Difficulties finishing workouts


I’m following SSB Mid Volume 2 (have completed Volume 1). I still have difficulties completing some workouts.

I was doing today “Mary Austin” and boy I suffered. I haven’t been able to complete that last block of 10 minutes. Yesterday I did Bluebell and I also stopped earlier. I know this is all about the ability to suffer and the have mental strength. So call me a pussy that I did not finish, I’m just sharing honest experience :slight_smile:

For longer workouts (1,5h or 2h) I also always take a short break of 2 minutes somewhere in the middle. I realize I should not do it but this little break allows me to finish it. I have re-checked my FTP and got two times the same value so that should be correct.

So I was wondering what is the best thing to do know.

  • Decide to take that little break and finish them
  • Reshuffle my plan a bit and redo some specific workouts (e.g. take an additional week to redo some trainings)
  • Lower my FTP a bit so it becomes possible again

Any advice here?

That last block of 10min did me in too. It’s like the second to last was kinda rocky and then BAM! The last one was impossible. I wondered if I was underfed or something.
(my blog: ex-prosays.blogspot.com)

Mary Austin ranks up there as one of the harder workouts I have ever done and I have done ALOT of workouts in various sports so don’t get too down on yourself :wink:

Personally, if I make it to the last interval of a hard workout and falter there, I don’t really view that as necessarily a failure since the whole point of many workouts is to gradually beat you down and get you closer and closer to your limit. Sometimes being a basket case at or near the end is the whole point of everything that came before.

I do get concerned when I bail after 15 minutes or I start failing to complete workouts multiple days in a row. That is failing and usually means I need some rest. But one off “failures” on super hard workouts are not really failures but just part of the process of training.


If you’re consistently failing workouts, then it probably makes sense to lower your FTP.

However, I do think lots of people have kind of a mental block on Over/Under workouts initially. I know that I definitely did. I think they’re particularly hard because when you drop from threshold to sweet spot you expect the pain to go away, but it still hurts like hell. VO2 max intervals suck, but in a way they’re easier to do mentally because there is a clear on and off. As you continue to train, I think you’ll find that your mental toughness will grow as much as your physically abilities do.

Pick up a copy of How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald. It will really change how you view your training/racing!


Good to hear I’m not the only one. I was definitely not underfed and I’m not tired as well. Tracking my fitness level and tiredness with www.wattsboard.com (brilliant tool also).

Also, I’m not really consistently failing all workouts, so far only the two I mentioned. Others I find ‘easy’ to complete (well, guess you know what I mean with ‘easy’).

@bherbers: thanks for the book advice. Might indeed follow your suggestion. Willing to increase my overall fitness.

There is a big difference between struggling towards the end of tough workouts that include suprathreshold or vo2 max workouts and consistently failing workouts.

By the sound of it you may just have to focus on that area a little bit for improvement.


While this may be a consistent thing, I notice that you did Bluebell (VO2) yesterday followed by Mary Austin (Over/Unders) the next. Any reason why? I ask because those are generally the two most difficult workout types for most people and youre attempting them back to back. You might have better success with an easy day (Pettit) or a recovery day between those sessions.

I don’t think there’s much issue with a short two minute break in those longer workouts as long as they coincide with a rest interval. If it helps you get through it, it’s not derailing your training at all IMO.