2 years of training with nothing to show for it

I have tried both trainer road and Xert training plans over the last 2 years and I always see an initial bump in my FTP and I feel really strong for 3-4 months and then I fall off a cliff. No idea what’s going on but it equates to an FTP that floats between 240-260. I feel like I’m putting in a lot of time for little to no gain. Im 44 and 73kg and just started structured training in Jan of 2019. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
career info…https://www.trainerroad.com/app/career/nusooners

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To share your profile, log into TR, go to Account on the left, then in your Profile look for the Account dropdown - and set it to Public. Then you can paste a link to your Career page if you want feedback on your training history.

Ignore your FTP and consider your power in watts/kg - yours is nudging 3.5 which is pretty damn good. There’s a thread with the average power of TR users on a bell curve on it split into age groups.

I have nothing to add as you’re way more powerful than I am.

Theres another similar thread around check on volume, consistency, rest/sleep and nutrition. The body adapts to the stress you put it under to improve. To a degree as too much in one go is not good.

Sure others will chime in.

If you have plateaued wisdom points towards more volume to nudge it on.

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^This.

I’m sure people will be able to give more advice if you can share your training history.

But if you are seeing a bump then ‘fall off a cliff’ that suggests a recovery issue, to me…

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I’m definitely curious what Xert is telling you. My xert always wants to lay a lot of low intensity volume on me

Just glancing at a few of the weeks it seems like a lot of .80+ intensity factor, some with multiple .9 to 1.0 i.f. rides.

If I had to guess, that’s fatigue catching up with you.

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I didn’t look at all of your rides, but like @therealemm said, it looks like none of your rides are easy. For instance, this last week you labelled a Tuesday ride as recovery, but the IF was .71. A true recovery ride should be way less than that. Check out the various versions of recess for a good recovery ride to spin the legs out.

Also, I think you may be too hard on yourself. On Sunday you set All-time power PRs from everything from 2-5 minutes, and then basically everything over an hour and 10 minutes.

Lastly, it seems like you are mixing and matching Trainerroad, Zwift, and Xert. Why not try sticking to one plan, and try following it religiously for 12 weeks or so?

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Xert is so hard to dial in… since there are no recovery rides or weeks built in you have to adjust that dumb slider bar on how you feel which determines your upcoming ride etc… Its a great premise but requires a lot of attention. also according to Xert you have to bang out a minimum of 10 hours a week to make any gains whatsoever…

+1 on don’t mix xert and Trainer Road. My experience with that was very bad. :smiley: The two eco-systems are driven by entirely different models and the clash between the two will generate a lot of strange fatigue. I like the analytics of Xert but it also is very ad hoc user based input driven and tends toward ‘optimized’ outcomes based upon personal selectors. The two ftps don’t ever match, and as you said you have to manage your own fatigue against the “Pacer’s” recommendations.

During covid I can’t handle xert…so I’ve gone 100% trainer road, 6 hours a week of volume, a set plan I can stick to and not constantly fiddle with. :smiley:

Ya that Sunday ride my PM had a low battery and the last 30 min or so are bogus numbers… Thanks though I had forgotten to flag that

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I only looked at your career for this year and what immediately crossed my mind was that you train a lot outdoors but not so much indoors.
Perhaps you should swap some of the (significant) outdoor volume with quality indoor stress. Also with that change try to follow a proper base, build cycle.

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that’s not right… Id say 95% of my rides are indoors… I live downtown Chicago and rarely go outside… Maybe once a week during the summer

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so if I’m digging a hole for myself how long do I need to rest to get back to normal and start over? I took most of last week off and started today with mid vol SS base and the first workout was not east at all… I would have killed that workout 2 weeks ago…

I stand corrected. The light green bars plus a poor week selection led me to believe you ride a lot outdoors though apparently you ride a lot indoors (but not on TR).

So yeah, same suggestion. Also try to improve nutrition, sleep, and recovery.

Ya I totally agree with you there expect for the FTPs don’t ever match. Every ramp text I’ve taken matched almost exactly with what Xert was saying my FTP was at the time… Creepy close to within a watt or 2

Hmm. that is really weird on the ftp thing. It’s never the same for me. But generally the trainer road ramp tests haven’t been accurate to my real world ftp either. so. /shrug. Who knows why. :smiley: Xert and real world ftp are as you say spookily accurate.

So for your new base block you did a ramp test, then went into the first ss ride and it was too hard at the ftp it selected for you? I don’t see your ramp test. what was the first ride it prescribed?

So I didnt do a ramp test and took the FTP that Xert was giving me… I know I know you’re going to say to do a ramp tex but like I said its been so close in my experience. Plus I feel like I have been digging myself out of a hole the last couple weeks so Im sure it will be low and then I will just make false gains in the next week or 2 and be stuck training at a much lower level… this whole thing is frustrating

First let me say I’m sorry. I’m sure it is frustrating. I don’t think pushing the training at the prior ftp is going to be effective, or at the very least it will be difficult to hit the targets straight away. Sweet spot base is no joke, I had a really hard time adjusting to it from what could only be called traditional base, and from a very xert based training model and a lot of ad hoc riding.

That said. I am curious what xert thinks of your fatigue level. Early on xert was showing me as VERY tired during the first weeks of sweet spot base mid. To give you context by the end of the first week Xert showed me as red, and I stayed there until the end of the first base block. (4 weeks). Second block I was red half the time, now in build I’m not in the red.

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I guess ill drop the FTP a bit or take a ramp test and start all over again and stick to TR and be consistent. Ill let you know what Xert says about my fatigue level but I don’t think it will be in the red. SS base mid vol is pretty low TSS compared to some of the weeks I’ve put in over the last few months, but maybe that’s exactly what I need :wink: thanks for the insight though and I appreciate your time

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SS base mid vol is pretty low TSS compared to some of the weeks I’ve put in over the last few months

Not all TSS is created equal. If you’re absolutely ruining yourself and riding 500TSS, it isn’t the same as having 500TSS with some lower power/recovery rides thrown in there to let your body recover from the more intense stuff.

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Came back to your question and had a look at your profile - quite a bit of zwifting etc on there. I’ve found that if i don’t stick to the TR program my FTP stagnates or falls. If I stick to it it progresses or another part of my ability increases which isn’t reflected in my FTP number.
If you want to improve I’d do as others have suggested stick to a TR block and nothing else - start with a ramp test and see how it goes from there. I did look at some of your TR workouts and some weren’t complete and most of your TSS since the start of the year was from non TR workouts.
Some others have suggested you may be over-training so try a TR base block after a ramp test, do nothing else and address sleep, rest and food. See how it goes - though even a base block can be challenging.
I’m working though SS LV base at the moment but i’m a bit older and some of the workouts are tough.

Take care and hope you resolve it.

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