When to pick next training plan (and help me decide which).Very l

My 12 week all purpose (intermediate) comes to an end on 21st March with the Full Frontal.

Question 1: If I add my next plan now, or after I’ve got new numbers, will the plan have different sessions planned if my rider profile changes on the 21st? I know the numbers will change, but will the sessions themselves change? I was a sprinter, but that was because I was THAT unfit. Sustained effort was poor. My VO2 according to Garmin has gone from below 34 to above 43 so there should be some significant changes to my 4DP profile and rider type.

My goal is to be able to go for a ride, and not care if I get lost because I will know that I can ride my way home. So long days out on the bike, and “up” is the direction at the start of the day, and “home” is the direction at the end of the day.

Question 2: What is the is the best next plan for me. I like the look of All Purpose Road (advanced), Gravel Grinder 100m, or Gran Fondo? I can only ride indoors over the next few months but don’t mind doing long rides indoors.

Very long term I’d like to do an organized Gran Fondo as I used to do 100m rides with 3-4000m of climbing almost every weekend (like many people, when I was a lot younger).

Any ideas on when to chose the next plan, and what the right plan would be?

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Great question! I don’t know the answer to your question, but perhaps this answer will help. As you know, the plans are tailored to your rider type and adjusted based on your 4DP values. I would guess that if your 4DP values change after you’ve applied a plan, that those new values wouldn’t be implemented. BUT, because I don’t know, if it were me, I would add the new plan AFTER my test, just to be certain.

I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the plans you’re considering. You can preview them before you apply and see which one appeals to you more.

As for your profile changing, don’t be so certain that it will, or disappointed if it doesn’t. My VO2 is excellent for my age and gender and I’ve been a sprinter every damn time I have done that horrible, glorious test :slight_smile:

I like having a plan, and a bit like pavlovs dog, seeing each session go green is a great motivator for me. Seeing my plan in advance is a good way to stay motivated and just do what I am told.

Unless one of the coaches chimes in and says otherwise, I’ll hold off adding the plan till after the Full Frontal (or is it called FFF now?).

I can do 6-12 hours a week of cycling, but the gravel grinder 100m might be a bit too much. I find I need to have time for the yoga/strength as well and I don’t feel as robust without it. I stopped strength and yoga for the ToS, and haven’t added it back in yet but it has made a noticeable difference so will add it in after this hard week ends (I taper next week for FFF).


you can add the plan now, and delete and re-add it after the test. That should satisfy your inner canine :wink:

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:joy: :joy:

If it helps, I did the Fondo plan with a nm weakness. Lots of NM based sessions :face_vomiting: redid FF end of the plan and then had a sustained weakness.

Then selected Fondo plan again, sessions changed from the previous one to match my work new weakness.

So to kind of answer your question… select new plan after doing FF would be my answer. If your weakness changes the sessions may well change.

My rider type after every FF I’ve done has always been attacker so I’m not sure the type had much of an impact. Guess it’s all about strengths and weaknesses?

Suffer well!


This is good to know! I just did FF and have a sustained weakness. I decided on the Hilly Fondo plan and I see 9 Hammers, Butter, Revolver, The Chores, and The Shovel (multiple times) in there. So, it looks like my MAP and FTP will get a good workout, which is what I was hoping for.

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As it was said, wait till after you visit the Pain Parlour to add in your new plan. If you choose intermediate level and add Yoga/Strength, you should top out at 6 to 7.5 hours per week indoors and a few more outside depending on the week. Enjoy.
Sir James

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That’s what I am hoping for too with a gran fondo plan. I do wonder if my initial 4DP results were so bad, that I was put on a very low level base fitness workout schedule. All the classics that people talk about rarely came up, and even then , less than 5 of the “classic suffering” videos appeared over the 12 weeks.

The ToS was a lot of fun as it had a lot more suffering for me.

If I could grind out 400w all day and have a NM of 405w I’d be happy. As it is, my NM is 4 digits and my FTP is barely 3 digits :slight_smile:

Question 3: If I am hitting watt and cadence targets and my heartrate is below the target by some way (even after 3 minutes of settling), should I be increasing the % effort until my heart rate enters the right zone?

I’m considering that for any ride that isn’t a recovery or zone 2 ride. Is that crazy? Sounds like an easy way to hit the targets and constantly improve instead of always doing half monty every 6 weeks. My LTHR is 146 which seems very low.

ps. Thank you all for the thoughts/insight so far. Very much appreciated.

If you did FF correctly and now have accurate 4DP numbers, then you should focus on your power and cadence targets. your HR can lag by number of seconds or more and is widely variable based on too many other factors for you to base your training efforts off of. Not to mention cardiac drift, and other HR issues. If you already have accurate power and cadence then you shouldn’t need to try to also match HR.

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@emacdoug thank you.

After 6 weeks, I find my HR settling 10-15 beats below the target zone. I’m in zone immediately after new numbers, but after a few weeks it drops massively. My heart rate doesn’t really go up above 150 very often. Maybe that will change once my next FFF is done and I get somewhat respectable numbers.


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Also, your Heart Rate can vary for several reasons. You could be overtrained, over-recovered, or just didn’t get enough sleep last night. As @emacdoug (Sir Evan) stated it is best to concentrate on Power and Cadence over heart rate. If your heart rate is going too high (we are speaking 180 BPM or more in most cases and you can feel your heart racing), please see a physician. You may have a major issue. Other than that, enjoy the Suffering. (BTW, this was a major topic of discussion on the “old” Sufferfest Sufferlandria page. Also, heart rate can INCREASE as well if you are overtrained. It is one of the indicators I use to determine if I went too high on Mount Sufferlandria.

If you’re working off old numbers and you’ve increased your fitness by quite a bit, that could happen. But your HR can also be depressed if you’ve recently been under an intense workout load. Your HR then bounces back up after a recovery week. Your HR can also be depressed if you’re not sleeping well or if you have a lot of personal non-fitness stress. But, yes, you could be increasing your fitness, as well, and you will find out when you reach your next FF. :slight_smile:

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As Sir Evan stated, you are getting ‘fitter’ and what was a high stress at the beginning of the plan isn’t so anymore. Most plans include Half Monty at the end of the second recovery so you can check fitness improvements and to increase (temporarily) the amount of Suffering. If you are constantly experiencing above target heart rate values on ‘recovery’ rides or inspirational rides, then you might be reaching too far on Mount Sufferlandria. I found this to be true when I go outside and far exceed the amount of riding scheduled for the weekend. The thing to do when that happens is to schedule in another day of recovery (notice, the couch is not your friend when this happens as your body is trying to heal up from all that punishment and really needs to keep moving).

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To clarify, my heart rate is always below the target zone, or just in the zone shortly after new numbers.

Old, fat, and broken - to the point where my initial numbers from 27th December 2020 were REALLY bad despite giving it everything during the FFF. I’m reasonably confident that I’m just getting fitter.

I knew I’d never get a chance to get such big improvements again, so I’ve been working very hard, focusing on nutrition and rest/recovery as much as I possibly can. I hope to make this a consistent effort/lifestyle now my back, ankle and rib injuries are healed.

I’ll post my before and after FFF numbers from the 27th December 2020 to the 21st March 2021 when the time comes.

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