Am I Training Too Much or is my FTP wrong?

Hi Guys - I have been riding for about 4 years now, more seriously for the past two. I have learnt a lot by being a member of TrainerRoad and listening to most of the podcasts. I am 42 and I’ve completed SSBMVI and II and then went back to low volume for build and tacked on some tough rides outside given it is summer in Australia. I was planning to do build again but have taken a few weeks off to ride completely outside. My first ramp test in May 2019 started at 250 and I progressed to 270 after SSMVII but I am struggling to see any further benefits and in the last test post build went back to 268. Please don’t take it the wrong way, I am not unhappy with the returns I have gotten thus far but interestingly I am seeing huge TSS numbers each week (800 - 1100) and wondering if I am in fact doing too much week to week or whether I can trust the numbers? When I do a TR workout, they are not easy and I only just finish some of the Vo2Max sessions so I think my FTP is set correctly indoors but I am just wary of the weekly numbers that I am seeing given the views on the podcast from Coach Chad when he mentions that 800 is a massive week. Should I be taking more rest? Is my outside FTP higher, even though my Garmin gives me an estimate of 268 as well? I am concerned the numbers reflected in the chart aren’t necessarily correct? I know that ability to handle TSS is a personal thing but just looking for another view with the chart below and how one might interpret it. Thank-you for any help/thoughts/insights that you might be able to provide.

It’s very complex situation but I directly pinpoint to the age factor as a possibility for the stagnation.
I am 44 and in my 20s and 30s I would need a day for getting back that superhuman feeling in my body. Being 44 and having countless nights with my kids crying took a dent on my recovery abilities.
I suggest that you decrease your TTS and increase recovery rides rather than “hard training” all the time. Coach Chad said it about 800 weekly being a massive effort like you said, I watched that podcast too.

Looks like a solid season, FTP does not rise constantly or forever…when is your off season? :slightly_smiling_face:

I would take some down time off the bike, let your body recover then ramp up again gently.

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Firstly, this is quite common that people find big gains during SSB, particularly pt 2. I think this is for 3 possible reasons:

  1. It’s the first structured training that a lot of people do, so it’s bound to have an effect
  2. It keeps the intensity below threshold so that you’re fresh for the harder workouts
  3. That last week or 2 is seriously hard.

My own personal opinion is that the Build Plans are half a workout too hard for most riders to be truly fresh for the hardest workouts (my plan modification is to make Thursday a tempo session and concentrate on Tue and Sat as the really hard efforts). And if you have any significant amount of intensity in the outdoor rides, I’d worry that you’re simply going too hard too often.

What kind of IF are your outdoor rides? Maybe concentrate on making them a little bit easier, just unchallenging extra miles.

Lastly, and by way of apology to the TR guys for mildly criticising their Build plan, could you do some of these workouts outside using their excellent outdoor workouts function? Then you could tack on some easy miles afterwards.

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I tend to agree with your point regarding 1 and 2. In terms of my outdoor rides, they are typically 0.95 upwards. They are typically drop rides so close to race pace so making them easier is probably not something I can do but maybe I need to forego them altogether and choose just one. Appreciate the good advice.

Agree the outdoor riding is probably not doing me the best and I acknowledge that but I did do the build plan indoors rather than outdoors and tacked on rides outside the build. I found that my FTP went down slightly post that build period which made me think that I might be a little over tired and look at the TSS values.

If you ask around you might find there are a few takers for an alternative easy “cafe ride”. Or what I sometimes do is go out on a ride with slower club members, so you get the company along with the easy miles.

Another possibility is to works on ways to make these drop rides the most effective workout possible, and use them to replace one of your hard TR sessions. For me that’s making sure that you get some focused efforts in during the ride, that keep your HR elevated for sustained periods.

Whichever way you go about it, I think it’s just about remembering that recovery and adaptation are as big a part of getting fast as intensity and stress.

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[quote=“AdamB, post:6, topic:24203”] they are typically 0.95 upwards. They are typically drop rides so close to race pace so making them easier is probably not something I can do but maybe I need to forego them altogether

Joey:
[/quote]
Just as a matter of interest how many of these rides do you generally do a week and how long are they? Presumably you enjoy these rides and they are one of the reasons you cycle and therefore don’t want to stop going on them. We have a similar issue on our Friday oldies ride when some of the younger members of the club turn up and make it a hammerfest. What we do is agree the cafe and generally split up into 2 groups and ride more or less the same route. Anyone who wants to try and keep up with the faster ones has a go then drops back and gets hoovered up by the slower group. Quite often the slower group gets larger on the way back from the cafe.

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Your TR Career chart shows too much light green and not enough dark green!!! :grinning:

TSS calculates quantity, not quality.

For example, take a hard VO2max workout like Kaiser +2, one of the capstone workouts in Short Power Build LV and MV. These are 3min @ 118% with 4-5 minute recovery valleys. Now cut the intervals in half to 90s each and add a minute of recovery in between, while shortening the recovery valleys by just 1 min. All of a sudden this workout got a lot easier, like an easier version of Baird, even though the TSS hasn’t changed, and the total time @ target wattage hasn’t changed. That’s outdoor riding for you.

What on earth are you talking about?

Your example has nothing to do without door riding. What is with the random example?

