The virtual training app Sufferfest is giving their users a more detailed picture of what type of rider they are and how to structure workouts with the 4DP training platform.
The premise is that Functional Threshold Power (FTP) isn't enough to gauge what a rider is capable of across a range of different riding styles (particularly for workouts with efforts above threshold); so in partnership with APEX coaching, Sufferfest have come up with a four-pronged method of creating a rider's power profile: FTP, neuromuscular power, maximal aerobic power and anaerobic capacity. This is closer to the level of detail you'd get in a physiological test, with the results determining what type of rider you are (sprinter, attacker, pursuiter, time triallist, climber, or rouleur) with suggestive areas of improvement thereafter.
The fitness test used to calculate the 4DP profile is called Full Frontal,and categorises you based on where you performed best. Neal Henderson, CEO of APEX coaching says: “Working with elite athletes, I saw that FTP had limited value when it came to designing effective workouts and training plans. FTP only measures sustained aerobic ability and is a poor predictor of how an athlete produces power above threshold. It doesn’t tell you how well someone can sprint, deliver repeated attacks, tackle punchy climbs or launch a solo breakaway. Two athletes can share the same FTP but have very different capabilities at higher intensities. 4DP changes everything. It allows The Sufferfest app to tailor workouts to an individual athlete, mapping every interval to their appropriate metric so they work at the exact intensity necessary to get faster."
4DP is the latest in a number of interesting upgrades to the Sufferfest platform this year, with a 10-week mental training programme also available to build mental toughness, and even cycle-specific yoga sessions. Sufferfest offer free trials after creating an account and downloading the app, and if you sign up proper it's $10 a month or $99 a year.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.