Trouble with intervals that mix FTP and MAP targets

I’ve started noticing that I consistently have trouble with workouts that mix FTP and MAP targets in a single interval. My rider type is Pursuiter. My MAP is definitely high for my FTP. FTP 239, MAP 319 (80W difference). And that spread was even bigger at one point on early in my days of SUF at about 215/300 (85W) and 205/275 (70W).

I actually don’t have issues with workouts that have MAP only based intervals, even something like The Chores that starts with MAP intervals with short recoveries and ends on an FTP interval is ok. They are challenging, but I feel I can do them. And the workout feel as difficulty I’d expect given the power profile and Intensity Factory. The same with Attacker that ramps up from an FTP interval into a MAP interval is ok. However, intervals like you find in The Rookie, Defender (2 minute MAP start into 8 min FTP target), or a few of the intervals in The Omnium where it’s jumping between FTP and MAP just crush me. Usually I complete the workout with the targets, but sometimes I can’t. I’m wondering if the large delta between my FTP and MAP is causing those intervals to actually be harder than they should. For example in the beginning of the intervals in Defender the text on the screen says “A little above FTP” for the MAP Block. But is 286W a target “a little” above FTP when my FTP is 239? Are those workouts hitting harder than they should be since the interval as a whole ends up being at or above my FTP when I assume it should be a little below?

In any case, I’ve only failed about 4 or 5 workouts on the Sufferfest since I started using it 6 months ago, and they’ve all had intervals like that. The Omnium, The Rookie, There is No Try . Amazingly I did finish the 9 Hammers by some miracle. I’ve nearly failed Defender twice even though it’s not normally considered one of the more challenging workouts. Generally I get to the point of total failure/can’t go pedal anymore then back off the wattage targets for both FTP and MAP. But I wonder if I should start lowering the MAP targets right from the start on those workouts now.

I have the same challenge so would be interested in views on this.

How new are your numbers? I struggled with this particularly the 2-3 weeks after new numbers, and then it started to dial in a bit more (still found Rookie way harder than Attacker, like you).

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Numbers are still pretty fresh, maybe 2 weeks old now.

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I had the same issue. I base my MAP off my FTP. I.e. 1.2 times.

Being an anaerobic proficient rider this really allowed me to break a plateau.

My numbers are very similar to yours. Workouts are more enjoyable and I am finishing more workouts. Used to think I needed to be close to death to have a good workout and to progress…

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Yeah you could reduce the MAP, you also could keep MAP where it is but pull the plug on or reduce the intensity of the FTP portion once you run out of gas, and just ride zone 2 to the end of the interval and get ready to go again. So you’d complete the workout, but effectively with shorter intervals and more rest. In some respects intensity is intensity so I think either would serve you well.

But over time, I think what will help you the most with this is prioritizing low intensity trainings. There are two MCT transporters that shuttle lactate, although I forget which is which. One shuttles lactate (and associates hydrogen ions) out of the working muscle when you’re producing energy anaerobically and this delays acidosis by getting those ions out. This transporter production is stimulated by high intensity training.

Then there’s another MCT which transports lactate INTO your slow twitch, oxidative fibers—the dark meat—so that the mitochondria can use it as fuel. This one is stimulated by lower intensity training. You produce more of this MCT, FTP rises bc you can be combusting this lactate for fuel.

So I think the answer is, don’t scrimp the endurance plus. Also some research suggests that 2-a-days can be a shortcut to these adaptations. Be patient and consistent anf you’ll hit a new level with these intervals that you’re currently struggling with.

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