Coaches... How do u feel ab "Stacking" Training Plans?

March 1 was my first day back on the bike in over a month. After a solid March (43 sessions) and a nice bump from my 3/2-3/28 4DP tests, I wanted to increase time on the bike and address some weakness revealed by the 4DP, and increase the weight loss.

I decided to “Stack” the 4 Week “Speed Demon” plan with the 4 Week “FTP Building Block” plan. So far it’s going really well. Today I knocked out The Omnium for the first time and immediately jumped into the 5 x 8 min FTP Progression. During the 5 intervals my HR stayed mainly Zone 2 first 2 mins then low-mid Zone 3 for the next 6 mins. Only on the last FTP interval, did it top out at 161(high Z3 low Z4 - my LTHR is 171). The fitness gains the last 3 weeks, (since my 3/28 4DP), have me thinking a new 4DP test is in order. But I will likely wait until the full 4 weeks are up at the end of the month.

Coaches: I’m happy w/ my progress, but wanted some coaches to weigh in w/ideas on the best pairing of training plans if one is trying to stack plans to achieve “time on the bike” goals. Is it attack “strength+weaknesses” or should it be “strength+base” or “weakness+base”?

Fellow Sufferlandrians… anyone else stacking training plans?

Cheers to more glorious suffering!


Congratulations you have obviously got much fitter since your last Full Frontal. You need to retest sooner rather than later if you were in Z2 during the 1st interval of 5 x 8 min FTP Progression. Last time I did that workout I spent over 23 minutes in Z4 and just under 20minutes in Z3.

I don’t stack training plans, but I do some of the Z1 recovery and Z2 endurance rides outdoors and extend the duration to get out and enjoy riding my bike in the sunshine and fresh air.

I’m sure the coaches will be along in a minute to advise against stacking training plans to prevent over-training, fatigue and loss of performance.


Thanks Jon, I really do need to get outside on the bike, but my work from home situation makes getting to a safe (from cars) place to ride outside somewhat tricky (for now - as daylight increases that should change).

I plan to re-test next Thurs 4/29 or early Friday. (My 2nd Vaccine shot is scheduled 4/30 for 10:45am - we’ll see how the next few days go after that.)

I really want to finish up the 4 weeks “stacking plans” as close to compliance as possible. Looking ahead, I definitely want to see what coaches have to say.

Creating an even better Training Plan for May - June - July is why I’m asking Qs now.

Cheers and thanks for your encouragement!


Hi @itsbrianegan - sounds like you’re making some great gains! Generally speaking, we encourage including at least a 1-week break between 12-week training plans. With the shorter 4-week blocks, it might be possible to stack maybe 3 of those together before taking an easy/rest/off week - in some cases, you might want to do that after just two of the 4-week plans as some of them can be quite intense (like Speed Demon). Consistency in training is quite important - but be sure to not skip out on rest and intermittent breaks in training. Even the best in the world take 2-4 weeks off in a row at the end of a season, and most also take a couple of 5-10 day complete rest days at strategic points throughout the season in addition to the longer off-season breaks. Also, be sure to re-test every 8-12 weeks to ensure that you’re using proper targets as you make progress!


I think by ‘stacking’, the OP @itsbrianegan is referring to doing two training plans simultaneously, not consecutively without a break.

On up-to-date 4DP numbers, I don’t think I could do two plans like “Speed Demon” and “FTP Building Block” at the same time without risking serious fatigue and/or burnout. The only time I’ll stack plans in that way is adding a yoga, strength, and/or mental training on top of a cycling plan.

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Well, dang. Coach Sir NH. thanks for jumping in. My Q was ab stacking plans concurrently. Rn I’m doing Speed Demon 4 weeks and FTP Building Block 4 Week together. I tested 3/28, but I’m gonna re-test 4/28. I was able to handle Attacker twice today w/Dogs Life recovery in btwn. I am taking the R&R seriously, Mondays completely off this month, and it’s been working. I have been hitting the Normatec boots post rides and Epsom salt baths, too.

Would love to see the plans give us the option to pick hours per week for the plans. Seeing how you, Mac and the team would pad out the time would be cool. And if our HR isn’t hitting certain Zone targets (because of improved fitness) could the minions recognize that after maybe 3 in a row, and encourage a re-test…

Just some thoughts. Thanks again! - B

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Oh, sorry - I definitely didn’t read that correctly.

Honestly, I would never recommend stacking any two plans together.

I wouldn’t even ask an Olympian or ProTour rider to try that, because I know it wouldn’t make them better. It would just break them down.

Too much, is always too much.

While some folks can tolerate a short-term overload, and even occasionally make initial gains…the long term sustainability and capacity to continue to improve will be limited if you overdo it.

I hope that helps! Dial it back and keep improving!

As I often say, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”


Figured u might say that… I’ll miss the endorphins… I’ll ease up this week. Re-test next.

If I’m trying to hit 10-11 hours/wk do you just suggest base endurance rides to pad out the time on top of checks notes … just one training plan… at a time. Thanks - B

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Think you just need to retest. If you are hitting the sessions with the intensity at the right level you’ll need the allotted recovery time.

If you have got out of date 4DP numbers then it might mean you can handle doing ‘tough’ sessions twice a day but you won’t be getting the adaptations from REALLY stressing your body (but less often).