I commute to work 4 days a week which is 15 kms each way and I have been attending 3 group rides Tue, Thur and Sat that are all seriously fast, all summed up the road riding would equate to roughly 8 - 10 hours on the road. The thing is that I enjoy the speed and how hard these rides are but I acknowledge the other point in that they are doing me as good as a TR workout. You are right, I enjoy these rides and it is part of the reason that I enjoy riding my bike.

I don’t disagree with you but in SSBMVII and build I had fairly good compliance with the workouts planned indoors and just added a lot of TSS because I just enjoyed riding outdoors as well…and yes there were times it was hard because of the trainer workouts. :smiley:

I think this is an issue of poor wording on my part, similar to my most from the other thread that you replied to.

When I talk about outdoor riding, I’m referring to unstructured rides, not outdoor interval training. I will clarify this in future posts.

My example is to show how TSS doesn’t paint a complete picture: identical TSS, identical IF, very different result.

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I think this is a case of looking at the numbers rather than the bigger picture?

FTP is just one of those numbers, it doesn’t have to increase month by month, at some point you will approach your maximum and unless you radically change what you are doing it’s unlikely you’ll get a higher figure. Your body has just become accustomed to the workload, the only way to “improve” is to give it a shock by doing something it’s not expecting.

You say you enjoy your club/group rides (an IF of 0.95 is bloomin’ hard) so focus on those for a while and skip the turbo sessions and use those days as rest. I doubt your FTP will drop by much and come winter you’ll soon regain any losses and be fresher for extra hard work in raising it.

I think something is way off. Your outdoor ride TSS are so so high. Your weekly TSS averages are remarkable.

Average weekly TTS is average for 12 - 14 hrs per week. If the is the case or more time not remarkable.

The Nov 4 week is a bit odd though.

That happens to me too. I actually don’t plateau. I diminish.

Hmmm I just checked Garmin Connect as well and was presented with the following graphic on my training mix which might be another clue on why TSS is so high. Alot of my rides are in the Anaerobic area as I was completing the short Power build program so that would make sense but I am way outside the optimum range and it is continuing to grow.

Garmin%20recommendations

Based on what people have said, I might scale back the high intensity sessions this week then attempt to do an outdoor FTP test with the Garmin to see if there are any discrepancies between indoor and outdoor. If there isn’t I probably need to scale back the outside rides a little if I want to get faster, if there is then I am not sure what I will do as it might be a little too hard to have an indoor FTP and outdoor FTP on the same device. :smiley:

how restful were your rest weeks? i looks like i’m seeing 600 TSS, so that could be a solid midweek of rest, with a couple 250 tss rides, but I’m not sure.

If you never really rested from mid June to mid October, that’s a big issue.

My rest weeks are like 150-200 tss during the week, but then i do get back at it on the weekend, so that can skew the image when i zoom out.

also, it’s not just FTP. You may have improved in a vast array of other areas. Are you using any other analysis tools?

rest up and make sure you’re changing up the stimuli; not doing the same FTP building intervals over and over and over.

Let us know how it goes!

Brendan

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Thanks Brendan - I am gonna give your advice a go this week and just do Zone 1 and 2 rides all week with no intensity which should give me what you have indicated in TSS and see how I go next week.

Your FTP could be wrong. To be able to do 3 drop rides essentially VO2 and threshold…and add TR workouts is a pretty huge effort…By the way, I am Sydney as well. Love the outdoors ATM…

I am a newbie to cycling. I have only been cycling for 2yrs. This is what i have personally experienced so far.

When i discovered TR, i was super excited. Bought myself a trainer - Wahoo Kickr Snap, did the ramp test for 185 FTP. I started the Traditional base - low volume as i aslo commute to work - 10kms each way.

My goal was to get as high TSS as possible. Sometimes my TSS for my outdoor commutes was higher than my indoor rides. My TSS was typically 700 - 800 each week. I thought this was normal. I later discovered that my TSS figures were too high - because my FTP was not right.

For a couple of reasons:

FTP of 185 was on the Trainer. The Kickr Snap was a wheel on trainer. A lot of watts are lost due to tyre pressure, friction etc. even with power-match - which i hated on the Snap.

Outside, I am using a PM on my bike - a spider based PM. Naturally it will have higher numbers than the Snap. 185 on the Snap was more like 220w on the bike PM. This is why i ended up with higher TSS.

I bought the Hammer H2. Did the ramp test again. This time my FTP was 230 watts which was more accurate. Did the SSBLV 1 & . FTP up to 250.

I dont like to use Powermatch as it tends to have a delay, especially with over unders. Not a good experience. I had to work out how to match/offset the power on the H2 and my bike PM. I ran TR on my phone and recorded the workout on my Wahoo head a compared the power number. They were within 5 watts. Perfect. I now just jump on the H2 and offset by 5watts or just go with it.

Lastly, I also pay attention to my body and other measures to understand my fitness - RPE, heart rate. I use these to do then do a ramp test or adjust my FTP. For example, sometimes interval just feel easy. If it happens for the entire week not just a day or two, great time to do a ramp test or adjust your FTP.

I also keep track of my heart rate. Especially during longer sweet spot intervals. For an intervals of mins or longer, usually my HR will rise to 170 towards the end of the interval. If it only rises to say 165, i know i have gained fitness and i will bump up the target watts…

Not sure if this helps…

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How many hrs a week?The average rider does what? 8-10hrs a week? 800 is on the high side, but not crazy by any means, but again not all TSS is equal.