Advice needed: struggling with workouts & motivation on 3rd season with TR

Hi all fellow trainerroaders,

I’m currently struggling with SSB2MV and I’m asking your advice how to move forward from here.

A little bit of backround info, before going more deeply into problem at hand:

  • Male 42 years
    -Been riding actively 14 years
    -180 cm / 73-75 kg

I had an open heart surgery autumn 2018 and bought a trainer, because riding outside was forbidden during recovery phase did some irregular riding with TR. Autumn 2019 I started SSB1MV with 253 FTP and managed to get it up to 288 early 2020 but I were failing many workouts in SSB2MV and Sustained power build MV. There was a lot of work and stress, but moved into outdoor rides after mixing different rides. After unstructured outdoor riding summer 2020 I started more serious attempt with TR in October 2020 with FTP 283. I did SSB1MV, SSB2MV, General build MV and SSB2MV and reached FTP 312. I also did additional strenght training on top of weeks final workout. I was really motivated that season and failed only maybe 2-3 workouts. Again I had an unstructured summer 2021 but did some frequent interval training and I was in best form of my life and made several personal records.

In October 2021 I made myself a new plan with plan builder and AT with high expectations. The first FTP-test put me exactly in same spot as previous year: FTP 283. After SSB1MV I had failed single workout and ramp test gave me FTP 292 - a few watts more than previous year at same phase/date.

First week of SSB2MV was all good, but the suddenly the problems begun. I started failing all thursday thershold workouts and saturday over-unders. There is no too much burn, heart rate is about where it should be, but some how I feel I’m lacking muscular endurance and I feel I’m not able to push through intervals. It’s kind of a vicious circle which is also killing my motivation, in midway of workout I feel I’m not able to to do this and mentally I give up, even though my legs might still have some spark in them. AT has adjusted workouts to be easier, but the problem still persists. I admit the sleep and nutrition have been poorer than last year, but not that much. I also have skipped the strenght training this year.

And now the advice part: next week should be the rest week of SSB2MV and after that the start of build. My plan is to take whole week of the bike to rebuild the motivation. Then redo the SSB2 but with LV (after new ramp test naturally) and then move to General Build LV. Do you think this could be the way to get me back on track? Or should I redo SSB1LV too? Or completely something else? My goal is to be above FTP 300 before summer again, but these constant failures give me serious doubts if this is achievable?

I’m finding it hard to accept the performance difference to previous year. Is it a motivational thing or am I just getting old?

Indoor riding was more acceptable because there is no risk of falling down and no twisting of bars because it would have risked the ossification of sternum. But thats not a thing anymore and now its all good on that part.

I feel my Z1, Z2 and endurance are good and I have no problem of doing +10h rides if needed (outdoors naturally). Somehow threshold work started to take serious toll on me after SSB1MV

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For 10h I can go with average of 27 km/h, 2200m elevation and average HR of 123.

All heart related issues are thing of the past but they made me start TR because doctors recommended indoor rinding instead of outdoors after surgery. Currently I have no heart problems and there is no restrictions on that part. Doctors said I can push it as hard as I can from autumn 2019 and besides of taking antihypertensives for blood pressure, I have no other effects after surgery.

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Would you consider re-introducing the strength training when you switch to LV?

Personally, I find nutrition and sleep have more of an impact on my motivation and actual workouts than I want to admit and I’d be looking for “easy” gains there to support my actual work on the bike.

I can totally relate to your experience. Had a very similar experience last Dec 2020 through April 2021 doing Mid Vol and matched your descriptions of what you’re going through right now. I was really struggling with the VO2 max workouts especially in the build phase. I am a bit surprised that you are seeing it with AT but that’s not something I can help you out with.

I’ve swithced to Low Volume this year to allor for more Z2 riding. I can tell you that it has been a big improvement so far (but am only in SSBLV1 currently). I love having only 3 structured workouts a week - brings alot of flexibiltly and I’m mentally more amped for each than when there was 5/week on MV. The Z2 for me is either Zwift or outside (fatbiking in Canada).

Good luck! The motivation thing is tough. You want to want to ride… haha. Make biking fun. I get it, we are all Type A folks on TR so we tend to obsess over performance but inevitably it’s all about being fit, feeling good on the bike and having fun.


Thanks for replies everyone.

If/when going to LV I will reintroduce strenght training and additional easy outdoor ride when ever Finnish winter weather allows that.


I’d take more time off the bike maybe, until you feel motivated again. For me motivation is a really good indicator of fatigue - if you don’t feel up for it, something is wrong. Maybe just do easy rides outside, or do something different - just strength training maybe? It doesn’t sound like you have any goal events soon that you’ll need to be on a strict schedule for, so there isn’t much reason to stick to the one week off.