Am I doing it wrong?

I’ve been a TrainerRoad subscriber for a few years now, but have always struggled to stick to a plan as soon as daylight hours and improving weather make real riding the more attractive option.
Determined to make up for the losses incurred over a restricted 12 months and a particularly lazy early winter, I’ve been doing every session (3x per week) of a custom plan. The first 6 weeks (“Sweet Spot Base I”) never felt like any sort of a challenge, but trusting that they were forming a useful foundation, I stuck with it. Sure enough, the FTP test after 6 weeks confirmed no gain.
The second 6 weeks felt much more like they were doing something - intervals that I could just about get through without the RPM dropping (ERG mode), and that feeling in the legs 24-36 hours later that reminds you you’ve done some useful work. In the FTP test at the end I lasted long enough to get praise from the “narrator” along the lines of “coach Chad is officially impressed” and “you have exceeded all of our expectations!”, so I was expecting decent gains. And yet the change in my FTP was only +2%.
Is it still too early to be expecting meaningful gains? (I am still 10% down on where I was 12 months ago) The next phase is “Sustained Power Build”, so perhaps there’s a clue there that I shouldn’t expect much until the end of that phase.
The Plan Builder seems to assume TrainerRoad is the only cycling I do. What’s the best way to mix real-world rides and a TrainerRoad plan?

The things i would do for a 2% improvement.


I just mix in real life rides as a substitute for a w/o. I normally do 3 indoors rides Tu,Wed,Th and ride in/out at the weekend. Last week though I only did a recovery ride indoors. The outdoors rides are good intensity so I not worrying about it. If it had been all low intensity junk miles in good weather, I’d probably treat it as a one of rest week but not repeat it week on week at that intensity.

FTP is just one metric though, mine hasn’t increased recently at all. But given that I can hold it or above for longer, silly strava prs and more meaningfull tt records and my performance against piers, I am improving outside more than that one metric. Roll on AT and I think the reliance on the FTP metric/test will be less.

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I’ve gone a 9 month period in the past with absolutely zero increase in FTP, so don’t feel too bad!

I suppose it’s knowing that I’m starting from 10% down on where I was and knowing that I’m religiously sticking to the plan that’s setting my expectations for a quick(er) recovery.

AT must have been a very popular feature (or the introduction email was rolled out gradually?) as I responded within minutes of it’s announcement and have heard nothing in the 5 weeks since, other than the “you’re on the list” confirmation.

They might not be adding in list order. I wouldn’t; I’d probably pick a decent range of different user types.

…and for what it’s worth, AT has definitely got some issues to work out, so don’t feel like you’re missing too much at this point.

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The “Best way” to mix TR and outdoor rides is TR Outdoor Workouts so you can take structure outside. Another option is to do a LV Plan on weekdays and leave the weekend to outdoors unstructured. I would take a listen to some of the Successful Athletes podcast’s as a couple of them have mentioned following LV and adding where they can

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I think this one in particular was a good listen on utilizing LV + extra riding

Should be a forum thread too

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