Coming back to Suffer after 6mo

Life, covid, and a myriad of reasons have kept me off the bike since last August. I’m not a superb cyclist by any stretch, but I was enjoying a ride 4-5x week, and was averaging 300-400km a week near the end. It was glorious, and I felt stronger every week.

I did the 4DP FFT last March 2021, and had already been Zwifting or Suffering for about 3-4mo before that time.

My FTP was 258. My MAP was 336.

Just took the Half Monty to update my scores because I was finding every workout was really tough (I don’t know if Covid did something to my aerobic fitness, but what was once 100-105bpm for a recovery style ride is now 135-150bpm, etc). The Half Monty sucked. Or rather I sucked. I knew my scores would be rough, but I landed at 214 for my FTP and 292 MAP.

I thought my scores would all be updated, but my athlete profile still read 258 FTP and 336 MAP. So I edited them to reflect my new scores. I just want to make sure that was the right thing to do. Do the scores adjust automatically when you (sadly) regress, or only when you improve?

Should I just suffer at 258 and my body will eventually get back to its former self?

Just wondering what the best course of action is.

Sorry in advance for the rambling!

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Welcome back!

It’s meant to update automatically but sometimes this fails for some reason; logging out then in again often fixes it. In any case changing it manually should also be fine. You definitely should train at 214/292, not 258/336!

Also - they’re not “scores”, they’re just numbers used to ensure your training is at the correct intensity.


So, I’ve done exactly the same thing recently and my figures were very similar to yours in both the before and after numbers.

I restarted just shy of 7 weeks ago, with a view to being “Tour-ready” and what I found worked for me was two 3-week Threshold blocks, with a new HM on the Saturday of the rest week.
So, basically HM to get new figures, 3-week Threshold block ending with an HM, 3-week Threshold block ending with an HM, now into the Tour.

Over those 6 weeks I’ve recovered almost 70% of the gap back to my old figures and haven’t killed myself in doing so.
The reason for my break, in the first place, was exhaustion from over-training.
This time out I’ve taken the alternate route of preferring to be maybe 2% under potential rather than pushing myself to 2% over because I’d rather get marginally less gain from today’s session but still be fine tomorrow and the day after than get a tiny bit more out of a session and then crash again…

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Yes, true that I need to manage my expectations a bit.

It’s called a Ramp Test, and Full Frontal Test, so I felt “scores” was the right terminology.

Metrics, results, etc are maybe better suited.

Hey Jon, this sounds really great. Is this part of a plan? How many Threshold rides in a week?

Glad to hear you’re happy with your progress!

Truthfully, I knew it was going to be rough starting up again. I’m happy that it’s March now, and not June (it’s terrible outside in Ontario, Canada right now), so I’m just going to keep plugging away.

Was also considering some cross-training like stairs (we have massive 500+ sets where we live) or running to help with some of the threshold training.

It’s a training plan in itself.

Open the App>
General Fitness>
Building Blocks>
Threshold>>> From here you can select both your volume and whether you want 2 hard weeks to 1 rest, or 3:1. I went with 2:1 simply because it fitted the 6-week period before the Tour.

On High-volume at least I had 3 hard days and one long day in each of the “hard” weeks. 6-days of riding in the first, 7 in the second, with recovery days in between the harder days.

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So, I’ve got an event at the end of April that I’m trying to at least be able to enjoy. I started a sub-60 gravel plan with a 3:1 ratio, and Im wondering if this threshold plan makes more sense for what I’m trying to accomplish. Literally just want to be in the best riding shape I can muster over the next 6-7 weeks.

I think the answer is “it depends”.
Basically, I think Threshold plans are the most focused way to improve just that (which is probably the best way to improve event performance), but it would be easy to get bored as with just HMs you end up with exactly the same plan each time you do it…

In 6-7 weeks you could do one 2:1 then one 3:1 block (or vice-versa for tapering) and it might be “better”, but I think the difference in performance gain would probably be in tiny parts of a percentage too…


Totally agree. Thanks so much for the advice. Not looking for any magic pill plans. I definitely believe the next couple of months are going to be great just even to get going again.

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I think you’ve gotten some great advice here already!
Each time you perform an assessment (HM or FF), the numbers should update automatically, but sometimes it can be glitchy and logging out and back in often helps resolve things. But updating the numbers manually works too. It’s important to train at your new numbers because you’ll have to push too hard if you stay at your old numbers, you won’t recover sufficiently in between and probably end up overtraining. So while it can be a blow to the ego to accept that your new FTP and MAP numbers are lower than you’d like, it’s all part of the training cycle, and life!
In terms of training plans, if you 6-7 weeks, doing 2 of the building block plans makes sense. I’d start with a 2:1 MAP block, then do a 3:1 Threshold block, or vice versa. If you haven’t been training much, then starting with the FTP block will be a bit gentler because going right into a MAP block can be pretty harsh. Just be sure to take a taper week before your event and keep a positive attitude- think of the situation as a good challenge to conquer, rather than an obstacle you’ve got to overcome… and as always- Enjoy the ride!


Sorry, I didn’t mean to criticise your terminology! I just think it’s worth thinking about the “loaded” nature of some words that we use.

If we call them “tests” with “scores” or “results” then it puts pressure on us, and assigns a value to them with implications of “failing” or “doing badly” and thus being a “bad” cyclist or human or whatever (I was a bit worried when you said “I sucked”, because despite setbacks from COVID and other distractions you are recommitting to yourself, so you are actually a true Sufferlandrian, and Sufferlandrians do not suck). And we might even be tempted to, say, train with old numbers even though we know intellectually that that’s not a good idea!

I prefer to think of them as “measurements” - we’re just measuring our fitness so that we can do the correct training to improve efficiently and safely. And having our numbers go down after a period of inactivity just means we have normal human physiology!