Suddenly failing workouts

Hi Fascats,
I have been following your SS plans for 15/16wks but have just found myself in unchartered territory and really don’t know where to go from here.
I have completed SS parts 1 & 2 and majority of SS part 3 and have just gone into the CrissCross TH/Z6 and failed, didn’t even complete one set and got off the bike, the power was completely unachievable. Next day attempted SS with bursts, again failed. HR through the roof and legs agony. I had two days off the bike and road again doing a Sufferfest Workout “Cobbler” (3x25 min SS) which was OK but again HR 5-8 beats higher than usual.
I feel really disheartened and have lost confidence in the plan and myself. I can usually push myself through things, and never give up so this is really unlike me.
The plans were working well and I was sticking to it religiously, but now I don’t know what to do. I did a ramp test between part 2 & part 3 and it had only gone up by 6watts which was also rather disappointing, and now it looks like I have gone backwards by 10-15 watts.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts

If it helps at all, I had a very similar week on the weekday workouts last week. I wasn’t sleeping great, and think I may have been fighting a bug, though I didn’t feel bad. Anyways, I suffered through a couple of workouts and rebounded well come the weekend. Pretty much the same symptoms you are talking about, increased HR, RPE off the charts, and still struggling to make SS watts. Fingers crossed, you are just having a few off days, they happen to the best of us.
Warmest regards,
Tim C

Try this workout outdoors - I bet the load on your trainer caused the ‘failure’ and was not a function of you. You can also try this workout again by turning the ERG mode off - which prevents the drastic changes in resistance that make these workouts unachievable.

I am puzzled buy the SufferFest tho as we don’t have any of those workouts in our plan bc in my opinion its too much intensity for this time of the year. Also ramp tests??? Not in our plans…

Have the faith to follow the plan and the design will take care of everything - all you need to do is make it turn green !


Thanks Tim, I hope so too.

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Thank you for your swift reply Frank.
I only have a dumb trainer, but maybe I will try the intervals outdoors.
I have followed the plan and the sufferfest workout I used was a SS one which was in my plan to do as a Club ride. It was the same TSS and IF, and as I couldn’t ride on the road and also needed to do a workout I knew would motivate me, having failed twice in a row, it seemed like a good option.

Yeah, not a problem with not understanding your trainer if you have been on the program for 15 weeks!

I can’t speak to your specific situation, but I did try to do a ramp test after the second regeneration week of SS123. Not only did I not improve over my initial FTP, I was exhausted the rest of the week and ultimately made the wise choice to take an extra day of recovery before the “group” ride workouts that week. That made a huge difference for me and I have been steadily improving on the plan ever since, with previously tough wattages now easily within my HR zones. I also had 2-3 “rest” days while recovering from the second covid jab, those may have helped too.

So perhaps you’re just under-recovered, or as Tim suggested just have something non-bike-related going on.

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Hey Cara!
All the advice here is great.
I would also suggest looking at your cycle and see how your training is lining up with it. Often in the high hormone phase it is VERY difficult to hit high power numbers (speaking from experience haha) and you typically don’t sleep as well which is a double whammy because your recovery suffers. Just posted about this in this thread.

Hi Lacey,
Yes I agree, this could well have been a factor as timing wasn’t great!
It is a very interesting subject, and one which has been attracting a lot of research recently. I know I am one of many who has read the book from Stacy T Sims.
Feeling stronger this week thank goodness!
Many thanks Cara


Glad to hear you are feeling stronger @cara.whyte !
I agree, Stacy Sims is such a great resource and advocate for getting more female specific research done.
I am so intrigued by this topic that I am actually scheduled to get a metabolic test done (at rest and during exercise)… so if I find out anything interesting, I will let you FasCat ladies know!

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