Struggling MAP sessions

Dear All, anyone out there like me struggles with MAP sessions?
My FTP is 271, MAP 334 from the HM.
Looking at the Coggin chart, my MAP is relatively low compared to FTP and I have struggled with the sessions I need to do to improve MAP eg Omnium Vise Grips where the intervals are greater than a minute at MAP.
Any thoughts on the best approach to this conundrum.

Welcome @JimR!

I have a few thoughts, and I’m sure others will have many more:

  • MAP efforts are generally hard - it is definitely normal to struggle a bit with these, especially ones with long intervals
  • Omnium and 14VG are two of the harder sessions in the whole SUF catalog. Last time I did 14VG it was okay, but the time before I hit my max heart rate twice during the session and had cramps for 24 hours!
  • Make sure you’re getting enough rest between sessions - these are hard training sessions and you generally don’t want to do more than 2 or 3 in a week, with any other sessions that week being quite easy (and not mixing in other activities like running)
  • Using a training plan is a good idea (if you’re not already doing it) because the plans take into account how much rest you need (provided you select the right “level”, ie novice / intermediate / advanced)
  • Make sure you’re fuelling well, getting enough hydration and sleep etc
  • Don’t worry too much about the Coggan chart, it’s based on different testing methodology and is more for high level athletes in my opinion
  • If MAP is your weakness and the sessions are hard… that’s probably what you might expect, right? And doing this hard work will make you stronger. So keep up the good work and look forward to the gains which will definitely come!
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Oh one other thing - if you’re an “attacker” and are strong anaerobically, Half Monty can overestimate your MAP and make these sessions worse than they should be. So if they’re really just ridiculously hard I would strongly recommend doing a Full Frontal which will probably give you more reasonable targets.


The only thing that I would add is that you should remember that improving fitness is a long term project, and you should be patient. As the saying goes, “Agonia was not built in a day.”


You may also want to check out the mental toughness program - it can definitely help getting through tough intervals.

@JimR I have a slightly higher MAP:FTP ratio even once getting MAP as my strength and struggle with the MAP sessions where efforts are more than 90 seconds. I find getting through hammer 5 to be a big achievement and A Very Dark Place is not even remotely possible.

Here is what happened last time I tried those two sessions:



14 Vice grips is extraordinarily hard but possible if I’m well recovered and feeling good.

I agree with @bukharin and recommend doing Full Frontal and the mental toughness program. There is also the guide here: Even the Badass Have Bad Days: What to Do When You Can't Do – The Sufferfest

I have always struggled with these types of sessions and while it would be nice to get through them without stopping, doing them in this stop/start manner doesn’t seem to harm my progress. It probably also helps that my weakness is sustained so I don’t have to do them too often.