This Is How We Do It.

I did the 4 Dimensional Power Test again today.
The new plan I'm on (100 Mile Gravel Grinder) has this on the 2nd day.
The 4DP Full Frontal test protocol is the stuff nightmares are made of. A session so painful and demanding it can bring grown men to tears.
I tested with another protocol, "Half Monty" just two days ago and will discuss how the two compare.

The previous 12-week plans all ended with the fitness test. Instead of a race or event, you go ahead and set new records to make your future workouts even harder.
You see where this is going, right?
There's a good reason it's called "The Sufferfest."

Usually, there's buildup, and some planning for the test is involved, much like a real race. It includes pre-test prep, physical and mental, event strategy, mindfulness work, and more.
Going through the motions is priceless and can undoubtedly push one through those horrid dark places a Full Frontal 4DP Test takes you to.

Nonetheless, I stepped up to the plate today, treating the 4DP test as "just another workout."
No special prep, no rituals, no stress. Nice and easy, just another day in the office.
Keeping calm and relaxed, no expectations - just give it what I have in the legs today.

It was just 12 hours ago that I stepped off the bike after having done Primers. So I wasn't sure how I'd feel.

Anyway, we'll dive into the results and how the test went, but I want to focus also on the Half Monty Fitness Test I did two days ago and how the results compare.
This is very interesting.

Ok, so going back to the 4DP Full Frontal session today:
There were four main differences from my past runs:

  1. No stress - "just another workout."
  2. I used ERG mode for the warmup and recovery intervals (only). 
  3. Why? Firstly, it doesn't make a difference and does not affect the results. Secondly, I find that fiddling with the levels, resistance, and gears is a distraction and annoyance that defocuses from the effort. So I had the keyboard next to me and switched to Level Mode as soon as the intervals came about.
  4. Slightly lower cadence on MAP & FTP intervals
  5. MAP target to focus on based on Half Monty results and not speculation

How did it go?

Ass Was Kicked.

4DP Full Frontal Test Results 3/20/20

  • NM: 1042w / 15.32 w/kg | +51w / 5%
  • AC: 492w / 7.24 w/kg | +36w / 7.6%
  • MAP: 339w / 4.99 w/kg | +14w / 4.2%
  • FTP: 279w / 4.1 w/kg | +5w / 1.8%
  • LTHR: 176 | +3 bpm / 1.7%

So very happy with these results, particularly with AC and MAP.
(As for LTHR, I'm not sure, as I've gotten results over 180, but there's a lot affecting HR, so I don't really care.)

AC is a lot about technique and form, I think, and keeping a clear mind and form-awareness helped this time. I was surprised to see the output hovering at around 500w until I started to fade in the final 10seconds, so chapeau SUF Coaches.
I had some trouble in previous tests with AC as I reached it totally cooked and also overthinking it instead of kicking it in the face. Repeatedly.

MAP is an interesting story (and also my "weakness").
Last time (March 3rd, 2020) I tested with Full Frontal, I aimed for a 5% increase to 344w. It proved to be too much on that day, and I faded in the last couple of minutes yet remained within 3w of my previous result (325-328w).
Then, as covered in detail in the previous post, I rode the Half Monty.
This was just two days ago (3/17/20).
(workouts since were a 90min recovery ride and Primers, followed by another half hour of AR, albeit ending 13 hours before I started FF).
Half Monty calculated MAP at 339w, up by 14w from the previous 4DP result of 325 (3/3/20).
I was happy with that, but FTP on the Half Monty was waaaay off, presumably because of Age modifiers, so I took the 339 with a grain of salt but took it nonetheless.

Today, during Full Frontal, the 339 served as a target for me to validate both my goals and the Half Monty.
And indeed, 339w is what I got! 100% correlation to Half Monty.
I rode at a lower cadence than previous tries, around 90 as opposed to 100, but still gave it 100%.
Since migrating to Sufferlandria, I've improved my MAP/VO2max by over 7%.

FTP, on the 20-minute interval, felt great. I told you guys I was going to test at 280w, so just about bullseye, I'd say.
Cadence at 90rpm felt good, and I was on level 2 with the big chainring churning away. I edged up after 10 minutes and slightly more with 5 minutes to go as I felt I had more. If that were a race, I'd certainly be able to surge and sprint at the end of that, so maybe I should have paced slightly higher, 5 watts or so.
Still, FTP is proving to be the most stubborn metric to push, but push on, we shall.

NM is nothing much to discuss; it's just all out. Getting over 1000 watts average is a nice milestone, nonetheless, and a good indicator of the SUF Strength Training Program's efficacy.
I haven't done many drill sessions since the Tour Of Sufferlandria, so I expect to hit even higher numbers next time.

So to conclude:

  1. Very happy with the results. This is a great starting point for the upcoming 12 weeks. It's going to hurt so nicely.
  2. Half Monty and Full Frontal correlate perfectly on MAP. FTP, at least in my case, is best derived from Full Frontal and not as a calculation based on an HR constrained effort supplemented with Age/Weight/Gender aggregated data. I'd rather pay for my FTP with Holy Water.
  3. I need to lose a couple of kilograms. I don't know where from, but this will push the w/kg numbers up a bit too. I'm currently at the bottom of CAT A on Zwift where's there's an eternity of last places waiting for me. Not that an FTP of 4.5 w/kg is going to make much difference with that, but constant improvement is the only path.

Questions? Comments? Let me know.