AVDP meant to make you fail?

Just did AVDP. Barely survived the 4th dark place, actually had to take a small breather during it. Then had to lower MAP 5% during the 5th. Rather disappointed as this is week 11 of my plan. Clearly repeated hard efforts are not my strong point.

Any encouragement or suggestions for improving? Or is this workout simply designed to bring you to failure?



No. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really hard; you probably will crack if you’re fatigued or on fresh numbers, but AVDP is doable (although Cancellara breaks an awful lot of people). I don’t think it’s designed to make you fail; it’s just that training VO2max is inherently a gruesome business.

Were you fatigued or had sub optimal recovery? I find that the MAP sessions are often compromised if I’m not fresh going into them.


Not one I’ve completed. I can sometimes do the first few. And then a 5% reduction is not enough.

I’ve never tried doing something a full rest week or something and then doing it (or NH) thiugh. It’s always inside a plan somewhere.

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Avdp, 9 hammers, best thing in the world and wretched - if I can do any of these at 100% without puking (or fully rested) it’s probably time to retest :slight_smile:


AVDP is scariest workout for me.
Looks like it build that we feel miserable.
I am on the first week of Time Trial plan, new numbers, asked 2:30 hours ride today, 4 hours ride tomorrow and AVDP at 100% after tomorrow. I am shaken already.


As @SirElisKoS said, it depends how fresh you are going in. If I’m pretty fatigued, those last two dark places REALLY turn the lights out :hole: :hole: :black_heart: :eyes:

If it’s at the start of a week after a recovery week, and it’s not in the first month or so of new numbers, then I should be able to make it.



@SirElisKoS I didn’t feel particularly fatigued. It is mid week of the second week of this training block. It is also the first time I’ve done this one on my current numbers. I survived it back in March but that was before my second go at FF, which did bump all my numbers up. Perhaps life stress continues to take its toll more than I realize.

I think it’s one of the ones designed to take you very near the edge. I’ve made it once.

The last 1 minute bump of the last hammer of nine hammers though, that I’ve never managed. I think that’s designed to be like the last minute of a conventional ramp test.


Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it. I think my biggest disappointment at the moment is at 11 weeks into my plan, and FF on the horizon for next weekend, I was hoping for better. Maybe I wasn’t mentally prepared for just how tough it would still be, even after being on new numbers for a while now. Or as noted before, maybe life stress has added more fatigue than I realize.

You say ‘midweek’ - do I take it that that means that you’ve already done a tough session this week? I tend to do the MAP-heavy sessions (AVDP; Nine Hammers; 14 Vice Grips, etc) as the first workout of a three day block and keep the threshold sessions for nos. 2 and 3 - even if the TSS is similar, I find that I can keep up with a heavy threshold session later in the block better than I can a MAP session. I’d really struggle with AVDP if I’d done Angels or another similarly testing workout the day before.

Also - having seen your last comment, don’t underestimate the potential to simply have a bad day. We’re not machines; even if you think you’ve nailed your recovery or aren’t fatigued, your legs can sometimes just go ‘nah’. I had what might be called a ‘brownout’ a couple of weeks back - coping with lockdown together with a busy work period meant that I was just really in need of a rest. A few days off and I’m knocking out power PBs.

Consider whether you need a break, maybe give yourself a day off then schedule AVDP again. I bet you’ll smash it second time around.


I did Standing Starts (actually bested my NM number) a couple days ago and Primers yesterday. I’ve also been doing the strength training program and though it’s built in, I’ve adjusted the sessions I’ve been doing because of having done some before I started this plan. It’s also day 7 in a row of being on the bike in some form. Add that to the fact that the last 5 months have had more family stress than I’ve ever dealt with and it could definitely have all just added up more than I realize at this point.

Thanks for the encouragement and sharing your experience. I really appreciate it. I think I’m just going to have to write it off and get mentally focused for FF next weekend. My hope is to be back outside for a while after that. Which I think will also help from a mental perspective.

I don’t believe that any Sufferfest work out is legit designed to make you fail as failing is a mindset and attitude where as suffering is a physical place of being that your mindset can defeat for honor glory and victory.

Maybe try some meditation or the mental program before your next ADVP and see how you do?

Good Luck on your next endeavor.


This is exactly how I feel about 9 hammers, I make it to 8 and 9 no problem usually but going into 8 I get juiced usually and I have to use that spacer as real recover prior to hitting for hammer 9 if I am going to make it through. Did it once maintaining the power and cadence in the “recovery period” between those two and I was completely juiced for hammer 9.

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Glad it’s not just me. I’ve never completed A very dark place ever!


I complete 9 hammers, hard but feasible. AVDP, never. I need to stop to take a breath on 4th interval every time.
Interesting, if someone finish it without break or reducing the intensity at the beginning of the program, when the numbers are fresh?


Looking through my passport I have survived it before but that was on lower numbers. I think a lot of factors went into not being able to get by this time. However, it’s good to see that the reality is we all struggle with and enjoy different workouts. It makes me think there really is something to this 4DP thought process.

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I’m glad to read this thread after I completed AVDP earlier this week. I did FF on Sunday took a few rest days and did AVDP as a recommended workout. It was truly hard, got barely through the first 4 and had to basically grind out #5. Definitely agree with @SirElisKoS advice - be rested and make it the first of a 3 day block to make the intervals as Dylan Johnson says, “high quality”. And maybe for me - not make it the first workout after FF!!


Dang. I feel like it would be extra brutal just a few days after FF. Glad you’re all alive! Lol!

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Blew up on the final sprint. I could smell victory, but all for naught :slightly_frowning_face: That last dark place with all the standing efforts killed me. I’ll be back


Never achieved that (Nine Hammers) - and I’ve done a lot of Nine hammers over the last few years where I’ve gone in super determined and ‘ready’. AVDP - I don’t think I’ve managed that, but haven’t done it as much - certainly haven’t finished it ‘as per the numbers’ this year

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