Feeling worn out

Looking for advice…I am training for Leadville next summer. I did two blocks of sweet spot base training and raised my FTP by about 20 watts. At the advice of the coaches, I’ve started “sustained power build” as my next block and I am struggling to complete these workouts. Not only am I finding that they are killing me but mentally I’m not looking forward to getting on my bike. Anyone out there with some advice as to what I should do or try? I’m afraid “to quit” and lose the gains I’ve accomplished, but if I can’t do the workouts, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything positive. Any help??

Some questions.

Do you think your FTP is accurate?

Is this Sustained Power something you have done before?

How do the efforts compare to your prior training?

Are you at a similar volume level to your prior training?

Perhaps you can try some workouts with slightly reduced Intensity to see how they go.

Or, maybe you can consider swapping to General Build, if you handle that better. Sustained makes sense for the goal, but only if you can complete the workout and plan.

Maybe the General will add enough variety to make it more fun and rewarding. You can always steal a workout from the Sustained plan of you want to shift the emphasis towards that style.

Also, how old are you?
What is your riding history?
What volume Sweet Spot did you do and what volume Build are you doing? (pretty much already asked by Chad :))

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Assess your RPE in the workouts, don’t bind yourself to your FTP, it just a guideline. If you feel you can’t get through the training blocks take some time off or do a light week of riding outdoors or spinning easily. You’ll find the reduced volume or riding for fun will prime you to return to high intensity. The worst thing you can do is force it, it’ll lead to a longer and deeper burnout.

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Yes, I believe the FTP is accurate. I’ve never done sustained power before. These efforts start out OK (hard), but as I get to the end of some of the intervals I’m totally destroyed. Sweet spot blocks were hard but doable, although the last tough week of Sweet spot II started to become really hard for me to sustain the interval. I’ve done everything at low volume and then added additional rides during the week via Zwift (nothing structured). I am 48 years old and ride quite a bit for me (5500 miles in 2018). I don’t race a lot but do lots of longer rides (centuries, grand fondos etc. I rode Leadville last summer and am going back to try and improve my time.

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Take a recovery week, then go back to sweet spot. You have like 8 months, you’re golden! Don’t get stressed now.

I’ve done what you’re doing for an Ironman. I burnt myself out early, it’s no fun.


I finished sustained power mid volume recently. Most workouts felt like I was competing for a gold medal in a top priority race. I had to be mentally and physically prepared each time - I looked at the workouts days before and slept and ate accordingly. Every easy workout and easy week seemed to have perfect timing. Finishing each workout successfully was very mentally and emotionally rewarding. However, after the program, I felt totally spent, like expected. Now I’m doing sweet spot base 1 and continue to incrementally increase my ftp.

Suffering like this and playing mental games with yourself is not for everyone. And if you’re not used to it, give it time. I started competing in swimming when I was 7 and realized early in my life that extreme efforts are painful, rewarding and non-lethal. If you start working out as an adult, give it time.

My recommendations: eat and sleep enough; find the right warrior mental state and keep it before and during the workouts; go low volume and/or lower ftp manually; if you really don’t feel like exhausting yourself, and maybe your HR/HRV is bad, take a rest from build or abandon it completely for now, as Nate says - over-reaching in a non-constructive way and getting burnt out is just self destructive and dumb.


@mcneese.chad nailed most of the questions. Here are a couple of others:

What is the rest of your stress like? Stress is stress is stress. This time of year is often more stressful.

How is your eating? Good, real food?

Take a recovery week and have fun. Do something different. Anything. A week (heck, two weeks) won’t kill your gains. Especially if you come back refreshed.

This time of year is tough as all the junk that gets brought out by everyone. When I eat too much processed food, I feel “icky” and lack complete motivation.

I can also dig out a link to my thread on Slowtwitch about mental burnout that I went through and all the advice given there if you would like it.

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