Consistent training, but not improving (even declining)?

Hi,

I hope some of you might be able to help me out. I’ve heard numerous times that consistency is key and I really took it to heart.

I’ve been training for around 18-20h a week for a while now (picture shows time from November, when I joined TrainerRoad). I hit around 900-1000 TSS weekly, usually 700-800 from cycling and around 200-300 from running.

I prioritize the basics: consistent training, 2-3 hard sessions per week with the rest easy, 8-9h of sleep a day. My hard sessions are: track Tuesday = running intervals (10 x 400m, 8 x 600m, 6 x 1000m etc.); 1x threshold bike (got up to 4 x 12 at threshold) + 1x “sandwich” workouts like Wheel, Starlight, Senger etc.)
Also get a long ride (up to 4h15 so far) and long run (2h30) in.

The problem is that I haven’t seen any improvement for a long time … actually, ever since my 1st FTP test in TR. My 1st FTP test was in November, got 260. Took it again in February, got 255. If I took it now, it would probably be even lower. So I’m actually even getting worse. So … what now? Got the volume, got the consistency, seems that I’ve got all the pillars together, but something is not working.
Any opinions?

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Rest week…?

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Are you self coaching?

If I am reading this correctly, you are not resting, ever!

If you want progress you need to let your body recover…
you need a week of lower intensity every so often and maybe a day off too…

I usually do, 4 week of training and 1 week of recovery…repeat. Seems to work fine for me… I would look into something similar to let your body recover properly.

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Holy cow. Take a rest week. It’s like you keep digging the foundation but never actually start building the house.

With how much work you’ve been putting in with no recovery I’m surprised your FTP test only went down 5W. With some recovery I wouldn’t be surprised if your real FTP is closer to like 280+

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Wow. Those weeks are impressive. I am surprised that you are not feeling terrible and overreached and only see a slightly lower ftp everytime you test. Give yourself one rest week, and you will probably be surprised by your legs after it…

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As others have said. Rest.

A few days completely off, and 5-10 days of easy ride how you feel and you’ll probably crush it.

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How do you feel in general and what power source are you using?

As others said, rest. Look for a pronounced sawtooth pattern and not the small rolling hills you have in your TSS. Cut TSS by 50% on rest, but keep some intensity, just short and light.

The down is where you grow and get stronger. The up tears down and adds stimulus.

Some people get the wrong idea that you get stronger during work. That’s the end result. The work is the stimulus. The rest and recovery is where you grow.

You don’t even have proper recovery days within the week. I can’t even spot mesocycles.

From the TSS I am seeing nothing less than 2hr Z2, and that is not a Z1 recovery spin which should be around 45 TSS.

When you take a rest, you’re probably going to crash hard and all the strain will hit you like a brick wall. Just a guess, but I’ve done that and that’s what hit me.

In other words it might take some time. I think stevemz gave a good prescription. Up to 2 weeks of light work and a few days completely off.

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I have plateau’d my FTP and have been following TR plans for a couple of years (mostly in the winter months). I’ve never taken a proper recovery week thinking they are worthless and give me very negative vibes. Last week I took a recovery week (first ever) and even though it was really hard I stuck to it.

Today i did my start of week 5 FTP test… went up from 216 to 230. I wont ignore recovery weeks again.

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You posted the same back in January and have since deleted your posts. This was one of the responses to you:

“Honestly you need to back off the volume and start fueling your rides, especially anything above Z2.”

I also replied suggesting your TSS was very high by itself, let alone the runs you’re also doing.

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You need to think of rest / recovery days / weeks as adaption days / weeks. If you don’t have those days, you won’t be adapting for the better.

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If he already posted this, and he continue to ask for advise…
there might be an alt for his question:

Bragging?

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Recovery seems like a good candidate to explore, as others have said.

Consider also what types of workouts you’re doing. We can put in lots of volume, but a change in FTP is an adaptation that makes us better able to meet the demands we are asking of ourselves. One threshold workout per week might not be enough to elicit that particular response, even though you may be getting much fitter in ways other than a higher FTP.

The mix of workouts may also affect whether a particular FTP assessment is likely to be a good gauge of progress. If the ramp test is the only time you’re hitting some of the above-threshold workloads, it’s possible that it’s affecting your results (as it may be trying to extrapolate from “uncharted territory”). Before drawing conclusions about your progress, perhaps consider an assessment format more in line with the type of efforts you do in training (e.g., 20 minute test or other sustained-effort tests).

Good luck!

No idea, assume it’s genuine. Just hope s/he listens to the advice this time, and we don’t have the same post again in May.

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Serious question: why do you do so much volume with so little, if any rest?

Rest is obvious and fueling but I am really surprised that with so huge volume this is a hard threshold workout. Volume is huge but I wonder how your quality sessions look like - from the examples you have provided your intensity workouts seem to be quite easy in comparison to the amount of training you absorb.

Not saying this is the issue (rest is probably the main cause) but I am only pointing out one possible factor.

Sometimes people have to be told the same thing repeatedly before it clicks/ stop shrugging it off.

No expert, at all, but as many already have said - rest more. Also, I wouldnt mix cycling and running if you want a more consistent and just development in FTP.

/JB

Or maybe the answer is not what the OP is what looking for…

:man_shrugging:

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I’m in the same boat, plateaued. But I’m thinking outside the box, I’m thinking e-bike.

Kidding aside, I need to get off this forum and go to bed.

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