Unexpected 4DP result: MAP effort affecting FTP

I just did the Full Monty test and think I over-cooked the MAP part which negatively impacted the FTP part. Consequently I think the relative strengths and 4DP scores may not be valid for my FTP - and are more of a reflection of my weakness in rapidly recovering from very hard efforts than my underlying aerobic fitness. Should I trust the 4DP results or manually adjust the FTP score to ensure I follow a relevant training plan?

I have just joined Sufferfest and did the Full Monty Prep plan to ensure I was reasonably fresh for the Full Monty test.

I went all-in on the NM and MAP tests and did better than expected on both. Eg MAP (442W, 4.56W/kg) vs prior best on Strava power curve of 415W.

I felt spent for the FTP test and could only manage 324W. However in the last 3 weeks I have averaged 349W for 1 hour in a 70 minute race, and tested at 361W in a recent traditional FTP test (379W for 20 min). I probably didn’t/couldn’t push myself hard enough in the Full Monty FTP test as HR was about 5bpm lower than expected too. I had recovered enough by the AC test to do better than I expected in that (649W).

I don’t know whether the 4DP test has highlighted something interesting (ie that I am “exceptional” in MAP and “very good” in AC and NM relative to my FTP). Or that my FTP is actually higher than the 4DP test revealed, and I’m “good” in the other categories relative to FTP, which is what I would have expected. Going into the test, I thought I needed general improvement across all categories with specific focus on recovery from repeat hard efforts. But I’m worried now that the training plans will give me lots of work to do on low-intensity FTP improvement and not really target what I think my weaknesses are.

I guess I could re-do the Full Monty in a few days and hold a bit back in the MAP test or just try to be mentally stronger in the FTP part. Or try the Half Monty in a few days. Or manually adjust the scores a bit.

Thanks for your help.


Welcome to The Sufferfest @newbie! First off, you’ve put out some very impressive numbers. That being said, with the information that you presented there are a couple of things to consider. First, we have two different fitness tests - Full Frontal (which you did) and Half Monty (which is a ramp, followed by a heart rate constrained 20-minute Tempo effort which is used to calculate FTP).

Your pacing strategy during the 5-minute MAP test could also impact your results beyond just the absolute power that you produced. As you mentioned, you hit nearly 8% higher than your previous 5-minute best power…and that’s a BIG jump! Also, if the first half of the 5-minute effort was even higher and your power faded over the course of the rest of the 5-minutes, you’d likely not be able to recover in time to put out an appropriate FTP power. We’re not firm believers in the 95% of 20-minute power because there’s a lot of variability in actually how far above FTP different riders can push in a fresh 20-minute effort. Based on the 1-hour power that you have produced, though, I would say that bumping up your FTP to that value in the app manually could be appropriate. For more info on pacing Full Frontal, check this article from @Coach.Mac.C out at: https://thesufferfest.com/blogs/training-resources/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-full-frontal

Hope that helps. Happy riding & racing! Neal


Thanks coach Neal, that’s super helpful. And yes, my power was even higher in the first half of the MAP test and faded a bit in the 2nd half. So this does help explain my difficulty in recovering for the FTP test. I will make the manual adjustment to FTP and be conscious of not going out too crazily hard at the start of the next MAP test! Thanks for taking the time to respond and help. Much appreciated.


I had a similar issue with FTP on FF being lower than I know I can do recently - I’ve been training with Sufferfest for 5 years and done lots of full frontals. My latest customised plan had MAP increase focus as it was acting as a ceiling on my FTP - FF in June 21 MAP 268, FTP 233. Other confounding factor was I had a baby 6 weeks before the June FF - I rode almost daily whole pregnancy til day before delivery and these FF results were almost exactly the same as I had right before getting pregnant in Sept 20 (which was incidentally right after doing an indoor 12hr Everest of Alpe Du Zwift - lockdown!!)

