Every time I ride outside I ruin my ftp!

I’m 5’7" at 170lbs with a new 210 FTP up from 209! everything was going great until I went on an outside mtb ride. I felt great on the ride but I guess I over did it on the climbs because 4 weeks into SSBMV2 I was having trouble finishing the workouts when everything should have been easy (compared to the previous week) a week of rest and a new ramp test and my ftp only rises 1 watt. This wouldn’t be bad if I had something better than a 2.74 w/kg. I feel like I wasted months of training on 1 outside ride :frowning: what am I doing wrong and what can I do to avoid this in the future? besides not riding outside?!?

I guess right now my main goal it to lose weight. Should I go back to Base or continue on to Build?

Just to provide you some minor relief from your predicament, I can fairly surely say one outdoor ride wouldn’t be your culprit.

4 weeks into SSBMV2 is probably where the fireworks begin. Mary Austin, Spencer, Lamarck, and Leconte are probably 4 of the tougher workouts in the workout library strung together in weeks 4 and 5. No one should be ashamed to struggle with them.

Losing weight and gaining power aren’t ideally connected. If you are already trying to lose weight, that might explain why your power numbers are flat. You should pick a priority between the two and come up with milestone goals for that and let the other take care of itself until you reach your goal.


After looking at your calendar it doesn’t look like just one ride but one each weekend for 3 weeks that were north of 200TSS. That fatigue would definitely start to accumulate. These rides are certainly not ruining your FTP, they are just ruining your fatigue level. If you are planning on doing a long MTB ride like that then I would either not do either of the planned weekend workouts or scale the other one back to an hour workout or even just endurance.

You definitely didn’t waste months of your time. And one FTP test doesn’t negate or even define the gains you’ve made in the past months. Do rides and workouts feel easier? Do you recover from hard efforts faster? etc etc. There are many ways to improve other than FTP. I would continue with your test results and if the workouts feel too easy then feel free to bump your FTP up 3-5% and keep on going.

Also, why should those weeks of SSBMV2 be easier than the previous weeks? Those last 2 weeks are notorious for being filled with difficult workouts on top of mounting fatigue.


Thanks for checking that out. I will note that on the first couple of outside rides I did walk the steep hills so that didn’t really figure in. I never thought of just riding one day on the weekend as I thought I would be cheating myself. I will consider that next time!

Edit; it was really just the 300 tss ride, after that everything felt different. I guess I need to pay closer attention to that number!

A 300 TSS ride is also a massive ride in and of itself, that alone would require quite a bit of rest.


Agree with all that’s been said above. Also, MTB has additional TSS that’s not seen through raw numbers, because it’s generally a whole body workout, depending on your terrain.

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I guess what’s confusing me is that at the time it didn’t “feel” like that hard of a ride. but looking back though my calendar I don’t have that many rides over 250 TSS unless they were multi hour endurance races. the hard part for me is knowing when to quit?!?

One shouldn’t look at the scale day-to-day when trying to lose weight. FTP is similar. There will be fluctuations and plateaus.

I get that, what I am having trouble with is figuring out how to know when I “overdid it” and then recognize that I “overdid it” and how to recover from “over-doing it”. its been 2 weeks since and I am still feeling it in my legs. The best I can describe it is my legs are feeling “dead” before the rest of me is. From reading multiple posts the best I can figure is just taking time off the bike??? and how long??

It sounds like you are cooked and need some days off - probably days off plus some easy rides for a whole week.

There are two kinds of fatigue - legs hurt fatigue and then systemic fatigue that just builds and builds.

One thing that helps me is monitoring heart rate variability and resting heart rate. For $10 HRV4Training (iphone app - not sure about android) is an awesome little tool. When my HRV is going down day after day, ride after ride I know I’m getting cooked and need rest.

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The 5 week block of SSB2 can also be hard to handle even without big outdoor rides thrown in. There’s a post out there about some mods that might be a good idea… I personally like to do a 3/1+2/1, where I just add a recovery week after the 3rd week of SSB2, then continue with weeks 4-6 of the plan

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also, if you think about it, those tr plans are 5 weeks on before a rest week. that’s not very forgiving, not much room for error if you dig a hole. MOre like, you accumulate fatigue little by little by little, consistently for a long time.

I usually do three weeks on and very hard, one week off, because i too am not very disciplined. i like to ride too miuch :). but i can overdo it to my heart’ content and know that i have a rest coming right up.

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The only answer here is experience. How long have you been working to a structured plan, understanding what you can handle in tss, and how you manage fatigue? There is no metric that will give you your level of fatigue, just indicators. This gets easier as you get more experienced.

You’ve not wasted months of training, you’ve overcooked it for sure, but you’ve also banked those big rides and you will be stronger. Wouldn’t recommend this as a strategy for the future (going deep on big rides whilst trying to adhere to a structured training plan) but as someone else has said above, if you’re going to do a big ride on the week, use the week doing z2 or scrap the structured stuff all together, until you know you can handle it.

Use TSS going forward. Can you do 3 weeks at 300tss before a rest? Now what about 350? How does that feel? Too much and fatigue is leaving you cloudy at work? Lower it and go from there. Fatigue lingered for a few weeks? Not feeling right? Go see your doc.

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