Basically three months down the drain 4DP results

My 4DP results in december 2020:
NM 1180
AC 437
MAP 278
FTP 212

Started the all purpose road plan
Did half monty after 6 weeks:
FTP 218
MAP 295

At this point I was super motivated and felt really good about myself.

I finished the all purpose road plan last week but couldn’t finish the 4DP test. I blew myself up after the 5min effort and could not continue. I tried aiming for the Half monty results on the 5min test but just couldn’t keep the pace. I thought nutrition was the problem. I decided to do the FF prep plan. I did the test earlier tonight. Maybe I should have eaten pasta or something because I just felt like vomiting all the way through the 20 and 1min tests…

The results:
NM 1189
AC 424
MAP 280
FTP 200

I don’t know what to believe at this point…

Sufferfest is all about 4DP and I can’t seem to ride the FF test without blowing up before the test has properly started It just feels like sufferfest isn’t for me at this point. Is there a way I can use SUF without having to ride the FF test?

FF is super tough, don’t beat yourself up any more than the workout did, it’s gotten the best of us, me included. Pacing is difficult to nail, especially if you’re relatively new. Maybe take a week or two to build back up for a HM, review those results and go from there. HM is designed to avoid the pacing issue. After doing enough SUF workouts, you’ll get a feel for what your power ranges are for each of the 4DP metric, and you will get better at pacing. So long as we’re throwing around acronyms – FTP, follow the process


Hang in there man. It took me around 15 months and 5 FF’s to get the FTP part right. Said another way, sustained efforts were clearly my weakness and by working on it and not letting crappy FF’s get me down, I got there. Perfectly fine to be disappointed, so just stew on it for a day, then pick a new plan and move on!!


How did workouts feel using the Half Monty numbers? If they were hard (but mostly doable) then I think it’s reasonable to redo the HM test and update your numbers from that.

I wouldn’t stress too much about a failed FF test. Most of us have been there at some stage. Some times it’s just a bad day - it happens.

Do you have any other measures of your progress? For example, times on outdoor segments? I find that those can be a useful way of gauging your progress.

I wouldn’t say that you have three months down the drain. You’ve done the work. The fact that the test at the end of the period didn’t go right doesn’t invalidate the training you’ve done. It just means you didn’t get to measure the effect yet.


@Tycho I have been there. VO2 max is my weakness and I have been inconsistent with the 5 minute test too. I am starting the MAP block this week.

FF is an intense experience and it takes a while to get it right - the mental prep, the pacing, the right positive chatter, proper cooling and hydration. For the days leading up to the test I keep myself focused on rest, hydration, go over my target gearing/levels and try to keep a positive mindset. Hang in there!


First of all, it is not three months down the drain, you did get the physical benefits of your exercise which is more than most people in the world have done.

Here is my advice about Full Frontal from a different thread.


There were I think two workouts which were really hard over those 6 weeks since half monty but all the others were doable. I check outdoor segments on strava and those seem to indicate progress, I also feel like I’m stronger but it’s the second week in a row I failed the FF and I don’t know if I should continue with the previous numbers or the new ones…

How soon before the test did you eat anything and what? I find that if I eat anything other than a tiny snack ( a couple of dates) my gut shuts down as the blood supply is diverted elsewhere to support the all out effort and I want to sick it back up.

1 Like

I would go with your HM numbers then.
Also, and I don’t think anyone else has mentoned this - has your hardware been calibrated? Have you changed hardware at all? I switched from an Elite Direto to a Wahoo Kickr and my numbers dropped substantially. It was dissapointing, but as others have said, real world fitness is the real measure. Do you feel stronger? Have you smashed some good times on local trails / roads?
FF is very hard. I still stuff it up as often as I nail it. :slight_smile:


I ate about 1:30 - 2 hours before doing the test and I ate pancakes (fast sugars, so could also have been the issue at hand)

I calibrated it the night before but didn’t switch hardware or anything. I’ve had it for all the previous tests aswel so the feeling should be the same (Elite Suito). I think i’ll need to experiment with the grades though because cadance / gearing on hindsight wasn’t optimal either either too slow a cadance or too low a power output.

Progression isn’t always linear. Especially with testing moments being so far apart. If you finished all the workouts in the plan that is an accomplishment in itself.
Keep up the suffering, everybody fails FF at some point (I know I did multiple times).


Part of the problem might be that the HM estimates were too high. You don’t mention your profile, but you look like a Pursuiter (high MAP relative to FTP). According to Coach Mac, HM tends to overestimate FTP for Attackers and Pursuiters.

I’ve had a similar experience. I did my first FF and started the All-Purpose Road Plan. HM at six weeks point upped FTP by 9% and MAP by 10%. FF this weekend kept the MAP gains and increased NM by 13%, but FTP was put back where it started from, even a tad less.

For me, an indication that HM was overly optimistic about my FTP came in almost the next workout - my first go at Nine Hammers. I was able to complete the workout at the target powers, but after about the fourth hammer I started to steadily lose cadence. I barely squeaked through the last hammer, about 30 rpm at the end. Ditto for Defender.

It was a disappointment to not improve FTP, but as froekel pointed out, progress is not linear (ask anyone who’s been on a weight-loss program). Not much to do except take a break, remember why we ride (it’s about having fun and secondarily about chasing performance numbers), and then regroup.

I signed up for the Power Builder Plan to focus a bit more on FTP. This allows for an unstructured group ride on the weekend. Still premature for that here in Montreal, but I will use the time to explore suitable rides on Fulgaz for a change of pace.


I used Sufferfest for 10 years on a dumb trainer quite successfully. After I got the smart trainer a year go I used level mode for a few months having great workouts before I tackled FF. FF is simply a tool - if its stressing you out dump the whole idea of it, get into level mode, pick a level and enjoy your workouts. Its not supposed to be creating stress!



JSampson, Vo2 weakness here too, started the MAP block today

If you compare FF and half monty results, you are not comparing like with like .I use HM as a guide, or to confirm an oddity in FF , but really for most the FF is the accurate and most comprehensive.last week, I ignored the head unit and targets and rode the test on feel alone.There is a point where my breathing gets out of control and I quickly grind to a halt, backing away from this slightly brings an effort I can barely sustain for the 5 mins, but I do it anyway. If you grind this at too low a cadence it may well do your legs in for the 20 mins.For the 20, I back down slightly over the 5min effort, and convince myself that it is so much easier than the effort I have just completed. The difference in watts is not huge in my case, but if I can put up with the incredibly slow speed time is counting down, then all is good

1 Like

Aha interesting indeed! My first FF was sprinter and this last one is a pursuiter so it’s something I have to take into account when doing HM then. Still I feel like if it’s an allround plan I shouldn’t have lost on all of the metrics… but you make a fair point. I’ll try something a bit more specific to improve FTP for the next 3 weeks and try have a test in my rest week again.

I did the all-round plan 3 times when I first joined Suff. There was hardly any gains.The tour came along which I completed at 100%. There was a long recovery post tour program, and the FF gains at the end of this were amazing. It was the all-round road plan which made me strong enough to complete the tour, which was “extreme overtraining” and providing the great results at the end

Ah - we should keep in touch. I am looking forward to it.

1 Like

I can’t find my damn quote when I need it - so let me paraphrase or even ad lib:
To fight an Honorable fight and yet still lose Victory on the battlefield is to have lived a full life that a couchlandrian will never have even tasted.
You will have another day.
Nothing went down the drain (maybe your pride?).
Learn. Try another approach.
Stay with it.