FTP Gains Slowing - Is that expected this soon?


I’m a TrainerRoad subscriber training towards my goals of building enough fitness to join local “A” group rides and possibly try competitive events in the future. I’ve been cycling for 2 years now, but only started seriously training with TR back in June 2023 on a general low volume plan. I came in with a 224 watt ftp, and managed to progress that to 246 by September, when life issues happened and I wound up abandoning the plan.

I decided to try again in late November, this time on a rolling road race mid volume plan - starting from 231, I had an immediate jump back up to 243, but since then my gains have been rather slow, and each new month shows fewer watts gained each time. I’m currently at 265 watts, with my most recent AI FTP detection only showing a 6 watt increase for the month. I have just started my “build” phase.

I realize that I shouldn’t be complaining as I’m still making gains, but I figured I would have more “newbie gains” in me before I tapered off this hard, especially on mid volume. My plan compliance has been good in my opinion - I have missed very few workouts and haven’t failed a single one.

I’m a 31 year old, tall and skinny guy at 6’7" and have gone from 175 to 181 lbs over the course of the plan, making sure I’m eating at a surplus with lots of protein. My recovery is also solid and the new red light/green light is showing that I respect my yellow/red days.

Any ideas for what could be happening, or is this just expected tapering for normal mortals? I’ve seen so many posts about people starting from off the couch, especially bigger guys like me, and hitting 300+ FTPs in half a year of training, and while I know not to compare numbers to randoms on the internet, its still making me wonder if I’m messing up somewhere.



If you turn this forum upside down you’ll read one word: consistency.

Don’t be fixed in FTP. There’s no competition for that. It’s only a number designed to train your system.

The point is, how are you putting this 265w down? Can you keep up a high pace for how long? Are you able to put a good sprint after 3hrs and 240-ish NP?

If I were you I’d prioritize endurance rides and consistency, watts/FTP will follow.


An 18% increase in less than a year, with 2 months, off is pretty good, man.

Stay consistent. Gains will come.


It can be a tough pill to swallow, but the gains always slow down before we want them too. All you can do is stay consistent and follow the process as best possible.

I will say, in the my years before TR and before I knew what FTP was, I’d start doing the fast training rides and get dropped early on. My only goal those days were to make it further along the ride. Doing those group rides consistenly, I eventually went from being the nail, to being the hammer. It took a while but I got there and it was such a blessing not having to worry about what my numbers were, but what my performance was like.

I’d encourage you to follow your TR plan, but also make some space to do the group rides you want and enjoy getting better while out there on the ride.


I have noticed a significant improvement in my ability to maintain near threshold power for longer and my recovery speed thanks to the over-under workouts. I also can comfortably churn out extremely long rides at high z2 power as long as I fuel properly, which is great as century rides used to destroy me.

My biggest weakness right now is the sprint sections on local group rides - I can’t keep the power on long enough and tend to get dropped on these and have to pedal in shame to the next regroup. I’m hoping the VO2 and Anaerobic work in my build phase will help here.


you’re on the right path then, ride on!


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You’re definitely skinny…heck half a foot taller than me, but yet lighter. But since you offered up the information, would you mind explaining why you’re running a calorie surplus? Are you looking to put on mass?

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I’m just wanting to make sure I’m adequately fueling my work and my body has enough material for muscular adaptation. All my local riding is flat, so a few extra pounds don’t really matter to me, especially if it helps me put on power.



Only thing to do is increase volume. I started properly training in 2020. I hit 260 within 4-5 months (though with structured training, I had read a lot and really looking back, my training was good).

In the years since I never got more than 270. I did lost a lot of weight. In 2022, my best year as last year I got injured, I hit 268 at 5kg less than in 2020 so my w/kg increases significantly, however, raw power not so much. I am hoping this year maybe for 275 at the 2022 weight (I am almost there with the weight already).

