FTP drop SSBlv block

First time forum poster saying hi!

I just did my first ramp test after my first 6wk SSBlv block and the result was a bit dissapointing. My FTP had dropped 12w (256->244).

Anyone else had a similar experience?

I did complete all but one workouts at 100% in ERG mode none the less. In one with long intervals I had to drop to 95% in the last interval.

I did do some kettle bell stuff yesterday I could feel in my legs, had a bad night, didn’t juice up on caffeine and did have 2wk illness in the 6wk period (so to 8 weeks) etc.

So my question is should I use tje lower number as base for the next block?

If you’re completing all the workouts then maybe you just had a bad day on your ramp test.

It feels a bit unfair to measure 6 weeks worth of potential progress in 15 mins doesnt it?

Try leaving your FTP as it was. If you’re having to consistently drop the intensity then it may be time for a drop in FTP but it doesn’t sound like that is likely.

What did you do before the 6 week SSBLV?
I found restarting SSBLV1 to be too little training stress for further FTP improvement coming off of a summer with lots of outdoor rides, where I was used to doing more. But maybe this is the intention of SSB block 1? Prepare for more stress to come?

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This season was pretty light in training. I did mostly a bit longer 2-4h lower intensity rides outside. This is my first stab at structured training and indoor training in general. So I thought I might respond well nI guess not.

I did the plan builder targeting a race next year. Would it make more sense to adjust the start of that plan to cover the past 6 weeks or restart with SSBlv1 block like the plan suggests?

The past block was not part on a bigger plan.

It sounds like you tested poorly.

You could re-test in a day or two, but I personally hate testing. I would leave your FTP as-is and see how the next block goes. SSB2 is a hair harder than the previous one, and if it was just a poor test, you should be able to complete the workouts at 100%.

A lot of people don’t make big gains in SSB. It’s quite common to only see a couple of watts, or break even. The gains in SSB are more of a “behind the scenes”. You’ll see bigger gains in build phases.

Completely agree with previous comments

Do you have experience with training with power? How hard do the intervals feel?

Happened to me. It is common to have your FTP decrease from plan to plan as fitness progression is not linear. But, you should also make sure that you can complete all your workouts without lowering your intensity.

Speaking from my perspective, I had a similar situation this year. I finished SSB LV 1 (started at 293WFTP), and then I started SSB LV 2 at 283W FTP. I had a hard time recovering between workouts. FYI, I peaked this summer at 315W so I was able to finish workouts with that FTP setting. Things did not go according to plan in building my second peak for fall as I started to have persistent fatigue while in SSB LV 2. I also had difficulties completing VO2 workouts and lost motivation. I then realized that I am a bit overtrained and need some time off. Fast forward after ~3 weeks, and with 2 weeks completely off the bike, I am fresh and ready to train again!

If you are able to finish all the workouts, there is absolutely no reason to lower your FTP after a ramp-test! The purpose of the ramp-test is to find an intensity level that is just manageable, and you already know 256 is manageable for you. What you dont know after a failed ramp-test - and it sounds like that is what happened - is how much your FTP potentially increased beyond that point.

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Depends! SSB1 & SSB2 have pretty short intervals. It’s very possible to do those workouts with a higher FTP. You’ll be working at threshold and above threshold where you should’ve been in sweetspot etc. That’s what happened to me last season. Managed all the workouts in SSB1 & SSB2. Got great gains. But halfway into Build I was done :stuck_out_tongue:

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Thank you all for the responses. I think I’ll leave the FTP as is and continue with my new plan, which starts with SSBlv1 again.

My FTP dropped after SSBLV2, by 2%
My setup changed, hence, I took the drop, just to err on the side of caution.
However, I’m ready to increase intensity mid-workout if I feel I can do more.
It’s build though, so I’m not counting my chickens
My advice, if you stick with your current FTP: listen to your body, make sure you get plenty of rest, and don’t dig yourself into a hole.
It’s just a number, in the end, make sure you get the right intensity for your training.

Fair point, and something similar has happened to me. But dont agree with the conclusion. Most build plans (not sure which one you picked) have more VO2 max and shorter instead of longer intervals. Think this is a limitation of the FTP concept, using a single number to calibrate the full power curve for individuals will lead to mismatches in parts of that curve. I lowered my FTP manually to train the high-intensity part of the power curve efficiently, but kept the same FTP for sweet spot sessions.

I had been mountain biking for fun for years. No structured training. Started with TR last year. Initial FTP 229, then 251 end of SSBLV1. 269 FTP end of SSBLV2. Managed all but the 3 min VO2 max workouts. Everything was hard, and looking back, I was at threshold or above for all workouts.

Started Sustained Power LV with the 269 FTP and got about halfway before I blew up :stuck_out_tongue:

This year I’ve been using the KM Prog 1 and my FTP at the start is back to 247. But just finishing SSBLV2 all workouts were doable and my power zones matched my HR zones and the RPE. So hoping this will be better in the end

One more question. What kind of heart rate should you expect in a sweet spot interval? I did Monitor this morning and in the last 6m interval my max HR was 174bpm which for me is just at the edge on zone 5 (garmin) so pushing in the max hr territory. I’ve seen 190bpm cycling and did sustain 168avg in a race this year for an hour. My HR is on the high side for my age.