Failing Threshold during LV sustained power build

40yr old male, ftp 272 at 80kg, currently 3/4 months into Trainerroad and geberally very happy.

Have been accepting AI ftp gains since the beginning and finding all managable until the latter threshold session of the first half of Sustained build, and today’s threshold session which was from the first week of the 2nd half of the plan.

Rest, recovery and everything else is fine. Diet all good, minimal stress.

Im wondering if to stick to current ftp of lower it? I dont tend to reduce workout intensity either - for me it’s either 100% completion or I abandon it.

Any ideas how to proceed? Cheers

I have always fell apart in the middle of any of my build periods with TR and have yet to figure out the best way to address it. Seems like the solution would be to swap in an easier ride (recovery, Z2, easier variant depending on how you feel).

Are you following the masters plan or their “standard plan?” While build will and should be harder than base, it shouldn’t leave you completely wrecked.


I have a feeling ftp is either a bit high, or im not accustomed to threashold suffering.

General fatigue is all managable, its more intensity of the threashold effort.

I guess it comes down to the accuracy of AI FTP. Maybe with only 4 months on TR it’s still early days.

I wouldn’t change anything based on one workout. Give it a week and then adjust if necessary.


How long have you been training with a power meter?
What level PL threshold are you doing?

If you’re new to training, I could see how threshold sessions are hard. If you’re doing masters, low volume with two hard workouts a week, then I would definitely look at what my FTP is.
Also, if you’re failing PL4 and below I would say your FTP is too high. Me personally I try to keep threshold PL from 4.5 and up, sometimes I’ll start with a 4.0 PL if it’s my first threshold workout in a while.


The big question will be how long can you hold that 272 watts? Ai ftp shot my ftp up to the moon initially, but after doing a long form FTP test I quickly realized it had me like 40 watts too high. So I bit the bullet and lowered it to what I could sustain for 35-40 minutes and built back from there. Honestly after that, everything fell into place and all the “zones” started to feel right. Threshold wasn’t impossible anymore and Ai ftp stopped giving me these massive jumps, now it’s like 3-5% every month and it’s consistent.

Do you have a good sense of what FTP riding should feel like?

edit: I should add, ramp test for me was garbage. I can ride out a ramp test forever because I can suffer endlessly, so be careful if you’re like that. Don’t rely on what the ramp test value gives you.


Standard plan. But feel general fatigue is ok.

Between July - October last year, 2 month break, and since late December 2023 - now.

Threashold PL is 3.3, when ftp was a bit lower (259) I was managing 4.2 PL Threashold sessions without too much difficulty.

Something to maybe add - I had a cold at the end of my last training block which affected my recovery week, following which I had an FTP boost to 267 and also started Sustained Power LV. Since then, Threashold sessions have been difficult to sustain (managing 3.5 PL sessions but no higher). Could be the perfect storm of fatigue, ftp boost and a new plan, but AI ftp keeps increasing despite my struggles. VO2 max and SST are all managable btw

Thanks. I might just see how long I can hold this 272. I guess I’m hoping AI ftp is accurate - all increases have been around 2/3% and in line with what i think was a correctly answered post-ride survey.

Only thing is maybe i should be answering Very Hard, not Hard for some efforts, although i try to look at the ride in general and not just the last (sometimes very hard) interval

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I’m like @jsiegrist in that I learned Ramp Tests and AI FTP overestimated (for me). I’ve since switched to the Kolie Moore test and have strong confidence in my FTP accuracy because I’ve actually put in the work to prove I can hold those numbers. Training with an over-elevated FTP feels good for the ego, but can wreak havoc on your fitness because you end up doing endurance at tempo, tempo at threshold, and threshold at VO2.

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Lots of good suggestions here. Maybe just a rough patch. One more suggestion is to try experimenting with lowering your power on the difficult days instead of just quiting the workout.

Do you really think that AiFTP is 100% accurate to the watt, and that you are going to be able to express your FTP to the max on every threshold workout? Nope, fatigue, stress, colds, etc. all get in the way. And sometimes you need to quit, but sometimes you can do good work while not training at your assigned AiFTP number. Make 260 watts feel like you feel on a good day at 272. Think how much more work you would have done in a year if you took this approach instead of quiting every time cause weren’t able to hold 272 perfectly.


What workout? I have run into Wheel -2 and Wheel -3 a few times while progressing through my Threshold PLs and failed them, aside from those 2 the only TR workouts I have failed have been breakthrough workouts Eichorn +2 and Spanish Needle -2.
Those Threshold workouts that start out with warmup, high Z2 and then the over under intervals have always wrecked me. This winter when I ran up against Wheel -2 and barely got through it, I decided to repeat it the next week and then failed it. Rather than just going back to Yukon and doing that over and over I then switched to doing VO2 and SS90 workouts from the More Sweet Spot team, maybe once I get my VO2 and SS >5.0 I will try Wheel -2 and see if I can get through it. Comparatively, I feel I do much better at Threshold workouts like Centennial and while failing Wheel -2 feel like I could have done the higher PL Centennial successfully.

