Of course I don’t, I’m not GvA. But I did just complete it (for the 5th time since starting with Sufferfest in December) and had my most satisfying results yet. Not actually my best in all categories, but an improvement in each from my last test and the most exhilarating/exhausting. Plus, I wanted to provide some counterbalance to the ‘I hate the 4DP’ post
In terms of technical tips, this guidance by @JSampson is the best I’ve seen. But I knew going into this again that my biggest hurdle is the psychological side, especially for the 20-min test, so I thought I’d share some of the things that worked for me today (your mileage may vary).
Setting my 4DP targets 5% higher than I trained at – even in level mode, this gave me a number to look at and aim for that I knew was an improvement (FTP ended up being 10% higher!)
listening to ‘Kicking Ass in Your Sleep II’ the night before and ‘Preparing to Shred Chamois’ right before
on the FTP segment, giving myself leeway in the 2nd half to drop power (10-15%) and raise cadence (from 90-95 to 100-105) for up to a minute at a time to change up the pressure on my muscles and my psyche.
Possibly most important:
Queuing up GIN BLOSSOMS’ ‘HEY JEALOUSY’ at key moments. Again and again.
being in the ovulatory phase of my menstrual cycle (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! to people who menstruate)
Hope that helps somebody, and Happy Testing! (PS if anyone has fool proof tips on how to actually set up for the NM sprints, I cannot seem to get that right!)
I recommend keeping your notes from today’s test handy for next time you are scheduled to do it. It really helps to have a solid plan of attack for the test and continue to refine your approach to suit what works best for you.
@rinaf Also check out this post from Coach Mac from last week. He asks that you note in the post-workout notes section whether your workouts in the week after the test are too hard / too easy. They are constantly working on refining the testing. Time for Nine Hammers!
I actually anticipate taking a new FF test. Why in the world would I do so? Because it’s exciting to see how much my training is paying off. There is of course the dreaded one, after the holidays when I’ve been vacationing in Couchlandria.
Thanks for posting this! After seeing so many posts about fearing/dreading/hating FF I thought I was doing something wrong because I have never felt that way about it. FF is a challenging workout that gives me some benchmarks to improve in.
Thanks for the counter topic @rinaf!
I had a blast with my FF this Sunday and really enjoyed it!
After one month of All purpose Road I got sick and more or less couldn’t ride for a month. This really sucked and I got worried my Lungs or Heart had taken a hit.
Luckily everything checked out and I got slowly back in the game. My new Target for MTP was to achieve the old Numbers from the FF after the ToS and before All purpose Road.
Being active and pacing it awesome I really enjoyed the effort which never felt too hard.
I lost 70W at NM and had a bad gear change in the 1 Minute effort but gained roundabout 2% on all other categories which made me very happy.
The Training sessions with these hard gained 4DP Values always feel really spot on. Hopefully I’ll be able to do a Half Monty in the next Plan.
Being able to go all out is something really rewarding!
I love the Full Frontal / 4DP because it gives me training targets that just feel absolutely spot on.
I’m an attacker and Half Monty gives me an accurate FTP (I believe) but a MAP that’s too high and makes the MAP sessions even more miserable than they’re supposed to be. Conversely, with 4DP targets all of my training sessions feel just right and I find that I progress better without accumulating too much fatigue.
Also I like waddling around like a penguin and watching donuts fall from the sky.
Awesome advice and more or less exactly he strategy I use. I’ve done 4 4DPs now as I do them mid plan instead of the Half Monty.
Other bits I would add is make sure you are well and truly rested and you’ve followed the plan with rest week and taper week. It is easy to think you will lose form, but I’ve found it essential to be physically and mentally rested to get the best out of it. Its like preparing for a major event. (which is is). Trust and follow the plan, these guys know what they are doing.
I find a gradual ramping up of power over the first minute of the 5 minute test and try and settle around 5-10% above last used power settings and for the 20 minute test, ramp up slowly over the first few minutes depending on how you are feeling and again, try to settle at about 5/10% above your last power settings. I usually mentally calculate rather adjust the settings, but I can see how adjusting gives a good target to ride to. I like the mental challenge of thinking about something else while giving the effort to help focus my mind.
I would also recommend doing a 4DP only at the weekend (which it usually is planned for in the training plans - I did one mid week in place of the half monty). Being super rested and having a good extra bit of sleep helps both physically and mentally.
Overall though, I think the best bit of advice is when you have done at least one 4DP, you have a base line to use as target power settings.
I wonder if Sufferfest actually have the figures to hand of the typical gains made? (I’m sure they do). And the bell curve normal distribution of how many percent gains made?? And based on gender and age?
That would be fascinating and useful for setting target figures for the 4DP. For example my FTP went up 7.8 %, 7.2%, 5% (last one was midweek) over previous tests, so this gives me future target gains assuming the gains are linear? Do the coaches have any info on this?
Lastly I find the NM sprints difficult on the static trainer, so I usually wind up much early so I am well and truly at full power when the 6 seconds starts. It took me a few goes to work this one out. Good luck with future training and testing.