Huge TSB deficit

I’ll try to keep this brief. I tested positive for Covid at the end of November, at that time my FTP was around 255. I was off the bike until 23rd December and then did the Graduated Return To Play protocol for 3 to 4 weeks. I then did a TrainerRoad ramp test but not in the usual way, pre ride I set FTP to 160 and stopped the test when the live FTP said 180, I didn’t want to go too deep was the reason why I stopped, I was just looking for a rough ballpark figure to stop me diving back in too deep.
Since then I’ve upped my FTP to 190 and have been doing a TrainerRoad sweetspot base medium volume plan so there has been no intensity at all.

I grade my TSB as a percentage of my CTL and its currently at around -80%. Now, pre Covid I’d never stay below -25% for very long so the fact that my level is so low now suggests to me that in reality my FTP may be significantly higher.

My CTL did drop to around 24 so it’s not surprising I have such a large TSB deficit, I don’t feel tired at all, easily compete all the sessions so would the best thing to do be to up my FTP another 10W and carry on.

Any advice from anyone?


Sounds like your FTP is artificially low, therefore your TSS from any rides is artificially high, and therefor the TSB is artificially low. I’d say the numbers are all meaningless unless your FTP is close to accurate.


I agree, but even that alone means they have a use in confirming an FYP which is too low.

I have returned to training this way to avoid any unnecessary excess strain on my heart, just a precaution really.

I think also that if you are used to a certain amount of volume you can jump straight into that rough ctl off the couch. My CTL dropped to 3 at the beginning of last season after not steping foot on a pedal for over 3months and had no issue jumping into a weekly ramp rate of ~5tss/week and 30-50tss/day with little to no fatigue

Yes, this is where I was angling tbh, the risk of becoming overtrained when you are at a false low FTP and coming from a background of 8 to 10 hours a week is low I guess.

As I said, at my previous FTP I’d rarely stray to below -25% for very long. I guess the figures will sort themselves out when I get a more realistic FTP.