Not sure what weakness is being exposed by those workouts but it seems like there is something lacking in my fitness that makes it hard to go direct from warm up into high Z2 into over under intervals without recovery. I’m hoping building out my ability to do sustained 90% with the More Sweet Spot workouts can help address this.

One thing to consider is changing the warm-up protocol to one where you actually feel properly warmed up.

I now never follow the prescribed warm-up and always do my own instead: adding at least an extra 10 minutes, sometimes much longer; keeping it out of Erg mode; riding v easy endurance for a while and then doing a bit of a slow ramp towards threshold and back to easy.

The standard warm-ups are very “time crunched” so if you’re not so constrained do whatever it takes to feel ready for the hard work to come. Works much better for me personally and avoids the dread of seeing those sharp steps up in the programmed so-called “warm-ups” :laughing:.


That may make a difference, I find sometimes with the SS90 intervals I have barely made it through say the first 2 of something like 4x10 and then did best on the 3rd interval and 2nd best on the 4th and final interval. Those only have 3 mins of recovery between the intervals so it seems more like I was benefiting from being more warmed up rather than recovery between the intervals.

Just a quick note, being very honest about these ratings is very important. For me, Hard is solid work, hard, uncomfortable, but I could have finished another interval / interval block if you made me. There are some threads here about how to rate, I’d just make sure you’re calibrated on those and rating accurately.

For me, my most recent FTP test was this, sort of a modified KM approach that’s a little lighter. Go out and do 2x20 with a 10 min break at FTP. For me when a new bump is accurate, if I’m “normal rested” going into the workout (light or endurance day the day before, but not race day fresh) I can finish the second interval with the last 5-10 minutes being solid HARD and uncomfortable, but without being soul crushing. I can watch my Heart Rate and watch it build towards 90% of max by the end of the second interval with a slow and steady increase without spiking into my VO2 range. I’ve found this gets me pretty much dead on with a productive threshold workout without killing myself with a test.

It might be worth reading through the FTP / Threshold Progression threads too.

What exactly was the workout that you failed?

What kind of workouts similar to it have you done in the past?

I usually start my threshold work at 2x20 or so. Depends how I am, indoors, after a month off travelling, it may be 2x15 or 2x10 at the start. It comes back quickly, but depending on your current fitness and history of training at that particular intensity, the workout may have been too much. This is much more likely to be the culprit than overtraining on LV. Or you could have some infection that you don’t notice but it does impact performance. Would also see that as more likely than being overtrained on LV. Or yes, as you say, FTP may be estimated too high.

Yeh, I know that feeling of the first interval being much worse than the subsequent ones, but I don’t seem to experience that so much / at all now that I do better warm-ups.

I’ve always needed decent warm-ups during outside rides before I felt good, so I just copied that approach to indoors, and it certainly helps me.

Interesting approach, how well-trained are you? That is 50 minutes of on at what will be above FTP NP, yes? Do you go max sustainable 20 minutes?

I am pretty well trained and generally have developed a pretty good ability to “Feel” my threshold (Been training now for 2-3 years, volume currently 10-15 hours, but that’ll start building through summer). I also have a pretty stable, consistent, and representative heart rate where it’s pretty easy to see if my HR is above or below what I’d expect. (I am working with a coach, so can’t claim this is all my doing either and it’s nice to have the sounding board)

I recently finished a VO2 block and had been training at my current FTP for a while now, so knew I was in store for a little bit of a bump, the question was how much, so I did this “test” 2-3 days ago.

Instead of doing a full long form test, I just fired up 2x20 @ 103% with 10 minute rest between the intervals (40 min total TiZ). But also knowing I had the ability to raise or lower the intensity during the workout. Basically for me I ended up calling it pretty dead on. But, if it had been a little easier, or I’d seen HR below target, I’d probably have bumped intensity by a percent. Vice versa, if things started going south I would have dropped by a percent or two.

What I was going for was the appropriate RPE - Hard enough by the end, but not soul crushing. Because When you’re doing a threshold workout, you’re going for that feeling at the end…

Hoping I’m making sense… But at the end of the day it comes down to, if your FTP is set correctly, you should be able to do workouts at FTP for an appropriate amount of time that are “appropriately hard”

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Ok so it isn’t going for max 20, I think my max 20 would be 106-107%.

But if your 10 minutes is at FTP, why not count that as TiZ?

I think as long as one doesn’t do ramp tests to determine FTP, the margin of error will be small enough that zones can be set accurately enough. And RPE can then do the rest anyway once you train for some time and learn.