FTP impact - following illness

I have been using TrainerRoad since 08/22. First time FTP testing I was at 273 and by the end of October I was sitting at 301 (MTB Marathon/High Volume). I did the Austin Rattler 60 mile followed that week with recovery and went right into another training plan for spring MTB racing(MTB Olympic/Mid-Volume: to work in more weight training). I was sick for about a week starting the Friday before Thanksgiving and had a scheduled Ramp test that Saturday following. That test put me at 276, which I though no big deal, I was sick, makes sense.

Fast forward to my next available AI FTP test which was 12/28 and it calculated 287. Did I really lose so much fitness in the week that I was sick that a month of dedicated training (minus 4 days for skiing in CO) that I’m not even back up to my pre-sickness FTP?

I know that of course FTP is not the end all be all, but not going to lie the work put in was a little disheartening in my workout this morning. I’ll get over it and get back on the bike tomorrow as scheduled, but still a bit of a kick in the junk.

I’m doing Leadville August '23 and doing all I can to target sub-9. This Spring Prep plan takes me to the first week of February (and I’ve already converted it from mid-volume to high, seems I respond better to that) and will be moving into a MTB Marathon High Volume from Feb-August with my 8 or so spring MTB races as B races in that plan.

All of that being said, should I be concerned that my FTP is not responding as I expect even with large jumps in progression levels? I was expecting to be at least back to my pre-sickness level by now and making improvements. I’m dedicated to my training and hit all marks and even boost intensity when I can. I sleep well (all tracked with garmin fenix 7x), track my calories and fuel when I’m on the bike.

Thanks for the time.


Do a 2 x 20 @100% FTP at your current number. 5 or 10 minute recovery between the two efforts. That’ll tell you either way:

Too easy? Bump your FTP number up
Just about doable? FTP number is good
Can’t complete it? FTP number is too high*

*or it’s been way too long since you did an extensive FTP effort and you’ve gone soft :wink:


I had to take antibiotics for 2 weeks with dental issues I had. It wasn’t a sickness but the medication really derailed my training and FTP progress. I manually dropped my FTP 10 watts and nailed pretty much every workout since then.


I find the workouts challenging but they seem to fall inline with their intensity (achievable, productive, stretch, etc). It seems that the progression levels react as you’d expect along those lines, but for fitness I should just be “validating”, fitness I had as early as 30 days ago I figure those progressions would align with increases in FTP. At least, back to previous form.

I mean if I’m putting what seems like as much effort or more than the plan dictates and the outcomes are as marginal, maybe I need to find additional training.

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Sleep, recovery, nutrition, health…first.

More training is not the same as more effective training. And less training may be more effective.

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Did you take a full week off after your peak race? Or just “recovery” rides?

After a season break or a break due to illness or injury your peak fitness will drop. When you start up again you are slower, heavier and often wonder if you’ll ever get back to where you were. The first two weeks are what I call, “the suck.” You feel a bit awkward, you’re sore, things feel a lot harder then they used to. If you stick with it the suck, sucks less. You get in a grove and in no time you are right where you left off but this time with a higher ceiling.

You’ll get it back… just need to be patient. It takes time and is a long term project. Best of luck to you… I’m sure you’ll be hitting PRs soon!


Been going strong since Dec 1st. Agreed the first week back in was rough, but was over that pretty quick. All things being equal training feels great, sleep/recovery is good, diet is dialed so I expected to take the hit for the week of illness get back to that pre-illness level within and keep realizing those consistent gains.

I’ll stick with it of course and trust the process, just wanted to make sure I didn’t leave any stone unturned.

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I tend to agree with @Jolyzara take a look at your past breaks and it sounds like you did not take a proper recovery from your sickness and started back too soon (when unless you are racing CX why?).
I’d take a solid 1 week off at the start of the new year and then build your FTP and confidence.
Leadville is a ways away and you already had solid fitness base going into it (300+ FTP is admirable for most). If your goal is sub-9 you want a good base training season and not burn yourself out early.

My FTP was 289 in the middle of September for my “A” Race - The Barn Burner. Caught Covid instead and week 4 was the first time I did any mild intensity, but not back to “Productive”. Worked back up for about 3 weeks before taking another 2 week trip where I was off the bike in the beginning of November. FTP dropped to 280 and I started base in the middle of November when I got back, and just entered Build this week.

FTP is 285 currently, and still a little off where I was in September and my volume capacity isn’t back to where I was. 3.5 months later for me, but I feel like I’m getting back on track and in good shape to start making gains heading into the New Year.

Yes it was illness, but I think there’s also an element of peaking, and then needing to recover and take a step back before getting on track too. Remember, you can’t sustain the peak that comes with an A event and always keep increasing.

I’m in Leadville 2023 too, and same as you targeting Sub 9 - fingers crossed and lots of work ahead! Just for contrast though - no way I can manage a TR high volume plan (Most people can’t and shouldn’t). I’m Low Volume plus lifting and as much Z2 Endurance as I can take on top of that which will have me ramping from 3-5 hours a week now to get back in the swing of things to 5-10 hours a week on the bike.

Thanks all for the feedback. Going to TrainerRoad high volume back in August actually reduced my training load from the rest of the year so I have no issues with it and actually enjoy the near daily structure.

Peaking was also a contributor to the reduction I’m sure, it was my assumption that the recovery back to that point would just be faster. I’ve been riding a long time but only using power as training aid the last 6 months really.

Thanks all take care.