FTP Plateau - Increase volume or rest?

Hey all! I have been relatively consistent in my training since January. (Most consistent in the last 2 months or so.) Unfortunately, I believe my last two ramp tests have only had marginal improvements to my FTP. (2-3%)

Overall my FTP has only increased from ~200 to 240 watts. Honestly, I was hoping for better results over this long of a period. Am I being unrealistic? I know I only get out what I put in but I have been pretty consistent in following the training plan.

I am training for the Seattle to Portland ride. (~206 miles in one day) I am wondering if my marginal increase during this past ramp test is an indicator that I should take some time off. I don’t really want to as the STP ride is less than 2 months away.

Perhaps I should just focus on endurance at this point and return to the interval training later on? Or should I swing the other way and increase my volume for the next training period? I am willing to put in the time but I don’t want to backslide from overtraining either.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

EDIT: Been on a 5 day a week training plan with ~200-300 TSS each week.

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You got a 20% increase in your tested training metric on 200-300TSS per week for 4.5 months and you’re disappointed. Yes, you’re being unrealistic IMO.

If you want to continue improving, odds are good you will need to increase volume.

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I would kill for 3% FTP increase every time I “tested”. Enjoy the process. 5days a week is a lot although your TSS isn’t very high. You could step this up until you crack, or just let TR use AI to figure it out for you. I’d vote for the latter. Patience.

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Thanks for the reality check. I guess it is pretty good progress. I honestly just don’t have a frame of reference. I don’t really ride with anyone that keeps track of their FTP.

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Given your goal event, increasing volume by adding longer endurance rides seems like a good idea. Especially for race specificity.

Your FTP increse is very big, but volume always was and be the main driver of adaptations so ride as much as you can recover from and progress your training by riding just a little bit more than before. If you want to add volume, just remember about recovery - around 12h w/k I am always beaten by nutrition off the bike as I cannot keep up with the demand.

I think your FTP increase is great in that timeframe.

I’d prioritise getting in at least a century every couple of weeks (or build up to 100 if you have to) , so you know what your going to be coming up against… and maybe even throw in another longish ride the day after, (and pick TR workouts between them to suit how well you’re recovering.)

I’m don’t think 200-300TSS per week will prepare you well for 200+miles in two days… need to increase that gradually but dramatically.

Personally i’d focus on endurance and sweetspot, and hopefully you’ll get a dose of high intensity stuff during your longer runs.

For reference, my last 105miler was around 450Tss iirc.

Good luck, seems a great challenge to look forward to :+1:t2:

Also, your FTP increasing is not the only benefit you’ll see. You will likely hit several plateaus’ along the way. I’ve been waffling between 3% for the last two years after increasing by 20%. However, I’m am to hold my power much longer, ride longer in general without getting tired and hit harder on short hard intervals. FTP shouldn’t be your only guage.

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