Four Dimensional Power Focus:
While you're certainly going to feel this workout in your legs, it's what happens in your head over these six intervals that matters most. A sort of 'Applied Mental Training Programme' session, this is a unique addition to the SUF library. Over the course of the workout, you'll be taken through six different mental toughness tasks drawn from our 10-week Mental Toughness Programme (available here in the app). We'll teach you how to focus, use positive self-talk and see an image of Future You to push yourself through the Suffering.
From a physical point-of-view, this is a series of five minute intervals with very high MAP efforts at both ends. They pack the same training punch as much longer Sub-Threshold efforts with the added bonus of stimulating your MAP and AC at the same time.
The first 30-second effort digs you into an anaerobic hole. Even though it is a MAP based target, your Heart Rate and Breathing rates (and thus ability to deliver oxygen) are still low, so your body must produce much of this power anaerobically. By the time you settle into the 4-minutes at just below FTP, your body will have produced an excess of metabolites responsible for that burning in your legs. Only by riding below FTP will your body clear them out since FTP is the tipping point where your body is producing metabolites at the same rate it is clearing them. By holding you at FTP, your body is unable to clear out that excess, forcing you to deal with the associated discomfort for the next 4-minutes. Capping the effort off with a final 30-second surge requires that you dig into what is left of your AC, while your body pushes you close to your VO2 max, or the point at which your body is using as much oxygen as it possibly can. The net result is a session that is great for improving FTP, MAP, and AC, regardless of your strengths and weaknesses.
Each 4-minute segment at just below FTP will end up feeling harder than it should, given your body is forced to stew in whatever excess metabolites you produced in the first 30-seconds. While it will be unpleasant, you should find it never really gets MORE unpleasant. In addition to the benefits from the actual mental training exercises, this preps you to have confidence in your ability to hold longer sustained FTP efforts. The final surge then shows you that even when you have been feeling that uncomfortable, for that long, your body still has something more to give. Going through the Mental Training techniques while you're pushing through the discomfort will only make you stronger out on the road.
The Bat, by the way, is the totem animal for rebirth. It symbolises the death of old ways and the rise of new ones.