VO2 max efforts... How do you feel at breaking point?

@BykeRyder18 Don’t talk yourself down or compare!! Workouts are tailored to our individual profile …you are going just as hard relative to this, as your first post attests to … keep it up!!

FTP is 319 per last Half Monty … so roughly 200%


Hi @Bry - you might want to consider some of the MTP program sessions to help reduce your anxiety with regard to MAP sessions. For me, I know they are always super challenging sessions - but I also know that by staying relaxed and focussed on one effort at a time, I’m able to get the most out of each session and continue to make improvements. You could try to work on a combination of focus on you’ve felt get “out of control” in the past to manage it better, as well as sometimes to use distraction like focussing on the video or music to help you get through a tough effort. Personally, instead of thinking about things the like the discomfort of the effort or how hard I’m breathing as negatives, I know that when I’m pushing myself to achieve those feelings that I’m making a difference that will make me a stronger rider so I don’t need or want to avoid them. See if that helps for you!


@Coach.Neal.H I feel very honoured! Thank you for your advice. I intend to start a new training block soon and will defo incorp MTP in there too. Thank you and everyone at The Sufferfest. :grin::+1:


Yep, as the Coach says, I’ve always found focusing on micro-achievements is the best way to get through anything tough.
If you’re in a series of intervals then look at that timer, you’ve only got to hold on for 5 more seconds to get through this interval (even if the next one is tougher)…

Always looking for little goals to motivate yourself to carry on…
“There’s only 15 seconds left in this interval, just finish it and then you can give up…”, “You finished that one, might as well do the next!”

In longer intervals, if the finish looks a long way off, look the other way “We’re already a third through, it’s not been that hard, we can finish” … “Half way” … “Two-thirds”. Just constant little goals, achievements, reassurance…

You can be feeling shot really early on in a session, but if you keep the next target small enough to achieve, and the next, and the next… Eventually you find all those small, achievable targets added up to you finishing the whole session when you felt spent near the start.

I was a footballer. Football is easy, the ball is there, chase it… Basically. You’ve got a visual “small goal” to keep you motivated no matter how dead your legs may feel. “Just make this tackle then you’re done”.

Good luck :slight_smile:


My rider type is Pursuiter. For sessions like 9H or AVDP my legs give out long before my heart or lungs. It’s my inability to reach the power required for the 9th hammer because my quads are burning rather than my inability to get my breathing in or my HR under control.

That written, I absolutely loathe the 5 minutes test in 4DP, probably more due to the weight of expectation than anything else (more MTP required).


I drop the intensity to just below that which induces vomitting, and can then usually hold that effort

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That weight of expectation thing is tough. I find that with the whole 4DP test. It’s fine when I’m doing one every 6w or so as I know where I am, but as soon as there’s a gap, I get really nervous

ANd when I’m doing workouts like AVDP and I can’t get through interval one (which is about 10% less power and 1 minute shorter than the 4DP test, I then get super hacked off … and look fwd even less to the 4DP … ever decreasing circles …


I’m very overdue a 4DP test - January 5th was my most recent. I started an IM training plan but the event got cancelled and I lost a bit of motivation and stopped the plan. I’ve drifted around for the summer with no structure and felt a bit down about it.

I have, however, done much more riding outside over the summer, with no expectations or goals other than the joy of riding outside, and recently found my desire to get back into the Suffer way.

I’ll have the FF prep plan loaded up from next Monday and then I’ll go for it!


Sir-Martin The weight of expectations and the pressure we put ourselves under indeed.If I start to overthink 4DP start watching the videos, writing down targets and things, then get anxious if I deviate from them…leads to a substandard performance. Keeping things simple, OK a couple of very short sprints, check the countdown clock and wow nearly half way, just over 30 mins left… OK 5 min effort coming up, you can do anything for 5 mins, (or at least try) 20mins, you’ve done hundreds of hard 20 mins in the past, this is just another, get into mode, crank up to the best you can, systems check, then switch off from effort, discomfort, targets and so on, just focus on pedalling. I try this sort of approach just to take pressure off and help me keep things simple and focussed


@alchurch are you dialling down the % intensity of the workout or working in level mode and reducing your effort?

when my cadence drops too low to register I stop the workout and dial down maybe 5% at a time, but by then I am unlikely to recover even if I step off the bike for 5 mins the app is controlling the workout


Hi Renzo – is it “ok” to drop below the cadence target in something like Violator or Half is Easy as long as I maintain the power target? Am I still going to get the same benefit (improved AC and MAP) as I would if I also maintained the cadence target as well?


Hello, @DRT.

I’m not a coach, but I’ll gladly share my thoughts on this.

If you’re hitting your power targets, I believe you’re still getting a benefit from the effort even at different cadences, especially if they’re the cadences you would typically use.

If you’re a road biker, I believe it’s worth it to work on developing your cadence, but this appears to be a very subjective topic and there isn’t a single cadence that’s optimal for everyone in every condition.

As a mountain biker, I feel that I should be training more frequently at lower cadences because my local climbs are all around a 10% average and I normally face them in the 50 to 75 rpm range. Some of the climbs can be over 20%, so torque tends to be very important for me, and technical climbs can frequently require lower cadences or playing with the cranks’ timing to avoid pedal strikes.

I hope this helps you out. :facepunch::sunglasses:

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Thanks Renzo. In the interim I found this SUF article as well…