the block in complete apnea of 25 seconds AC.
Recovery: as soon as I could swallow, I finished what was left of the first bottle and ate a bar. I don’t remember much trying to recover from exertion, except the interview with Grunter Von Agony, our beloved directeur sportif, who spoke word of appreciation to the opponents and describing what we’ll do to celebrate them (brilliant).
Back again to work: I thought recovery time was enough, but starting with 4 mins of over under FTP destroyed me. The heart was quickly close to LT.
When the central MAP effort was arriving I know it was going to be like hell. And that exactly how it went.
I thought that FF was designed to reach the maximum HR. But I beat it. I barely finish the surge. instead of giving me truce the effort jumped to FTP…Click! Light off. I needed two more 30s pauses to finish the second block.
The TTT was starting (obviously) constantly over threshold. I lasted 1:30 before definitely giving up.
I only did the final sprint. And it was like breathing fire.
Cool down finally.

I thought I didn’t make many mistakes this time. But your advice tells me that there are many aspects to improve.

Firstly, I believe that recovery efficency is crucial. My HR rose almost immediately to that of the end of the first block even if the power was lower.

I think I need to focus on this aspect for now. Any suggestons?

Thanks to you I am now even more confident of being able to succeed.
I can crush this.

3 Likes

“Revolver” is easy.
“Revolver is Easy” fairly easy.

Or if that just me working to my strengths?

“Fight Club” always leaves me feeling beaten.

You CAN crush this. You WILL crush this. Maybe not next (but you’ll still be improved), but at some point.

When you do, make a point of coming back to your notes here and see how far you’ve gone. There’s no better motivator.

2 Likes

It’s my all time FAVORITE! I LOVE how on the recoveries, I am made to feel like dog meat while she calmly and pleasantly makes an omelette riding rollers no handed…all with a smile on her face! I will NEVER, EVER be worthy!

1 Like

I certainly find it a hard workout! I am an Attacker with sustained weakness. For me, Half Monty overestimates my MAP, and I’m reasonably confident that if I did HHNF after a Half Monty it wouldn’t be possible. I think FF is more accurate and gives more useful targets (for me). I am not sure if the same thing could occur for sprinters but it might be worth considering (although you mentioned doing a FF).

I do think if you’re going over your previous max HR during the 20 minute sections in HHNF then something’s wrong - the targets are too high, you’re too fatigued going in, you’re not adequately hydrated, your fan isn’t big enough, something. I have hit my max HR at the end of the TTT but definitely not in the 20 minute sections.

If you are looking for a 2x20 workout and find HHNF a bit much, there is also the GCN Endurance Ride (and GCN Aerobic Endurance, which is a bit different but is still more or less a 2x20 workout).

3 Likes

Or there’s The Hunted for practice. it has a nice warm up in the time trial. Then the “meat” at 20 minutes and then the last bit.

1 Like

@jmckenzieKOS Love that one!

I just wish there was a refresh for The Hunted as the video looks to be of poor quality and most of the teams no longer exist in any form. But the ride itself is great.

2 Likes

I have to say that today I feel very focused and fully determined to complete this task.
I think I’ve found one of the intermediate goals of mount Sufferlandria.
I’m looking forward of jumping on the saddle and start a new workout. Sadly next week is an off week. But how you teach me rest is as important as training.

I was reflecting on what went wrong with the second 20mins. I don’t think is an environmental cause. I did FF 3 weeks ago. Surely new metrics didn’t help. I decided to do HHNF instead of following the prescribed training for the day. I should have made The Chores following the plan (4 weeks MAP block). Surely I was not rested enough.Forgive me but I felt good :relaxed:
Than a last tought: I usually give up when HR is nearing the maximum. If I feel the concrete legs but heart is ok I always go on. Sometimes this come during FTP efforts, more often on something called the 9H. but I never thought this was weird, at least using erg mode.

Now that you’ve pointed this out to me it’s been a long time since I did the Hunted.

1 Like

If you race, cadence drills like those found in HHNF are super-important. You never know when everyone’s tooling along and someone decides to jump or add some spice.

But even outside of racing, being able to ride a few minutes above or below your cadence provides real benefits. You’ll find you “search for gears” a lot less and find efficiencies in your gear. Difference cadences also change how your muscles work, so you can squeeze out a few more Watts on that hill climb or windy day.

Keep it up and just “work toward” the posted cadences if you can’t hamster wheel at 120+. You’ll get there and you’ll notice real gains on the Weekend Ride.

3 Likes

HHNF is one of my favorites. It’s very hard for me but I love it.

2 Likes

I DID IT
I’m sorry if it appears self-congratulatory, but I felt the need to share something epic before the old app was retired.

Thanks everyone for support!

6 Likes