FF alternatives

I know this sounds like a cop out but mentally I cannot cope with the FF. I think I did it a bit too well the first time and cannot go to such a dark place again!
Are there any alternative ways to find your AC and NM without going through that again. Truely, the FF is harder than a race as you don’t have other riders to push you and it’s not the same indoors.

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Is the NM aspect calculated solely on the sprints at the start of FF? If so, presumably you could just do the first section and use that? I’ve definitely seen people refer to the kilo effort in The Omnium as being good for measuring AC.

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Welcome @Mikejeff !

You can retest the NM by just doing the first two sprints in FF. I’m not sure there is an easy way to test AC though, given that FF expects you to have the accumulated fatigue from the FTP and MAP tests.

There is some more information here, but it doesn’t offer an alternative to FF testing for AC: Power Tests: What, When and Why Do Them? | Wahoo Fitness

Now that you mention it, I recall this as well.


There is a similar discussion here: Half-Monty: AC and NP?

And some more info here: Testing after Full Frontal

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I’ll refer you to a reply I wrote to a query a couple years ago… basically, cheat your brain to get you trough it: Pacing FF after HM - #12 by simon

P.S. Now’s a perfect time to do my “cheat” as there 9 days left in Tour de Zwift, so there are many HUGE rides/races to chose from.


Hey @Mikejeff and welcome to the forums.

FF is FUGLY for the best of us, and for me. My experience with it was I was always getting the same rider type (Sprinter) and Half Monty was within a small handful of the FTP and MAP results anyway that at some point I just vowed never to do FF again. Then, because I also happen to be a beta tester for The Company, I needed to do it anyway. lol :man_facepalming: :laughing: :joy: :rofl:

My attitude towards it changed a bit when I finally got a new rider type as I was able to improve my AC. Woot woot. My most recent test pegs me as an Attacker.

All that said, you CAN get your AC if in level mode during the Kilo part of The Omnium or the 3rd interval of The Trick (also in level mode). NM can “easily” be gathered from the sprints of FF and MAP and FTP you can get from Half Monty.


I had this same dilemma over the weekend, I was due for the FF test but couldn’t bring myself to do it (I hate the fear of ruining my pacing). I ended up doing the Half Monty test while riding Zwift in the background. At the end of the test when I was somewhat fatigued I did a full out 1 minute effort and then found the 1 minute power in my post ride data. As for the NM, I just do a couple 5 second sprints when I’m fresh and take the best result.

In the past I have done a traditional 20 minute FTP test and then did a AC effort after a short recovery from the FTP effort.

In the end I like Half Monty since there isn’t a longer pacing effort. Unfortunately, me being an attacker the data isn’t as accurate but I have a good feel for the differences between test results after doing it for a few years.


Been there myself. What might help is doing the 7 day Test Prep plan with a HM on day 3 and FF on day 7. It gives a good warmup/lead-in to the FF, and the HM on day 3 sets suggested targets for the FF on day 7. This make the FF mentally easier (har!) as you committed 6 days leading up to it and the suggested targets make it much easier to pace. For the 20 min test, I select a Level and gear that gives my the target power at 90 rpm, and then try to hold a few rpm higher. It’s killer.


Second what @Saddlesaur said.

I’ll add that I find it easier to pace the 5 & 20 by starting a bit below the target power and gradually increasing over the interval.

I try to be at target power midway through and then finish above the target as hard as I’m able.

That works better than starting too hard and fading because when you start decreasing, your mind wants to give up.


This is also along the same lines as Kolie Moore’s FTP protocol, and an approach to pacing these types of tests that I find helpful as well.

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Thanks everyone. I decided to just zip up my man suit and get it done! It isn’t so bad once you get the 5min out of the way. Really struggle with that kind of effort but ok at the longer and shorter ones. Overall everything well up, apart from MAP!


and your rider type is… :slight_smile: And, did it change?

Still a climber! However, at 59kg I don’t think that will ever change? After all, you get diesel climbers and punchy climbers.
AC miles up though. So maybe I’ve gone from diesel to punchy!


Nice. Congrats on just getting it done. As for me, I will NEVER be a climber. I’m sitting at about 85kg right now and realistically won’t drop below 80. I’m fine with that, btw, and still LOVE to climb but it doesn’t come easy :joy:


Likewise, I love to go fast on the flat but I will never be a sprinter or TT specialist!

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I sympathize with the dread that the FF inspires. And yet, in the spirit of Sufferlandria, I make myself recite the Rules of the Velominati and get on with it. Velominati – Keepers of the Cog

In all seriousness it really depends what you’re trying to achieve. The double edged sword of gathering data on power profiles and rider type is that we then have to face our weaknesses (and celebrate our strengths!) and then decide what–if anything–we want to do about them.

I’m a LOT more motivated to measure my progress through the FF when I know I’ve got an event coming and I want to gauge if the work I’ve put in training for it has had an impact. Psychologically, it’s hard for me to train just for the sake of training or for seeing bigger numbers in any category.

For my Sprinter rider type I’ve been focusing on improving my sprinting as well as improving my ability to hold efforts at threshold (FTP) for long periods of time (which is my weakness). The sprinting helps me on “hammerfest” group rides or online competition. The threshold work will (hopefully) help me in longer gravel events.

(Sorry this got a bit long!)


Right there with you. I want to be a good climber, but I haven’t been in that “weight class” since my sophomore year of high school. I’m sitting at 85kg now as well and got down to 80kg just before last year’s IM Wisconsin.


I agree with this and do the same. It’s easier to pace yourself if you start below your numbers and work your way up then empty the tank. Coming out too hard will have you laying for it in the end. I would recommend to OP to do a ramp test beforehand to have power targets.

Nonetheless, FF sucks! lol.


I just completed my second FF, after putting it off for 2.5 years. I’ve decided to treat it as a hard workout instead so I don’t ‘waste’ the week build up to it and - more importantly - don’t work myself up wanting to get the absolute very best out of it.

With the different mindset, it was actually quite alright. Almost enjoyed it. Did cramp on the AC bit, which was a bummer, because the numbers were looking good up to that point. It probably does mean I gave it all.

Anyhow, results the same as 2.5 years ago: TT with sustained weakness… Too heavy to be classed a climber. Out of spite I’ve signed up for the Marmotte Grand Fondo - that’ll show 'm.


out of spite? As in a rejection of the Wahoolimabob Tour? Or out of spite at not being classed a climber? I support both fwiw, though I’m doing a modified version of the Wahoolimabob Tour, also out of spite :slight_smile:

Edit: also Holy SUFballs Sir Erik @TrapMeSuf, that event looks PHENOMENAL!!