How I felt After Full Frontal Today

A lot of us are doing our Full Frontal today as the start of our week in the Tour of Sufferlandria Prep Plan. It’s just enough training to get us ready to take on a full 7 day ToS event. However, I feel conflicted every time I do Full Frontal. My mind always wanders to the negatives first and then, I have to force myself back to the positives. This is how I deal with my demons after I finish Full Frontal and get the test results.

Some of you will look at this and say some great things about this test. Thank you, please give me more kudos because it does help us all. Let me take you in to my mind during and after Full Frontal.

If you ever nailed a Full Frontal test you know that feeling when you do that workout. I feel like this is not the case 75% of the time. So, I turn off my power display because I don’t want anything to give me an excuse to quit. That’s all I need to do to get through this thing is turn off my power display and only look at heart rate and ride off of feel.

Viewing my results, I am such a negative Nancy. The first thing I go after is my FTP. “Wow Aaron, that is terrible, I remember when you had a much higher FTP than that.” Then, “Your MAP is so weak dude, why do you even train at all?”

Okay, when I get through that quick spell of beating myself up, I force myself to find the positives. What are the positives I can see in my Full Frontal results??? Opportunities.

Opportunity 1: Besides my FTP, the chart shows me I am well balanced right now. My NM, MAP, and AC are all pretty well filled in.

Opportunity 2: Sure, my MAP and FTP may not be good for me but I have 90 watts of opportunity to raise my FTP closer to my MAP.

Kudos 1: My neuromuscular is always good even when I am shit. Don’t forget that Aaron.

Kudos 2: The chart shows me as well balanced besides Aerobic endurance. That’s good. I know what to focus on.

I could say Kudos 3 because everything is in the positive side in my test. I actually took my last test a bit ago, and I did it in ERG mode at much lower numbers. I did this so I could just ride the app, test things, and do easy rides. So, those increases are there because I threw the test last time. No KUDOS FOR YOU!

So, when you test today, don’t beat yourself up. Look at what you might think as failures as future opportunities. That’s what I do now, after years of beating myself up about falling 4DP numbers. Life is hard for a family person, with a job, in the COVID era. I am going to look at 2021 as the year of future opportunities and give myself a break for once. It’s impossible to stay in top form for every test, during every part of the year, during every decade of riding.


I know you’re thinking of focusing on endurance but if you could just push that AC up a teeny bit more then the quiz team could get one more member

Joking, of course. Congrats on getting it done. Now go kick your sustained weakass.


I am always pleased to have completed it regardless of the numbers as I then know the workouts will be tailored to my current level, no excuses to decrease intensity… Well except for AVDP and 9 hammers!

Well done on the test especially the NM, I am envious as I want to break the 1200 barrier!


Well done, Aaron. You can be proud of yourself.
I really like your newfound attitude towards your results. I think we all deserve some kudos for sticking with our training through the hard times.

I try to mirror this mindset as well. Last year I was trying to bump up my numbers time and time again and almost dug myself into a hole.
Took a small break from training in december and am back in the saddle now, right on time for ToS prep.

How did my FF go?
Lost fitness on all fronts. :slight_smile:
BUT, I only lost about 20% which is perfectly acceptable for me. I made peace with this.

I gave it all I could and give myself kudos for my effort. Did I give everything I had? Yes.
But I still managed to build a whole kitchen afterwards - by myself.

Well, stickers are still missing… Off I go…


Gains are always a good reason for Kudos… so many kudos to you for the gains you achieved… regardless of what you may have had in the past. Whatever the reason for your apparently big drop in numbers, you had to work hard to get at least part of the way back… it’s so much easier to just give up and move to Couchlandria.

That said, I have question about the graph and your explanation of it: I was always under the impression that the NM, AC and MAP sections of the graph were scaled to FTP so that on the same circle, FTP would fill in the inner 2 circles.
That would indicate you are not actually “balanced” but that your NM, AC and MAP are very high relative to your FTP.

Have I been reading this wrong all this time?
It always made sense because on my graph, NM, AC and MAP are usually at 3/4, and my weakness is Sustained (which would indicate my FTP is low relative to the other metrics).


Hey Sir @aaron.johnson kudos for just getting it done. Seriously. I HATE FF. I am really intrigued though by the “idea” of turning off the power numbers and going by feel. Have never done that, and likely won’t. FF is sooooo dreadful that I worry that if I just went off feel, that my numbers would drop and I’d kick myself for doing it.