However, other things improved. I learned to fuel well, I can do longer rides, I can hold tempo for longer on those rides and repeatedly. I have also gotten better at the 5-20m numbers.

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40 watts after you started structured training is pretty good. Many of your noob gains came in the first two years of riding.

You just started build - most of the gains should come in build.

How many hours are you putting in? The hard hitters in the “A” group ride have been doing this for years, they are at least somewhat naturally gifted and through natural selection have stayed in the cycling game. And, they are probably putting in 10-15 hours per week.


Another thing to consider is are you spending too much time “in the wind” on group rides? If your ability to hold power has improved, you might be able to spend more time in the peloton by focusing on staying in the middle of the pack and working the draft so that you have more matches left when it’s time for the sprints.

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Don’t judge yourself purely by sprinting: I can hold 300+ watts for an hour but i have the sprint of a 5 year old girl. :grin:

You can certainly train in the sort of ability to ride steady/hard and to add in hard spiky bits and then settle back to steady/hard again. There are some good workouts for that.


I’m doing 8-11 hours a week at the moment. I’m hoping to increase my volume through more z2 now that spring is rolling in.


I’m usually mid pack or rear for precisely this reason. What gets me is honestly often the build up of intensity before the sprint. The B ride I do usually cruises at 23, but then ramps up before the sprints, often getting up to 27-29mph before people launch, and by that point I’m hanging on for dear life on the last wheel.


Haha. Yep! That’s exactly how the sprinters like it. Kill the rest of us before the sprint even begins!


just speaking for myself as I’m somewhat new to cycling

I’ve been at it pretty consistently for a year…a big chunk of my training has been base building / tempo / Z2. as a result, my FTP has not gone up a ton…but I can hold power much longer and put out more and more hours…and recover almost always daily from whatever I did the day before.

for me getting in 10-15 hours weekly commuting to and from work was top priority…starting from zero. now that I can do that, i’m in sorta a maintenance mode with biking and picking up steam with my weight lifting. then the plan is to work on my FTP late spring

so maybe look at the type of training you’re doing if you want FTP to go up and target that specifically. I dunno what to advise specifically but I think TrainerRoad support can look at what you were doing and help you pick a plan.

If that’s something you want to improve, and you don’t think you’re a good sprinter - like me, I can’t even hit 4 figures - I’d suggest:

  1. don’t hide yourself in the pack, go for it, suffer, get dropped. Group rides are exactly for this. You’ll get used to it and be able to keep the pace gradually. You won’t improve suching wheels forever.
  2. if you can sustain a good 5/8 min after some good KJ, figure this number and attach before them, break the logic. (you can do it on intervals, set an FTP after x KJ, see your curve and identify the numbers you need to achieve/hold)
  3. improve the length of your sprint. Instead of 1200w for 5 sec, try to “spread it”. Try to hold 800w for 25s. You’ll put the pure power guys to suffer as they don’t usually like long sprints, and I think it is achievable

That would be my approach.

To reiterate what other athletes have said here already, consistency is key!

You’re making AWESOME progress for such a relatively short period of time. Going from 231 watts in November to 265 watts currently is a big jump! :muscle:

Don’t worry too much about those posts where folks jump off the couch and get to 300+ watt FTPs in 6 months of training – they’re the exception, not the norm. Further, sometimes “off the couch” really means “I was an NCAA Division I rower/swimmer/runner and took a break from training before I found cycling” – in which case, they’ve got a lot of experience working on their endurance engine already.

It sounds like you’re on the right track here! Keep it up with your consistent training, keep nailing your recovery, and the progress will continue to come.


Thanks everyone for the much needed perspective. I had watched some of NorCal cycling’s “Couch to Crit” series and it gave me a short bout of depression seeing the insane gains they were getting (using TR) and I was wondering if I was messing up somehow.

I took a good read through the “Road to 4w/kg” thread and I can now see that progression like that is limited to a very lucky few (or those with previous training, which I definitely don’t have).