The Trick pacing

The power targets on the 1 minute efforts are split into 20 sec blocks and follow a kind of ‘surge-settle-surge’ pattern. This is different to the ‘peak and fade’ strategy in FF.

I wondered what the reasoning is for this approach in the Trick? I find it very difficult to increase my effort back up after the middle seated portion and I’m pretty confident that I could achieve a higher average power over each 1 minute effort if I didn’t try to follow the targets.

In short, to get the most out of the session should I follow the pacing strategy suggested by the power targets or is it better to just put my head down and go all out for the minute?

1 Like

If you change how you are pacing the intervals you are in effect doing a different workout. The Trick is not designed to see what your maximum output could be for 1 minute. Per the description in the video:

“ The Trick is designed to hit your Anaerobic Capacity and improve your ability to sustain big power after repeated all-out efforts.”

It’s Suffering Science.

Thanks, but that wasn’t exactly my question. The next line in the description is “Through repeated maximal 60 second efforts you will fully deplete, and then fully refill, your anaerobic fuel tank”

With the prescribed pacing strategy (backing off in the middle and trying to push again) I don’t feel I’m quite hitting a max effort (98-99% but quite 100%). So I’m just interested to the reasoning/ SUF science behind the pacing strategy. Is it a more effective way to deplete your AC or is there a secondary training benefit to picking up the effort in the last 20secs?

I don’t think it’s intentionally paced as a “surge-settle-surge”, just that there’s an assumption that you can increase the power towards the end by standing. I approach it the same as the FF 1 minute - peak and fade. Sitting or standing makes little difference to my fade!

Now I’m confused. If I’m in ERG mode, those intervals are definitely not peak and fade, nor do I think the workout was designed to be peak and fade, otherwise they’d look like the FF 1 minute interval.

But I can see how the workout description could suggest either approach. I think a minion’s clarification would be helpful.

Possibly - I’ll remind myself to re-read this one if I ever do it again.

It does explicitly say sit down in the text right enough so that’s possibly just coincidental that that’s the process I follow in 4DP - hit it hard out of the saddle, sit down often at lower cadence, then back out of the saddle again.

I guess if you’re hitting a minute hard then you’re individually getting a benefit

I have only done the trick once, but then I used level mode and tried to go all out. Used the surge-settle-surge approach as described in the workout instructions, and I think it worked fairly well. If I however felt it would work better to remain standing for the entire 1 minute effort, then I wouldn’t think twice about doing so.

Inspired by this thread that I came across earlier I did The Trick this afternoon, in level mode.

According to the app, I’d never suffered through The Trick before. I really thought I had, I certainly had it downloaded, but I had not.

What a great workout. According to my strava power curve I set best ever watts on everything between 17s and 1:51. I’m pretty pleased with that! I also felt strong enough to hit the 15min interval pretty hard and ended up average only a couple of watts less than my FTP.

In terms of pacing the 1mins, I went all out. Then I was glad to sit down at 20s, then went all out. Then was glad to stand up at 40s. Then was absolutely hanging at 50s. The stand-sit-stand definitely helped me get the best out of myself there.
After set 3 I had to stop pedalling for a couple of seconds to pull myself together. When I looked up again my HR hadn’t dropped from the highs it had got to. That was as hard as I remember going since, well, since 9H on the ToS actually, but it was hard.

I know I’m due for a FF but this certainly confirmed it. A thoroughly enjoyable hour well spent! :slight_smile:

1 Like

I try to follow the “stand-sit-stand” method which seems to work, but I’ve modified it a bit.

My method goes something like “stand-sit-stand-sit-stand-flail about wildly-die”. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


And that’s how you know you emptied the tank! :joy:


Thank you WillR. This is the question I was going to post today after riding The Trick. It would be nice to have Sir Neal or Sir Mac comment on the idea behind the power targets and the stand sit stand idea. If I continue to sit for the last 20, I can definitely increase power again, but I lose power if I stand at the end. And if I actually was able to reach the final 20 sec power targets (I can hit and maintain the targets for the first 40 secs), I would beat my AC on each interval, like one of your respondents did. Sir Neal Henderson: is that the goal of the exercise?