FTP down but feel stronger?

This is my 3rd season with TR, for context I started TR with 167ftp. This year I was able to reach my highest FTP and lowest weight 285ftp doing crit low volume last May on my first (A) event of the year. I feel really great that time but fitness started going down after the event (vacation, running, social riding :slight_smile: ). FTP went as low as 240 though i maintain the same weight.

Fast word to last week of August I see a flyer that there will be a race by first week of November. So restarted my training and went through build phase. This time i selected Sustain Mid Volume. Its last week of the build and the AI was able to calculate my new FTP. To my surprise I only get 268 and also 2kg heavier than before after all the hard training session. However I feel a lot stronger than when I was at my highest FTP. Even the practice races is showing this and people also noticing the change.

By the way, the very noticeable differences during this 2 training phase is now my sprint number is reduced, the snap when doing surges is gone. But the thing I really like now is I can sustain long vO2 efforts.

is it the training I done caused this changes?
or I chose the wrong plan from the start?
is it psychological?
or AI is off?

Do 2 × 20 or 3 × 15 at FTP and see how you feel. If it’s an 8/10 RPE then your magic number is about right.

You did more long, thresholdy type workouts and less big, snappy efforts and you got better at long, thresholdy type efforts and worse at short snappy ones…

…this might provide the answer to how to reverse it, although if the ‘new’ physiological makeup is working for you you might not want to!

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The good thing is that you can add to your top end with just a few workouts. I did 4 or 5 workouts with some 10 second sprints and improved my top end watts by 10%. (And it was only a few sprints per workout - like 5.)

The trainerroad workouts can be hard, but they rarely push you to personal maximums. It could be the rides you did so far just didn’t push you harder than a 268, but doesn’t mean that’s the best you could do.

However, even so, feeling strong and FTP aren’t the same. You can definitely be a stronger rider than before with a lower “FTP” because of other factors.

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Hey @onarrestk!

It’s OK if your FTP is not yet at the level it used to be :slightly_smiling_face: As @russell.r.sage mentioned, you can definitely feel stronger than before with a lower FTP because of other factors such as better nutrition, sleep, etc…You may body may have even gone through a recovery state you didn’t even know it needed!

I would keep the current AI FTP Detection that you have, which I am sure will keep progression with your training, and let Adaptive Training serve the necessary adaptations to your training plan based on your Progression Levels as they are a real-time representation of your fitness and ability to express your FTP across each training zone.

As far as being able to sustain long VO2 Max efforts, whereas before, you had more “snap,” it is normal. The Build Phase’s intent is to grow your Functional Threshold Power the most. More specifically, the * Sustained Power Build Phase you just completed is focused on developing greater sustained power through the use of strength endurance work (Sweet Spot), lactate tolerance workouts (Threshold), and a healthy dose of maximum aerobic power intervals (VO2max). These areas of focus translate to the ability to sustain high percentages of FTP for increasingly long durations.

Lastly, I see you scheduled a Sweet Spot Base I & II for when you get back from your upcoming vacation, which is great! But I would be keen to see if you have any events planned for 2024. If that’s the case, I would look into Plan Builder to schedule a training plan around those events instead of manually entering each phase and having them not coincide with your events so that you’re ready for them :slight_smile: