Intermediate Cycling / 4DP Weakness: Sustained Efforts, by The Sufferfest.
Plan Length: 10 Weeks
This training plan was designed by APEX Coaching for athletes and enthusiasts who...
* Have taken the Full Frontal fitness test and have uncovered a sustained power weakness in their 4DP profile
* Have previous experience with structured training plan or have been riding consistently for more than 2 years
* Have trained fewer than an average of 11 hours/week in the previous ~3 months
* Have up to 10 hours/week they can dedicate to training over the course of the next ~3 months
* Have a nascent yet burning desire to CRUSH their goals by putting in a maximum amount of effort in a minimum amount of time
This plan is designed to suit the time-crunched athlete, with weekday workouts under 60 minutes and longer weekend rides. 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 a plan to your account).
The plan finishes on a high note, with the last week bringing you fit and fresh into the dreaded Full Frontal. After finishing this plan, you can begin a more advanced plan straight away.
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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:
- Go to https://thesufferfest.com/pages/get-started and download the app for your device.
- Create your account to start your free 7-day trial.
- Use promo code SURGE30 to get 30 days free or $12.99 off your annual subscription.
For questions about The Sufferfest please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample Week of Training
Below is a week of training from this plan which represents the type of workouts you will be doing.
Other - Rest Week
Bike - NoVid: Recovery Spin
Very easy ride Resist the temptation to go harder or faster. Power should remain under 50% of FTP the entire time, and Heart Rate should never go above Z1
Bike - Elements of Style @85%
Four Dimensional Power Focus:
Can you ride? Can you Suffer with Style? Make profound Suffering look effortless? Although it has very little Suffering in it, Elements of Style may just be our most important video ever. Developed together with the expert team at CyclingTips and shot on location in Wanaka, New Zealand, this video provides the very foundation upon which all your Suffering must rest. Over the course of six specific drills, you'll learn and practice: An exclusive 9-point 'Systems Check' you can use on any ride to get into your Optimal position. A 4-step process for standing up on a climb and generating more power. How to engage your core, including your glutes, for more stability and power. The components of a smooth pedal stroke and how to bring them together at both low and high cadences. How to stay relaxed, and efficient under pressure. Narrated by one of the best cycling commentators in the world, Eurosport's Carlton Kirby, you'll get clear instructions about exactly what to do, when and why. We guarantee it will change the way you think about your riding style after doing it just once. Do it five times and you'll automatically adjust your position while out on rides. Do it 10 times and Sufferlandrian Angels will burst into tears at the sheer epic beauty of you kicking the crap out of your competition while making it look oh so effortless.
Bike - Endurance+
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 out doors OR indoors If done inside, you can play OPEN 60/OPEN 30 and adjust the intensity to 64-81% 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
Bike - NoVid: Cadence Builds and Holds
Four Dimensional Power Focus:
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.
* 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
Bike - The Way Out
Four Dimensional Power Focus:
One of the few Sufferfest sessions that can be viewed as a "Sweet-Spot" session since the intervals aren't above threshold (except for the very end) but are harder than a tempo effort. This session pushes your body close to the limit of what it can 'comfortably' handle without going any further. Why? Going above threshold causes a considerable amount of hormonal stress that takes a lot of time to recover from. But you don't actually have to ride above threshold to improve your FTP - the fitness gain between 30 minutes at 90% of threshold and at 102% of threshold is minimal, but the stress on your body from the later is much greater and the recovery much longer. That is why this session is a key component to any training plan: It gives you enough training stress to help improve your FTP, but remains 'easy' enough that you can do it when you're tired or before a big block of harder efforts.