Frustration vent: FTP drop, plan builder issues

Pardon my rant here, but I need to vent some frustration.

I have been using TR for 1.5 years and really appreciate the structure it gives and how well it works. I am a 60 year old cyclist, with CX as my primary racing/training focus. In April I started my official 2020 CX training plan, sslv. I built out my plan on plan builder, with all of my a/b/c races. When Covid hit, I continued with the plan not knowing if racing would happen. As races started getting cancelled, I decided to stick with the plan, but removed all races. Plan Builder asked if I was sure I wanted to cancel events, as it would be permanent. I followed through, only to find the races back in my schedule 2 weeks later. I have now done this several times. Each time it reshuffled the plan and had me ramp test. Today, the races are still there. What gives?

Rant issue #2, I just ramp tested and achieved a 3% decline in my ftp. I somewhat expected this, as my workouts over the past few weeks have been brutal, mostly VO2 max. I own a bike shop and spend all day on my feet with up/down stairs constantly. I also bike commute 7 miles to/fro most days. All of this to say, at 60yo, I know I need more recovery. Current FTP is 3.9wkg. I am planning on dialing things back a bit to give my legs a break, especially since I won’t be racing again until next year. I could really use a Masters focused plan, hopefully you guys are hearing us old guys!
Rant over, thanks for listening.

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FTP is changing all of the time, so many factors. I would bet it changes twice a day nearly. I would not focus so much on it. Use the new one, adjust the workouts based on the experience you have to make it work at the intensity you know it should be at. It’s just a number at the end of the day.

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I did a ramp test about 6 weeks ago and it went from 211 to 197. I knew that was a bad day and just ignored it and stuck with 211. I felt I was in better shape than 197.

I took a bit of a break. I did a FulGaz stage race to make a change, did a recovery week. This week I did a ramp test and it was 215.

It sounds like you understand how your body feels and what is needs. Follow what it is saying.

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Yeah, I think I need to just go out and ride my bike and not sweat the drop in ftp. I have been hitting it hard since April, and while I like the structure, I’m starting to feel a little burned out, especially with all of the other Covid-related stuff going on in the world. And with no racing to motivate me, my devotion may be waning a bit. Thanks for the encouragement.

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Sometimes I think we forget about why we enjoy cycling and we should just get out and ride for the fun of being outside.

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This for sure. Not far behind you age wise. Lost all my races this year too. Tried plan builder to go for a PB in September just for something to do. Had to bail after a few weeks. Just felt all sorts of wrong. FTP has been consistently down about 15 watts all year. Had a head scratcher and looked back through my data and saw I had stopped responding to VO2max stuff. HR too low. Basically I have had a year of base. Not ideal for a masters. Said to hell with it and went all in for some silly Strava challenge with some mates and riding the hell out of the bike this month. Feel totally worn out now but in the good way. Best thing I have done all year by a long shot. Found some great new routes too. Looking forward to next week and getting my trotters up for a few days.

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