I’ve got a puzzle.
At the end of last summer season I decided to give a mid-volume plan a go. I did a ramp test before starting SSB and tested with an FTP of 281. (I’d just finished doing low volume maintenance plan with plenty of outdoor riding - the maintenance plan has lots of short, sharp VO2 max work)
Went through SSB 1 and SSB 2 (I skipped re-test in the middle because that fell Xmas week)
Then started sustained power build 4 weeks ago. My Ramp test then wasn’t a… complete success. I couldn’t maintain power at the top end, and ended up with a result of 250 FTP. I wasn’t too concerned, as I felt stronger, and was doing OK on the workouts, albeit with Thursdays always being a challenge due to fatigue (I’d cut down the duration of some Thursday workouts to ensure I could complete Saturday and Sunday)
So finished the first 4 weeks of Sustained Power Build, and ramp tested again: Result? 250 FTP.
I was… irked. at this, so decided to retest (2 days later) using the 8 minute test. Result? 250 FTP.
So… I’ve decided to update my FTP to 250, and carry on with Sustained Power Build.
What’s strange here is… As the weather in the UK has been getting warmer, I’ve been doing some outdoor rides at the weekends, and… I’m faster. I’m getting PRs on strata segments that I rode late last year, and this weekend I rode a segment that I ride regularly (I’ve done it > 150 times) and got a PR. Not just a PR, but the 5th fastest out of the 5000+ people that have ridden the segment on strava out of all time.
So… I’m clearly getting faster.
But my FTP test results would suggest the opposite.
So the question is:
What’s the best training strategy going forward?
Should I move from Mid-volume back to low volume?
Should I update my FTP to what the tests say?
Should I carry on with lower FTP at mid-volume, and build up again?
Should I add in more recovery time to the mid volume plan?
(My “A” race this year is the 100 mile Velo Birmingham on 12 May - so I’ve got 9 weeks to experiment)