New and excited to train with Sufferfest!

Hi everyone, I just joined about a week ago and have done the half monty as well as a few other bike trainings so far. Unfortunately the 4DP settings that I got from my Half Monty seem to be too low for me as I had to increase the intensity of the workout I did yesterday by 20% in order to really push myself. I Should I just adjust my 4DP targets myself? Or maybe I should re-do the Half Monty?

Also, I’d like to select a training program but I want to make sure I select the most appropriate for me… I’m not an advanced rider but I’m in good shape. I’ve cycled on and off over the years but I’ve always been more of a runner. I keep getting injuries from running so I figured it would be time for me to mix up my training more. So I’m looking for a plan that will integrate cycling, running and strength (I also train in the gym regularly - weightlifting and HIITs workouts).

I was looking at the All In plan for Triathlon/Multisport but the strength training seems geared towards swimming, which I never do. Does anyone have a better suggestion for me?

I really look forward to suffering my way to my best shape ever!

Thank you.

A warm welcome to Sufferlanria ricostiguy

The 4dp prep week followed by the FF will give you the most accurate 4dp numbers.

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Hi @ricostiguy, welcome to Sufferlandria! Some notes from my time here so far

  1. The Half Monty only sets the MAP and FTP numbers
  2. You need to do the Full Frontal test to set NM, AC and your rider type
  3. The workouts in a training plan are set according to your rider type (2 people with different rider types on the same plan will get different workouts)
  4. The level of the workouts (advanced, intermediate, novice) vary by the number of hours they set per week.
  5. Also Advanced plans are on a 3-on, 1-off rotation, Intermediate and Novice follow a 2-on, 1-off scheme. You’d need to match that with your running and gym schedule
  6. The workout intensities are set by your 4dp rather than the plan level. e.g you can suffer a lot on a Novice plan

In summary, prepare for and do the FF test, choose a plan that matches your cycling goals and leaves enough time for your running and gym work, but they don’t need to be within the SUF plan itself. Add SUF strength and yoga if you want and if they’re available in your chosen plan (I recommend the yoga if you have injury issues)

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Thank you!

You can substitute your own gym strength sessions in place of the SUF strength workouts in the plan. Just make sure your gym sessions are in sync with your SUF plan to avoid excessive fatigue.

I would definitely take a week out to fully prep for the FF test before you start a SUF plan too. Your 4DP numbers really need to be accurate to optimise your training intensity. Then you really will suffer with certain workouts! I’ve been on my first SUF plan for just over a month now (starting from a pretty strong cycling baseline) and it is definitely not easy. Not every workout leaves you shattered, but some most definitely do! I’ve had to throw the towel in a couple of times already in the most brutal sessions. The FF test itself is pretty brutal, but there are far worse sessions lurking around in the SUF catalogue :wink:

Welcome to SUF! We are super excited that you are here with us!

(you can never leave). :wink:

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Thank you, Peteski! I’m not one to shy away from a sadistic workout but I’m not an advanced cyclist, so we’ll see! Great tip about the strength workouts, I’ll see what they are and maybe I’ll incorporate dumbbells into them. Or I’ll do my own as you say. I appreciate the insight!

Thank you, Cody! It sounds like Sufferfest is the Hotel California of training apps… I can live with that!!

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You’re welcome @ricostiguy

If personal 4DP levels are set accurately then individual workouts should be just as challenging for a novice as they are for an elite cyclist. Perceived exertion should feel the same for everyone and then it becomes more of a mental challenge to complete the sessions.

With the FF test, it is impossible to over-estimate your 4DP power metrics (by definition you can only perform at 100% of your ability), but it is very easy to under-estimate them by under-performing in the test. That’s why it’s important to take that full week of prep to make sure you absolutely nail the test. Half Monty however can give both an under-estimate (most likely for a novice cyclist) or even an over-estimate (depending on your relative strengths) of your true 4DP figures. So HM is better used as a rough guideline before starting out or for checking your progress mid-plan. In your case it sounds like you under-performed in the HM test, which is not surprising if it was your first attempt and you are not used to performing such tests.

If you have the time, another approach to establishing a solid baseline 4DP profile is to do the HM test first and then prep for the FF test in the following week. The HM test results will give you a better idea how to pace the key intervals in the FF test. So for example if your HM test indicated an FTP of 200W and MAP of 275W then you could begin the corresponding FF intervals at those power levels and adjust up or down slightly during the interval depending on your feeling. If you go into the FF test blind you are far more likely to go out way too hard and risk blowing up halfway through the intervals.

Just remember some workouts are set deliberately easy. Those are recovery days so you can suffer extra hard on the other days :grin::grimacing:

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Hi Pete, once again this is very useful (and perfectly logical) information. I started my prep for the FF last night and will be doing it on Sunday. Thanks again!

Understood, thank you!

Hey @ricostiguy,
First, welcome to Sufferlandria! It sounds like you enjoy suffering, so you’ll fit in well here…especially since you can never leave! :slight_smile:
Second, all of the advice that’s already been given is great. Full Frontal is THE best way to get the most accurate numbers to guide your training. It sounds like you’re set to do FF this weekend, so at this point, just follow the plan set to your Half Monty numbers, as it will be better to go into FF a little more rested than a little fatigued if you manually adjust your settings up because the workouts feel too easy.

The strength in the All In plans are definitely geared toward maintaining upper body swimming since those plans were published during Covid lockdown when pools were closed. You may fancy a regular triathlon plan and just skip the swimming, unless you’re pretty savvy and are adept at programming your own running workouts.

Generally speaking, the strength sessions are going to be very different from what you probably do in the gym. Since we can’t require everyone to get a set of weights, we’re limited to bodyweight exercises, or optionally adding some light weights if you have them. I recommend you give it a try. Sometimes just doing something different is really beneficial, even if you don’t find the workouts difficult. You may find that you’re weak in certain areas that you didn’t realize, and you’ll probably also learn a few new things along the way. If after a couple months you want to do your own thing, I’d still recommend performing your strength sessions on the same days that they would be prescribed on a plan (usually Tues and Fri) in order to best align with your cycling and running workouts.

Hope that helps! If not, keep the questions coming!

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Hi Coach!

Thank you for the information and advice, I’m starting to get a better idea of how I’ll be able to adapt the training plans to my own taste. I’ll definitely try the strength plans, as I feel like it’s always useful to go back to basics one in a while.

I’m just about to re-do the HM so I’m looking forward to seeing if I improve my stats.

I don’t have any other questions for now but give me a couple of weeks and I’m sure I’ll come up with something! :grin:

Thank you!
Ric

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