Having to go "RACE DEEP" daily?

I’m really struggling.

I have played sports (including endurance sports) my whole life, and I’ve always had an “extra gear” I can go to on game day. Obviously I use this on race day as well. I find myself going THAT deep for my ramp test to get what I would consider a true result for my ftp. I actually enjoy seeing how hard I can push myself for a result.

The problem is… I find myself having to crush myself and go back to that dark place to complete many of the workouts, especially some sweet spot workouts like Carson +2 or Monitor +1. I have had DOMS every day for the last 3 weeks.

Is consistently going to the “dark place” to finish workouts normal? Do I just need to push through and eventually they won’t seem so bad? Is more recovery days and skipping workouts the answer? Do I need to not go so hard on the ramp test?

I’m really motivated to get faster, but I can’t fully recover in 24-48 hours, and ending workouts early is demoralizing.

What volume plan are you on?

Also depends what plan (base/build/specialty) you are doing, what’s you’re cycling history and what kind of fitness you are bringing into the plan? Are you coming off a peak?

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@dmartinjr518 - 3 weeks of DOMS sounds unusual. How did you come into the training block? After a long season or were you rested? Are you paying attention to to carb and protein intake? The TR structured training imposes significant stress, especially if you pushed hard in your ramp test and your FTP is set at the upper end. To recovery and get the adaption you need to fuel the recovery and adaption.

If you’re consistently having to go to a “dark place” to complete all workouts just manually decrease your FTP slightly. Sounds like it’s set slightly too high for you at the moment. The ramp test won’t give an ideal FTP for everyone.


Hard to say what’s going on. There’s a thread here somewhere about ramp vs 8 or 20 minute test as being more “accurate.” If you’re dying consistently during sweet spot then I’d say the ramp overestimated your FTP. SS should be hard but not that hard, which admittedly is a loosey-goosey description. As Chad says it’s called SS because the demands tax both aerobic and muscular endurance. You could try dialing back the intensity 5% or so and seeing if that helps. But f you’re struggling long term (1-2 weeks into the plan) I think I’d do an 8 minute FTP and see what that number is. Are you low, mid, or high volume? I do SS low and add an easy outdoor endurance ride to the week, and sometimes a taku, dans or recess -5 to a TR week so I get 4-5 rides a week in. Good luck.

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It looks to me like you’re doing SSB MV 1, although some of the workouts you’re substituting for the + version (for example Carson +2 instead of Carson last week). Good spread of workouts, taking rest days. I don’t see any reason why you should be finding these workouts as hard as you are based on your schedule.

So, that leaves:

  • Nutrition (are you fueling your body properly for your workouts), I’d also lump Sleep into this category
  • FTP that could be a little too high. You have had a pretty big jump in FTP recently.
    • 185 on Aug 21
    • 198 on Sep 22
    • 248 on Oct 22

Those are great increases, but it’s possible you crushed the recent Ramp Test and have a score that exceeds your ability to work there for longer periods. If you think you’re preparing well (sleep and fueling), take 3-5% off your next couple of workouts and see how that changes things. You want these Sweet Spot workouts to be difficult, but shouldn’t feel like a race.

Another thing I noticed is that you were doing the Ramp Test pretty frequently (every 4 weeks or so) for a while, but haven’t done one since October. Late October and early November seemed like lower work weeks compared to what you were doing leading up to the Ramp Test in October. Is it possible you peaked some fitness from racing, took a bit of rest for a few weeks but didn’t want to test again and get a lower FTP score? Totally understandable if that’s the case, but also might explain why you’re finding your current FTP difficult. Could be time to do another Ramp Test just to confirm 248 is still valid.


You failed on your last over-under workout (Tunemah). Unless you had a horrible day, this means your ftp is set too high. Just lower your ftp until you can finish the over-under workouts, but barely so.
Your next workout is over-under (McAdie). Lower your ftp by 5% for that workout. If you barely finish it, with pretty graphs, ftp is spot on.

It’s not strange at all that you’re dying on sweet spot workouts. They aren’t sweet spot scaled for you - they’re around ftp.


If you’re going to a dark place more than once or twice a month (at the most), your FTP is set too high.

Going to a dark place during the winter is probably a bad idea, and a good formula for some mental/emotional staleness in the Spring.


Thanks everyone. I just started cycling this year and I’m trying to go into this 2019 season as strong as possible. I don’t have much of a “support group” locally so I don’t get a lot of feedback as to how I’m doing. I have a recovery week planned next week and then the start of SS MV 2. I’ll just manually adjust workouts for a while. Especially the long interval workouts.

It does take a while to dial in your integration of TR structured training. I know I made a lot of missteps when I first started out. Consistency is king!