In SSB2, which is harder: Carpathian Peak +2 or Mary Austin -1?

So I’ve just embarked on a plan that involves a 3-week progression of over-unders - and I’ve basically stolen the workouts from weeks 3-5 of SSB2 MV.

I just did Carpathian Peak +2 this morning, and it was seriously tough.

HOWEVER. I’m looking at Mary Austin -1 for next week and wondering, is it really harder than the one I just did? I can see that the overall IF is 0.89, a step up from 0.88, but you’re never doing hard work for longer than 10 minutes, and each of those 10 minute intervals has an IF of 0.96.

Carpathian Peak +2, on the other hand, expects you to be pedalling at IF 1.0 for 16 minutes at a time. And I’m wondering if the long (9+min) breaks between intervals are actually giving the workout a misleadingly low overall IF? As ultimately, you could pedal easy for even longer between intervals, and the 16 minutes of over-unders would still be just as hard.

So just thought I’d get thoughts from anyone who’s done or is doing SSB2 MV. Did either of them crack you? Did MA-1 feel like a progression from the week before?

I’ve just got off the bike having done Mary Austin-1. I remembered it being hard previously and it was tough again. Descending the pyramids are the toughest part.

IMO much tougher than carpathian peak +2 from last Saturday.

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It is very similar. Do not look if it’s harder with O/U rather be focused what they give you. And my personal opinion is that Leconte was way harder than any of them. But this is due that you have to recruit muscles very fast with this bursts, and this was very hard with my SSB2.

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Having done both of em in the last couple weeks I can say that, at least for me, Mary Austin -1 was a fair bit harder. I completed em both without extra rest or backpedals. I think the main reason Mary is harder is that is has less rest. The 9 minutes between intervals of Carpathian Peak +2 really helped and it felt a lot easier than I was expecting it to be.

Carpathian Peak +2: AVG HR 145; Max HR 166
Mary Austin -1: AVG HR 155; Max HR 176
My LTHR is around 173 and max is 183.

Leconte is on another level though!

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Both are brutes. I made it through Mary but had to do a few reductions in Carp (another chance coming up!).

I’m tempted to try the full Mary sometime, but…damn.

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Personally find Carpathian Peak +2 more challenging, could just be because it is usually earlier after an FTP change. I’ve twice bumped MA-1 up to regular MA during SSB2 to increase challenge.

When I do modified base progressions like this, I stick with parts of SSB1 and I just use McAdie - Palisade - McAdie +1. I’ve seen progress the two times I’ve done that.

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Thanks everyone. Sounds like those rest durations really make some difference. I assumed there was a kind of point after which it didn’t matter that much whether you rode easy for 7 minutes or 10 minutes, the next interval will be hard whatever. I’m sure someone’s done a study.

This could be a good progression too! However I’ve noticed that there’s also a Carpathian Peak +3 with 3x20min intervals. If I did that, and in between them made a Carpathian Peak +2.5 with 3x18min intervals, then I’d definitely have the progression I was looking for.

Obviously I understand Chad wanting to vary things a bit with the official TR training plans, but tbh once I’ve started an over-under interval I just tend to close my eyes and suffer through it…

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Yep. If I can get through the return to “under” from the first over, I’ll usually nail the rest of the interval. If not, well…


Mary and Mary -1 do have a horrible little sister called Verstegg. She’ll take you from 95% all the way up to 109% with one minutes rest in between intervals.

I took her dancing once, and only once.