Another FTP / Training question here. I’ve been using TR since Dec 21 and looking back from Apr 22 to Apr 23, my FTP has barley budged (250-260). I’ve tried to stick to a mid volume plan for 1 year now and I was expecting to see some meaningful improvement over a year.
Question: Is anyone else seeing little change over a year of TR? Any suggestions on how to get to the next level and move up to an FTP of 300?
About me, I’m almost 42, I’ve ridden most of my life but really started to get seriour again starting in 2021. I’ve done a couple local Cit Races last year and keen to do more this year. If anyone is curious my profle is here.
I forget the exact numbers but before I joined TR I had a higher FTP, it then came down until I realised I was crap at ramp tests. AIFTPD confirmed what I thought my FTP was and has been keeping me in the 250-262w zone (I put my self at 250w) which is still lower than pre TR. However my TTE has got longer consistently and my results are better. You’ll find lots of discussions on it but FTP is just one metric and whilst it hasn’t improved for me Ive got faster which is the important thing.
Just went through the last couple of weeks and these are the things I noticed.
You get quite a bit of TSS but the bulk seems to be from fairly short (30-45min) high intensity rides. I think those are your commute rides.
there isn’t a single long endurance ride in there.
If you’ve been doing this for a year and you’re not really gaining, you need to switch it up. First thing to do is add long endurance (60/65% ftp). Start with some two hour rides and work your way up to about 4 hours. If you have the time do some back 2 back longer rides in the weekend, but keep it endurance / zone 2!
I also saw quite some vo2max workouts with fairly short intervals. You could try to do some longer ones. Something like 5x5 or 4x6.
Looking through your profile… if you want to go to the next level you are going to need to increase volume. Our life schedule is what it is, so if you only have 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon than not much you can do there. But on days you do have more time I would try to stretch things out. Take the long way home one in awhile. Another good point made was to increase duration of intervals. Work up to some of the longer stuff.
Only thing I would add is maybe to be more consistent with your training. Your weekly TSS is up and down… one week 300…then 500…then 100… Again could be scheduling but consistency is another good way to see improvement.
250-260 FTP is pretty solid considering. I am sure with some adjustments you’ll be on your way to your goal.
TSS doesn’t really say much, it has its use but only if you see significant changes in TSS is it going to indicate anything - yours is basically the same, fluctuating through the year.
If you really want to “move the needle” I think you need dedicated training blocks - forget fun rides, club rides, commute rides and other activities. Knuckle down on consistent indoor training, nutrition and sleep.
More isn’t always better.
When you say ‘tried to’ I’m reading that you couldn’t maintain consistency? A lower volume that is consistent will reap better rewards than a randomly achieved higher volume.
Progressive overload tricks your body into getting stronger. Random overload just freaks it out.
Personally, I think you are worried about nothing. Your FTP on April 26 2022 was 253. Your FTP on April 10 2023 is 266 - a 5% improvement. This is with what looks like roughly a 4 week break from almost all structure beginning in mid Jan 2023. This is only 5 watts less than your September 2022 ftp of 271.
Summarizing, in 2022 you went from 253 to 271. If you see a similar increase, you will be at nearly 285 by the end of the year. This would equate to nearly 25% improvement in FTP since your start 1.5 years ago.
Lots of good responses above. To directly answer your question - yes, I did in 2018 and 2019 and was stuck around 240-255 ftp. Turns out I just need to ride my bike more. For myself, pushing hours from TR 5-6 hours up to “ride your bike and occasionally go hard” 7-8 hours made a big difference and my ftp has returned to pre-TR levels (270-280) despite a) turning sixty a year ago, and b) making training easier than pre-TR and TR. Old fashioned hours with some really hard efforts worked for me. Experimenting with different training is worth it, you never know what will happen.
It is also possible that your current FTP is what you are genetically capable of. If you quit your job and trained 30 hours a week on a polarized plan (read: 24 of those hours at conversational pace) maybe you could find a few more watts.
Yeah, there are tons of “I started training last year and raised my FTP to 5 W/kg” making everyone think that’s an achievable goal for everyone. It’s unrealistic.
