How to keep the improvement over seasons

I just start using TR and try to compare the improvement I had in the past few years with intensive club rides and races + some Zwift races/workouts. I knew that my ftp will increase from the winter time over summer peak time and then it will drop back to a certain level until next season coming up to see ftp coming back to top level. My biggest question is how do you retain most of your FTP gain in the last season to the next season? FWIW, in the past, after summer peak seasons, I tended to train on Zwift more than outdoor race/club rides but it seems not keeping much gain over winter.

So my experience across all endurance sports I’ve ever done is that you really can’t take all of it with you and you just have to be mentally prepared for that. It is okay.

That said, you can help yourself out by (after a post-season break) staying active. Ride bikes, including in different ways than you normally do–e.g., mountain biking, fat biking in the winter, etc. Go running, go cross-country skiing, take Crossfit classes, take up rowing, whatever it is you like, just get that heart rate up.

remember that the structural adaptations like capillary density take years and years to fully max out and, my understanding is, you can build them up through cross training at the right intensity. Then the idea is, when you switch back to cycling (increase specificity), you’ll see lower power numbers but you should bounce back quickly and reach higher heights than the year before.


it very much depends how your end of the year looks like.

Some people take 2-3 months of easy/unstructured/no riding

Others take 2 weeks off and get back at it (though with different focus than during peak)

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Cool, exactly right tips.
It’s important to keep improvements. No matter how long.

I agree with the tip that some people just jump back into riding but I find after a long competitive season that doesn’t work for me. Also, mentally too, I like to do other things. We usually take a vacation in the winter and I much rather enjoy to go snowshoeing or go for a jog and enjoy myself rather than obsess about spending two weeks off the bike. And you can use the time to focus on different components of fitness.

I always think of it as, in the off-season, try to be the best possible athlete, rather than the best possible bike racer. Save that kinda thing for in-season.

But definitely if you just do nothing for months you’ll lose it.

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