Firstly, sorry for my English, not a native speaker. I will try to describe my road so far.
I’m 44 y.o male and using TR almost for three consecutive years and have increased my FTP from 190 W up to 305 W. I’m an amateur MTB racer. In my country, Estonia, the MTB season starts in May and lasts until October. The races are almost every weekend, single-loop with a changing landscape, between 40-70 km in length, 1,45-3,5 hours to complete depending on the race.
For the last two years, I tried SSBMV, which suited me relatively well. I’ve started with the preparations for the next season almost immediately after the season ends, which means that I was able to complete Base, Build, and Speciality. The only point to consider for the next season was that at the end of the SSBMV I was slightly tired.
Based on my racing results (8th overall in my category) and personal feedback from the competition I understood, that my weakness is (I hope “was” )sustained power over the course duration. Because I have no previous cycling background, my aerobic base has a lot of room to improve. My Vo2 and anaerobic capacity are good, but unfortunately, it is not enough for cross-country marathons if you don’t have a solid aerobic foundation.
So this year I’ve decided to take a different approach and focus on aerobic. All workouts are completed indoors (Tacs Neo 2T) since I have a good training room and a good fan.
At the moment, I have completed TBHV I, II, III exactly as described on the plan and started with SPB HV (although in this phase, I need slightly modify workouts to fit my further goals). So now my thoughts and feedback only about TBHV I, II, III phases.
- Phases I and II were physically easy, but sometimes mentally challenging because of the length of the weekend-planned workouts. It is not fun to ride a trainer for 3hr. My best friend the Netflix helped a lot.
- The phase III first two weeks were also quite easy, but the last 2 weeks were harder on the weekends because of the long workouts (up to 4 hr). Besides, tempo-workouts are new to me but managed them successfully.
- The only workout which left incomplete is Baird Peak right at the end of the 3rd week of Phase III. I was tired, but my personal opinion is that 2hr SweetSpot workout with IF 0,83 is slightly out of place in the plan
- I have done occasionally gym work on the “rest” days; I know I know
- The prescribed ramp test hasn’t worked, simply because there were no high-intensity workouts in the plan. Instead, I did 20 min FTP test, and this was much better.
- My FTP went down from 305 W to 290 W. I’m ok with that because the goal was to improve my aerobic base and without a single threshold exercise over a period of 3 months it is completely normal that I haven’t had an increase on my FTP.
- Now I have much lover HR when doing aerobic staff and this is a solid achievement.
- I’ve lost 3 kg of weight and some % fat (base on the scan)
- I can easily handle 3-4 hr Z2 workouts indoors
- My fitness is increased (based on intervals.icu), but FTP is slightly lower. Maybe my previous FTP was higher without a reason, it was conducted on WattBike (not a smart-trainer version) and we all know that a ramp test is anaerobic in nature.
I do not know, I have a lot of thought and observations on this matter
My general conclusions are:
- Will I recommend TBHV? Definitely yes, if your goal is to improve aerobically.
- You should be mentally prepared, it is not easy.
- Good ventilation is crucial.
- Eat a lot on the bike. Drink even more.
- Be ready that you do not see an FTP increase for the 3 months of training
All suggestions and comments from the podcast are applicable, just need to find the one right for you and your training style.