I am 39 year old male road cyclist (71 kg) who started using TR and doing structured training about two years ago. This year I have been pretty consistent with my training, starting SSB MV in the beginning of Jan with an FTP of 274 watts (ramp test with Assioma pedals on an Elite Turbo Muin). By the start of General Build MV on 1 st of April I tested at 308 w, but increased my FTP manually to 314 w after the first over-unders workout was way too easy at 100% intensity. The threshold and over-under workouts the following weeks of build still seemed quite easy, but I was struggling with VO2max workouts. Based on suggestions in this forum I therefore started a two-week “Coach Chad’s VO2max booster plan”, which seemed to improve the VO2max interval side of things. I therefore restarted General Build MV, tested at 306 w (8 w drop), did a week of workouts and felt I had not had a proper recovery week, so I took that and restarted General Build MV again. This time the ramp test gave me whopping 325 w FTP (best ever test)! Since then I have been following this plan, usually with the Sunday sweet spot workout swapped for a longer club ride and with an extra unstructured outdoor ride per week. Since then the threshold and over-under workouts have been a fair bit harder than earlier this year. My last ramp test had me drop to 314 w and I am now at week 7 in build struggling a lot with my threshold and even sweet spot workouts that usually both have been relatively easy for me to complete. I am convinced that I would see a further FTP-drop if I took a ramp test today.
As additional info, my TSS 6-week average has been quite consistent and between ~550-590 since mid-April. There’s been no change to my stress-levels (generally very low) and amount of sleep (7-8 hours per night) during this year. My diet is relatively carb-centric with plenty of whole-grain, vegetables and fruit, and I fuel well (regular food before and carb drink during workouts) for all workouts of sweet-spot intensity and above.
My questions for the TrainerRoad Forum hive mind are therefore:
- Is my FTP drop(s) more likely to be due to fatigue than lack of progressive stimulus (a presumed lack of stimulus because of more unstructured Sunday club rides often replacing the 2 h sweet spot workout during Build)? I generally feel really well in my daily life - apart from when I ride at sweet spot intensity and above, then my legs start complaining
- If my issues are due to fatigue, should I just take a recovery week now and start up SSB MV again (I was just one week short of finishing Build)? My first races begin in mid-August and the last one is at the end of October.
- Would a VO2max block boost FTP to an unsustainable level when testing using a ramp test (because it relies more on VO2max work than a 20 min FTP test), and could this be the reason for my all-time best FTP after the two-week VO2max block, followed by the drop during Build?
Sorry for the long post and thanks a lot in advance for your replies!