Is Tempo increasing:30/20/10/5 min the hardest workout in Systm?

I’ve done this workout twice (always as part of a hilly fondo training plan) at the end of a week with do as you’re told/crescendo/the bat. The first 30-min tempo interval is ok. The 20-min interval always sends me over the edge. It’s a 5x with 3-min at 95% FTP and 1 min at 110% FTP and it’s hell on earth. Today I had to stop and move the difficulty down to 95% after 10 mins. After that, there’s a 10-min with 8 minutes at 95% FTP bracketed by two 1-min MAP efforts than I can barely handle and a 5-min MAP interval similar to AVDP or 9 hammers. This and team scream are the only two workouts in Systm that I’ve always failed. I’ve never failed AVDP or 9 hammers for example. My profile is time trialist. What is it with these over-unders that send me over the edge so quickly?

1 Like

They SUCK! Simple as that.

1 Like

You are a distance rider and this are short bursts that you need to train to.

How long can you hold your ftp for, if it’s just straight ftp?

My FTP comes from the full monty test. I’ve been able to hold 105% FTP for 25 minutes in a TT so I don’t think the FTP is set too high. I’ve done the over-unders in Angels just fine. I think there’s something about this specific workout, maybe the 30-min tempo that comes first or the fact that the second interval starts at 1h12m into the ride. As I said, I did the bat on Thursday and was able to recover from the MAP efforts riding at 95% FTP. The same happens in the third interval here, i do the minute MAP and I can hold the 95% FTP for 8 minutes. In the second interval however, I start just fine at 95% FTP, the first over is OK but the second under feels way harder than the first, after the second over I wasn’t recovering at all (heart rate going up instead of steady or going slightly down) and had to quit. After lowering the targets to 95% I was able to finish the interval but it wasn’t easy


@alopezor Have you done Mt. Ventoux Denivele Challenge yet?

As it happens, I did this workout yesterday.

Pretty soon I realized my heart rate was climbing above each applicable target zone, so I reduced the intensity to keep me within target zones. If I didn’t do this, I would’ve been in Z5 for all the intensive efforts.

Was this the right thing to do, or should I have pushed on with the prescribed FTP targets?

1 Like

Got it. I wasn’t gonna go in the “FTP too high” direction, although i agree with you, over-setting your FTP is a surefire way to make this workout into a really bad time.

No, more i was goign to remind that FTP has a duration component. Lotta folks think of it as 60 minutes but it’s not, that’s just one of hte original gold-standard methods of estimating it, rather folks have time to exhaustion (TTE) at FTP that can vary, and if your training has been a lot of top end (which classic sufferfest workouts often are), TTE will tend to be shorter just because you wouldn’t have worked on extending it.

So here you have 30 minutes tempo which is not devastating but also not nothing, followed by long and spicy FTP interval (over unders are effectively FTP intervals at the end of the day), followed by five minutes as hard as you can. that’s a lot! I don’t think there’s an easy 1:1 mapping of a fatigued spicy FTP over/under to standard FTP, but if for example your TTE is in the 40ish minute range, this is going to stretch you.

But in terms ofw hat to do about it, i would more reframe your mindset. Like the workout is a taxing aerobic interval, followed by a spicy, even-more-taxing FTP interval, followed by a five minute max effort to test your fatigue restistance, and if you complete that, well, congratulations, you just did the workout, even if you undershot a couple of the targets for a few watts. You know, just track how you did, compare it to how youdo the next time you try this workout, and all the training you did in between should be getting you to improve.