A newbie with lots of newbie questions and newbie confusion

Hello everyone, it would be so lovely if someone could give me some guidance here.
I have signed up and set up a training plan with plan builder and am doing base phase training. I have a pretty strong base fitness from doing mad group rides. Can I skip the base phase? E.G TSS scores on strava for group rides can be around 500- 600 for 1 1/2 hr rides.
Should I skip base phase? and if so can I set this up in plan builder?
Or do I create my own plan? and if so how do I do that?
On Garmin my FTP is 317- 3.56w/kg and TR it is 264 - 2.9W/kg. I am concerned that if TRs FTP is wrong then the plan will set me up to underachieve. Or are they measured differently somehow?
Does Plan builder take into account my history and calculates a plan with that i mind or does it assume I am new to cycling? I followed the recommendations on the plan builder set up part- so I have a low volume, but I might add in a ride here and there which is fine but I can’t help but wonder if it has got me right in terms of fitness if u know what I mean.
Thankyou one and all.
Alex

Hello and welcome

You didn’t state if there was a specific discipline or event you were training for?

Plan builder is a great start, I wouldn’t skip base if you are new to the structured training environment. It will help prepare your body to do higher level structure, which can be very different from group rides.

Garmin and TR do measure FTP differently - I would go with TR and use the Ramp Test (or 8 min, 20 min) and go with that.

LV with added rides is highly recommended!

Sounds like you are off to a good start - good luck!

Welcome! First step is the ramp test or other FTP test. If Strava is showing a 500-600 TSS for a 90 min group ride your FTP in Strava is wrong. Max TSS for 60 min is 100. Are you using a power meter on the group rides?

on the FTP thing, you need to go with what you think you can sustain for 40-70min. So if you’ve, say, sustained near 317 for 50mins, for example, without feeling totally maxed, go with 317. You might have just had a bad ramp test. Personally, I don’t do testing and base my FTP off recent efforts. But the key is to be realistic with your estimate, as you said you don’t want workouts to be too easy, and conversely you don’t want things to be too hard!

Hello everyone,
Hi

Can I skip the base phase?
I would always recomend doing base.

TSS scores on strava for group rides can be around 500- 600 for 1 1/2 hr rides.
That seems mega high - are you sure that your FTP is set correctly

On Garmin my FTP is 317- 3.56w/kg and TR it is 264 - 2.9W/kg. I am concerned that if TRs FTP is wrong then the plan will set me up to underachieve. Or are they measured differently somehow?
How did you test FTP in TR? Ramp test? I would expect them to be far closer together.

Does Plan builder take into account my history and calculates a plan with that i mind or does it assume I am new to cycling?
It just goes from the answers to questions it asks during setup.

I followed the recommendations on the plan builder set up part- so I have a low volume, but I might add in a ride here and there which is fine but I can’t help but wonder if it has got me right in terms of fitness if u know what I mean.
I would recommend doing low volume and adding rides as you suggest :+1:

Thankyou one and all.
no problem

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Regarding the difference between the Garmin FTP and the TR FTP - are you using the same bike/power meter? My outside bike (Quark power meter) consistently reads higher than my indoor one (Tacx Neo 2). For TR, I use the FTP from the TR ramp test - although the FTP is lower I have found the hard workouts are sufficiently hard (e.g. “Could I do one more interval if the workout called for it? Low end of maybe”) so haven’t really sweated it (pardon the pun).

Like you, this is my first go at structured workout so I accept that maybe I am slightly lower than I could possibly be, but I need time to get my body used to a more disciplined workout structure anyways. If you are finding the workouts are too easy with the lower FTP, you can always crank it up during the workout by increasing the % FTP for a specific workout, or adjust your FTP up globally.

I am not sure with adaptive training how the higher power readings from outdoor workouts (which are almost entirely races or hard group rides) will affect any adaptations for the indoor workouts. We’ll see how that goes.

