Full Frontal, the 4DP(™) fitness test, is the only test that exposes every aspect of your unique physiology in a single hour. Developed by elite cycling coach Neal Henderson, founder of APEX Coaching, and based on more than 10 years of testing athletes, this test will provide you with a complete personal power profile and identify your rider type.
All you have to do is completely destroy yourself over 4 different efforts:
- A pair of 7 second sprints
- A 5 minute flat out effort
- A 20 minute threshold effort
- A final 1 minute killer
Once you come out the other side of Full Frontal you'll get your profile and rider type. From then on, every Sufferfest Video will be customized to your abilities to ensure no session is too hard or too easy. Not only do you get customized workouts with Full Frontal, you will also get to see the exact areas where you shine. You will also get insight into the areas where you might need to do some work, giving you the road map of where you should guide your training until your next exposure to Full Frontal.
To help you make the most out of this training plan we have created a series of articles to help walk you through some issues and commonly asked questions that will likely pop up for you in the coming weeks.
A little extra reading now will go a long way in ensuring your success!
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This swim session is designed to establish the training zones used to pace every subsequent workout. By structuring your workouts around your swim speed you will be able to develop your ability to swim faster and smarter with our structured workouts and technique sessions.
To start, you will want to download and print off this page outlining your Swimming Zones
You will need to have a method of tracking the time it takes you to swim 500m in the pool (most pools will have clocks). To find your Swimming Threshold Pace (STP), add 25 seconds to your total 500m time, then divide that time by 5. This will give you your STP in terms of time per 100m. Your zones will then be based on adding (or subtracting) time from that 100m pace.
Here’s what you need to do in order to CRUSH this swim test:
Warm-up: Start with an easy 300-500m swim in the stroke of your choice. Rest for 60 seconds.
Activation 1: Swim 10 sets of 50m Drills Rest for 20 seconds.
Activation 2: Swim 2 sets of 100m, increasing from a moderate to fast speed throughout the 100m. Rest for 30 seconds.
Activation 3: Swim 2 sets of 25m, both done at just below your maximum. Rest for 30 seconds.
50m Test: Swim 50m as fast as you can. Keep track of your stroke count for the first 25m and the second 25m. Having a significantly higher stroke count on the 2nd half means you probably went out a bit too hard.
500m Pre-Test: Swim 100-200m at an easy pace and then rest for 120 seconds prior to going straight into your 500m test.
Test: Swim your fastest 500m possible. Try to start cautiously and finish strong.
Mentally count the number of strokes required on the final 100m. If this number is drastically higher than your stroke count for the 50m effort that means your form has deteriorated. Poor form means less water moved per stroke. This means you should put some extra work into your technique sessions to keep this from happening on race day.
Mark the total time it takes for you to finish the final 100m.
Identifying Your Mt. Sufferlandria
Module 1 of our Mental Training Program.
Gain clarity on who you are as an athlete and what your major goal—your ‘Personal Mt. Sufferlandria—really is.
This run is designed to establish your running zones in order to improve your fitness in this discipline. We strongly recommend using a heart rate monitor and an app on your phone/watch device to record your performance data.
To start, you will want to download and print off this page outlining your Running Zones
For this test, you will need to track your time to complete a 5 kilometer run and your average heart rate for the final 20 minutes of your 5K run. Your running threshold pace (RTP) is determined by adding 15 seconds to the average of your 1 kilometer splits.
For best results, find a flat running track or loop with distance markers or use your phone or specialised device to track your distance.
Here’s what you need to do in order to crush this workout:
15 minute warm-up: Begin with 10 minutes of very easy running/jogging. Then build up progressively from RPE 2 to RPE 7 for 5 minutes
Activation 1: Run 2 X 90 second builds from RPE 4 to RPE 7 with 60-90 seconds easy jogging in between.
Activation 2: Finish with 4-6 X 80m strides (see definition on ‘Strides’) with 30 seconds rest between.
Test time: You’re now ready to begin your 5K test. If you aren’t sure what pace you can sustain keep the RPE around 7 for the first 1500m, and then build from that pace if you’re feeling good. Try to monitor your 1K splits to see if you are fading or staying strong throughout the run.
Cool-down: Easy jog or walk for 5-10 min until you are fully cooled down. If you have a heart rate monitor aim to keep moving until your Heart Rate returns to Z1, or drops to about 65% of the max heart rate you hit during the test.
Once you’ve cool-down, analyze your time for the full 5K and average heart rate for the last 20 minutes. To calculate your RTP add 15 seconds to your average kilometer splits. To calculate your running threshold heart rate (RTHR) you will want to take your average for this run and subtract 10bpm. You can then map your running zones to your RTP and RTHR in the ‘Running Zones’ sheet.
You’re now ready to use this information to transform your running fitness!
Cycling can put a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders, especially if you spend a lot of time down in the drops or in an aero position. We’ll sort that out with a series of exercises that will release tension in this area and have you feeling relaxed and ready to Suffer again.
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