So I’ve had a bit of a break from the bike, since August to be exact. I’ve started the TR low volume base plan 2 weeks ago and I feel like the workouts are getting too easy now. My question is should I manually increase my ftp so the workouts are harder and if so by how much? Or should I leave as is and carry on with the plan.
Either increase Intensity of the workout by 10 and see if that works…
Based on that… adjust your FTP
Or just suffer another Ramp Test!
Tricky - when doing SS workouts e.g SSBHV1/2 you can nudge your FTP a few points and you won’t notice. On MV/LV with the o/u and VO2 max workouts if you push your FTP you might blow your chances of completing the workout. Maybe you can as Ericson, Carson and Eclipse are all SS in week 3. You need to have a pretty accurate understanding of your FTP before Week4/5 - you won’t fancy Warlow and Palisade with a slightly over inflated FTP
Sounds like an increase would be a good idea. By how much is harder to say. Here’s my two “guideposts” for how a sweet spot workout should feel:
1. It should be hard enough to require focus. This means I won’t be able to hit the target power if I’m dorking around on the iphone trying to bring up a podcast or a song. It also means that I won’t feel bored at any point in the workout (or at least during the work intervals). If I’m bored or can hit my targets while multi-tasking on other things, it’s too easy.
2. It should be mild enough that adding another work interval at the end of the workout would be possible. If, just before the end of the workout, Chad said “surprise! one more time!” and I had to go again, it shouldn’t crush my soul. Hard, yes; an unwelcome surprise, of course. But not impossible.
My suggestion would be to modify the workout intensity over the next 2 weeks to zero in on where the workouts “feel right.” Do the first work interval unadjusted, then turn it up 1-2% for one or two work intervals and see how it feels. If you feel you overshot the mark, unwind half of the last increase. I recently did this very thing, and then revised my FTP by the typical workout adjustment I used, erring on the side of being conservative. The Saturday over/under workouts in weeks 4 and 5 should give you a good indication of how well you gauged things.
I’m assuming you did a ramp test at the start of this training block, so you’re at least in the right ballpark. If not, or if you find yourself moving things by more than around 5%, though, I would consider re-assessing.
No kidding on Warlow/Palisade. I switched to a new P2Max power meter and road bike mid-way through SSBLV1 and even did an extra ramp test to set my ftp for that piece of equipment after trying one workout and realizing my other FTP wasn’t anywhere close for this new bike/PM. I question the result a bit, as efforts have seemed a bit tougher on it compared to my Stages single-side and tri bike, but I was plugging along okay until yesterday and Warlow. Wow oh wow, just cooked my legs and had to dial things down for the final two blocks. I don’t think I’d have finished if I hadn’t done that, and I still felt whooped at the end. I’m not looking forward to Palisade next week, that just looks brutal.
To the OP, I’d say sure, go ahead and re-test if you feel your FTP might be significantly low, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself really having to dig and maybe even knocking down the workout intensity a bit when you hit these last two 90-minute efforts.
Really helpful information from all, thanks.
So I’ve tried experimenting with my last 2 rides. My ftp straight after the break was 165 and I did all week 1 sessions at that ftp. The first ride in the 2nd week felt too easy so I upped it to 180 for Monitor and that was definitely too much as I had to dial it down for the last 2 intervals. For antelope I took it down to 170 and that almost felt too easy again. For my session tomorrow I’m thinking of trying 175 and see how that’s goes. Is there a heart rate zone that I should be staying in for sweet spot work?
I wouldn’t use that to guide your workout intensity. In some places you see advice for targeting HR for aerobic rides (e.g., Friel) but i haven’t seen this advised for higher efforts.
I would add that as an untrained rider, you can often see disproportionate gains as you start to train. Biasing up a bit is a good way to compensate - but don’t expect that those gains will continue as you get more experience. Kind of like how the first 5-10 lbs are much easier to loose than the last few.
My HR for sweetspot is usually in the range of 140 - 155bpm - my max is 178bpm (I usually see that at the end of the Ramp test and I saw 175bpm at the end of Palisade to give you an idea what that will feel like - was during week 5 of SSBMV1). I think my zones are set right as when I race a 50 mile tt which takes a bit less than 2 hours then my HR is in the 140’s and SS is roughly what you can knock out for a couple of hours - about 85% max. Is sometimes higher on the turbo though if it is a warm day (not an issue this time of year though!) which is why HR is often not considered a reliable guide.