I had an interesting experience doing FF today. I did a HM in November and the targets for MAP and FTP were set by that. I was fairly confident I could sustain those and did, with a slight bump up in both. I also banged out a massive (for me) 44 watt increase in AC and my NM is always over the 1KW and I really don’t fuss too much about that one. The interesting thing was my mental approach today. I’ve been repeating a mantra attributed to Arthur Ashe (the tennis pro) “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”. With this approach, I resigned myself to the belief that whatever happens with my results today (up, down, same), they will inform my training going forward into the ToS2021. It really helped. See you tomorrow Sir!


Thanks for sharing this Sir @aaron.johnson . Like Sir @Glen.Coutts , I’m also interested in trying this without having the power numbers in front of me. Today, I had them, and (at least for the 5 and 20 minute intervals) used them to try to modulate my effort. It would be good to do it completely by feel; perhaps next time.

Congrats on getting it done, and thanks for sharing your perspectives on the test results.

I try to not worry too much about how numbers have changed, although it’s obviously nice when they go up. Reality is that each FF is a test on a single day, and so many factors come into play on how you perform on that day. And each one is an opportunity to learn a bit more about how your body and mind work.

For me, I bumped up FTP slightly (which I was hoping to do, as some of the recent FTP-based workouts were feeling just a little on the easier side), and held steady on MAP, AC, and NM. I’ll take that, and look forward to the ToS with these numbers.

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@David those graphs represent their relationship to each other. The weakness I have is Sustained efforts but my MAP is good compared to my FTP, my AC is good compared to my MAP, and my NM is good compared to my AC.

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Love that quote!

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It really has been my mantra for awhile now. I’ve even put it on my desktop

Ahem, not saying you’re wrong Sir Aaron, but…

“The size of each wedge indicates how that metric ranks relative to your sustained power or FTP


Yes, that’s correct. I have the burden of all the different Proof of Concepts we did around the 4DP graph stuck in my head.

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While the metric is relative to FTP, you can relate the metrics to each other.

In other words given the ratio of x:y and z:y you can relate x:z.


Having done my FF yesterday as well I have all the experience of doing many FF’s during beta testing and post beta. This gives me a great focus on how to do this test without all the anxiety and negative dread. FF is meant to tell you where your fitness is TODAY not can I beat the old numbers. I now have a good and true set of number to train for TOS2021. The only reason you would think otherwise is if you are unable to complete FF. Happy TOS Plan fun to all.


I’m always dreading FF. During the day leading up to it I walk the stairs and even a slight hurt or raise of breath makes me more insecure for the test. Then during warm-up I start to feel every little pain, every weird hard beat, every slight tension in my throat for what’s to come. Now I’ve started regularly failing it as well, because I can’t hold the 5min as well as I want to. Switching off the power reading is mind blowing I never thought of that. Going to plan a new one. Thanks!

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Your posts give me some motivation to do the FF myself again.
I did mine first and only some months ago within the 14 days trial period (I think it was my very first SUF ride), fresh-minded and with a 24h race recently finished.
Although I got exceptionally high numbers especially for AC and MAP, I just knew that my FTP was too low - during the 20 min test I was simply blocked by my thoughts. I was constantly telling myself that I have to throttle down as I otherwise will not be able to finish the 20 min.
In the meantime, I worked on that mindset (and assured myself throughout the trainings that I actually able to sustain higher loads for 20 min) and manually increase the FTP settings by 50+ Watts.
I think what kept me from doing the test again is my fear of losing AC, which will happen if I go really deep at the FTP. Plus trainings that focus on FTP will become harder in the future.


@aaron.johnson do I guess right in that you may do a bit of power lifting?

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@PeterEire yes, back when gyms were open. It is something I have spent my whole life doing. I spend more time on it now as I get down the back half of my 40’s for bone density protection.


ToS2021 Prep Plan required a new Full Frontal test. I last completed the test in September, and since then have done the Indoor 4 week, then Speed Demon, followed by KoS Prep, actual KoS and an vEveresting just after new year. My weight had been dropping consistently from ~72kg down to ~67kg when I completed the KoS but since then Christmas / New Year / 40th birthday all involved food, beers and cake (not the best nutrition strategy…).
Anyway - Results time:
5 second (NP): 752W (up from 708w)
1 minute (AC): 476W (up from 443w)
5 minute (Maximal Aerobic Power): 389W (up from 355)
20 minute (FTP): 323W (up from 302) - 4.61w/kg

No complaints with any of these numbers. I would still like to get my weight down a bit (and start knocking on the door of 5w/kg as well as get my NP and AC numbers up! I appreciate you can’t do everything at once:-) Now planning on a recovery day tomorrow and then back to the ToS prep plan, ToS and then re-testing once over!


@aaron.johnson that explains the NM watt’s so nice work