In running, cycling, rowing, endurance sport there is a positive performance return with volume. Some good replies.
I hate it when people say “I” (its not about me or an individual) but with volume I’ve never found a point of diminishing returns although I’ve always had time and a lifestyle to recover.
This has been up to 16 hrs per week and my FTP is pretty linear with hours, except when I was in my early 40s training outside only, when I could get to a 300w threshold, (as in 50 minutes at said watts not the result of a ramp test or other fake measures.)
First off, a 10 watt gain is more than “barely budging” – I’d LOVE to gain 10 watts on my FTP in a year!
It looks like you’ve been pretty consistent on the Mid Volume plan, which is great! Consistency is one of the most important factors we look at when it comes to training and progressing.
Other posters here mentioned bumping up your time in the saddle, which may be worth considering if your current lifestyle allows for it. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend choosing a High Volume plan (the names of each plan can be misleading and this is something we are working on revamping), but tacking on some extra Endurance riding to your existing plan can be beneficial. Check out the following TR Blog post on how to do so safely and efficiently:
Remember, though, that consistency is more important than volume. If more volume is too much, it could be worth sticking with a plan that’s manageable and you can stick to.
Beyond your FTP alone, as @HLaB said as well, consider how your fitness overall has grown. If your time to exhaustion has been going up and/or the number of repeated efforts you can do at a given power has increased, that’s a bump in fitness too!
Finally, remember that increasing aerobic fitness takes time. Sticking with a plan as consistently as you can over a long duration will build up those gains you’re looking for.
Keep up the good work and feel free to let me know if you have any other questions! Plenty of other great tips in this thread as well!
I’ve been in a similar rut, being stuck at 280-295 for 2+ years now.
Trainer road definitely made a dofference the first year I started. Since then, there have been essentially zero gains.
I’m HOPING the issue is the lack of information in the plan about how to rate workouts has meant my workouts are consistently too hard and I burnout because of it. I’ve now for the past couple months been rating everything more difficult than beforec and the early returns are good. At the very least training has not been demoralizing.
I’m also planning in the beginning of may to get a 4hr+ endurance ride in, whereas previously I’ve never really ridden longer than 2.5-3 hrs with any regularity.
I feel like, depending on time constraints, we all just get to a point where there’s not really a secret sauce to getting past a plateau without increasing volume.
For me, I went from 220-300 from 2017-2020 when I had time for a bunch of volume. I was doing 10-12 hours per week to hit 300. However, I now have a two year old at home and only have time for 6-8 hours per week. I noticed just dropping that volume took me back down to 280 and I’ve been stuck there ever since I dropped the volume.
I think I’ve learned to just accept being at 280 as it’s more than enough to have a fun on a bike and being at 300 really didn’t make that much of a difference and required a ton more commitment.
I have no doubt that if I started riding 12+ hours per week I’d quickly shoot past 300 watts again, but there’s more to life than just cycling. I’d be losing serious time with my son by doing that.
It’s really fun chasing gains in the beginning, but I think finding enjoyment from training in other ways is the key to not burning out in this sport.
Yea 0-2yrs is tough with kids. I wasnt doing much more than riding around the neighborhood to get a quick beer after bedtime for the kid at that stage, just to get out of the house.
It gets easier though. My daughter is 8 now. Love her to death, I’m there any second she wants me. But she’s much more self sufficient now, she’s perfectly happy doing her own thing. Half the time I feel she doesnt even notice me being gone for a ride lol .
The best rides are the 1 mile loops where she comes with, and we have a beer/cookie/juice box stop halfway at the neighborhood brewery.
IMO way too much intensity. Many of your weeks have like 3 or more days of intensity. Like 2 V02Max, maybe a Threshold and a sweet spot. I have a feeling you are pretty fatigued but don’t notice cuz you have been in this state for a long time. Try a 80/20 model, bring in a bunch more 1-2+ hour Z2 rides and then do only 2 intensity days per week, I bet those will be way higher quality since you won’t be so fatigued.