FTP estimate after 3 months stop

Had a road accident with multiple fractures, 3 months stop, in rehab since 20 days and green light to start indoor biking by doctors. FTP was around 270 before the stop, 75 kgs, Don’t want to do a ramp test right now, just easy riding in Z1 and Z2 for a while. Will target zones with HR at the beginning but to have correct TSS for workouts (which I would like to have anyway) I need to input a current FTP guesstimate. I have tried and put 200 but I see corresponding TSS seems a bit high yet, but I would think I can’t have lost more than that. Opinions/real life experiences after 3 months of total break?

Let AI FTP detection estimate.

See https://support.trainerroad.com/hc/en-us/articles/4415864080155-How-to-Use-AI-FTP-Detection. In FAQ, there is QA for detection after break.

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I will, but it takes 10 workouts. My question was for the FTP setting now, when TSS is determined by my own input

I saw Traditional Plan and it is surely the one which could be closer to a rehab plan. It just seem workouts are a bit too long at the beginning (first weeks are 1h15m each) but I will probably go for something like that, shortening duration of the sigle workout at the beginning and with a Z2 heart rate cap. To have a free ride detected by AI FTP, I need to match it to a similar workout chosen here after uploading it here, right?

Sorry, deleted my first post because it seemed that I only duplicated what you said in your original post already :slight_smile:

Anyway, here’s my first take again:

And some clarification: I myself did not use TBHV or any structured plan initially:

  • 1st month: rode as long as possible pain-free (weekly volume 12h → 13h → 15h → 11h, longest ride 4h in 3rd week)
  • 2nd month: same as 1st, plus one interval workout per week, SS → Z4 → SS (weekly volume 18h → 21h → 26h → 7h, really high volume for me, thanks to vacation. Longest ride stretched to 8h)
  • 3rd month: similar to 2nd, except now 2 hard intervals per week (Tue Z4, Sat SS)

Not really sure what happened at 3rd month. Either due freshness or considerable volume increase, got really strong. FTP was still shy of previous peak but TTE was best I ever had, could hold FTP for 70min or 2x40 with couple minute recovery. Before this enforced break it was more like 40min or so.


Thanks a lot, interesting.
You started with some volume from the beginning (at least for my standards, I was at 11-12 hours at my best before injury)
I will need to take it easier in volume terms at the beginning due to consequences of my injuries, but would like to come back to 11-12 hours weekly volume in 3 months
I would say, similar plan to yours for intensity, not for volume

Note: 70% of cycling HRmax made me initially ride around at ~55-60% of FTP. Later it increased to around 63% of FTP but my HR zones are always been higher compared to power zones.

EDIT: if your total time allotment is 11-12h, then it is what it is. But if you’re are limited to due fatigue, not time, then riding so low intensity allows you go very high volume.

It’s more the pain and the fact I am still in rehab, doing indoor training as part of that really. So don’t want to overdo it at the beginning. Yeah I was asking about FTP guesstimate because in the first 2 very easy rides I was seeing 120W avg at 115 bpm avg, while they where 170W to 180 W before the injury. So I thought that if I lost all that at those bpms, the FTP loss may be much bigger in terms of absolute watts

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Yeah, definitely don’t try pushing through pain. This is actually reason, why I had to take break in first place, ignored moderate pain during very long ride and made it so much worse in end. At least learned lot about recovery process :slight_smile:

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I am also after 3 months stop, and FTP estimation was pretty basic - the same as I started TR 3 years ago :slight_smile: no test, just reading some literature and knowing what is happening with your body. You have no blood volume, your heart is smaller due the lack of activity hence vo2 max is returned almost to base.

Plus side - mitochondria are already there and capilaries are also good.

My suggestion - do rides by feel. Forget about any hard parameter. During my first ride I had hr in my threshold zone, despite breathing and legs knowing I am in z1, during tempo on my second ride I have reached hr max but breathing was calm and stable. After 5 rides things become more normal, after 9 rides 30W of FTP came back.

I do all things by feel at the moment, because it’s impossible to relay on any percentage of power. Just return gently, focusing more on time in the saddle than any other aspect, spin your legs and see when you will feel better.


This is Plan A, as a matter of fact. But then you know, the data nerd in me takes a look to numbers. The main thing is to look at them as a consequence and not as a goal in this phase, I guess

Oh, do not get me wrong - I am number guy with WKO filled with custom charts, comparision etc. But, as you said - numbers are descriptive not prescriptive. I still use them as a rough guide but more and more I am relaying on feel - especially when it comes to threshold and above I do them by feel and compare to the percentage to remember how it felt at the moment. The plus side is I almost never have to test my FTP :slight_smile:

Yes, I think that if we are here we all like numbers :joy: As a matter of fact, ride by feel is good, what I can say is that looking at numbers, even if only as a consequence and not as a target, helps to see where you are vs. where you were before (in my case, before the injury). My plan is, if pain slowly goes away, to have the longest and slowest build I have ever had, this winter. Last winters I was always ending caught in Zwift racing and/or hard (Vo2 max intervals etc) quality training. Really curious to see the difference next spring, if I can really build a slow and steadily progressing volume-based training.

In 2019 I had major stomach surgery which saw me off training for a month and a half. Nothing scientific but I dropped my FTP by 50w (17%) and left it there for months as it felt right.

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I am considering lowering mine from 270W to 200W, that’s a higher percentage of reduction (around 30%) and may be too much. But TSS generated with that value is matching more or less TSS I might expect (after years of seeing my TSS) for that kind of effort. Really in doubt because I have the feeling a FTP test could bring something in the 220-230W range but too early to do it for my injury, I don’t want to have to use higher torque yet

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If it helps my FTP was 276 in October last year when i had to stop training due to post covid issues. Had a couple of false starts with training before starting with some steady riding in April. In April AI FTP said my FTP had dropped to something like 271 (I think) which was clearly nonsense.
I started steady rides with a HR cap of 125 which was previously low z2 (not stressing if it went up to 130 but no more). Initially i was like you and my power output was very low. This quickly bounced back and after by the end of April at 125bpm looking at previous workouts i estimated my FTP had dropped to 230 and manually input this into the system. 4 weeks later AI FTP had it at 239 so not a bad guess. I’ve been following mid volume polarised base since then and AI FTP last week was back to 254.


Good hints, similar numbers here in my history. This makes me think I should probably really put it a little bit higher than 200W at the beginning

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I wouldn’t be afraid to do your first wo at 200w and if you feel its too low after that up it.


Another thing I will say is that I tried my best not to stress about it. For the first month of riding I just rode my bike with my 125bpm ceiling as my post covid issues were heart related. I calculated the 125 based on the MAF training method (there is a thread on here about this). Initially it was very, very slow but it was encouraging to see my power at 125bpm increase week on week. Just take your time, be patient and you’ll get back to where you were.

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Thanks, will surely do that. I have also calculated my HR ceiling with MAF and double checked with other methods, everything (and most of all, perceived effort) is telling me that in my case that ceiling is around 121 bpm, so that’s where I am going to stay for a while.

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