First TR Season, Slight FTP loss during Build Phase

Hi, I’m on my first TR plan and I’m loving it so far. I’ve never had the motivation to consistently train like this before. I started with the LV SSB after pretty much 6 months off the bike. The first ramp test gave an FTP of 186W (Kickr Core). The ramp test at the start of LV SSB2 gave an FTP of 211W and by the end of SSB2 I was 230W.

I was very happy at this point, I weigh roughly 70kg but I would say 65kg is a more my typical weight and is easily achievable. I thought I would focus on power rather than weight loss given that I am training more than I ever have.

I’ve just completed the LV General Build plan and I haven’t improved my FTP. I measured 230W at the halfway point of build and 225W at the end (yesterday). I wasn’t expecting the gains to continue the way they were but I’m slightly surprised at the result.

One thing I have noticed is that there are no SS workouts in the LV General Build plan, they are VO2Max and Threshold workouts. I’m wondering whether I would have increased my FTP more by repeating the LV SSB plan? I’m not sure whether I was really “ready” for the build plan, it was hard work! I completed all of the workouts except the last interval of Leconte and I reduced the intensity of San Joaquin +3 and Galena +2 toward the end.

I guess it is slightly de-motivating to take that punishment (for me at least) and not see any improvements. I know FTP isn’t everything but I genuinely don’t “feel” any better on the bike. I don’t “feel” like my VO2Max has improved either.

Maybe I should go back to SSB rather than Specialty (was going to move onto LV Climbing Road Race) . I don’t have any events planned so I’m not working towards anything in particular. But a part of me wants to finish the plan “properly” and then think about my next approach.

Maybe I should up the volume? But I feel like it’s too soon for that much training… Maybe this is completely normal :man_shrugging:

Thanks for any tips/help!

As you said, FTP is not the only measure of success or failure. Other harder to define metrics are just as important. Such as, how well you recover from between hard efforts, how long you can hold threshold, etc. You can get better at these without your FTP moving. I’m not sure what you mean by your VO2 doesn’t ‘feel’ better but can you hold power for a longer duration or do efforts with less rest in between?

I think this could be a good idea. If you took 6 months off before starting this plan then you could probably benefit a lot from more low intensity base.

This is super individual. Were you doing any riding outside of the plan or extending the workouts at all? Did you feel you were recovered well for the scheduled workouts? Depending on the answers you could either stay at LV and add endurance to the ends of workouts or add endurance rides between workouts, or move to MV. It’s hard to say what the best approach is for someone. Adding endurance to LV is the safer approach as you won’t be adding more high intensity but maybe that’s what you need.

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Thanks for feedback, I feel like my recovery is actually pretty good. Sometimes I feel like the next interval could actually come sooner and it would be doable, so maybe this is improving.

I think this is improving, hard to know because it’s my first crack at these types of workouts. I’ve never actually done Threshold intervals in the past for example.

I think I’ll go back to SSB, my motivation is still good and I’m enjoying the structure.

As for increasing volume, the TR crew on the podcast often recommends adding volume selectively to see how you feel, rather than jumping from LV to MV, or MV to HV.

You could do this a couple of ways, including picking a + workout that includes additional time after the main workout usually at 65% FTP, or extend the cool down and increase the FTP bias to add endurance, or add an easy endurance workout earlier/later in the day, or increase/add endurance work on your recovery days.

Lots of options. Experiment and see how your body responds.

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I have spent 6 months doing Base plans, Mid volume. When i finished 12 weeks, the Build phase was still exceptionally hard. Threshold , followed with VO2 max efforts just hurt. As My FTP has increased ( Gone from 180 to now 250W), I Have switched to High Volume Base, Just finishing the Base 1, I am sitting in SS at 234W and able to still finish. I am able to recover to do 6 days of SS with some Tempo rides thrown in. I do not intend races… well if you do not count Audax, or Bike pack racing. I think all my training aimed at going long distances. So when TR suggests Threshold or VO2 max, I swap it out for SS. I will wait and see in 7 weeks time when , i will be in a build phase to see if i enjoy that effort again. Not motivating if each work out results in dialing it back and even failing.

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