I have yet another question on the dreaded FTP plateau.
When I started TrainerRoad back in 2017 I did the low-volume plans, I stuck with that until December 2018. I did my first mid-volume sweet spot base I & II plans leading into this spring and just completed my first mid-volume general build plan. (I had done low-volume short power build before).
Anyways, I can trace my current FTP number back to October 2018 when I had just completed low-volume short power build, since then my FTP dropped slightly and then came back. Overall, I would say basically no change in FTP over the last six months that I have been on the mid-volume plan.
When I was doing the low-volume plan, my TSS numbers were actually higher. This is because I was getting in three quality workouts per week and then adding a lot of easier mileage on top of that. With the mid-volume plan, I’m having a hard time adding any extra mileage and this causes my TSS numbers to be lower. For instance, the 1.5 hour ride on Saturday, if I do that workout and then a 1.5 hour Z2 ride on Saturday I’m guaranteed to fail my Sunday workout. So I end up only riding 1.4 hours on Saturday when normally I would ride longer. However, with the low-volume plan I would do the 1.5 hour workout Saturday and ride another 1.5 hours Z2 Saturday and then a longer typically Z2 ride on Sunday.
In short, with the mid-volume plan, I’m decreasing my total volume in an effort to get in my quality. However, this does not seem to have increased my FTP any.
So here’s my question.
With my next block of training, I’m wondering if I should go back to the low-volume plan combined with a few lower intensity long rides each week. This would reduce the quality of my rides, but increase my total volume and TSS numbers. Alternatively, should I stick it out with the mid-volume plans and continue to have a lower total volume of riding (and TSS), but higher quality workouts overall?
A little about myself to maybe help out… I’ve been riding since 2010. Since then, I’ve averaged about 115 hours per year until 2017. However, towards in October of 2017 I started structured training for the first time ever with TrainerRoad. In 2018 I did 368 hours of training and I’m already at 80 hours of training in 2019.
I’m 5’6”, 61kg, and my FTP is currently “stuck” at about 270.
I’ve also attached my TSS chart, PR chart, and FTP history….
At the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world if I’ve truly hit a plateau, but if I’m doing something wrong I would like to correct that so I continue improving.