Endurance only training - Progression Levels

HI Guys,
I’m hoping you can help. I’m coming off the back of a long lay off due to COVID and various colds and haven’t really cycled for a while. I had managed to get my FTP over 260w (at 72kg), but have now ballooned to 81kg and, according to TR AI FTP, my FTP is now 201w.

I’ve always had a high heart rate (max 202) and even zone 2 power seems to have me around 130-150BPM. I’m finding it harder to hit the numbers on any sort of training other than ‘Endurance’ sessions on TR.

According to TR I’m making progress, as shown by the progression levels going up, but my question is… if, for the time being at least, I stay progressing on endurance only sessions will I actually be making FTP progress? I know it’ll be a slower progress but I want progress.

If training by old school HR, zone 2 would be 65-75% of max HR which is right in line with the 130-150 you’re seeing, so I wouldn’t worry about (and there’s a lot of individual variation anyway).

If coming from being sick and not doing much, then even only endurance training is going to improve your FTP. Stick at it and stay consistent. I don’t know whether AIFTP will work particularly well if it only has Z2 data to go on so any increases you do get may not be reflected. But if you progress to the higher end of the Z2 progression levels where you’re doing longer workouts at 70-75% of your current FTP, I would think by then you’d be ready to handle some easier Tempo and SS workouts anyway.

It sounds like your FTP is lower than predicted by the AI. I’d just do an FTP test rather than having to put in 10 workouts you struggle through so that AI can come up with a better prediction.

Don’t worry, your fitness will come back. I took 8 months off the bike. After I started training again, I got 80% of my FTP back in a month and 90% after two months. The last 10% has been taking many more months.

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Thank you - I’m going to give a tempo ride a go tomorrow and see what how I feel

Thank you for replying. I’ve only been off the bike for 2 months so I hope I’m just feeling the after effects and should be able to recover quickly. I do like your idea of doing a test though… I may give that a go and see what the outcome is. Thanks again!

Getting back after a long layoff due to COVID is progress on its own!

Endurance sessions alone aren’t likely to bump up your FTP very much, though. Once you feel up to it, try out some lower-level Tempo or Sweet Spot workouts to get an idea of how your body is doing. Ideally, you can jump back into a plan once you’re ready – that will probably see you progress more quickly.

As @AJS914 said as well, don’t fret too much – your fitness will come back, and it’ll come back faster than the first time you built it up. :slight_smile: