Could use some advice as I start my off-season after a frustrating year of training, where I felt like I couldn’t break past a plateau.
Some background. I am entering my 3rd year of training with TR, 4 total on the bike. Mid 40s, 70kg @ 5’ 11", FTP plateau of 185-200w. Train on average 6-7 hours/week. 90% bike, 10% gym. I travel (plane/hotels) 100 days year for work, and work at home otherwise (about 60 hours/week). Father of 2 and some other volunteer commitments. Generally a well-balanced, healthy diet (no Popeyes , soda, limited alcohol, limited processed foods).
This year started out on track to build on prior gains, but February saw a month long flu. Then 2-3 week periods of increased work hours and international travel over summer, then minor surgery had me off again for 3 weeks. Compared to year 1, I put in less time, fewer climbs, fewer long rides, with more TSS coming from a more casual group ride. I guess there isn’t a big surprise here that I didn’t see gains. And while I am generally pain free, when I get closer to 200w I tend to develop IT band/knee issues in one or both legs.
Goals for 2019 - I generally want to be able to keep up with some of my fitter friends/riders - and think that going from 2.7 w/kg today to 3.3-3.5 should get me there. I am eyeing a few “A” rides, in spring and fall - lots of climbing, gravel, long distances. I enjoy the social, travel, and overall experiences too and prioritize my personal gains/experiences over competition. Having said that, in the heat of the moment, I can get competitive - winning the occasional town line sprint or not finishing DFL results.
After 2 weeks off the bike for work and vacation, today I ramp tested and saw a slight, expected decline in FTP. Starting SSB Mid Vol 1. I am contemplating the following in trying to design a holistic plan:
- More polarization (easier easy, based on HR, and harder hard)
- Adding 1 longer endurance ride/week to mid volume
- Adding more core/stretching for a healthier me, perhaps with some heavy weight training
- More lower cadence high intensity drills in TR workouts (simulating climbing) and outdoor drills (though I live somewhere hilly, not mountainous, most climbs are < .5 mile)
- Maintaining 7.5 hours of sleep more regularly
- My training will continue to come in clumps, interrupted by work travel. I could do 5-8 days in a row, and then nothing (or hotel gym - with 50% access to a peloton bike where I can simulate a TR workout) for a week
- Vast majority of my rides start early. During week by 6 am for 1 hour workouts, almost always fasted. Weekends, more like 7, and I eat before if doing more than 90 minutes.
- I can’t get much more than 8 hours of sleep a night
- I eat healthily but considering eating more volume at dinner to load for next morning (more complex carbs), and maintain hydration (currently drink ~100 oz a day).
- I have very low blood pressure and a high Max HR for my age (185)
I realize that is alot - but I wanted to also sort it out for myself. Thank you in advance!