The Sufferfest & Apex Coaching

Advanced TT Prep Plan / 4DP Weakness: Neuromuscular / Outdoor Rides on Weekends, by The Sufferfest

Plan Length: 10 Weeks

This training plan was designed by APEX Coaching for cyclists who:

* Have taken the 4DP Full Frontal fitness test in The Sufferfest app.
* Have a Primary Weakness of 'Neuromuscular Power' in their 4DP profile.
* Have previous experience with structured training plan or have been riding consistently for more than 2 years.
* Have trained more than an average of 10 hours/week in the previous ~3 months
* Have up to 12 hours/week they can dedicate to training (but often less) over the course of the next ~3 months
* Are training for a time trial and have at least 10 weeks until the event.

This plan is designed to suit the time-crunched athlete, with the majority of weekday workouts under 60 minutes and longer workouts outdoors on the weekends. Outdoor workouts are built using the TrainingPeaks Workout Builder, meaning they can be exported to compatible cycling computers and fitness devices.

Note: the average weekly training hours listed do not include the optional yoga and mental training plans you may wish to add to your schedule (more details available when you apply the plan).


Not using The Sufferfest app? Try it free for 7 days: http://thesuf.com/letsgo

Plan Price: FREE

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Note: These plans are designed to be used with The Sufferfest Training System. You will need to download and install The Sufferfest for iOS, macOS or Windows to access the workouts associated with these plans. To get started:

  1. Go to https://thesufferfest.com/pages/get-started and download the app for your device.
  2. Create your account to start your free 7-day trial.
  3. Use promo code SURGE30 to get 30 days free or $12.99 off your annual subscription.

For questions about The Sufferfest please email theminions@thesufferfest.com

Sample Week of Training

Below is a week of training from this plan which represents the type of workouts you will be doing.

Rest Day - Rest

Take it easy today. No log-able training allowed! Rest is what will make you strong - as long as you are also doing the work. Take some time to spend with your mental training - relaxing, visualization, positive self-talk, etc. Also, be good to your body - drink plenty of water, stretch, get a massage if possible...at least once a month.

Coach Notes:
Full Day Off!

Bike - The Long Scream **Afternoon/Evening Ride**

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✩

No fuss. No muss. No comfort anywhere to be seen. This workout is straight to the point and that point is sustained Suffering. With a single solid block right at or just above threshold this is the perfect session to work on your pacing for longer sustained efforts. The "line" between threshold and over threshold is a fine one. The power targets in this session might feel easy at the start, but by the end that same effort will leave you long-screaming for mercy. Combine this session with Igniter and you have a perfect test run for the local TT. Pay attention to how an evenly paced effort feels and you will set yourself up to pace your next TT perfectly, even without the help of a power meter. Completing this session at reduced intensity (say 80%) after another hard session will push your tired legs and lungs just hard enough to help improve your FTP without putting you too far into a hole.

Planned: 36:00

Bike - Igniter **Before Long Scream**

A highly-tuned machine - like you - needs its engine warmed up in order to produce the most power as efficiently as possible. Igniter is based on the highly successful warm-up session developed by British Cycling and used by Team Sky as part of their 'marginal gains' programme. You'll go through 20 minutes of progressive efforts before hitting a couple high-intensity/high-cadence sprints. You'll emerge ready to CRUSH EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU. Perfect for using before major events, in conjunction with our Extra Shot videos or to extend your regular Sufferfest workout.

Planned: 22:00

Bike - Sprints: 10 x 10s **Morning Ride**

Warm-Up
5 minutes @ RPE 3 -- 55% of FTP -- HR <75%

Main Effort
Number of Sets
1
Rest Between Sets
N/A
Interval Repeats per Set
10 Interval Sprint: 10 seconds @ RPE 10 -- MAX SPRINT
Recovery: 5 minutes 50 seconds @ RPE 3 -- 55% of FTP -- HR <80%

Extra Volume
N/A

Cool Down
5 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP -- HR <70%

Planned: 1:10:00

Bike - The Hunted **Reduced Intensity 70%**

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✭✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✭

This session doesn't have the longest sustained intervals, it doesn't have the shortest recovery times, it doesn't have the hardest surges, but what it does have is an unrelenting pace. There is very little "recovery" at all in this session, so you never get a chance to really catch your breath or give your legs a break. The Hunted lacks any true recovery like you get in some other FTP-focused workouts, meaning your anaerobic energy systems never really get replenished. This means they can't help much with power production. This, in turn, makes the repeated efforts above threshold near the end of this session much harder than they might feel in another workout where you get to recover fully. The unrelenting nature of this session makes it great for really working on building your sustained aerobic power, just what you need to increase your FTP.

