Failed both weekend workouts HARD. What happened?

Ok so a bit of back story: girlfriend and I signed up just before the rate increase and are now in our 8th week of use, 2nd week of SSB Mid Vol 2. I had some issues initially completing some workouts but after I wrote this thread: New user struggling in 2nd week of Sweet Spot Base

I decided to stick to Mid Vol 1 and not mess with moving workouts around as much. For the rest of SSB MV1 I was completely successful, completing all workouts without needing to lower the intensity of any of them. 2 weeks ago started SSB MV2 and now that I look back I see that you’re all going to yell at me for even making this post as maybe it’s obvious what happened. First off we did the ramp test and I gained 8 points in my FTP…woo hoo it’s working. Now this was Thanksgiving week and things were going to be odd because of Thanksgiving and days off work and Zwift events and and and. So right after the FTP test on Tuesday we did our Wednesday Petit ride. Then pulled the Thursday ride into Wednesday, then got up Thursday morning and did the Zwift Tour de Turkey (and hour and tried to go chill), Friday we pulled Kawea in from Saturday, Saturday we did a Sub 2.0 Zwift group ride…this was 90 min and very chill, finally Sunday we did the prescribed ride which was Geiger +2.

That all went fine and the next week was fine too…no issues completing workouts. Last week started out fine too. No problem with Mills on Tuesday, did Petit while fasted on Wednesday morning, no problem with Jepson Thursday evening, total rest on Friday. No the problems start, Carpathian Peak +2 on Saturday; in the first set of intervals I know I’ve got trouble right away and before the end I’ve spiraled to death. I lower the intensity 5%…10%…15% and just can’t. As the second block of over unders starts I spiral again and I just quit the workout and ride mostly zone 1 while my girlfriend finishes (she has yet to fail a workout at 100% which is getting frustrating as she has cycled for 18 months vs my 15-20 years on and off). We discuss what may have happened…maybe it was improper fueling I thought. Breakfast was mostly protein and fat (2 eggs, an avocado, 2 slices of toast, 4 slices of bacon and coffee) and while I took 4 GU blocks right before the start maybe I was already destined to fail due to bad fueling.

Ok let’s regroup and hit it on Sunday, Juneau -1 doesn’t go over FTP, I’ll fuel a bit better…I’ve got this. Breakfast is Kodiak Power Cakes bacon and coffee 2 hours before the ride and right before we start I have the other 4 GU blocks from yesterday’s pack. Start out and I literally say the works “Oh this isn’t bad. I could do this all day.” as we enter the first set of SS. Start the 2nd set and it became clear that it was in fact going to be bad. Pretty instantly into the second block I can’t keep my cadence up and shortly after the mid block rest I’m lowering the intensity again, and then again. I DO wind up finishing this workout but at 20% down.

So this is really frustrating to me. Were these failures really caused by moving my workouts around 2 weeks ago? The first time I can see that it was right after a week of doing added TSS with outdoor events and then during a week where I stacked all 5 workouts together and didn’t allow rest. Ok that was dumb. But the past 2 weeks have been on schedule, Monday and Friday total rest…yes 3 weeks ago we shuffled things around and added a couple of rides but it’s been fine since. I’m doing no other training (so no running, no lifting, no exercise classes) currently, the cycling is it.


Fasted rides can massively screw with your harder workouts. I learned this the hard way last year. It’s tough to manage glycogen depletion, weight loss, and intense long intervals. I used to try to load up for weekend lunchtime rides on the same morning after days of having low glycogen stores from fasted rides and calorie restriction and eventually it just stops working. You just can’t refuel that fast no matter how clever you get with the ratios or if you eat like a vegan health freak. Tried it all.

What you can do is have a carb heavy breakfast, lunch and then a snack mid afternoon. Then do your workout around 4 to 6pm on Sat/Sun.

Use a sports drink for the really high cal burn workouts like 2hour sweet spot.

That can get your through them. Otherwise it feels like you’ve got concrete blocks on your legs or the trainer resistance is set to 1000 watts :smiley:



  1. It appears that your fueling strategy is off for breakfast and, I assume, for the remainder of the day; ask yourself ‘Am I properly restoring the fuel I used yesterday and ready for tomorrow?’
  2. Are you certain your FTP is set correctly? Carpathian and Juneau at this point in the plan should be attainable, albeit difficult.
  3. Time off and Zwift, in my mind, most certainly had an effect.

Interesting, thanks for the info. So we have done the Wednesday workout fasted the last 2 weeks. They even talked about doing it that way in the pad cast in the last 2-3 weeks as well so I thought it was a good plan.

