Full Frontal Fear

Hi all.

So, does anyone else get a level of mild anxiety as Full Frontal approaches on the calendar?
Actually, it’s probably a step up from mild - call it a sinking feeling in the gut. I have had a couple of negative experiences where I went out too hot in the 5min and had to bail on the whole thing due to feeling physically and mentally shattered. I think it’s left a scar. :slight_smile:
That said, my last FF gave a pretty good increase in numbers, and I felt good (though exhausted) afterwards.
I have FF this Sunday. I am hoping for some gains as I’ve stuck to the plan and found sessions were starting to feel easier, which is a good sign. I think I just find holding myself at those levels for 20 minutes (or even 5 minutes) very hard. I know it’s meant to be hard, but it’s like my brain tries to come up with EVERY excuse why I should get off the bike.
I have previously done the Mental Toughness Plan, but haven’t done it for a while as I couldn’t fit it in with my life (2 young kids, working, studying). I should do it again in the next plan…

Anywho, I would love to hear how others approach FF and if others find it intimidating to the point of ridiculous.



I did my first FF beginning of February. Youtube reviews prepared me (ofcourse not enough :sweat_smile:) for what was coming.
Even though I collapsed somewhere to the end and had to take a 1 minute walk to regain some level of performance in my legs, overall, I “enjoyed it”, not to be utterly afraid to do it again :slight_smile:

I have my 2nd FF planned for tomorrow. Corona happened and I haven’t ridden indoors for the past 2 months though. Outdoors however I feel I gained power, but me riding outdoors is very far from a structured training. FF prep week has been disaster too, to have it fit in my daily schedule again.
I refuse however to do a ramp test or postpone my FF any further. The FF is on the planning, there are no excuses around it.

Maybe I should feel more anxiety for tomorrow, I guess. I prefer to stay in my happy zone for the moment though and tackle the suffering tomorrow when the moment is there :slight_smile:


With FF I find the way to deal with it is - it’s going to hurt but it will end :slight_smile: Seriously though, the 5 mins is, I find the toughest, but once I get to halfway, just hang on. For the 20 mins, I break it into 4x5mins mentally, first 5 find the level and keep it, second and third just think you’re nearly halfway or onto the end, and the last 5 just concentrate on the video. For the 1 min - well the less said about that the better just hit it and hope (finish it it’s only 60 seconds)


haha. I like your positivity. A bit like the Tool Shed where it says something like “That’s future you’s problem. Let that chump deal with it.” :laughing:



Stress will certainly not help with FF results!
My best results (yet) were achieved with this mantra:
“It’s just another workout”.
I stepped up to it as I would to the Hunted at 70% intensity or any other workout on my calendar for that matter.
Nothing special, just going to do my best like I do every time.
Good advice from @Sir_SimonF about splitting up the minutes - similar to what Wiggo said about The Hour and breaking it into chunks small enough for the mind to cope with.

If you’re the literary type, then maybe this will ring a bell:
“No one single instant of it was unendurable”


Kind of a slightly fearful anxiety.
Get better when starting, aka trying to survive and not cock it up.

This time a was saved by a cold.
Does not make me happy either. :-\


This 100%!!!

First time, ignorance is bliss. Subsequent times it certainly raises the nerves. To be honest it is not surprising knowing you are about to put yourself through 60 mins of pain.

I liken it to attempting a climbing effort at full gas outside!!

However, all nerves are not created equally for me. The 5 mins effort strikes the biggest fear into me!!


I fear that 5 minute MAP test more than anything else in the entire Suffer-verse.


YESSSS! I call my anxiety around FF, DREAD!! Often to the point of nausea. I was so grateful that SUF had come up with Half Monty. All that said, there are tools from the MTP that help. Things like the Focus exercise and positive self-talk and, as mentioned above, breaking it down into manageable chunks and treating it like an hour long workout. It is SOOOOO satisfying to complete it. I am, and will likely always be classified a Sprinter so the 5 minute and 20 minutes just plain suck and by the time I get to the 1 minute I am actually relieved even though I know that that 1 minute is going to be FUGLY, the whole thing is going to be over soon and I can go eat ALL THE THINGS :slight_smile:


Yep, I have lost sleep knowing I had to do that 5-minute effort the next day. It’s the worst!


