Goal setting for etape de tour

I am riding a 135k, 4400 m of climbing stage of the Tour de France next July and am looking for guidance as to how to think about goal setting for the event. I last did it in 2009 when my objective was to finish, which I did. This time I have more time to train, and want to set some targets as I prepare for it. I am 57 male, current ftp of 220, and 83kg. I am thinking of getting to the start line with ftp of 300, targetting 4w/kg. How would I get some objective stats to test if this is a reasonable target? Any thoughts most welcome

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You might find some helpful info in this huge thread

This is a tricky one and especially so without a bit more information… If you’ve been training solidly for years, have a good diet and are 6ft 5 then you might have less future potential than if you’re fresh off the couch and 220 is your first FTP test and you’re 5ft 5 with a few pounds to lose.

My starting point, which I know isn’t what you asked, would be to set yourself a plan that is realistic and achievable. Can you do the hours and the sessions you’ve set yourself and can you recover in between. It would be over simplistic and drive the wrong sort of training behaviour if you mathematically worked out you “only” need about 2-3 watts improvement per week to get that extra 80 watts in 6-7 months of work and the 8kg weight loss. And then target a ramp rate of intensity week on week. If you’re on the Trainerroad forum then would it be fair to say you’d be looking at the adaptive training if you aren’t already doing it?

So far as verifying or proving that 300w and 4 w/kg is achievable before you commence… Do you think you could indeed lose perhaps 8kg with better nutrition/slight calorie deficit? At just over 1kg a month, that doesn’t strike me as crazy. This weight loss aspect is perhaps the easier one to have a sanity check on.

Another thought, on the basis that VO2 max power isn’t supposed to change much in your life, though you can train it, do you know what your VO2 max power is? Simplistically, a 5minute max effort. If your FTP is already around 80% of your VO2 max power then you might have to raise the roof as well as the floor, so to speak.

Unfortunately it always comes back to training progressively, consistently and in moderation and you’ll end up wherever you end up next summer. Stick to a plan and don’t chop and change and when you get to summer you can’t have done any more.

Thx. Yes been riding hiking and running on an off for most of my life but only during COVID did I follow a proper plan, with trainer road which saw a 15% bump in ftp to about 250. I saw and felt the benefits of a structured plan but prefer getting outside to the indoor bike whenever possible. Now with the etape I want to see what is possible, and hence my question. My GARMIN tells me my vo2 max is excellent at 45 but i am not sure how accurate that is never having done a vo2 max test in a gym. I have been out of action for 4 months with broken ankle but now getting back into things, strava tells me I am 42% fitter than I was 3 months ago but again I don’t know if that is a real or vanity metric
As you say a lot will depend on my sticking to the plan and if I do that I feel the numbers are not too unrealistic

You can’t…FTP is impossible to predict because it is not linear, predictable and can be limited by genetics.

Set process goals which you can control and let the FTP improvements be what they are…samples of process goals can be:

  • train 5 days / week, following a plan from Plan Builder
  • Weight train 2x / week
  • ride at least 4+ hours outside, twice a month

etc. etc. etc.

Set goals you can control, not goals that are outside of your control.

Yeah, so it doesn’t sound beyond the bounds of possibility but just train “properly” and it will end up how it ends up. Depending how you do outdoor rides will influence whether that’s detrimental to your plan or whether it’s perhaps even more beneficial than an hour on the turbo. Unstructured outdoor rides probably not recommended unless you accept they’re unstructured for the sake of your sanity and continuance of the training. Structured outdoor rides fine, but I’ve never really found routes or roads that suit anything much more than up to 1min - 5 min efforts unless you’re just doing general endurance. Long steady 4hr+ rides also a good thing, especially with the Etape being likely a 6hr+ event. Rides 4hour+ are always sold as giving adaptations that shorter rides don’t.

I’m a bit younger than you but have subsisted on 2-3 turbo sessions + a long weekend ride for years and my FTP has plateaued at a smidge over 4w/kg