Experienced User Facing Difficulty with SSBLV1

Hey all. I’m hitting a recent bout of fatigue making it very challenging to successfully complete even the first two weeks of Sweet Spot Base Low Volume 1 workouts. I’m having a hard time figuring out if it’s fatigue induced from workouts or equipment related.

For reference, I’ve been on TR since last April 2020 and have progressed through a “full plan” (SSBLV1/2, GBLV1/2, CRRLV). Since completing that around September 2020, I’ve done SSBLV2 over and over a couple times (original plans), and just completed Sustained Power Build LV (revised plan). For these non-full plans, I’ve been doing the two 60 min workouts as prescribed and “substituted” the 90 min workout with an outdoor ride ranging from approximately 150-250 TSS usually lasting 3-4 hours. I have not had issues with fatigue or recovery up until very recently. I’ve been able to raise my FTP from 189W to 240W in that time.

No notable changes on sleep, nutrition, work schedule, or general life stress.

Here are the things I have changed:

  • Invited into AT Beta and scheduled a full LV plan starting from SSBLV1. This is roughly the time when I started encountering the fatigue. I had a recovery week from the build leading up to this.
  • Power meter. I’ve been using a Quarq PM on my trainer-only bike up until the halfway point of Sustained Power Build mentioned above. I decided to swap it on a new bike I was building and swapped in a Stages left-side PM leftover from an old build in its place. Just to note, I completed the remainder of build as expected without any big hurdles. With both PMs, PM calibration is/was performed on a regular basis and PowerMatch is/was used with each PM paired to a Wahoo Kickr Gen2.
  • Gearing. With the Quarq 50/34 crankset swapped out, I swapped in a SRAM 52/36 crankset in its place. Rear cog position is the same though (15t on an 11-28t cassette). I don’t think this will make a huge difference considering I’m on ERG though.

I think the leading hypothesis is the power meter change, but I’m questioning why I was able to complete the remainder of sustained power build without any notable challenges as it’s not particularly “easy”.

I admittedly did not do a ramp test before starting the second phase of sustained power build nor before starting the new SSBLV1 plan. I have not done a ramp test since Oct 2020 as I figured I can judge it based on workout difficulty.

Seems like the easiest thing is doing a ramp test with the new PM, which is what is recommended anyways. But again, I question why I was able to make it through the rest of build. Another idea is to simply take a week off (either Z2 or completely off the bike) and pick up on the plan after.

Any other thoughts?

All the training plans were updated this year as part of AT i believe, that could also play a part in this.

I would do a ramp test and see what you learn from it as a starting point…

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Have you taken any time completely off the bike. One or maybe even two complete weeks?

You say that you’re doing LV Plans but the fatigue can still rise. You have also seen a very solid rise in FTP. Although this has happened over a period of time, your still having to work considerably harder than when you started your training.

I would be inclined to take a rest week, three to four days minimum, completely off the bike and then retest with your current setup.

While I agree with dialing in training zones by feel (well and power and hr and breathing and cadence and ….) I do a test (be it ramp, 20min or a xert bt) at least every 2 months to check if my feeling is right.

Your ftp gains are pretty damn solid.
BUT I made exactly the same experience you had. In my case the ftp the tr ramp gave me was simply too high (so much for „you can’t overtest“). If your relatively new, have a decent vo2max and make good ftp progress I think (!!) the development of the muscular endurance lags behind. Meaning: maybe the Ftp number is right in terms of lt2 but you can’t sustain it for a reasonable duration therefore you need a lower number for 15min+ jobbers or you will dig a hole.
Hope that makes any sense :wink:

I understand why they say this to not confuse new users with all the physiology and science of FTP testing and that ramp testing is more straight forward than a 20+min test. But this has always been and will always be false. If you have a large anaerobic contribution then the ramp test will give you a number that is higher than your true FTP.