Feel like I'm failing somewhere. Outside perspective needed

Recently been struggling with quality of time on the trainer as well as some motivation. This started roughly 2 1/2 weeks ago after returning from a trip.

End of May I felt fantastic and was seeing progress through my LV training plan and at this point was about 8 weeks into structured training. I had seen a 44 watt increase from starting at 120 in zwift to 164 in TR.

Beginning of June my wife and I took an abrupt week away for hospital visits for some issues for her. I did not do structured rides but did bring my bike and did outside rides and attempted to do an outside workout but failed miserably in maintaining the power targets as I wasn’t used to the area.

All of the rides felt easy(ish) to me with the exception of the hills that I do not have where I live due to being flat and windy.

On coming back I could not finish a Warlow +2 (90 min) and only could do 70 min before calling it to fatigue and knee pain.

The rest of the rides were completed but seemed harder on me than typically Then i never felt great on the ramp test to start the second block and got an ftp of 164 again.

I kept going with the same ftp and just recently skipped the Monday workout due to the legs and body just not feeling good.

I noticed after the trip my protein intake was reduced to about 100g protein a day instead of 140g. Carb daily intake was close to the same at 100g a day however some quality was reduced as I was trying to up calories in a day.

I have/had (last checkup was positive) moderate insulin resistance so my diet is made to keep that in check. Through training and my diet I have lost 40 lbs (214-174).

Is the poor recovery/fatigue associated to low protein intake for the time period after the trip as well as just being lighter so 164 ftp just feels harder now?

Hows your fuelling? If your macros are correct thats only approx 1000kcals (excluding fats) no wonder you found Warlow hard!!!

For the 90 min workouts I usually have either 2 bottles 1 mixed with untappd mapleaid and 1 water or I have an untappd wafer (stroopwafel variant) with 2 bottles of water.

I start on the mixed bottle at 30 min in and aim for the mixed bottle to be done at 60-75 min. At the end of the workout I try to have 3/4 of the water bottle down.

For the wafer I start at 30 min in and aim to use 1 1/2 bottles by the end.

ok, it reeaaalllllyyy sounds like you’re underfuelling. In day-to-day life and on the bike. You will work yourself into a hole. A stroopwaffel is 140kcal, warlow @164 would be 800kcal+

Are you focused on losing weight or gaining power? Have a look at online BMR calculators, it would give a very rough outline for Calorie consumption on a daily basis. Your weight loss would slow down too as your metabolism slows down, the body doesnt like change - it wants homeostasis.

Straight away without knowing anything about you I would add 5-600kcals to your daily intake and double your workout fuelling- but that is a massive brushstroke. Im almost certain you wouldnt gain/lose much (ie you would maintain) but it would give you some fuel in your tank to complete the workouts. Completed workouts feel good, you do more@ a higher power output, you get stronger and burn more calories intrinsically

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my guess is that your prior FTP was slightly too high for you and that you detrained a bit with your time off the bike, which put those workouts above threshold. Doing workouts above threshold is a quick way to get over your head. I would suggest either retesting, or lowering your FTP some until you start to get back in the zone.

Well done on the weight loss @Lfg I lost about 8lbs due to an operation and the so called treatment has seen me lose another 8lbs that has seen my power FTP metric have to go down, it is only natural after a bit once thing settled down however I was going better than ever and my power to weight actually slightly increased. Don’t worry about the one metric FTP, or even a short term set back as your body adapts; its the longer term result you should be focusing on and you will be stronger and fitter.

I use cronometer to track food intake which gives me a 1700 bmr as sedentary. No activity taken into account.

During workouts I have TR connected to strava which is connected to cronometer so it pulls the kcals in.

Initially the goal was weight loss now it is fitness. The goal is 200w by my A race (century) Sept 25th.

Admittedly when I first started I was restrictive and unhealthy with the diet. I had quickly moved to always eat at or slightly above the bmr. Since I hit my goal of 170-180. If I exercised I did not eat those calories back but would do the fueling I outlined above.

Currently, I’ve been focusing on getting 2100 calories while maintaining around 120g carbs, 140g protein, <80g fats (honestly this fluctuates the most).

I’ll up daily calories a bit and look to fuel my 1 hr rides to see if that helps. If it does then I can assume I was running in a deficit and know to up my longer rides.


I was definitely wondering if it was detraining or a combination of poor diet and detraining.


Thanks @HLaB I’m very pleased out its worked out. I feel so much better overall.

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Congrats on the weight loss! I too lost a ton of weight on the bike and diet. It’s scary how much I let myself go… I digress.

When I first read through your post, I immediatly thought of two things… How long have you been riding…and how much life stress went with your visits for your wife?

Meaning if you haven’t ridden much the time away could have let your fitness fall quite a bit… and the stress in life is real!

But if all that is in check then fueling like others have stated may be something to target. I know for myself food was an issue and I don’t want to go back to that, so keeping it in check would be important, and you may find yourself restricting too much for massive gains! No clue…just a though.

