3 month lay off - low FTP

I moved house and initially couldn’t train then lost my motivation to get back into it. My FTP was 249, then when I retested it was 189 after the lay off.

With the current situation I have set my first race as a CX race at the start of September and used plan builder to create my plan. I am now 4 weeks into the plan and have quickly regained some of my fitness and my FTP of 189 is probably too low.

I am enjoying being able to easily do the workouts and with my first race (possibly) not until September, to keep motivated, should I continue until the end of the block and retest or do it now?

I realise that I am not getting the benefit of running at my true FTP but doing something 5 days a week (mid volume) plus running twice a week am I missing out much in the long term.

When is your next FTP test scheduled? If you’re on the six-week base plan, doing the final week of work and the recovery week at slightly-lower-than-optimal power is not going to make a dent in your September fitness, especially if you’re having fun and it’s keeping you motivated* to ride. You can bump up the intensity if the workouts feel too easy, and then you get to feel like even more of a boss. :metal:

That said, my N=1 is when I came back from three weeks off the bike at the beginning of the year, I retested every week until I got back to baseline. I knew it didn’t make that much of a difference, but getting numbers to back up the progress I was feeling in the workouts was super motivating.

I don’t think there’s a wrong answer to your question. Enjoy the return of your motivation, live your bliss :rainbow: (at least until your next test, then there should be no bliss-living whatsoever)

* Yes yes, discipline > motivation, but if you have the option to stay motivated without compromising your process why would you not do that

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I’m pretty much in the same boat. I’d to take 7-8 weeks off training from mid December. I’m about 8/9 weeks back in now. I lost 50 watts, but I’ve clawed about half back. I’m also doing MV (traditional base though) and 2 runs a week with a bit of core and strength work.

My current FTP is a bit low, I’d a tough outdoor workout the day before the ramp, but I’m happy to leave it as is. Leaves me a bit fresher for the running and strength work. We’re in lockdown here, so no cycling outdoors. With most events cancelled I think managing motivation is more important than chasing immediate gains. If staying at the lower FTP helps keep you motivated then keep at it. With the runs you’re already adding additional training stress anyway.

Best of luck with the training.

It will come back – just give it a few months.

In 2011 I had a posterial tibial tendon injury that kept me off the bike for eight months. When I got back on I was at what I guess is my baseline, 4 w/kg FTP.

After seven months it was back at pre-injury levels, 4.7 w/kg. My training then was 2-3 days of sweet spot, one long ride, two recovery days. I think that if I had followed a program more like I"m doing now (more volume, and only two “hard” days a week – and I group sweet spot in the “hard” category), it would have come back about the same.

Just be patient, and aim for consistency.