2 days in and loving it

Doing the Intermediate All purpose Road training plan with Strength, Metal and Yoga. Just 2 days in and loving it. Workouts are achievable and I am sore in all the right places (so it must be working). TheSUF software on my MacPro with Ant Dongle - working flawlessly with all my devices and hdmi connection to the TV.

Looking forward to tomorrow :slight_smile:


You just can’t beat such a positive start to some work. Nice report :slight_smile:
Going to be a fantastic 12w for you I think

Cheers, David. I am glad you had a good start and confident you made the right choice joining The Sufferfest.

Please be careful with you training. Sufferfest has a tendency to demand more from you then only moderate exercise. If the workout gets too tough you can always dial the intensity down.

I am looking forward to your next report on how things are going.

The half monty in the middle and full frontal fitness test at the end will be a challenge. But as long as you make sure you are not over doing it, it will be more than fine.


Good to know. I always keep a close eye on my HR (I rarely let it get within 5 beats of my max - unless it is a slow build) and my testing of the interface shows theSUF lets me pause and/or easily adjust workout intensity down at any time.

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OK, now I am a little confused. Day 3 - Hell Hath no fury was described as fierce but resulted in a whimper - just a few power variations almost wholly inside zone 2. My cycle workouts (at least this week) have Coaches note “Your coaches have set this workout at a reduced intensity. The app will make the adjustment for you automatically.” and I did it in ERG mode. Is this what I have to expect from all the workouts? Why was the effort level set so low?

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May workouts you encounter will be done at reduced intensity.
Please keep in mind that most training plans will start easy and ramp up the intensity following a 2 weeks on : 1 week off approach.

SUF is not always just about hammering you to the ground, sometimes you get to enjoy a bit more of a leisure time, which will make you stronger. I’d say, trust the system.

There is an article about reduced intensity workouts right here, if you like to have a bit more information on the topic.

Additionally, there is a great blog post by Mac Cassin about active recovery:


I don’t have too much to add, but just chipping in.

What you’ll usually find is that on a hard week, you’ll have what looks to be high intensity 4 days in a row. But that’s not really feasible, or a good idea. Maybe you’ll have 3 hard days in a row with different style workouts each day to work different systems (NM, FTP, AC/MAP). But just as often if not more you’ll find that the first day will be nasty at 100% with the next day at a reduced intensity to give your muscles some variation while also providing some recovery. Then the next day will be at 100% again. So, often it will be HIIT workouts every-other day with reduced workouts on the days in the middle. Not always, but often enough that you should make a habit of checking the workout notes ahead of time.

There have been a few weeks that have looked really scary at first glance only to find that at least a couple of them were at quite reduced levels.

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@Pierre and @emacdoug are both correct. The reduced intensity sessions are built into training plans at various reduced intensity levels for a few reasons.
1- The Sufferfest did start for the purpose of making you suffer. Over time we’ve evolved to take on a more scientific approach because you really can’t and shouldn’t suffer every day. And since our library has far more high intensity sessions than low ones, reducing high intensity sessions is a good way of keeping you reigned in for a lower intensity ride, since many people struggle to keep the intensity low enough to provide the right stimulus for those types of sessions.
2- You will find 3 levels of reduced intensity workouts. Some are drastically reduced to provide a recovery ride stimulus. Some are mostly all zone 2 to provide an endurance stimulus. Some will have intensities up to sub-threshold to provide a small dose of intensity, but not hammer you.

We also find that a lot of users enjoy doing the really hard sessions as a recovery ride because they get to actually see the video that way. When riding them at 100%, all they see is the floor or their bike stem!

We do recommend looking through your week ahead of time to see which sessions are scheduled for full intensity, and which ones are reduced so that you can go into them properly prepared!
Hope that helps clear things up. Happy Suffering!


Thanks Suzi. I’ve been used to planning and monitoring my effort using TSS and the planned TSS of these reduced effort activities appear to remain at the full effort level but the actual TSS is considerably lower (less than 1/2 in this case) so I need to add some nonSUF workouts to keep my TSS up to my planned level. It’ll just take a little time to get used to it.

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Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but if you add activities to bring your actual TSS up to your planned TSS, then you’re not getting recovery. I know the app doesn’t show TSS, but we do take intensity into account when we build these plans with reduced intensity sessions. So if you add activities to bring your TSS up, then aren’t you bringing your entire TSS up? Then where’s the recovery?

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Hi Suzi, I use TrainingPeaks to map out my training effort. When I add theSUF workouts to TP to match theSUF calendar, TSS is calculated and matched what I was expecting to do TSS wise. It (TP) obviously does not take into account the reduced effort (which I hadn’t accounted for). I aim to achieve a certain TSS per week (still taking into account recovery days). However the actual TSS of theSUF training plan appears to be considerably less than what I had been doing in previous weeks - ie the first week of the Intermediate 12 week plan TSS would have been less than my recovery week TSS - last week.
My previous weeks of trails have been based on the first weeks effort in Garmin, FulGaz and Zwift training plans, last week’s recovery week was a 25% reduction on the average of those first 3 weeks. I am no coach but was expecting somewhat more effort required in the training than what I am seeing.
Now I admit that I do not go full effort to get my 1 minute, 5 minute and FTP because of my age and health and this could scew the workouts. So not placing any blame on the programme - I just need to understand what is going on so I can make adjustments.

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OK, just found the “What IF an TSS means in a 4DP World” article…



Very happy to see that you found some helpful articles. I also find it very interesting that you don’t feel comfortable going full gas on the efforts because of age and health, but you are comfortable with a higher volume and intensity training plan. And yes, you’re right, not going full gas will certainly change the feel and actual TSS of our workouts. The basis of (most of) The Sufferfest workouts and training plans is low-moderate volume and moderate-high intensity, aimed at the time-crunched athletes and older and beginning athletes (because of an increased need for recovery). Naturally, you’re welcome to modify our plans however you feel appropriate for you, but I might also suggest you consider a customized plan in order to talk to a coach and get some professional insight and modifications to a plan.
Best of luck and happy suffering!

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Hi Suzie - big difference between not going fulgaz and higher volume/intensity - RPE of 10 compared to 7-8 but the RPE of what I was getting was around 4-5 (based on my non full effort Half Monty). I’ve since done various RPE 9 efforts (indoor and outdoor) and updated my NM and FTP based on the average of other ‘systems’ determinations of those values so will see how this weeks workouts pan out. It will be an interative approach to push my maximums up rather than relying on one off max efforts. My only fear is not the effort required but stroking out or having a heart attack on a max effort!

Welcome to sufferlandria! It’s amazing how addictive pain can be lol

End of week 2 and the ISLAGIATT. Now that’s more like it :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

My HR was still mostly in the zone below what the workout thought it should be but my legs knew exactly what zone they were in. Longest time in the saddle ever (remember I never had a bike as a kid)


Good job! I wouldn’t overly worry about the heart rate zones, it may be due to changes in your cardiovascular fitness, but sometimes they never quite match. There’s always a lag with heart rate, plus a lot of other variables, as well as us all being unique - it’s why training to power is so much better. I still like to have heart rate on screen though as it’s good to get to know how your heart rate responds to given efforts.

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