Don’t feel challenged

New to systm but still have Fulgaz and Zwift whilst I love the training plans I completed a 4DP test and it threw out an ftp of 163.
180 in Fulgaz. That’s not the problem the problem I find is I have subscribed to a mountain fondo training plan. I have completed the first week and whilst getting a sweat on I don’t feel challenged afterwards with the plans being well below ftp.
Is this correct - so many have told me don’t only focus on ftp, but surely I should feel challenged

@Jonty In another thread @devolikewhoa had a good post which I think might be relevant to your question. While you may be training below FTP you are still building adaptations and you can build those adaptations for longer - they come at a lower cost than above threshold efforts.


Any “Inspiration” workout should not feel like a challenge, but others should be challenging.

The Full Frontal test is quite hard to pull off right, especially the first time you do it. If you weren’t feeling like you might throw up 5 minutes after completion, you probably didn’t hit your real numbers. The Half Monty, while not quite as bad, should leave you feeling quite drained after completion as well, especially after the 20 minutes of determining cTHR.

While not true for ALL, for me, the Half Monty test results tend to overestimate my FTP, and the Full Frontal test tends to underestimate my FTP. So I usually adjust mine to be something in the middle - your results may be different. I back this up via estimated FTP results that throws my way during the outdoor riding season (and certainly overestimates for me as well, as I have a high MAP versus my FTP as I am a “Pursuiter”, based on that, I know to ignore estimated FTP for shorter efforts).

There is nothing to stop you from adjusting your FTP up to 180 if you feel that is more correct, but I do think you should try the Fitness test again when you are ready to tackle them again.

Also, for any workout, you can increase the workout % to over 100% and adjust until you feel like it is challenging you more and then maybe tweak your FTP based on those experiences.


The first week is always easier. Give it a couple more weeks. If you still don’t feel challenged then replace one of the workouts with Half Monty to update your numbers.


Not sure what the level aspect is and what it should be set at - all this is so confusing you would think wahoo would have more detailed description

Equally half Monty puts me at 198ftp


Will the half monty change my figures automatically or will I have to complete a further ftp
P.s thank you for the response

I always suggest doing the 7 day Test Prep plan that has a HM on day three and the FF on day 7. This gives a good lead-in to the FF and the HM sets suggested targets for the FF which really helps with pacing. Usually, a minute or so into the 5 min and 20 minutes FF intervals I feel like I’ll never make it to the end, but somehow I do, and it’s excruciating.


Half Monty will adjust your FTP and MAP levels.

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It will update MAP, FTP and cTHR automatically.

Full frontal is very difficult to master. Pacing is really important. I have done it several times and still feel I could have given more, even though I have to breathe quite deep to avoid vomiting.

For a first timer, I would suggest the training week with HM and FF in it. If you don’t want to restart your plan, update numbers with HM.

Another way of checking numbers is completing A VERY DARK PLACE or NINE HAMMERS.

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especially in endurance sports you get the best results by going 80% easy and 20% hard. most athletes, especially in a non professional setting, go too hard on the easy bits and too easy on the hard ones.

check out the full tweet here (Stephen Seiler is a top notch sports scientist and coach in endurance sports)

but also general up to date research. it’s basically always the same, 80/20 is the research based way to improve performance and also reduce injury risk


Serbia upside down is a recovery ride, it should feel stupidly easy.
I checked out the first week of the Mountain Fondo plan low volume and it looked like this for me, similar to yours?

The plan looks like it follows a pattern

Monday rest day
Tuesday short hard interval session, which should feel challenging but not all out.
Wednesday recovery ride so as not to fatigue you for the second interval session the next day
Thursday a 2nd short hard interval session,
Friday is a second rest day
Saturday a longer tempo or sub threshold session to compensate for the low overall volume
Sunday a longer endurance paced ride to top up the overall volume intensity for the week.

From your later post it looks like you under performed on the FF test and the workouts should feel more like they should with your new HM numbers, did you see much of in an increase in your MAP (5min power)? Because SYSTM uses this value to determine the difficulty of most of the hard efforts during interval workouts.

If you are time crunched I’ve personally found the endurance workouts shorter than 2 hours prescribed by SYSTM are at too low an intensity i.e 60-65%FTP. I now do my <1hr endurance workouts at 80% FTP and <2hr ones at 75%. Whether or not you can handle this increase in training stress will depend on how well adapted you are too training load at present.


Agree with all the above, but there is also another solution, just increase the “Ride Intensity” either before or even during the ride. Once you “start ride”, you do this in settings (the gear cog top right) and then the settings tab.

I don’t like doing Full Frontal, so over time I just increase my effort by 10, 15 or 20% here! It also allows you to go harder if you feel good, or back off a little if tired.

The base 4DP metrics are great, but only a base and cannot take into account how you actually feel at any given point in time.

Just a thought!


I did the mountain fondo plan last winter/spring to prep for the Letape ride in Vegas. The plan does start easy but Will progress to being plenty hard. As I recall there are a couple of weeks toward the end where I was riding 2 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday. Combine that with intervals during the week and you’re going to get tired, trust me… And most everyone else here too! This is a really supportive group and for the most part there’s a lot of great information so keep asking questions.


Thanks for the response

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I don’t know why I did not include it before but the mountain Fondo program worked so well last year I’m doing it again this year. I’m actually starting out at a lower point because I had COVID this fall and it really whacked my endurance so I’m hoping the program can get me going to where I can enjoy the ride in Vegas again.


So if I just did A Very Dark Place and it really felt pretty manageable, l I should be thinking about doing HM/FF, right?

Probably right!

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If it felt pretty manageable I would definitely schedule HM on the next rest week, yep.

Let us know if the numbers went up!

I thought as much! Will brace myself…