Discouraged. FTP won't increase

Might be getting a bit burned out from jumping from plan to plan to plan and not giving it a real break from intensity. Personally I usually do 20 weeks of TR in the winter and then don’t touch it again until the following winter unless I throw in an endurance ride or something indoors on a crappy day when I can’t get out. I don’t think that recycling through the plans over and over is really beneficial especially in MV when you’re doing intervals 4x a week and never getting proper rest

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For starters, you are short changed change by an hour per day because of those two little rug rats. Try giving up some TV and going to bed earlier.

Another thing to consider is more frequent rest weeks. TR sometimes has 5 week blocks. Many amateurs will do better with 2 on 1 off or 3 on 1 off. You have to rest for adaptation to occur. That means sleep at night and rest or “adaptation” weeks.

An LV plan with extra endurance workouts might be better for you.

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All your ”FTP” results were from the ramp test? At least two assumptions are being made a) your FTP can be derived ramp test using the 75% x MAP formula. b) that your MAP is consistent day to day.

The ramp test might be absolutely fine for you but for me not so much. The ramp test over-estimates my FTP by about 10w (so it’s not 75% of the last minute but 73%). The ramp test does not necessarily result in a consistent MAP. I’ve tests that score 5-7w difference between tests taken 2-3 days apart.

6h41m doesn’t seem like a lot of sleep to me. I generally aim for 8, but I’ve not kds.

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Two things standout for me:
1 - Sleep. I wouldn’t function on <7h per night. With two kids this is challenging (I know), but anyway you could find an extra hour?
2 - TSS: weekly averages aren’t massive and could be you need a bigger stimulus.

Finally, how’s the TTE @ FTP? Nice to increase FTP, but nicer to be able to hold a high % of it for longer!

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Ok. Let’s figure this out together! Here’s a screen grab of the first few weeks of General Build Mid Volume. Note the Weekly TSS numbers…something is off between the plan and your weekly TSS over the past three weeks.

Which workouts knocked you off your TSS schedule?

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FWIW, I’m almost the same FTP as you. Mid 230s and topped out at 238 couple times, back to 231 this last FTP test after the off season and starting up the new plan for 2021.

Also, I’m 44 and my weight is just a hair under you and I have 40 hours a week job and a bunch of kids and all that too.

So I’ve had some of the same feelings and frustration you have. But there is one bright spot I can share. I posted last year the thread:

https://www.trainerroad.com/forum/t/ssb-ii-is-killing-me/

Well here I am a year later and ssbII is on the plan builder again. This time it isn’t killing me. I was about FTP 220 when I did this plan over a year ago. So even though only 10-11W higher now and it seems from my history that’s within the margin of fluctuation up/down, I’m now doing those same workouts without dying. Instead of limping through them and turning the intensity down a percentage or two, I’m keeping it right at 100. My HR gets up there and I sweat, but I just keep powering through and my legs aren’t failing and I feel great when I get it done.

So I’m sort of excited for the new AT program that can measure and show progress on more than just FTP because I feel like FTP isn’t telling the whole story. My FTP isn’t a lot different but my results during workouts are certainly different.

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Nothing additional of any substance. No running. I have a set of dumbbells next to my desk that I pick up once a day but no real weight training.

Last time off the bike… er… I don’t know. My last true 0 week was in June of 2020. Not a bad idea.

No I don’t get 100% compliance. I end up skipping a lot of the warm ups and/or cool downs in an effort to save time. Maybe this is wrong but I’ve always felt like if I hit the meat of the workout (the intervals) I will be getting the majority of the benefits. Also some weeks I’ll skip the recovery ride, again, in the interest of time. During most workouts I’ll need to back spin in an interval or two for 15 seconds then start again to finish. Feels more weak minded than anything.

Honestly no. I really don’t. The first time I tried SSB MV the 6 week cycle really beat me up, had to skip the last week and went straight to the recovery week. That was last fall sometime. But since then I’ve been doing better. This last 4 week block I felt really good before the recovery week, felt like things were going good.

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This is awesome. Thanks. I really don’t feel as though I’m running into the ground, usually feel excited for the work, but that very may well be it. I’ve been known to have that stubborn ego in the past… haha

Which z2 rides are you doing? For this next 4 week block I might just try to replace all the Sunday rides with something less stressful. That would leave 3 intensity days and two recovery rides.

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Yeah, all from the ramp test. I’ve actually considered re testing.

I’m always trying to find extra sleep. Seriously this is an active goal of mine to sleep more. We aren’t much of a TV family so unfortunately that isn’t something that I can just cut out.

Yeah. For sure. I do think this has increased over the past 6 months and is a little harder to quantify.

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  1. My TSS history is lower than the plans have. Yeah. 100% truth. Three things are probably contributing to this:
    a. Often I skip the warm up and/or skip the cool down. This is in the interest to save time in my day. I have always assumed that if I still do the meat of the workout (the interval section) I am still getting the majority of the benefits. This makes a surprising difference to the overall TSS of the workout, often my workout TSS is less than 80% of the workout expected TSS.
    b. I take the rest weeks really light. I often don’t complete all the recovery rides.
    c. If I need to drop a workout in the week I try to drop the recovery ride.

