Hi there TF Forum, first time caller, long time listener.
How am I so bad at cycling?
TL;DR: 35 year old male, 5’ 11", 75 kg (~20ish% BF). Last tested TR ramp 212 (last fall). Consider myself athletic, multi-sport athlete, but seem to struggle with cycling and looking for the best path forward to improve (goal of 300 FTP, 4 w/kg).
As per the TL;DR, I like to consider myself an enthusiastic athlete. I’ve played sports all my life at a mid-to-high level. Primarily hockey (B level men’s league 1-2x a week pre-COVID, pretty competitive level in Toronto) and golf (mid-single digit handicap pre-kids), but played AAA baseball in my teens, and currently ski/snowboard, x-country ski, waterski, sail, surf, etc.
Always been on the skinnier side so began powerlifting a decade ago (Starting Strength). Got decently normal-person strong (squatting ~350 lbs for 3 sets of 5, slightly higher deadlift, sub-200 bench). Have continued to lift but not as consistently since kids (4 and 1 years old).
I’ve been road cycling irregularly as an enthusiast for a decade, but never trained properly. Bought a Neo 2T when COVID started and initial ramp was 180. Worked my way up to 212 over a few months last spring/summer. Took some time off the bike to mix things up and began running a bit more to get outside over the winter (strange timing in Canada, I know). Not a long distance runner (no more than 10k), but can run a 5k in `~23 mins (hoping to bring that down to sub 20 over time).
Stress: Medium - high stress job, kids, but pretty good at managing it;
Diet: Good - relatively healthy, adequate macros, probably too much before bed junk;
Sleep: Not enough - Garmin says I average ~6.5 hours, but I sleep like a rock when down just don’t get to bed early enough (too few hours in the day).
Long story short - I’m getting back to cycling and want to make some good progress, but have limited time. FTP is probably closer to 200 w right now and that just feels too low. How am I so bad at this? Are my expectations just too high? I would also still like to lift and run occasionally (maybe 1x per week each).
Do I stand a chance of reaching my goals on a low volume plan (at least as a start)? Any other suggestions for how I can progress and improve my FTP? I feel like I should be ‘strong’ enough to be above 200 w at 75 kg with a calculated 1RM squat of 400 lb in the recent past. Is this purely an endurance/aerobic capacity issue? Will a low volume plan help or is it too intense/not enough miles?
Desperate to improve and reach my goals, appreciate any help the collected wisdom of the forum can provide.