Back to back workouts for MAP improvement

I’d like some advice on back to back sessions:

Firstly, background: I’ve just started using 4DP, I’m reasonably fit but looking to improve my MAP (5 minute power). I only have 3 days a week I can train on and do 4-6 hours per week. At the moment I have been doing back to backs e.g. Vice grips + Joy ride; A very dark place + the wretched. And the worst so far: Vice groups + ISLAGIATT. That was horrendous! I aim to do them at 100% and usually by the final 3rd of the 2nd workout I struggle to match the higher power outputs esp. the sprints but can maintain the lower ones around my FTP.

The question: is this a good idea? if I do an MAP focused workout followed by a FTP focused workout will that reduce the potential gains to my MAP? Or for me more is more volume = better. Due to my circumstances if I don’t do back to back I will only do 1 session.

Hope this makes sense,
any advice or thoughts welcome.




Can anyone help?

From what I have learnt about training, intervals are about quality, and your long weekend ride is your volume / quantity.

I think you would be better off doing less intervals at the best possible quality, mixed with a longer Z2 warm down if you wanted a longer ride, rather than try and complete more intervals at lower quality - you would just be adding fatigue rather than increasing MAP power.

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Thanks Sods_law.

When you say ‘lower quality’ do you mean any intervals where I can’t match the power level asked for based on my 4DP? i.e. where I ‘fail’ the interval - say it asks for 310 and I can only manage 300. And once that happens just knock it down to Z2 or stop?

I agree with @sods_law. I think you’d be better hitting a single MAP workout hard, then looking at adding more time in zone 2. If you have a look through the No Vid workouts, you’ll see that this is a common structure to longer work outs. By just adding more MAP intervals, the chances are you will either fatigue and not hit your targets, or won’t be going hard enough in the first place to get the most benefit.

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Exactly. To increase MAP you need to be at the required power. When you start to fail the intervals, switch to recovery or stop.

No harm in extending a MAP session a little as long as you hit the numbers, but if you can complete Nine Hammers and want to extend it, your numbers are wrong and need re-testing!

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Nine Hammers is the one that kills me - the last 1.30 (?) where the power increases I’m in such a hole I can barely respond - so I only do that as a stand alone.

On the other hand I find 14 Vice Grips relatively easier and can therefore meet the targets ok.

I wonder if this is because according to 4DP my 1 minute is good, but MAP poor.

A very dark place is in the middle of these two, I find.

Thanks to @Sods_law and @Alistair_Brown for your replies.

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@Larry_David Have you seen this thread yet?

Sorry for the late reply, and I hadn’t seen that thread.

The lack of recovery is devastating for me :smile: