Another (Am i overtraining?) lollll

I’m starting to feel like half the time i come hear and whine but i’m really struggling to figure this out. So last time i was complaining about not being able to do V02 Max. This time it’s that my FTP has fallen after the triathlon base phase. Just frustrated as i really want my ftp to go up lolll.

The core of my theory is that i’m either overtrained (from low volume, ugh). or that I may respond better to a different mix of programming.

Life Context: sleep 7.5-8 hours, pretty stressful at work (desk job), eat paleoish, i’ve gained weight over the course of training (not good weight, then again i have eaten a bit too much on weekends) but have had pretty bad food cravings (could be overtraining related, not sure)

September: Started sweet spot base 1, tested at 199
October: Started sweet spot base 2, test at 216 (a bit of inconsistency at the the beginning but not bad)
December: Wheels starting come come off at the end of Sweet Spot Base II. No worries Christmas Vacation is coming
January: After 2 weeks of skiing i hop back into it at Half Distance Base. I retest lower 211 (no surprise, i took 3 weeks off, drank and skied every day, ran occassionally)
January: get sick. this is likely the 2 weeks of skiing and partying catching up, 2 weeks of basically no training
February: I end up re-starting the plan, no big deal. I didn’t retest but workouts didn’t seem too bad so i kept with it. Fitness improved and heart rate came down as the plan progressed.
March: Reached the end of Half Distance, well almost. The final hard week wasn’t kind to me and i failed Dade -1. Feeling really fatiqued after workouts.
Today: Retested and got an FTP of 203 (this was after a super easy week as you can see from the chart), feeling pretty tired from the FTP test.

*i was lifting relatively heavy twice a week, low volume but high weight

Potential Overtraining Symptoms: (or maybe i’m just reading into things too much)

  • I’m sleeping 8.5-9 hours a night now and still pretty tired
  • i feel overheated and fatigued after workouts for most of the rest of the day (is this normal)
  • food cravings (i’m pretty sure i had these before)
  • works still felt pretty good and performance was ok (except V02 max)
  • kinda affraid of the V02ma workouts on the trainer now
  • though i didn’t get sick, which is what i normally see as a red flag

Not even 300 of cycling TSS there but oh well. This is my starting point. This is my second year of going at it and after a pretty good sweet spot base 1 & 2 i was feeling hopeful. Fortunately i think my event might be cancelled so my silver lining is i can blow up my training and go back to the drawing board without consequence.

So here are my theories/paths forward.

Option 1

  • I’m over-trained, take time off (no idea how much, 2 weeks, 3 weeks) I know it’s a judge it and see how it goes

Option 2

  • I’m over-trained, but given that i’m not 100% sure maybe i just do traditional base low volume 1 to recover then go into sweet spot base

Option 3:

  • I’m overreacting, hop into triathlon build with maybe an extra week off.

Thoughts? Thanks guys :slight_smile:

General Future Path: (if i really am overtraining)
I think i need the true rest weeks of sweet spot base and sustained power built. I feel like the triathlon rest weeks aren’t low enough volume/intensity for me. I think the modified Sweet Spot base / builds plans probably suit me better moving forward.

@JoeX @chad @Jonathan @Nate_Pearson

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I am guessing you meant to tag Coach Chad Timmerman, not me?

He is the real coach, I am just a forum moderator. His tag is @ chad (without the space, because I didn’t want to tag him unnecessarily), so you may want to edit your post, if he is the one you wanted.

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hahaha, ooops. My bad. Thanks for catching that.

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LOL, you’re not the first and won’t be the last. I try to watch for that and correct when I see it, so they get the right Chad :stuck_out_tongue:


I know it can be frustrating right? :grinning:

So there are gaps in your training you’d want to iron out, but I don’t think there is anything wrong per se about your training, although it’s always hard to diagnose anything at a distance. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious red flags, except that your FTP isn’t responding to training as you’d expect…or hope.

Iirc you do have a bit of a mixed bag of training, so Id bring this back to basics and give it some focus.

So…FTP testing: are you still using virtual power?

  • Lots of things mess with the virtual power output in my experience; tyre pressure, tyre condition, pressure of the roller on the tyre, condition/age of the turbo. Oh and releasing the clamp after you train.

Are you roughly the same conditions before each test?

  • Same recovery the day before, similar temperature, fans on, etc.