Anyhow, I was very happy with my June FF results given the recent baby and jumped straight into customised MAP building plan. Followed the plan pretty much exactly even with night feeds and baby stuff (ok longer and harder weekend endurance rides than prescribed but I find that hard to minimise - I was doing more like 150-200TSS instead of 100ish). I don’t think there was one workout I couldn’t do, even Team Scream last week (most Sufferfull of all). I was then really disappointed on FF 4 days ago (with a taper) to get MAP increase to 274W (up 7W) but FTP DECREASE to 214 (down 29W) My 1 min and 5 sec power have also significantly improved though which was good, although I don’t really care about those for the type of riding I do (both up around 8%). AND this FF I’ve had a month of full nights sleeps - last one in June I was still feeding the baby a couple of times a night at least!

I’m wondering if I overcooked MAP effort and that drove down FTP? There was definitely significant fade over last 2mins (I was around 300W for first minute). Long term I’m training for a 249k 2500m elevation ride in March 22 with 1.5-3hr mountain climbs so very fixated on FTP!!! I’m really hoping to get under the “special jersey” time of 10hr having done it a few times and just missed it.

Interestingly my outside times on longer climbing strava segments are among/above my best despite the FF results (although I am breastfeeding and possibly a bit lighter than usual).

Is it likely FTP suffered due to MAP effort? Or that 10 weeks of MAP focussed training has made me too tired? Or that FTP has suffered as I’m not doing my usual 1-2hr long tempo/sweet spot days once or twice per week? Or that there was some super physiological stuff happening at 6 weeks post partum?

Interested in thoughts?

Also I was definitely trying! - HR was 182 for 5min effort and 180 for 20min FTP effort :nauseated_face::face_vomiting:

Maybe you just had a good day last time and a bad day this time? Are you finding the sessions now to be too easy?

Also, for your big ride do you have a “race plan”? Do you know where you lost time in the last few attempts?

@ClimbingMamma Congrats on the new addition to your family! Seems like you have a lot of stresses - more than many of us!

While the recent full frontal was only one test on one day and isn’t always a solid indicator as to where you are it could also be telling you that you need less volume and more recovery. You are on the right course of doing a gut check and sounding out ideas. Try a bit of recovery and then stay attuned to your future workouts - do the new numbers make sense or should you gradually move them up a bit each week to get to where you are going. Also stay aware of the volume you are mixing in on the outside rides - if you decide to push one day, maybe dial things back when you are on the trainer to compensate.

Thanks guys - I think the good day/bad day is prob true. I just did angels with FTP dialed up to 108% and other metrics as per 4DP and although it was hard it was really fine (and def not as hard as I’ve found it in the past!). Catching up with my coach tomorrow too so I’ll get his thoughts.

I do have a plan for my big ride - last time I got a flat at 200km (!) so last 25mins fixing it (tubeless plus issues). I finished in 10:38 so fingers crossed if I don’t get a flat and stick to similar plan with slightly more fitness I can get under 10. Also it was snowing and a few unexpected gravel sections last time that slowed me a bit. I minimise stops (think I totalled 30min last time over whole day), aimed 170watts on flat/descents where I could and kept to around 200w on climbs (FTP around 225 then). I did similar plan for the indoor Everest last year - aimed 170-190w for each AdZ rep with same nutrition

This time I’ll still be breastfeeding which is ANOTHER complication!


That’s a solid plan and matches what I did for a ride with similar distance and climbing.

You have probably already considered it but going slightly harder up steep climbs and a bit easier on the less steep ones can save some time which coupled with everything going right could be the difference for getting under 10 hours.

Other than that, believe in yourself, don’t panic and trust your coach. Good luck with the ride.

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Thanks! Yep I will do a bit more effort for the steep bits - the worst climb starts at 200k in (first 6k or so is over 13%. KILLER!!). I haven’t done fancy course analysis data but I know the theory of “go faster over the slowest bits to get the fastest average time”

Coaching was what took me from just under 12hr for my first attempt at this ride in 2019 to 10 1/2hr for my second in 2020- and that was with significantly less volume and only 2 or 3 weekend rides over 4 hours in the few months before the day. It’s amazing the difference in training efficiency with a coach (ok not surprising amazing but awesome amazing)

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