OP, I was in a similar spot and bump my FTP up some for the last 2 weeks or so of the SSB1; in week 6 now. I knew the ramp test did not get my FTP correct when compared to my previous outside FTP (I know it’s said that inside/outside FTPs can vary), but I attribute that to being off the bike a few weeks or so before starting TR. The bump feels right, but I think I could go a tad bit higher, but since I will have to do another ramp test next week to start SSB2, I’ll just wait and see what I get then.
All that to say, bump it up and go for it. You will know when you get to those over/unders or even those longer intervals just under FTP.
Question everyone. How do you bump FTP in the middle of a workout? I didn’t know you could do that.
You could just increase the intensity of the workout mid-workout… That should have the exact same effect on the workout as raising your FTP by the same percentage
So I did today’s session at 175 and I think the difficulty was right today
I think a good test would be the 90 min workouts from next wee
Ahh ok. Got it. I thought you’ll meant you could literally change the FTP setting in the middle of the workout.
You are able to edit the FTP for a ride after the fact, and your TSS and probably some other metrics will be adjusted accordingly.
Definitely agree with @jdman above. I am a beginner FTP 232 doing SSBMV1. I am seeing that every week, the RPE of these workouts is getting easier so in my week 4 Carson workout I increased the workload by 5% and was able to finish strong. I agree that the o/u workouts have been the toughest for me and looking at the palisade numbers, it seems a whole step above what I’ve been doing up till now so rather than keeping the 5% increase, I will do the first half of that workout at regular 100% and increase by 1-3% max depending on how strong I feel, then keep that for a week or two.
For @Jahir I just wanna say that coming off such a long break that your overall fatigue is way low and also the fitness is initially going to jump up quickly (as you have seen). Taking both of these points into account, I’d say increasing the workout intensities by small increments (1-5% steady per 2 weeks) or adding some more miles in the form of 1 or 2 easy aerobic/recovery rides (this means more time on the bike though) might be some good options to keep the training stimulus high enough while minimizing risk of increasing workload too quickly. Your body may be more or less able to handle the increased training stress depending on how much/ consistently you rode in years past. I’ve only been riding by myself outside and doing group rides for 1 year now and this is what I’d say for a beginner trying TR for the first time (like myself). All that being said, I will add that the 1st week of SSB is a comparatively lighter week. The easier rides 50-70% FTP should be easy and the harder stuff in 90+% FTP should be harder but not dying to complete. I’d probably use only the harder workouts as times to judge warranting an FTP increase after holding that increase for a week or two and still feeling strong.
@route66 changing equipment, power meter, and even position d/t your new bike will definitely affect the numbers you see and thus the FTP that results on the training programs we use. With respect to the workout calculations, FTP is just a number in the formula to determine the watts of our intervals. So good on you that you adjusted it to be able to finish everything. Even though the actual FTP number might have decreased from the beginning of your block, you more than likely still gained fitness in reality since we can’t compare the FTP you started with due to all the changes you had with equipment.
Best of luck to everyone in the new year! TR and all the posts you guys put out help me in so many ways. Cheers!
Update…so I bit the bullet and did a ramp test today 3 weeks into SSB LV1 and was quite pleasantly surprised. My ftp today is 206 (originally 165) which is quite a big jump. Pushed hard today and felt like I could’ve pushed a bit more on the test few weeks back so I don’t think the original ftp was very accurate. Anyway just worried that the next few weeks will be really hard since essentially I would’ve undertrained first the last 3 weeks? Though I did manually up my ftp and did the last couple of sessions with ftp set to 177ish.
Also should I skip tomorrow’s Tunnabora session as today’s test was unplanned or should I carry on as normal? Suggestions welcome.
When I did my mid-plan reassessment for new equipment, I did it at the same point where you are now, but just made that week of training into an extra recovery week.
It does sound like your initial test had your ftp too low. If you feel up to it, do the next session as scheduled. It should serve as good validation for your new FTP. If Tunnabora is a huge struggle, even with back-to-back days of effort, you’ll know your new ftp is maybe a bit on the high side. But I bet you get through it okay. If you need to dial back the intensity a little to get through it, but you make it through, then hang onto every bit of that new ftp and see how things go moving forward. You’ll make some gains as you get through the plan. As an inspiration, two weekends ago I struggled with Warlow, but yesterday I did much better with a more difficult Palisade. This stuff works!
Carry on as normal as the ramp test isn’t a big training load.
Bit of an update. So I started SSBLV2 yesterday and that meant another ramp test. My FTP has gone up to 224W, that’s almost 60W since my first test…like wtf
Can’t wait for this block to finish and see where I am in another 6 weeks time. Trainerroad is awesome!!!