Yes, FF is scary, but you have to tell yourself you will smash it. Believe in yourself and your training.

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”


I totally feel what you all are saying. Last time, I went in too hot into the 20 min and crashed and burned. Had to retake the following week, so all I got from it was postponed agony.

I believe having a clear strategy and preparing yourself as best as you can will help with the anxiety. Do whatever works for you, but DO have a pacing strategy.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I dread the next FF as much as everyone here! It’s like going to the doctor’s for a really painful shot, one you know you need, one that will make you better, and one that will, too, end in less than an hour (which is much less than, say, 2 hours, right? ). However, the feeling of happy nausea after it’s done makes it woth the effort (kinda?? :laughing:).

Have a great day everyone.


Hi - when it is one that ‘means something’ to me personally then I’m similar - I get nervous (and that’s ok I tell myself that’s the right kind of stress.

Prep - to get the best outcome - i follow the 4DP prep week plan
I do a couple of MTP modules before it too - seriously - get a couple in - you’ve got time. I suggest the kicking ass in your sleep I and II (you do II the night before the test).
Rest at D-2, Primers D-1, then 4DP
Yoga on the rest days and the day before
I sometimes use a pre workout premix thing before FF
I also put my water bottle in the freezer (before the ride) and actually for once lay stuff out ready for FF the night before, so I’m mentally prepped - i know all the routine, my stuff is ready, the bike is checked over (oil chain if needed) and so on.
Then on the day there’s nothing else to think about which takes some of the ‘stress’ away as youv’e done all you can - just pick a number and go for it
PS. I also now do a pre FF warm up - GCN - Ready Steady Go)


So my view on this is, in addition to what other folks have said here, is that the critical piece is to remove the pressure to perform, which i think is worse than fear of pain. Really, there are two components to the dread: pain fear and performance pressure. And i think the latter, for me anyway, is not only more stressful but also has I think a great potential to get in the way of a good performance.

I like to remind myself before any test that there is no such thing as a “bad” performance, provided you go as hard as you can. Rather, it is a snapshot, informational only, of where you are on that day. As long as you do your best, it gives you actionable information, and the results will be whatever they will be. If the results aren’t what you hoped or expected, well, it’s still successful, because you can take that info and make changes to your training. All of it moves you forward, and you’re better off afterwards than you were before the test.

Similarly, i had a coach back in high school running who used to ask us a question on teh start line of every race. She’d say, “What’s your next race after this one?”, and ask you to say your next race out loud. She even did this on the start line of New England championships when our next race wasn’t (probably) going to be until next season. The point was to remind us to keep a long-term view and not assign any single race an unreasonable amount of importance.

To that end, you mgiht also benefit by NOT bailing even if you do go out too hard.


It’s the 20min part that terrifies me. All too often I’ve gone off slightly too hard and then totally blown up half way through.


I actually made a summary of the FF pacing strategies on an A3 sheet and kept it in front of me while doing the FF. This makes sure I keep the right cadance and power limits, so that I don’t burn up and stay motivated.

edit: looks like this


I dread FF so much I haven’t dared to do it again. I did my first one in Feb 2019 and am still building up the nerve to do it again.

I’ve done a Half Monty and know there are improvements waiting to be discovered but it terrifies me slightly too much.

I’m not great at following a training plan either so having one on a plan is not a guarantee. I should just suck it up and stick to a plan that has one and smash it out! I’ll do that.


That’s great - I have done similar, but not as well organised - usually just some scribbles on a piece of paper with target power and cadence. :slight_smile:

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That’s exactly how I learned to deal with it – by treating it like any other workout. I looked at the 5-min effort as just like what I’m asked to do in AVDP (although with another minute, of course), etc. That helped a lot with ‘test anxiety.’


Another thing about the 5mins.
Getting to know where you are regularly helps. It’s not for everyone, but using FF actually as a workout can be done … where you use erg or a set ‘target’ that maybe isn’t 101% and just do a workout as if you were doing AVDP but the first interval has +10% power added.

And disregard any changes to your settings afterwards.

Or just do AVDP of course, pick one interval and and 8-10% … see how you get in and build a picture of where you are by regularly doing it.

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