Going over the prescribed wattage. Good / Bad

I purposely opted for the mid volume 1 SS base so I could do a bit more if I felt good, (better to complete a 6 hour plan than fail an X hour plan etc), but wondering if the training effect is the same if I’m doing over the target on workouts. Or is this ok so long as I’m fresh enough to keep completing what’s laid out on my plan?

Or now that it’s obvious I can do this plan would I be better switching to mid volume 2? (I’m on week 3 of the mid volume 1), or just carrying on.

A typical example from tonight, you can see I’m over target power, this is for 2 reasons, 1 I’m able to complete it at that power and 2 because I’m not using a smart trainer so no ERG mode to keep me from going over.

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Generally you want to stick to the power targets and to the plan, even if you feel like you want to jump ahead or do more work. The progressions in the plan are built in there for a reason and you’ll have an opportunity to do more work when you reassess FTP at the beginning of SSBMV2.

If you really want more work on a particular day, use the +1 or +2 version of the given workout, which will usually include more intervals.


Thanks, going the +1 or +2 route sounds a good option. I guess I then need get that power on the line when doing that!

Instead of doing the +1 versions (which sometimes add more time or shorten rest intervals or just add too much work) you can also just add a few percent of intensity without derailing the plan.

Besides what everyone else says, you should start with the 1 plans and then move to the 2 plans, they are designed to be done as a progression I believe.

JUST CHILL :blush:
I was way too eager when I started and I kept swapping harder rides in. I found the plan ramps up in intensity and you will do a better ftp test in a few weeks, then you will wish you were not so fatigued.

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i donno… everyones very quick to say that you’ll still get the same effects if you drop intensity by a few percent, and I’m pretty sure you’re not spoiling the workout by going up a few percent either. I get around this by manually adjusting FTP upwards if I find I’m consistently able to work above target within the expected RPE… If you find you overshoot target on one workout, but then can’t hit the targets on the next workout, however, I would then dial it back a bit!

Within a couple of (1-2) percentage points, yes. But more than that and you are getting into a different zone and getting away from the objective of the workout.

By going to a +1 version, you are likely getting more time in zone, which is generally going to be a better outcome than bumping the intensity up a few percentage points.

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If Nate is reading this thread, perhaps he can chime in too. He noted last year when doing a lot of sweet spot work, as he found workouts easier to complete he would manually increase his FTP. I think this is reasonable if you are finding that the prescribed workouts are consistently easier than expected. For example, long sweet spot work should be tough and not feel likely easy recovery or slow aerobic rides.

At the end of the day its all a balance. Pushing too hard may result in failing more workouts down the road and not recovering as well. However, if you under-assessed on your FTP test, then working at a lower FTP might result in lower than expected improvements, especially if you are already quite fit and working on trying to get small 1 - 2 % improvements.

We are in the part of the season where most of the work should feel easy, which I why I lean towards telling people to stay the course. Sweet spot can easily turn into threshold and that’s not what we are after right now :slight_smile:

Obviously if people are experienced and are well calibrated with their efforts (like Nate), then they can adjust.


From looking at this I would guess that your FTP is set too low.

Before I had a smart trainer I would find that sometimes given my gearing/cadence it could be difficult to be exactly on the target watts

I’ve had my FTP set at 300W for a while (on feel, no recent testing). I then did 3 ramp tests within 10 days and all they all came out within 1-2 watts of each other and my setting of 300W so I think it’s right. I did think about doing a 20 minute test prior to starting my plan but figured I’d just go with it.

I think part of why I go above is because of a rhythm I get into, I feel ok, know I’m not too far over and keep going. I might not be able to do that once the harder sessions come so might not be an issue in the future. For now though I can hence my question. Appreciate the replies.

@chad recommends staying within a +/-5 watt range of your target. Just sayin’.

Same here, sorta.

For me, the target watts are sufficiently taxing, but sometimes the rhythm I find is several watts higher, and that’s actually easier than trying to ease just a touch to avoid going over.

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I recommend it but will admit it’s a high bar, one that’s really only cleared on a KICKR with highly smoothed power. :wink: A raw power file will show how unreasonable this tight of a range is, but if you’re like me and spend most of your indoor time on a KICKR in Erg mode, this 10-watt spread is pretty attainable much of the time.

Admittedly, I like to have riders focus on smoothing the output as much as possible, but I’m reluctant to put a specific number on that range having seen the wiiiiide variances in power dependent on smoothing.