Planned: 1:01:00

Bike - G.O.A.T

Four Dimensional Power Focus:

- Neuromuscular Power (NM - 5 second): ✭✭✭✩✩
- Anaerobic Capacity (AC - 1 minute): ✭✭✩✩✩
- Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP- 5 minute): ✭✩✩✩✩
- Functional Threshold Power (FTP - 20 minute): ✭✭✭✭✩

This session is all about high-torque efforts, very similar to the efforts you would experience out riding up the steep slopes of Mt Sufferlandria. While these efforts are short, and the intensity isn’t too high, the low cadence targets combined with minimal recovery will leave some begging for the high cadence sprints of The Omnium.
High torque efforts like these have two primary benefits. Improved neuromuscular coordination, and increased muscular endurance.

During each pedal revolution your legs have to “switch on” and “switch off” almost all of the muscles in your legs. High cadence efforts in something like Cadence Builds are great for teaching these groups to make that switch quickly. These low cadence efforts are better for teach ALL of the muscles in your legs to “switch on”. Done properly you should be pulling with your hamstrings with one leg while the other leg is pushing down with all the force your glutes and quads can muster. If you feel like you are pushing yourself up out of the saddle during harder efforts (like seated sprints) then your hamstrings are not being utilized since they should be pulling you back down into your saddle.

The second main benefit is improved muscular endurance. Even though the session is under 45 minutes, you will put a similar amount of muscular fatigue into your legs as a steady 3 hour base ride. You can almost view this session as hitting the leg press for 8 sets of 100 reps.

And just like the weight room, proper form is absolutely key! That means:
-- You should focus on pushing down AND pulling back up. You want your glutes and quads activated on the way down, and your hamstring and hip flexors activated on the way up.
-- To properly engage your hamstrings think about trying to pulling your heel up to your butt when your crank arm is going from 6 o’clock to 10 o’clock.
-- Your knees should be tracking straight up and down, no collapsing in or out!
-- Your core should be fully engaged to keep your hips rock steady in the saddle. This will be easier if you are both pushing and pulling during each pedal revolution.

This session is very simillar to Power Station. Both help improve your muscular endurance and coordination, the biggest difference is the work to rest ratio between the two. While the intervals here are shorter than those in Power Station, the decreased recovery duration means fatigue will build faster, especially for those with a weakness in repeated efforts. Modifying interval length and recovery duration can also be seen between sessions like Revolver and A Very Dark Place. Both serve up a healthy dose of MAP/VO2 work, but the overall "feeling" of those two sessions are different.

If you find that your lower back starts to ache during this session, or that you have to start rocking in the saddle to keep the power up, then it’s time for you get started on our Yoga programme. Kick it off with “Core Strengtheners I” to make sure your core is just as strong as those legs!

Planned: 42:00

Bike - Thin Air **Reduced Intensity 90%**

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✭

Here it is: the longest big effort in any session in The Sufferfest library. The plain and simple fact is that sometimes to stress your FTP you need to spend more than 20 or 30 minutes riding near your FTP. This session was designed with that in mind. While most of the climb is actually below threshold, there are enough surges above it that your body will constantly be at the limit of clearing out those nasty, painful metabolites at the rate you churn them out. Painsuckers, rejoice! Keep in mind that most of your anaerobic energy systems will be very depleted by the time you hit the 30 minute mark. That means they won't be much help in contributing to power production. That's one of the reasons why the same power target five minutes into this climb feels much harder when it comes again at minute 30. Once those anaerobic systems are used up, all you have left is your aerobic system, which requires oxygen to create power. These longer sustained efforts are crucial if you want to really push your threshold to its limits.

