As much as The Minions hate to hear us say it, sometimes you have to step out of the uncomfy confines of your pain cave and get in some good old-fashioned outdoor training. Many of The Sufferfest training plans incorporate outdoor workouts on the weekends, allowing you to work on your tan and still get a structured training session. The key to having a successful outdoor workout is understanding how to decode and read the descriptions. When you click on a given outdoor workout in your Calendar in The Sufferfest app you'll see a detailed breakdown of the session:
Each workout is broken up into 4 Parts:
- Main Efforts
- Extra Volume
- Cool Down
This describes the riding that should be done to get your legs and lungs ready for the efforts ahead. While much of a warm-up should be easier spinning, most warm-ups also include a series of harder efforts.
This is the “meat” of the workout. The main effort description will include:
- Number of Sets - The number of times you go through a full “set” of intervals. Not all workouts contain multiple sets, and there will always be recovery between sets.
- Rest Between Sets - This describes the riding that should be done between completed Sets. If a workout has only a single Set, then you will see “N/A” here.
- Interval Repeats per Set - The number of times you repeat an interval to complete 1 Set. Some Sets contain a single Interval, while other Sets can contain more than 6.
- Interval - This describes each segment that makes up an interval. Sometimes there is a single segment for the interval, sometimes there are multiple segments for an interval. To complete a single set, you simply repeat the Interval Segments
Here is what a description for Main Efforts might look like:
4 repeats per set
30 sec @ RPE 8.5 -- 90% of MAP (105-130% of FTP)
2 minutes 30 seconds @ RPE 7 -- 90% of FTP
Rest Between Sets
10 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP
If we translated that into non-coachspeak, that means you would do 30 seconds hard, 2-1/2 minutes just below your FTP, repeat that 3 more times, spin easy for 10 minutes, and repeat that sequence three more times.
This describes the riding that should be done after all sets are completed. If a workout does not contain any Extra Volume, then you will see “N/A” here.
This describes the riding that should be done after all sets and extra volume (if applicable) are completed. A proper cool down is a must, especially for some of the harder sessions. Do not neglect this part of the ride!
Each section of the workout is divided into a number of segments of specific duration and intensity. The description of each workout “segment” will include the following information:
- Target RPE
- Target Power (expressed as a % of one of the 4DP metrics)
- Target Heart Rate (expressed as a % of your LTHR as determined by Full Frontal).
For example, a 20-minute long effort, with a target RPE of 2, target power at 45% of your FTP, and target Heart Rate that is less than 70% of your LTHR would be written as:
20 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP -- HR <70%
Some rides are found in No-Vid workouts in the app. Why doesn't the power target in the app match what's in my outdoor workout?
For the outdoor ride, the goal is a higher average power (90% FTP) but if you are riding indoors it should be adjusted down to around 80% as seen in the NoVid workout. This is because most people will have a naturally higher power outdoors than indoors. The effort will be similar.
Any questions? Contact the minions here!