I don't know who Mary Austin is but

… she/he isn’t the most pleasant fella!

I’ve always said that variations of “pyraminds” are some of the toughest workouts one can do and this one is no exception.

It has been a long while since I bailed out on a workout but a combination of intensity and heat (it’s 34C in Sydney) shot my HR through the roof. By the time I was inside of the second set of intervals, no matter how hard one part of my brain tried to convince the other to push through, I’ve had to first, drop the intensity by 5% and then with one set to go, pack up and GTFO of the hot garage.

I am curious to hear other people’s experiences with this particular workout.

Mary Austin is a …


I’ve done it 3 times. Tough but doable. I would hate to do it at the temperatures you’ve been getting in Aussie.

Just did the -1 version of it. First 40 mins of intervals felt easy, the last 20 mins were tough for sure.

I did the minus 3 version today, so just two sets. Woof. It was pretty tough, my calfs were cramping which means I was using them, which means my legs were shot. Got a 20 min power PR, for indoors / trainer, which surprised me.

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Did the -1 version today and was capable of doing more. Have a feeling that my FTP may have increased while doing SSB2. Also suspect that my FTP when doing the 8 minute or 20 minute FTP test could be higher than the step test FTP?

I am feeling the same way.

It took me 4 years to beat MA.
I don’t see it as 1 workout though. That whole last week of SSB2 was a beast before it got amended.
Murderers row of Kaiser, Lamarck, Mary Austin


Failed -1 yesterday. I’m putting it down to TR’s non conventional 5 week blocks for sweetspot base. I’ve always taken an easy week after 3 weeks. Felt flat on my rides in this fourth week. Going to take a recovery week next week then redo week’s 4 & 5.

Very hard but doable. Is doable now, after many month doing long sweet spot and threshold intervals. I did MA yesterday.

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Completed it yesterday (-1) but it was really tough. Hate the sound of that heat! Definitely wouldn’t be able to do it in that. I felt done by the end, couldn’t have done much more work. Another set would have killed me!

I beat up Mary Austin (-1) yesterday. Felt good so my intervals were 100/103, 103/105, and 105/103 intensity. This is week 5 of SSB2. Looked back at last year and I did the same to Mary Austin with intensity bumps in the 1-2% range. I guess for me, it comes as a point in SSB2 that my FTP is up but I haven’t boosted it or done a ramp test. I bumped my FTP 5 points after yesterday’s work and successfully did Tallac +3 this morning with 100/101/102/101/100 intensity. Confirming my FTP is likely too low

all this mary austin talk is making me want to try it for myself lol although I’m quite happy in my sweet spot high volume happy zone! (i think I’d do just fine with MA -1, regular MA looks like it would be a little hurty!)

Looks like a lot of us are at the same point in the plans! Just finished Mary Austin (-1). That had better yield substantial benefits, or I’m coming after somebody, when I recover, which may be in 6 or 7 weeks. Seriously, I find those sorts of workouts way more challenging than VO2 max. At least with the VO2 max workouts I know the interval is going to be over in a couple of minutes!

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I was a little worried about this workout today, but I nailed it! Gotta say TR has prepared me well, and it made me feel great.

I’m actually super interested in trying the old version where it’s 95-100-105% steps :fearful:

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I had my first stab at this one today. It’s the last workout of the SSB2 plan before the recovery week. Wow, that was rough! I think I could do it if it were another week, but the last week of the old ssb2 plan is brutal. I failed the last interval and ended up with a tss of 121 out of 124. Still managed a few all-time pr’s, though!

It’s 20 min intervals at threshold. EzPz.


Well chuffed after nailing Mary Austin tonight! All time PRs indoors all over that ride. A year ago I had given up trying to get through stuff like this and had moved all harder stuff outside - just didn’t have the endurance for repeated long threshold work on trainer.

Rested day before, ate a ton of carbs for two days, 30 min nap in afternoon, fueled with gel during ride … used pretty much every idea I’ve picked up off these forums to get it done!

Still skeptical about lamark and laconte coming up but they just might be doable now…


You did MA or MA-1?
If you did MA, Leconte is a touch easier and about the same as MA-1.
Lamarck is easier than all of the above.

It was the MA-1 that is in SSB2. Lamark is shorter but the 0.92IF all at threshold looks tougher than any 2x20 I’ve done with long rest between the 20s, and Leconte seems like another MA-1 with more random jumos thrown in.

In any case, very happy to even be considering getting through stuff like this indoors this year. So many good ideas in here for how to get through the hard ones!

It kicked my butt and I had to bail out with 20 minutes left in the workout (MA-1). Had a somewhat rough week and felt weak. Still a very tough workout and a good check on my fitness level.