I would think about ditching the non-bike training for a while if bike performance is your key goal this training block - in fact I’m thinking the same given access to gyms, pools and weights is impossible at the moment - maybe keep three easy runs, but make sure your TR bike sessions are the key unmissable sessions each week.

With a bike focus you should be able to handle far more TSS than the 200 or so you’re getting at the moment, but don’t go mad - CONSISTENT - is your watchword. Say you want to be over 200 TSS TR sessions every week for the next day 12 weeks, outdoor rides are just bonus points :wink:

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Have you looked at or Elevate to see if you’re over training…the graphs really do help with giving you an indication if you have gone too hard and need rest.

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The FTP tests have all had the same power meter, Tacx 2T paired with vectors 3s.

Yep, i’ve tried to keep it consistent. That was my hope as well because i came out of SSB1 feeling super fit and when i was hitting the end of SSB2 (both low volume) Also felt super strong. While my running has improved (i was running during SSB, just not as much distance). Went from 6:35s m/km on my easy runs to 6:15s. So that’s a plus. The issue is more how worked over i feel on hard days. LIke trianing is hard but i shouldn’t feel fatigued and headachy.

As far as nutrition i do my rides in the morning, have a gel before and sometimes a gel during. I try to have outmeal, a smoothie and eggs after. Then i eat normally after the fact.

Given how awesome i felt after sweet spot base i’m thinking i should go back to that as my protocol. (more for the fact that the recovery weeks are true recovery weeks, as opposed to the backoff weeks of triathlon base which are more of just a slight tickdown in volume). I think that’s the main difference that could help me not feel as worked over.

I think i want to hop back into training because i actually feel pretty good while on the bike and have been hitting decent numbers.

I’m just having the internal debating of whether to just hope back into SSB1&2 while doing 2 easy runs a week. (45 min, 25 min and a 1 hour).

Or hop into traditional base low volume for some easy miles / recovery.

Thanks for the feedback so far.

This is what stuck out for me. Paleo for what purpose? If you’re trying to improve on the bike, eating low carb will be counter to the advice you’ll find through TR.

Likely it’s not just one thing. You’ve mentioned a few blips in the consistency department which may affect your ftp, that doesn’t really seem like it factors into your fatigue levels though.

You’re probably not over trained but if you were it’s time off the bike, not just a decrease in volume. If you do take some time away, (might be good for you psychologically) be sure to focus on getting in good recovery. Common for people to gloss over that aspect of training. Personally, for example - I have to remember that mowing the lawn isn’t recovery.


My take is also not likely overtrained so much as tired from hard and occasional inconsistent training. Your FTP has basically hovered within 5%, I wouldn’t say it has necessarily dropped (how you perform on any given single day could vary way more than 5%, especially given the bouts of inconsistency).

If you enjoyed SSB and felt you benefitted from it, then I would start it back up and see how you feel. Integrate a few easier runs and just get back to basics. You don’t have any races upcoming to use this time to focus on building a stronger and more consistent base that will be able to handle the higher level of training when you do ramp it back up.


Thanks for the feedback @wfenwick @ibaldwin @mrpbennett @JoeX

I really appreciate it. I think i’m just going to hop back into sweet spot base (Chad’s modified version)

In reviewing through it looks like i should be in the clear. Just need to focus more on life stress management lolll

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For most of us, the hardest moving target! Keep after it!

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This and the 2 weeks of skiing stuck out to me as well.

Food cravings suggest perhaps not eating enough too. Gotta fuel for the work and sweet spot takes a lot of fuel for the energy expended. As they’ve said on the podcast before, those are the days that you don’t have only a salad for lunch. It makes a considerable difference in RPE.


@Ripi , Curious how things have been since. I felt I was borderline over-reaching or even near over-training because I just felt totally tired for days and with difficulty breathing and scratchy throat. Negative for COVID but did not test for other viral or bacterial infections as I didn’t have a fever. Lungs clear but still felt tight and we had rain for weeks so it shouldn’t be allergies. Last Ramp 3 weeks ago was only +1W and yet the week prior, I feel really ready. Now, 1 week off the bike and 1 week of Zone 2 and see how this week will progress.

By the way, you should try UCAN for fueling. As for, I have yet find the fitness page helping… I have also been playing with HRV4Training and the jury is still out on that…