Adjusting to new 4DP numbers

I recently retook FF after a couple years. Ugh - I know why I’ve procrastinated! The good news - all my numbers went up an average of about 40 watts

Maybe following all the advice, tapering properly, practicing level mode, mental prep, etc helped me do my very best. My problem now is trying to figure out how to finish a session! I’m looking for advice on whether one of the following strategies will help me most quickly get up to handling the new numbers, or whether in the long run, it just doesn’t matter (maybe I have to just get mentally tougher).

A) run workouts at 100% using ERG until I can’t hold the numbers, then switch to Level Mode and do what I can.
B) run the entire workout at a lower percentage (90%?) and gradually increase until I can complete at 100%
C) run at 100%, but pause as necessary to give heart or legs a brief rest.
D) run at 100%, but clip workouts to cut them shorter.

If it makes a difference, I am a 62yr old male, and a “Sprinter” (919/342/256/207).

Thanks for any advice.


Ny 2 cents as someone who knows nothing about anything is A and/or C.

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+1, though I think I’m always “C” unless I’m doing the workout in level mode to start with.

More common (A1, maybe?) would be to go at 100% in ERG until you’re struggling, then dial down in ERG. When I have to, I normally will drop in 10% increments to get to the finish. Usually in the past - on new numbers - I’ve always been able to come in at 90%…

Definitely not “D”!

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There’s a blog post AND a Podcast on what to do if you are having a ‘bad hair day’. I suggest reading or listening to them.


Literally just looked this up and they’ve binned the content that did it video by video for Sufferfest - now it redirects to this less helpful post - KICKR Bike ERG Mode: Why Gear Selection Matters | Wahoo Fitness Blog

Before there was a breakdown of what to do for every single workout :frowning:

Sir @Rearviewmirror , is this what you’re after:


I’d suggest C, followed maybe by A.

B is also an option, but you shouldn’t need to drop to 90% - try 97 or 98%, that might be enough to get you through.

Most of the workouts are designed to be doable on fresh numbers. Some get pretty darn tough though.

Wow - huge help! Thank you for your responses. I’m not super “forum-literate” so would’ve never found those links. The session-by-session stuff will be interesting to print and study. I ate a donut this week, so was hoping someone would say “D”!

Thank you John. I can’t figure out how to find this (so I can print and read it). Would it be possible to send me a link? Thank you.

I would suggest option A. I know it’s tough but you will surprise yourself. You will feel like you are going to die and then hit a more manageable spot, which gives you the fortitude to fight through the next battle. My wife would tell you I favor option ‘A’ because I am to damn stubborn.

My other suggestion is a modified option ‘B’. Start at 100% and scale down only when you need to.

Bottom line is you don’t have to just pick one and stay with it. Do what you have to do and know that if the effort is there, any idea of approaching any workout at anything but 100% (or more) will become just a bad memory.

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You’re a hero! Thank you!

Was able to download to Dropbox, then take screen captures and print. Thanks again.

There’s also this:


Another great link. Thanks Glen. Those “levels” accurately describe how I feel on any given workout. For me, the “feeling rough” hits once a month or so, whether on SYSTM, or running, paddling, etc…


Boo. But there are way more activities now than when the list was made. My rule was stated above and will be repeated here:
Fitness tests: level UNLESS you are confirming them. NM sprints should be done in level in all cases.
Any workout with 30 second or less intervals (excluding sprints in things like Team Scream) Level if you are wheel on, ERG if wheel off unless you are doing max effort sprints and then it’s always level (it takes time to spin up the flywheel and you’ll be done by the time that happens).
Any Endurance/Sweet Spot/MAP workout (we are talking about something like Revolver for the MAP) ERG.
Recovery rides, yes they do exist: ERG because you don’t want to ‘overdo’ them.
Pro Rides: Because they change A LOT, wheel on: Level, wheel off: ERG unless you are hitting the spiral of death frequently and have to ‘unlock’ the flywheel.
There is advise to spin up the flywheel before doing sprints. That’s not the purpose of doing them, especially Standing Starts and other like workouts.

Some good tips here Sir, but, with respect, the OP was asking more about when to reduce/adjust/switch to level based on how one feels and whether they’re struggling to meet targets based on new numbers.

That old list gives advice on that under the “feeling bad” and “feeling good” columns.

Also, fwiw, I had great success with my Kickr Snap wheel on trainer with ERG for everything but things like Violator or full on sprints under 15 seconds. I was actually ok on Half is Easy.


Thanks for the reminder, Sir Glen. The advice on the old page that isn’t available anymore is:
If you are on an interval type ride, skip the next interval. If you can’t finish and interval after that, it’s time to switch to a recovery or light endurance ride.
If you are doing anything else, reduce intensity 10%. If you can’t ride at that intensity, drop another 10%. If you can’t do that, switch to recovery/light endurance.
If you can’t do either, then take a recovery day and enjoy.
At no point should you be switching to Level Mode from ERG from the articles I’ve read from the Science Centre.
The key here is to be able to ride another day, at all times. You don’t want to bury yourself in the Courage Mines of The Shovel so deep it takes a rescue crew to bring you back to the surface (it’s that huge digger at the beginning of The Shovel).


While I might argue some of your points Sir James, I will NEVER argue that one!


Maybe option E? I’m a bit older, 69, and find that when a workout in a plan seems too tough, what I need is more recovery. I’ll take another day or two of recovery (adding easy workouts) then redo that tough workout. What seemed impossible can become eminently doable. To accommodate this plan-wise, I note the ending date of the existing plan, delete it, then add it back with a new end date pushed out the corresponding number of days. All finished workouts remain in my calendar and only the new plan’s upcoming workouts are added.


I think setting the % a bit lower and working up to them. Running ERG till failure will mean you won’t be able to hold the power required to get the stimulus the session is looking for. Pausing changes the dynamic too. Cutting them short may be another way to go but I think B is the way to go. @JohnK has shared some very helpful info too!

Is it the breathing/heart rate or the legs that give up first with the efforts? Also what recovery are you having between efforts sessions and how many efforts sessions a week?