I recently completed 8 weeks of General Build Mid Volume only to see my FTP increase by 2 watts. I was under the impression that the biggest gains in FTP occur during the Build Phase, so I was a little disappointed. Does anyone have any ideas what may be preventing me from realizing more substantial improvements? Details below:
Physiological Details: Age = 33, Weight = 142 lbs / 64 kg, Height = 6 foot, Watts/Kg = 3.5.
Training History: Riding bikes for ~4 years, seriously training with TR since August 2018. Completed Sweet Spot Base 1 and 2 Mid Volume and General Build Mid Volume. Initial FTP was 207 at the beginning of SSB and improved to 230 by the end of SSB (11% improvement). Generally stuck to the plans and completed the workouts without turning down the intensity or skipping intervals. Seem to struggle more with high power and VO2Max.
Diet: Vegetarian for 10+ years, but get enough protein from other sources. Eat pretty healthy - mostly veggies, grains, beans, etc. Have always struggled to put on weight, even before giving up meat. Diet is probably a limiter for me. I don’t count calories or pay attention to macro nutrients. I never “fueled” for a ride or ate during a ride until I heard the infamous Amber podcasts, at which point I tried to eat a lot more before and during my rides, but that probably only applied to 2-3 weeks of training.
Rest: I probably sleep about 7.5 hours a night and feel rested. Lifestyle is not extremely taxing other than the training (desk job, no kids, etc.).
Complications: 1) I do ~50% of my training in a hotel gym on a sub-optimal bike. It has a power meter, which I would estimate is within 10-15 watts of my power meter at home. I use RPE and heart rate to compensate for the “perceived” differences in power readings, and try to save the more dynamic workouts (with lots of changes in power) for when I am at home. 2) I got sick during the first rest week of General Build; took a week off, then resumed with the rest week.
Sorry for the lengthy post, but I would greatly appreciate any insight on where to go from here to break through this apparent plateau. My own guess would be - more focus on diet, VO2Max work, and maybe strength training. Thoughts?