I was thinking that doing the rides fasted on Wednesday at 5:20a-6:20a would give a nice long recovery before the Thursday workout as well as getting that fasted ride in to help with some fat loss.

We’ve been drinking BCAAs during our workouts which taste great but having just read a thread on BCAAs they could be completely worthless for us other than the flavor.

  1. You’re probably spot on. My diet needs work and we’ve been on a weight loss journey. We probably don’t eat enough…but I’ve got plenty of fat to burn. Both of these rides started around noon so no lunch before either ride. It hasn’t been an issue in the past.
  2. FTP should be correct. Just did a ramp test 2 weeks ago and we calibrate pretty regularly. I’m on a 2017 Wahoo KICKR and I calibrate at least once a month.
  3. Time off? I’ve been riding pretty consistently all year and very much so doing SSB for the last 9 weeks.

Thanks for the reply.

I mis-read the time off from work as time off from training; sorry about that.

Get a copy of Matt Fitzgerald’s ‘The Endurance Diet’; I know it’s helped me and others. Fat is utilized at lower intensities and glycogen at higher ones.

Remeber that rest is one of the most important parts of training. For what you say, I wonder if you didn’t get enough rest in the week before you started struggling with the workouts.

I you want to also do stuff on Zwift, how about dropping to the low volume plan and adding extras in if you are able?

From the last thread:

Have you sorted this out?

I understand you went from mid to low vol, but changed back to mid vol. now you’re on another mid vol plan right?

You’ve come along way, don’t beat yourself up to improve further - that will backfire.

I’m not sure what other rest to get. Monday is off bike and not doing anything…as is Friday. I feel like by moving the Wednesday ride to the early AM rather than after work gives me extra consecutive hours of rest before the Thursday ride.

So while in that thread I said I was going to drop back to low volume I didn’t. I gave it another week and was able to do the rest of SSB Mid Vol 1 with no issues. Then started right into SSB Mid Vol 2 and again no issues until this weekend. But if you look at my last 2 weeks (my profile/calendar should be public I think) nothing has been changed from the prescribed TR Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sun days and no extra rides have happened.

You may be getting rest, but it’s maybe not enough for you at this stage. If you are moving workouts around, adding in Zwift events, then not able to do workouts the following week I suspect fatigue is an issue.

In your other thread it was suggested to drop back to low volume. I’ve suggested drop back to low volume if you want to add events on Zwift. People are noticing the same problem, and offering the same advice.

1 Like

It sounds like what you did was: Double up on Tuesday, hard Thursday ride on Wednesday, unstructured (TSS was…?) ride on Thursday, hard Saturday ride on Friday, unstructured (TSS was…?) ride on Saturday, and then normal Sunday ride.

You added two bonus rides to a week and cut out one of your rest days. How much extra TSS did you add over the plan?

This is what @AndyGajda was likely talking about. You were carrying a bunch of extra fatigue from that week and it could (likely did) impact your performance in the following week.

Fatigue is real, rest is required

I’ve experienced what you describe a few times. What you did 2 or 3 weeks ago can definitely affect this week of a plan.

The whole point of a training plan is building cumulative fatigue. You have to look at the whole, not the parts and it is part of the plan that you’ll get close to the edge right before the rest week. As soon as you started moving stuff around, skipping rest days, adding extra rides or subbing in harder rides, you risk upsetting the plan’s balance and risk going over that edge too soon. That does not always cause problems (e.g. see your girlfriend) but, it can cause issues AND those fatigue issues often will not show up immediately. The cumulative nature of what is going on means if you are suppose to progress in fatigue from X to Y over 4 weeks and you are a little more fatigued go into week 2 than planned you come out of that even more fatigued than planned. You may be able to still handle the 3rd week but then you are cooked for the last couple workouts of week 4. It is not a whole lot different than going out too fast in a marathon. You’ll feel great, right up until you don’t :wink:


You only calibrate once a month? I think wahoo recommend at least every two weeks and a lot of manufacturers recommend a spindown calibration prior to each ride to ensure accuracy.

On my tacx I calibrate before each ride and again at 8 minutes in when things have warmed up

In most cases you don’t need to calibrate more often than this. If you aren’t moving the trainer or dramatically (+/- 10 degrees F is fine) changing the temperature in your training area then a monthly calibration is sufficient

1 Like

So the unstructured rides were 73 tss and 93 tss…but they were 2 week prior to the issue. That’s where I’m getting lost on that. After that week, I did a full week of on schedule, no extras, full rest on rest days, plus the week in question was on schedule with full rest on rest days.

