How to make FTP gains when can’t increase hours

Hi,

Been on trainerroad now for 3 years.

  • Year 1: went from 214 - 290 (4.5 W/KG) on 12 hours a week maximum.
  • Year 2: Hovered around 285 at around 10 hours maximum.
  • Year 3: same as year 2.

All this using SS Base, General Build and Rolling Road race speciality.

Mostly the MV plans but I usually try to do the HV base plans to lay down as good a base as possible. It’s rare I miss training days.

I generally do all of my training indoors, venturing outside rarely in years 2 and 3. I used to sub 1 ride a week at Base time for a long Z2 outdoor ride but can’t anymore. I tend to venture outside a little more when races are near to refresh bike handling etc.

I feel like I’m giving all I can with the free time available to me. Any advice on how I can push through this 285-290 FTP ceiling I have hit the past 2 years?

By the way, I’m pretty fast I know, especially uphill, when we look at average W/KG. Am I at my limit for the time I have or is there any thing I can do to better use my time?

Should I try all HV plans? Maybe but HV plans really destroy me…

Should I try weight training?

Vary the build and speciality plans I do?

Or do traditional base and not sweet spot?

Thanks for reading.

Maybe start with blocking the workouts. This intervention is quite short but maybe it will help:

I will be testing this soon.

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I did a little N+1 study myself following that this summer with a steady volume coming in of about 8.5-9 hours/wk of good structure and put this block at the end of a build cycle. By loading up a bunch of workouts like that article states for about a 3 week period, I did get a little bump of about 5 watts. It was doable, but tough. CTL coming in to that type of block is probably going to determine how many back to back days you can complete and recover quickly enough for the next block.

There’s a quote something like “you have to train to be able to train”. So if you come into the block already fatigued, you probably won’t get much out of it other than a longer recovery period, but if you are recovered and can really hit all the workouts it could be a good strategy to get a bump without increasing volume. A number of different factors would determine how long that was sustainable, but my experience was that I needed to recover after that block.

FWIW, the last few years for me have been an exercise in maximizing on a limited number of hours. I know I can get to ~4.75w/kg on 10 hours a week, but I just can’t get there on 8 hours a week.

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I did some block training this summer, simply because I had the available time (not work week constricted). It worked out very well. However, I can’t say if it was the blocking which worked or if it was the switch in stimulation. :man_shrugging:t2:

Any way…there’s no real harm giving it a go.

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  1. Eat more carbs.

  2. Train harder.

  3. Train hard more often.

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Have you ever thought about trying a Polarized training approach? Here are some good resources for you to peruse if interested.


And some great Podcasts:


Some good articles on Polarzied over SweetSpot:

The TR Thread on the above article:

And some TR threads on the Polarized topic which have some great insight from fellow TR users:


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