I have been a fan of the podcast (and the podcast crew) for a while but I had a hard time getting to terms with the training software. For one thing, I didn’t like riding indoors and I don’t have any local roads long enough btwn stop lights to get structured workouts done outdoors. The other problem was that my Garmin estimated my FTP 25W higher than the ramp test. I tried ignoring the results but to nobody’s surprise, I couldn’t complete the workouts.
I often hear the TR coaches say “Don’t let your ego get in the way.” It was never about ego for me. I was always worried that I’d be undertraining simply bc I couldn’t perform as well on that test as I do on long 12 to 20 minute climbs. Also, I didn’t like the idea of working for several months only to get back up to what my real FTP was. I knew I’d feel like the gains were false.
The ramp test I did in Dec 2021 gave me the same results that I got in March 2021. At the time of my first ramp test, my Garmin had reported 25W higher. I switched from Garmin to Wahoo so I didn’t get to watch my Garmin FTP continue to rise but my entire power curve from 1 sec to 30 min made huge gains. So it just didn’t feel realistic that my current FTP would (A) still be 25W lower than my Garmin and (B) not even be higher than old ramp test FTP since my power curve was so much fatter.
So I used my outdoor FTP on TR and couldn’t finish a single workout. I then tried Zwift’s Build Me Up plan. I was fine for the first 3 weeks but the progressions were too fast for me or they didn’t build in a recovery period and by week 4 I was feeling dead.
Finally, I achieved a sense of clarity. I decided that for whatever reason, my FTP on the trainer is lower than my outdoor numbers suggest. And primarily because of adaptive training, I’d accept the numbers the ramp test generated and let the algorithms make adjustments if my FTP turned out to be too easy. My SS level has been getting bumped up steadily through the first 3 weeks. I missed a couple of rides with gout and when I came back, I still handled my workout and got bumped up again. The first O/U was too much (even at the low FTP). I could only do 3.5 of 4 sets. The next O/U was still hard but I had no issues finishing it. I finally have a good starting point and I’m seeing immediate results simply by finishing workouts I previously would have failed.
I’m excited to be part of a plan that helps me achieve small but steady improvements over time. Thanks to the TR team for Adaptive Training!