Ok so…what’s the best course of action to get back on track?

Today is a rest day. My goals are: self massage, eat well and enough.
Tuesday this week: just try the workout and see what happens? Or perhaps just start out 5%-10% down to try to get my legs back?

Yes…my understanding was that if it’s not moved it doesn’t need recalibrated very often. This is a dedicated setup, bike doesn’t come off and it doesn’t get moved. I know for sure my girlfriend’s Tacx literature says it doesn’t need calibrated frequently unless you move it (she has a Flux). My trainer is the direct drive KICKR. I’ve never hear that it needs to be calibrated frequently.

Hmm…now that’s an interesting comment. Winter has set in the last 2 weeks pretty significantly and while this is in my house (not garage) it IS cooler that it has been. I’m going to have to take a thermometer down there (semi finished basement) and see what the temp is.

In terms of getting back on track, it is possible that failing the 2 rides this weekend plus Monday off may be enough rest so plan on trying Tuesday’s workout at 100%. At least for me, I have generally been able to do the Tuesday ride when I have had trouble and had to cut one of the weekend rides short. But I’ve also had a few occasions where I needed extra rest.

As you can see, messing around with a plan without your own sound plan on how you are going to manage that process can have some serious consequences as it can lead to ending up with way less total work at the end if you fail some workouts and then have to take some extra rest on top of that.

@STP What STP described. You messed up your plan when you went to hard Thanksgiving week. Trainerroad is no joke. 1 day recoveries are not enough. Sometimes two days of recoveries are not enough. You should be clamoring for the recovery weeks when they hit. I would simply get to your next recovery week as best you can (drop down 5, 10, 15, if you have to for each workout until your next recovery week and then really take the recovery week as recovery and absorb your training. I found you can’t have it both ways. Either you are committed to structured training or you are not. Going out and riding with friends (zwift) in an unstructured training environment is counter-productive to the goals you have set up via TR. If you are going to do unstructured training then use that ride with your friends/zwift in place of a structured workout - don’t do both. There are not enough hours in a week to recover for the future rides. I quickly learned that 1 day recovery isn’t enough for the load TR places on my legs. They are always preaching ‘consistency’ on the podcast and that means following the plan (by also not doing more) so that you are able to do next weeks workouts as well. I have to constantly remind myself that sometimes it’s best to tone down the current ride I’m riding so as to save myself for next weeks workouts (or skip that fun group ride that will end up being 100+ tss). It’s easy to bury yourself in any particular week and then you mess up the next two or three weeks because of the fatigue you accumulated in the week you over did it.

I ride side by side with my wife so I know your pain when your partner is having a good week and you are not.

1 Like

Just had a look at the Sweetspot Mid volume plan. I’m doing the high volume plan and I’ve done it a few times before. I note that the Mid volume plan while have lower weekly hours and lower TSS actually has some harder workouts i.e. workouts that have intervals over FTP. Nothing in the high volume plan is over FTP.

If it was me I would be doing Carpathian -2 rather than +2 version on the Saturday. I’ve never actually done Carpathian +2 but I’ve the easier variations a few times. Sunday I usually substitute the indoor workout for an easier but longer outdoor workout. If the weather is crap then a longer but easier indoor workout.

Best way to get back on track is rest. Have an easy week. You will do yourself no harm by skipping a few workouts, but you will do yourself harm by ploughing on with the plan regardless. Rest is crucial, and overtraining syndrome very real. You need to listen to your body. Just because you have completed a ramp test and signed up to a plan, that doesn’t mean your body is neccessarily capable of handling the training load.

Listen to what everyone is telling you - slow down.


Sometimes even one week with too little rest can cause serious problems, I know it myself from my past when I was a wheelchair racer (sprinter) until the end of season 2012.

And, anyway, when I started handcycling in 2016, I was WAY too eager to train for quite long (only like one rest day a week), and eventually I hit the overtraining state. And it was hard to get out of, as I didn’t have enough knowledge (and I still don’t) about the endurance training needed in handcycling… Then I got to know, that my ferritin level had plummeted --> caused by overtraining. And I’m sitll getting that state corrected. My body just couldn’t take all the stress buildup, so, it had to tell me that way, to really slow things down.

As others have seid, TrainerRoad is no joke. And SSB MV is NOT easy. You need enough rest for your body to not hit the overtrained state. I’d suggest to take it easy until the end of your next rest week, and go from there. In the future, stop messing the plan up, putting in additional rides etc. Or, if you absolutely want to add some Zwift rides or something to your week, I would strongly suggeest switching to the low vol.