Also - welcome to a new world of training!

I wouldn’t trust Garmin’s guesstimates. TR’s ramp test can also be problematic for riders with a higher level of fast twitch muscles. The first thing is to make sure you are comparing and testing your FTPs on the same bike and same power meter. If one is outside power and the other is a smart trainer then there is no comparison.

If you really want to dial this in, I’d recommend a longer, repeatable test on the same equipment that you train on.

You have to ask yourself why would you want to do base in August or conversely, why would you want to do a build in August.

What are you training for? Do you have events in the late summer? You need to pick the training to match the goals so you arrive at the goal event in the shape you want to be in. Jumping in plans at any old time of the year doesn’t accomplish this. If you did base now, you’d be doing build in the middle of winter and peaking for January/February???

Ignore those TSS, your FTP in Strava is not setup correctly.

It is worth to mentiin that this has to be a steady state effort not a stochastic NP from ride or race. But yes it would be a point to start even if it was not steady state effort but this should be tuned up later.

Thanks, AJS914,
Firstly I’m in Australia so we are nearing the end of winter(still surfing in 19C water) and we have just gone into lockdown so I am not training for any specific event as they have all been postponed or are n another state whose border we can’t cross. So I am just doing indoor training as a structured way to gain fitness as we cannot ride as a group.
The FTP test was done on the same bike, same power metre.
But anyway it seems like all advice is to do base and build so I’m happy to do that as they aren’t too easy by a long shot! Thanks again.

Thankyou @MikeMckinney
I am not training for a specific event as we have just gone into lockdown here in Australia. So I decided to do structured indoor training to make up for our group training rides.

Having just replied to a couple of people I decided to reply to you all at once(more newbieness!)
Firstly thank you for your help it is very much appreciated.
So I am in Australia, heading out of winter if you can call it that (still surfing in 19 C water). Also, I’m not training for a specific event, as we have just gone into lockdown, and races have been postponed or we cannot get to them as state borers are closed.
My discipline is road biking.
@GlassGears firstly nice pun.
I too find the workouts sufficiently hard, although not as hard as some of the group rides I do, but I guess it is in the base phase.
As far as the FTP reading goes it is on the same bike, same power meter.

@kevstraining

It was done through Garmin, a 20 min all out exerted effort, so it should be I guess.> Blockquote

Yes the ramp test, it was hard!> Blockquote
Thank you guys, it has helped me to stick with the base phase and carry on with my plan.
Although I do want to lengthen it to a 28-week plan instead of 12, so can i just add on to the length of the plan I am already on? Also, I don’t see Trainnow or adaptive trainer on my menu? these are probs questions for support though.
Thanks again Alex

How long did you set your plan for? I think by default, if you don’t specify an end target event, it does a full year. PB asks for experience in training as part of the setup. If you’ve created a 12 week plan then you can either create a new plan for when that comes to an end, delete the current plan and create a 28wk one or modify the current one.

Adaptive Training is currently in beta, you have to ask to join, then it’s pot luck as to whether you get the invitation email - actually it depends on what sort of user the team want to add to get feedback. I wouldn’t worry about it for the moment. I think Trainnow is just part of the app, not sure as with it being summer here I’ve been riding outdoors and using the web interface.

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Regarding TSS of your group rides, something must be wrong, either the FTP or the power measurements during the rides or both.

The hourly TSS that you accumulate during a ride is equal to 100 x the square of the IF. Where IF is the Normalized Power as a fraction of FTP.

This means you can at most do about 100 TSS for 1 hour and for longer rides 80-90 TSS per hour for very hard rides.

To do 600 TSS in 1.5 hrs, you need a normalized power of double your FTP.

Thanks,
since I have just started I have deleted the plan and started again.
Cheers Alex

Right, It doesn’t make sense at all in that case.
The average power per ride seems ok, otherwise I would have noticed something very odd.
Hmm I’ll check again. Maybe I have got it wrong