  2. I’m positive I have room for improvement in the precent of workouts that I complete with 100% accuracy. This is something I’m actively working on. Fueling well before a workout helps a lot. I’ve found that a bowl of Steel Cut Oats with an apple maybe 20 minutes before with a gel 20 or 30 minutes into the workout really helps me.

In Bashful +6 last week the first set of 5 I completed all with no breaks, second and third set of 5 I needed one ~15 sec back spin on the 5th and 4th interval respectively. That’s pretty representative of my workout completion.

Are these two items tanking my training? Thoughts?

That’s awesome. Thanks for the story. I’m interested in how you do with the new 2021 plan. Sounds like we have a lot of similarities.

I’m the same but caps out at 240 and hooves around 230 with TTE under 40 min to over an hours as FTP drops. What’s you FTP to VO2 Max ratio? If it’s higher than 75% and you are ok with your time to exhaustion at FTP, then maybe you should work on improving your VO2 Max with Short Power Build. My VO2 Max estimate from WKO4 is 290 with current estimate FTP of 235 which puts my ratio at 81%. I tried doing a VO2 build (modified Short Power Build LV as backbone) in January followed by Sustained Power Build but it was too brutal as my base wasn’t there. I had to take three weeks off/easy to shake off the fatigue. Pretty sure my power is back down to 230. I plan to rebuilding my base after this week with more emphasis pushing my weekly duration higher with less intensity (brushing off my old FasCat SS training plan with modification for longer endurance rides) so that I can push my VO2 higher later in the year.

Your description seems a great reflection on many TR athletes.

There are many threads on your exact issues. Hypothetically, TRs new Adaptive training plans may address these issues. Prior to that you simply have to tune your training to be ideal for you, not some imaginary average cyclist human that TR invented.

The above posters are right. Focus first on reducing intensity days. Try just 2 hard days a week. Replace the other days with Z2 rides. Hit your hard days hard.

As noted, invest in sleep. Make any changes possible to facilitate this.

Usually when athletes plateau, especially with TR’s style of regular sweetspot training, doing more training is often not the solution. Commonly, TR athletes will improve from a completely different training intervention. This is not an attempt to begin yet another debate on the merits of different training philosophies, just an observation myself and many others have made.

In fact, listening to the podcast, it seems like TR are finally realizing or at least admitting that their training plans are not suitable for everyone. Adaptive training is them trying to improve and further individualize these plans.

Personally, I’d take a full week off. Then begin a polarized, pyramidal or hybrid polarized training block for a new stimulus. A block of training that focuses on rest, higher volume endurance training and very high quality high intensity training.

Worth a try.

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That’s exactly my same experience, I started last year at 209 went as high as 222 on the specialized block. Took a couple weeks off and retested at 209 but I feel that although the numbers are very close my experience is different this time. I am able to finish all the workouts and my heart rate is prob 5 bpms lower than last year. I am 47 with family, job and kids. And I am doing LV and trying to add extra Z2 rides when I can.

How is one to know what is ideal for you? I mean, maybe this is the path that everyone takes where you try a few things until it fails, then adjust and see if the next thing works? Fair enough.

Can you give an example of what you mean by a Z2 ride? There seems to be several definitions of what the different zones are. I apologize for such a rudimentary question, really just trying to learn.

Ugh. This is seriously exactly what I feel like I’ve been doing for some time now. The LV plans weren’t doing anything so I worked hard to get to a MV (ish) plan.

Worth a try, right? Thanks for the advice, I think I’ll do just this. I’m leaning towards taking the rest of this week off (it’s Tuesday, Monday was the ramp test), then next week try the second block of General Build MV with only two or three days of intensity and two or three days of endurance rides.

Thoughts?

This might be part of your issue, the meat is important, but don’t discount the veggies. I do all the warmups and cooldowns and tack on extra cooldown because the z1 and low z2 stuff is super important. That said, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t account for over 100 TSS less than what the plans call for. I’m thinking you should shift back to low volume, and add some additional easy rides, including the warm ups and cooldowns, but also maybe an easy Sunday ride rather than the expected SS ride. I’m thinking your TSS could be higher even with lower intensity.

I would also be careful looking at that time period you were questioning. It began towards the end of the season last year and that included a large bump. 15 watts is great. But all good things must come to an end. It’s a natural progression for you to lose some fitness post-season and through the winter months. That’s where rest and recovery can be a friend. Perhaps you tried to maintain it too long and your body is really asking for a break. I would consider a week off, maybe a couple of weeks of flexibility, but little intensity and then start the low volume block with some gusto.

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I like the low volume plans and tack on a zone 2 ride either on Friday or do my 3 rides Monday, Wednesday, Friday and do an outside ride on Saturday. I have done mid volume sweet spot base in the past, but had a 40 hour work week. Working 10 hours a day 5 days a week makes mid volume harder.

Weight training? Specifically legs, because friends don’t let friends skip leg day, bro.

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