Doing higher volumes can be addictive but think you have to realise it’s less efficient in the long run so essentially you are actually wasting some time on the bike.

Start the HM & FF prep week, smash it to smithereens …and then get crushed once again by the hard sessions on your new numbers! :grinning:


Great insight, thanks Will!

  • B

Yeah it does sound like your 4DP numbers are too low, making the workouts too easy. Completing Omnium and 5x8 FTP back-to-back is simply unrealistic unless all your numbers are considerably low. The Omnium has an IF of 0.97 and FTP 5x8 is 0.9. You should be fully cooked and ready for a bath after the first session! In fact even completing the Omnium at all should feel like a major achievement!


Just to update. Will’s advice seems so spot on and would also work w/Coach NH danger warning. So HM/FF combo plan it is. After a full day off yesterday (overnight HR low 43!) Today I’m doing Cadence Builds/Dogs Life. Friday: Half Monty. Full Frontal next Wednesday. Will update with the data. Cheers!


Agreed - I am generally laying on the floor after the Kilo.


Thanks for the insight @Coach.Neal.H

With most plans ending with FF I am always a bit wary of taking too much time off the bike/taking it easy straight after obtaining new numbers!

It would be useful if there could be a rest/take a break training plan that could be applied to the calendar that has been designed by the coaches as I think most of us wouldn’t take it as easy as what a coach would want!

With perhaps the option to specify the duration 1/2/3 weeks perhaps easing you back into the intensity in the third week?

From experience and before following the plans on SUF I would never allow myself enough recovery/ easy ride time but having followed various plans now I can see the benefits!

As soon as your plan ends, rather than doing FF on the last day of your plan, just immediately do the Full Frontal Prep Plan.

That gives you some recovery and then builds you back up into the FF.



After the 4/20 flogging from Coach NH - I did do as I was told and abandoned the stacked (Speed Demon/FTP) plans I had begun on 4/3 - scheduled to end on 4/30). After seeing Will’s suggestion of the HM/FF Prep Week double plan … that seemed to mesh nicely with CNH’s advice … I’m doing that. Why do both? I have travel Sat/Sun and the Half Monty tomorrow will give me a better idea of where my FTP target /pacing should be for next week’s FF. I then can get mentally ready to shoot much higher if need be. After 12 SUF hours in 6 days last week, 11, and 10 the previous weeks, I should be rested. This week’s total is coming in @3 hours. 4/21 was total rest; today 4/22: Cadence builds (HR Avg 117) followed by Dogs Life1 (HR Avg 106) easy spin out. 4/23 Friday HM; 4/24 Saturday - Off (travel) 4/25 Sunday - back late (travel) so maybe 30 open in the evening or Taper efforts - 4/26 Monday: Recharger; 4/27 Tuesday: Primers; 4/28 Wednesday FF. 4/30 Friday Covid Vax #2 (Pfizer).

Thanks for the encouragement!



Half Monty in the books:

Okay so yeah, my 4DP #s (3/28/21) were under-shooting the target … Will, thanks for the advice… this has me feeling pretty good about where the FF #s might settle next week.

Appreciate all the encouragement!

  • B

I broke a tooth over the weekend (nothing exciting, just chewing pita bread - not stem) hence a crown appointment tmrw 4/28 at 8am. So with the Vaccine Shot Friday… I decided to go ahead and complete this week’s FF today, a day early. I did Primers last night, after 2 travel days off the bike. This was my first ride post HM’s results (+ 27 FTP) and the Primers effort may have cooked me a bit. However, I did notice my HR zones matched much better during Primers. I did sleep well 8 hours last night, but definitely felt just a touch tired as I began.

FTP 223 (vs last week’s 235 HM) but a nice jump from 208 (+15)
MAP 290 … last week’s HM was 291… so that was spot on
AC 350 up 9
NM 878 down from 921, but was nearly identical to 876 I posted in late October when my weight was just about the same. (I’m 12 lbs lighter than I was on 3/28, I imagine this directly affects standing sprint #s).

My LTHR value jumped from 167 on last weeks HM to 175. Not sure what to make of that.

Anyway March 1 I did my first ride back (Primers - tested on 3/2) using SUF has helped me make tremendous progress.
3/2/2021 Lbs 246

  • FTP 160 (-49 from 10/31/2020) 1.43 w/kg
  • MAP 196 (-70)
  • AC 297 (-29)
  • NM 897 (+19) 8.04 w/kg
    3/28/2021 Lbs 234
  • FTP 208 (+48) 1.89 w/kg
  • MAP 253 (+57)
  • AC 341 (+44)
  • NM 921(+24) 8.37 w/kg
    4/27/2021 Lbs 222
  • FTP 223 (+15) 2.17 w/kg
  • MAP 290 (+37)
  • AC 350 (+9)
  • NM 878 (-43) 8.51 w/kg

Number that matters the most w/kg 2.17 FTP and 8.51 NM are all new bests, since joining SUF.

I think May’s training plan may involve a Castle.

Again guys, thanks for all the encouragement and Cheers to more glorious suffering (after the 2nd vax shot wears off). - Brian


Well done! Hopefully your next few sessions will be suitably tough!

Perhaps even take a mid point of your FTP from HM and FF, if you weren’t feeling spot on for the FF test.

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