Full Frontal you S.O.B. (first 20 minute FTP test)

I did Full Frontal today for the first time and it completely whooped me. I did the post TOS plan and thought it would be good to get my full 4DP metrics before going into my next training block. I’ve done 6 or 7 FTP tests since getting back into cycling two years ago, but all ramp tests. This was not only my first time doing Full Frontal, but also my first time doing a 20 minute FTP effort. I felt really good going into it and had results from HM a month ago to pace MAP and FTP.

Sprints went great as expected, I’m always been strongest in 60 - 90 second efforts. MAP was tough but I think I nailed it. It was very close to my HM results from a month ago and I felt like I really drained the tank. Problems started to arise on the FTP test. 5 minutes in I said uhoh and the negative mental talk came in. At 8 minutes… I stopped, I told myself whats the point in continuing, you know your FTP, this is just a stupid test. However, I pulled myself together and said just do you best and treat it as a training ride. I stopped for a total of 40ish seconds and then started to carry along at 240 watts for the next few minutes and actually started to feel better and by the 12 minute mark was back around my 275 to 280 mark I expected. I gave it everything and immediately unclipped collapsed on the floor for 3 minutes and then hopped back on the bike for a pretty good AC showing. I’m proud that I didn’t give up and was really pleased with the NM, MAP and AC results. Now going into a threshold build session to work on that area.

A couple of lessons learned and suggestions for others:

  1. I would not recommend Full Frontal as your first 20 minute threshold effort. The MAP, 5 minutes of rest and right into the 20 minute effort is pretty brutal. I was surprised how much mental effort a 20 minute effort takes. I think there would be a lot of benefit knowing that you’ve done a 20 minute effort before and using that to erase the demons telling you that you can’t make it.

  2. If you always ride in ERG mode switch to level mode for a week. This helps you understand what wattage range you can hold on your trainer at different gears and cadence. I selected a 1.5% grade on my Kickr, but found to hold 277 watts I really couldn’t go much faster than 85 RPM which is lower than I usually like to spin. If I dropped a gear to spin at my preferred 95 to 100 rpm I was getting closer to 285 - 290 watts, if I went a gear lower I was in the 260 range. I think playing with level modes and being prepared for the nuances of riding in level mode would have helped a lot. Your critical thinking skills are very much diminished at this level of effort, so have a solid plan and don’t assume you’ll figure it our mid ride.

After my three minutes on the ground post FTP test I noticed a very interesting holy water pattern on the ground. I think Full Frontal may be the end of me :grinning:


3 minutes!? :scream:

Good job for battling through but surely this skews your AC value?


Well done on pushing through - that really is superb. It IS brutal and for me the first 5 minutes or so of the 20 min FTP section are always the worst - “Why am I doing this? I’m tired. I won’t get the numbers I should.” etc etc. But I always manage to push that away, always finish. Feel chuffed afterwards for finishing it and giving my all. And haven’t died yet! And yes, pacing is essential for the 20 minutes and pacing is best learnt through experience.

Your numbers will probably be a bit off but honestly, that’s secondary to the mental fortitude you proved you have by getting through it. Next time they’ll be more accurate. Well done again.


Your description sounds about right. Glad you made it through. Amazing what the human body can take!

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Excellent post, and congratulations on pushing through!

Been there…

It’s the Shroud of Done-in.


I’m not sure it would, there’s a full 5 minutes between the end of the 20 minutes and the start of the 1 minute. I don’t believe the test algorithm calculates what you’re doing between those efforts.

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Yes but most of that is pedaling with a 1 minute walk-around, rather than a 3 minute collapse.

Maybe the effect is the same :man_shrugging:

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congrats @aecky01, FFS (Full Frontal Syndrome :wink: ) is a thing. Also, now you know why #everyonehatessirneal


Same thought. Minimal, if any.

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