Choosing a plan with adaptive training

I’ve used sweet spot base, sustained power build cycle over 2 years now. Sad thing is my FTP only gains about 20w throughout the whole year and the fatigue load is high. Anyone have their 2 cents on this? should I give the adaptive training on the same plan progression a go again as I am on the beta (maybe there will be an improvement) , or try something different and go polarized? What I hear from the local fast people is that they all do threshold or sweet spot once a week and long endurance rides the rest and they all have about 100 watts on me.

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I see no reason to listen to local fast people, how are they in a similar position to you? Then think about how dissimilar they are. And are they even getting faster or are they just as fast as they were last season?

AT should manage fatigue better, because the plans flex as you register exhaustive/failed workouts. It does sound like your overall load may have been too high.

I think the first question is how consistently you’ve been following your structured training plan over the past 2 years? If you’ve been training consistently and hitting your marks without improvement, then it might be time to change things. However if you haven’t really been following the plan, then it shouldn’t be a surprise that the results aren’t coming. Many times I see people in this forum complain about slow progress, but when you ask for more detail about their training you find out that it’s very inconsistent; weeks off, skipped training days, unstructured outdoor rides, etc. There are no magic beans for fitness, just consistent hard work over time.


I’ve honestly missed maybe 2-3 workouts ever I followed all the plans religiously. I always carb up before during and after. Something isn’t working and I’d love to pinpoint it, so I thought maybe try the polarized but also willing to try adaptive training version of the sweet spot plans followed by sustained power build.

I looked at your ride history and it doesn’t look all that consistent to me. January was multiple repeats of Pettit, Collins, Fletcher and Virginia which are Endurance rides. February 4 rides, March 8 rides and April 1 ride. A big mix of indoor rides, long outdoor rides endurance rides and sweet spot rides. I can’t really tell from your ride history if you’re actually following a plan or not.

The basis of the training plans is to provide your body with a progressive load to stimulate adaptations. I’m not trying to be harsh, but your comments about religiously adhering to the plan don’t match your ride history.

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If you go back to April 2019 to December and April 2020 to around December you ll see I followed sweet spot all the way through to speciality. Yes this year I haven’t because I felt demotivate after little gains. I just started train now a few week ago.

Only you can really know if you’ve been focussed and disciplined on your plan. Looking back at your longer term ride history it looks like you hit it pretty good for 2-3 months in the middle of 2019, eased off for a few months and then hit it again for 3-4 months in early/mid 2020 and it’s been a bit random since then. When you did stick to your training you went from 2.7 w/kg to 3.3 w/kg (20%+ improvement). You said you’re trying to pinpoint what’s going on and I’d say do all your training rides inside for a year on a LV plan. Do your best to hit all your marks on the Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday workouts and if you want to ride outside do it on Sunday and just enjoy it. Focus on the quality and consistency of your training over a long period. I think if you can do that you could well see the kind of improvements you’re looking for.

When I was really prioritizing training this is what my chart looked like and I went from 250 (3.2 w/kg) to 350 (4.9 w/kg) over 15 months. It was my first time doing any kind of structured training:


Seems like a lot of resistance to your idea of changing things up…

I really dont see any harm in taking a period of time to do a load of quality endurance work - just make sure it is quality though eg no coasting, minimise junctions, no lazy tea stops etc etc. There are plenty of examples and testimonials on here about the value of z2 rides in making breakthroughs and improving all elements of aerobic performance.

If you have a couple of years of one approach and the gains are slowing or stopping, then what can the harm be in switching it up for a while and providing different stimulus. Just be aware though that gains will likely take longer to come, this is not a quick-fix approach, and if you have a reasonable level of aerobic fitness then short z2 rides will not be enough - you probably need to be stringing together 3+ hr rides and making sure you get a ride most weeks of 4+ hours of QUALITY. I do however believe that its liekly that you will see a significant benefit and if/when you pick up the TR style plans again that you are more liekly to see a breakthrough.

There is also a good article by Hunter Allen called ‘The Next Level’ that is a good read and may give you ideas.

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Sorry if that was the message coming through. For the record, I’m not at all opposed to the idea of changing things up. My point was looking a little bit into this, to me it doesn’t appear that the root cause of disappointing results is the content of the training plan, rather the volume of quality structured training over a reasonable period of time. My fear is that switching from a sweet spot centered training plan to a polarized one without identifying and resolving the root causes will just lead to similar results.

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For someone in your position, neither option is wrong. Which plan would you enjoy the most?

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The last time you really followed a TR plan your FTP went up 10% over the course of 5 months. That was march to august of 2020. In 2021 your TSS has had a negative slope for most of the year…training load has picked up since May but your plan adherence has not been good.

I think you had a lot of success March 2020 to August 202. You should take some time to revisit what you were doing at that time. Consistent work & pretty strict adherence to the TR plan. Renew your commitment to those two habits & I think you’ll be satisfied with your results.


I’m going to turn it around and ask why listen to people on the Internet? :joy: I see the local fast people here getting faster every season, and racing for podium spots in Northern California races.

@aprimrose85 There is more than one way to get fast. Not everyone responds to strict compliance with a TR plan. The fast folks around here are almost exclusively riding outside, and not following highly structured plans. However they are following the fundamentals of progressive overload, doing 1-4 big rides a month, etc. Speaking n=1 my performance was higher following that approach versus trying to comply with highly structured plans.

I wonder if TR could calculate a training consistency score for users…say on a running 6 month or 12 month basis. Perhaps there is also a volume score that could be calculated in the same way. The scores could be relative to population or age group and/or gender. Perhaps shown on a bell curve.


I think they do look at plan compliance and said some stats in past podcasts, but apparently the majority of TR users are not on a plan. A consistency score wouldn’t mean much in my opinion if it was just say regular TSS.

I guess I have to figure it out but what was interesting I made a recovery week after a Block and adaptive training deemed Pettit as productive workout which if in recovery should be recovery or achievable so I down graded it to lazy mountain instead. Maybe adaptive training is the way. Will follow sweet spot from next week but says a fair number are breakthrough workouts so will see…