Planned: 1:01:00

Bike - NoVid: Cadence Builds and Holds

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✭✭✭✭
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✩✩✩✩

This workout is another excellent addition to our "Drills" series. Over the next 45 minutes, you will complete four 30-second cadence builds, and six 60-second high cadence holds. This workout places a considerable demand on your Neuromuscular System, as your muscles are forced to contract and relax as quickly as possible. At the same time, the shorter recovery period between these drills will keep your heart rate, and breathing rate elevated, giving you a great cardiovascular workload.

Let's breakdown the two drills you will be doing.

Cadence Builds: The name of the game here is absolute peak cadence, not peak power. To achieve this, you need to be in a small gear and have very light resistance. Starting at 90-RPM, steadily increase your cadence until you reach your absolute max without about 5-seconds left, and hold that to the end. Your limiting factor on these efforts needs to be leg speed. If resistance/power output is your limiting factor, try starting in an easier gear, or shift into an easier gear 15-seconds in. Bouncing in the saddle is okay for this drill.

Cadence Holds: These efforts require you to maintain the highest cadence you can without starting to bounce in the saddle. For some of you that will be 100-RPM, for others, it will be 150-RPM. The key is to settle into YOUR peak sustainable cadence. Like the Builds, the goal here is not high power, so these efforts are limited to 90% of FTP. Do not be surprised if your heart rate is well into Zone 4 by the time you hit the last few holds.

To properly execute this session, your effort between drills needs to be low. With limited recovery time between these maximal Neuromuscular Efforts, riding above Zone 1 between efforts will only reduce your ability to max out your cadence. While the power targets between are Zone 1, do not be surprised if your heart rate does not drop below Zone 2 after the first couple builds.

WORKOUT GOALS:
* Improved muscle recruitment and firing patterns
* Improved muscle coordination at higher cadences
* Deliver a high Neuromuscular and Cardiovascular load while minimizing the power demands placed on your muscles
* Help you develop a silky smooth pedal stroke

Planned: 45:00

Bike - FTP/MAP Builds: 2 sets 3 x 6

Warm-Up
20 minutes @ RPE 3 -- 55% of FTP -- HR <70%
1 minute @ RPE 3.5 -- 65% of FTP -- HR <80%
1 minute @ RPE 5 -- 75% of FTP -- HR <85%
1 minute @ RPE 6 -- 85% of FTP -- HR <90%
30 seconds @ RPE 7 -- 95% of FTP -- HR <95%
30 seconds @ RPE 8 -- 90% of MAP (105-135% of FTP)
5 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP -- HR <70%

Main Effort
Number of Sets
2
Rest Between Sets
30 minutes @ RPE 2.5 -- 50% of FTP -- HR <80%
Interval Repeats per Set
3 Interval FTP Effort: 4 minutes @ RPE 7.5 -- 100% of FTP -- HR <100%
VO2 Effort: 2 minutes @ RPE 9 -- 90-95% of MAP (105-130% of FTP)
Recovery: 5 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP -- HR <70%

Extra Volume
50 minutes @ RPE 3 -- 60% of FTP -- HR <85

Cool Down
5 minutes @ RPE 1 -- <45% of FTP -- HR <70%

Coach's Note:
If riding indoor, use "NoVid: FTP/MAP Builds 2 sets 3 x 6"

Planned: 3:00:00

Bike - Endurance +

Warm-Up
5 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP -- HR <70%

Main Effort
Number of Sets
1
Rest Between Sets
N/A
Interval Repeats per Set
1 Interval Steady: 3 hours 55 minutes @ RPE 3.5 -- 55-65% of FTP -- HR <85%

Extra Volume
N/A

Cool Down
2 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP -- HR <70%

Coach Notes:
Steady Endurance/Base ride. Power should remain between 55-70% of FTP the entire time. Aim to keep between 75-85% of LTHR
This is a ride that can be outdoors OR indoors

If done inside, you can play an OPEN video 100% or NoVid: Endurance +
Another option is to select any Video of a similar length, ignore the power targets (meaning running slope mode for those with smart trainers) holding power between 55-70% of FTP and only following the Cadence and Stand/Sit prompts in the video

Planned: 4:00:00


Plan Price: FREE

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