Fitness increasing trainerroad plan and decreasing Strava

Hi There

Whenever I follow a TrainerRoad plan to increase FTP or lots of interval training, my Strava fitness graph gets lower and lower. It’s very demoralising - does anyone know why? Thanks

I kinda noodle around and my strava fitness goes up. I’d just ignore it or just kind of a fun metric to look at after a long group ride

strava’s fitness is just a rolling 6 week average of your TSS, which is calculated as follows (100xtxNP^2)/(60xFTP^2) (with t in minutes) so 1h @ftp would be 100 TSS ( (100xtxIF^2)/60 would be thw same)

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A k.a., Strava doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

  1. It’s not “fitness”, it’s your chronic training load (CTL); and

  2. It should be calculated using an exponentially weighted moving average with a 42 d time constant, not as a simple 42 d (6 wk) rolling average.

In their defense (?), Strava is not the only site to try make a quick buck on my ideas by distorting them.


Chances of fitness do go up with ctl, so it’s true from a certain point of view, and by fitness I mean


Eat to ride, ride to eat?


Strava is social media, not a training plan.


The 2nd

I’d recommend the original source:

(Or if you want to make more money for a publisher:


Thanks for input. I will do a bit more reading

Don’t worry about the Strava fitness. Or those overall fitness numbers based on TSS.
I hit my highest fitness numbers all the way in 2017. I proceeded to lose half the fitness points following year when I decreased overall ride time but increased intensity. I broke my personal records every year following after that with less volume.

Unless you’re a TDF rider or doing ultra marathons, the strava fitness number is irrelevant to your well being.

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Huh? But but but isn’t he who dies with highest strava fitness score and 1 sec max power who wins!?!? (from a dodgy PM that I’ve never calibrated)

That’s what I hear on my group rides from all the guys who do zwift pace bot rides averaging 44km/h and 175w to rack up the km, so they can win the year with the most km… TR is too painful and boring I’m told.

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if that’s what gets them off in their peer group… pathetic meme

@Tessa I’d ignore Strava and check out It’s free and a better platform for monitoring that kind of stuff, if you’re interested. Just don’t chase CTL and trust the process of TR. You’re getting faster, I’m sure.


I found even has limits. I got my FTP up to 350 one stage, and i had to do 50km everyday other my fitness would drop… once i started ignoring that, all the other functionality / analysis tools on intervals are really good.

Ignore Strava; their algorithm is heavily related to the length and frequency of outdoor riding. Do enough of that without taking a break and your strava fitness will go up but in the real world riding without a recovery/ rest wears you out and can make you less fit.

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intervals just calculates your CTL like it is suggested on TrainingPeaks. That’s why I said not to chase CTL. CTL is based on TSS and not all TSS are equal. So don’t compare apples to oranges basically but still everyone keeps doing it.

So take all those numbers with a grain of salt. If you’re new to training then it’s maybe a bit overwhelming with all that data and how to interpret it. I’d just try to ignore intervals and Stravas Fitness graph for the moment and just focus on completing your TR plan. See if either your FTP or your power curves goes up and if so, you’re doing it right. If not, start to analyze then. The forum is a good ressource with many helpful and knowledgable people around that are happy to help you out.

What Is Chronic Training Load (CTL) And How To Use It To Improve Cycling Performance - CTS (


Ignore Strava. Instead, ask yourself:

  • How do you feel? (Learn to listen to your body.)
  • Are you measurably getting faster? (E. g. compare your times for Strava segments over time.)
  • Does the training feel too hard or ok? (It is normal and intended that fatigue ramps up until rest weeks.)

If you feel that you are getting faster and have quantitative metrics that tell you the same, everything is ok.


Thanks for the input - interesting article and have subscribed to their newsletter.

Not without looking at your data. I could use either the PMC (TrainingPeaks, Intervals, WKO, etc) or Strava and find value in using it. However you have to learn a few things to get that value.

Did Strava finally pony up and give credit to those that derived the impulse-response model? Dr. Banister, Dr. Coggan, & Dr. Skiba in particular. Did they switched to Training Peak’s TSS as opposed to renaming (cough, cough, plagiarize) Dr. Skiba’s xPower to “Weighted Avg Power”?

I can’t check since I don’t have a paid subscription but it still using the “Weighted Avg Power” which suggest they are still using PhysFarm Training Systems. Here’s a dated comparison xPower – Science4Performance. Luckily Strava now tracks FTP changes, or I been told. It used to recalculate your “Fitness & Freshness” chart based on a default FTP setting not your current and historical info. It’s still confused (cough, cough) about CP and FTP though.