Good luck and hopefully you find some more success…but remember what Amber said in a podcast, focus on the process of gaining your fitness BACK rather than the fact that some might have been lost! (if that’s even true)



I started structured training March 23rd which was 3x a week for 3-3.5 hrs per week.

Prior to that I would say I rode alot but really most rides were 10 miles with my highest mileage total being in 2019 at around 450. This year I am at 800+ so a significant jump.

You have a point on stress I didn’t think about. I tend to carry alot of work stress as well as my kids causing some stress.

We did not have the kids along but I was managing the day to day appointments. It most definitely had an impact when we returned and I was thrown back into the blender of life and responsibilities.

My wife had some hospital issues as well this spring and my stress spiked and performance tanked. I measure my HRV daily and I could see my score tank as stress and procedures ramped up.

The first gains are always the biggest and then they trickle in. Consistency will be your friend. Even if you aren’t in a plan or don’t feel like doing a workout, at least do an easy ride 4-5 times per week. The consistency of endurance miles will add up over time. Even a half hour of Z2 will be better than nothing. Maybe the half hour turns into an hour.

I would definite retest to make sure you are at the right training wattage.

If you have had that much weight loss and ftp increase, my guess is that you are underfeeding also. If you are still looking for reasonable weight loss without much (if any) decline in ftp, then fully fuel your rides. TR has the projected calorie intake on the workouts. Then, slice 300 or so calories off your other meals. Your carb intake is not enough for your expenditure. It will take a short time to refuel and recover from underfueling. FWIW.

Life stress is still stress. I think you are maybe overlooking the impact of having to go to the hospital for a week for your wife could have in terms of stress response.

Since the majority feel this is a nutrition and fueling issue. This is what I’m going to change.

Calories - 2350 a day

  • this takes into account bmr, light exercise, and then an avg of the TR work for a week divided into the days.

Protein - 170
Net Carbs - 140
*might need to increase this yet but need to bring this up with low glycemic foods since the blood sugar response is the reason for the diet
Fats - 80

Does this sound reasonable?

170g protein = 680 calories
140g carbs = 560 calories
80g fat = 720 calories
total: 1960 calories

Not sure how you are doing those macros and getting to 2350 calories

Math errors aside - I think you’re way over consuming protein and under consuming carbs, I don’t think you need nearly that much

I’m eating (and likely burning) way more than you, but my breakdown today was 585g carbs, 65g fat, 201g protein.

I’m probably a bit low on fat today, but note the relationship between carbs and protein compared to yours

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I’m only tracking Net Carbs for my insulin resistance. Fiber would be approximately 20-40 grams a day which isn’t included in the carb count.

Your right though there are empty calories available in what I posted since the calculator i ran wanted 250-350 total carbs which is way higher than what I want to be right now with trying to get ahold of the insulin resistance.

I don’t necessarily mean to have these targets as a hard target. More along the lines for me knowing where I’m at in calories per day. As well as me knowing the breakdown of macros so I can manage my insulin response.

I will admit though the finer points of nutrition evade me. I know athletically I need to fuel more carbs but I try to keep workouts under 2 hrs. In my mind the need for high glycemic foods would be reduced and I can restore my energy levels during an off day.

I think you’re conflating carbs with high glycemic index carbs. I’m not saying you need lots of sugar, just carbs

Obligatory take my information with a grain of salt, but that being said,
I under fueled and under ate for a long time. Be aware of your overall macro and micronutrient composition, and also the effects of what under fueling can do after a prolonged period. For example, it can mess with hormones and body chemicals and other things that will throw you out of balance that can be hard to fix even when you begin eating more. I had problems with that for a long time and it took me a while to bounce back to where all of my vitals and lab tests come back fantastic. So my point is, if you are restricting or have been restricting severely and are seeing health issues or poor performance, make sure you are checking all of your necessary values and bodily functions for any potential issues. Low testosterone, too much stress hormone, all that junk. I was even having problems with digestion and bowel movements.
I’m guessing you are not there, but this is just my little word of warning to avoid getting there :grin:
If you have absolutely any doubts or concerns, go talk to a doctor or some sort of nutritionist that’s qualified to help.

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It definitely seems like a challenge to eat low carb and/or low glycemic index and still train. If you end up cutting out carbs then you are going to need to eat more protein and fat.

Broccoli and spinach are great but a cup of broccoli is still only 11g of carbohydrate so not enough to fuel a workout.

I was listening to a nutritionist on a podcast and their recommendation was 100g of carbohydrate and then adding more carbs based on how much extra activity you do. You could possibly periodize your carbs doing something like that - lowish carbs for low intensity endurance rides or days off and extra carbs for high intensity or long rides.

Have you tried a constant glucose monitor. My wife is giving one a go. The doc wants her to eat in such a way as to never exceed 140 mg/dL. I’d like to try it to see how I’m tolerating carbohydrate.

Warlow +2 is a pretty tough workout.

IMHO, struggling on an over/under workout where the “under” is at 98% doesn’t really indicate that your training has been derailed.