This is gonna be long - will try not to make it too long.
Used TR on and off since before anyone thought of smart trainers; 8 years of training in a reasonably structured manner for long stuff, mostly tri. 44yo with a tendancy to not sleep, 82kg. Have had a coach in previous years who had me out around 700-900TSS & ~15hrs/week over 3 sports. Handled that fine (physically at least), but largely lower intensity. ‘Mid volume’ should be pretty achievable you’d think…
Back of last year I did my first TR plan to focus on a 40km TT. The plan nearly killed me. Just about coped given I was only doing one sport at the time. Got a nice result, happy man.
Starting back of last year my run to Roth was planned as: Mid vol half distance base, mid vol full base, mid vol full build, mid vol full speciality.
It all came unglued towards the end of the mid vol full base. The the tuesday VO2’s killed me, and I didn’t seem to be able to recover. Started missing / failing more workouts - I’d be touch and go to actually get to the end of most the ones with intensity, then I got ill, took me out for a solid week.
Couple of things have ‘saved’ me - mid vol, full distance build seems to have removed the Vo2 work, and work travel has left me spending a lot more time away from the turbo and hence improvising the best I can. To a certain extent that means reverting to what I know works - a bit of intensity, and a lot of not intensity. Fine, but maybe there’s more to be had…
Over this period Ramp tests have shown a steady, slow reduction of a handful of watts per test; Thing is, I don’t feel weaker, I feel like I’m ‘failing’ the ramp test. At about 330watts or so the legs just can’t go anymore. Breathing isn’t exactly relaxed, but it’s far from maximal. I could hold a (halting) conversation. So, after testing 252, the toys went out the pram, I went outside and smashed myself over a 20km course for a 30m average of 287 - taking the last 20mins that puts my FTP about 273. Pretty significant difference.
My thoughts in no particular order:
- I should have seen it coming. My power for the 40kTT was 276AP/278NP, not long after that I ramped at 256. Somehow failed to wonder about that.
- In the past I’ve seen good correlation between 95% of 20min and real world 60min. I should probably do a 20min test on the turbo… but ‘The best predictor of performance is performance its self’ - what I can actually do outside on the bike should be the anchor really…
- Even at the ramp figure I was NOT finding it easy to complete workouts/stay with the intense parts of the plan. Maybe I’m just getting old, but TR seems to dig me too big a hole to recover and continue. Bit afraid of taking my outside FTP over to TR!
- I suck at climbing, and turbos. Basically I don’t like generating high force/with a lot of inertia. Big gears spinning fast are much nicer.
- I like short Supra threshold efforts - up to about 90sec. I suck at longer ones. I also think I’m pretty good at dieseling along at solid %ages of threshold for a long time - i.e. big aerobic engine (let’s face it, that’s what I train). It’s also what all my events demand - if I was doing different events I might worry about the gap in my armoury, but my need for big 3-5min power is rather minimal.
Question is, what to do with all of that… other than write off the ramp test as targeting my 2 biggest weaknesses