Well, that’s it, really.
I have been training for months now and just completed my final FTP test. Surprisingly, my FTP only increased from 183 to 184 in the span of two to three months. It’s left me wondering about my next steps and what to focus on from here. I have so many questions:
- Should I simply aim to increase my training volume?
- Did the workouts I started doing outside have a negative impact on my FTP?
- Why is the rate of improvement so slow?
I realize I might be rushing into creating a thread, but after the AI FTP detection, I felt extremely demotivated and uncertain about my direction. I’m contemplating taking a break from TrainerRoad for a while and simply enjoying riding bikes and not having to worry about structure. At least that way, I can have fun.
Link to calendar: - TrainerRoad
I’m 28 was never too athelic but lean.
Been doing low volume plan for probably 8 month or more now?
In this, I have been very consitant for the most part (I think). Just some vacations in the way.
I will try to see how to share the profile. Might be easier just to look.
I have not been doing SS. I have been doing Polo for Base, and did the Polo Build then Normal Build.
So that comment doesn’t make much sense.
I have updated the thread with my calendar.
I’m looking at your profile and have a few thoughts.
Should I simply aim to increase my training volume?
At the volume you’re currently doing…yes more volume would help.
Did the workouts I started doing outside have a negative impact on my FTP?
I think so. If you really drill down you’re not nailing the workouts that well outside. Here’s a snip from one of your outside threshold workouts. I can’t tell which workout it’s supposed to be but based on your graph it looks like it’s supposed to be 6 minute intervals at threshold. Here’s one of your better intervals:
You spent less than 1/3 of the interval at threshold. Not great for compliance.
Why is the rate of improvement so slow?
You had a week off for vacation and got sick. Had a few real low volume weeks. Not really sticking to the plan super close. Gonna be tough to improve.
IMHO and I’ve been with TR for 5+ years. I’ve made huge gains and learned a lot along the way.
You are neither consistent nor compliant with the workouts. Workouts cut short, skipped (vacation and sick) and/or not as prescribed.
Volume looks too low and inconsistent.
Polarized plan is not good for low volume, it’s just not enough stimulus. Less volume generally means you need higher intensity per session.
Feeling a bit defensive on some of these points so I will try to run some numbers on this to see.
I think consistency was quite good, at least 80% there and that should already be an improvement even if slow.
Maybe workout quality not so much but I will check. I know I have not nailled on the intervals, but I thought I was nailing most intervals.
Polorized Low Volume Build I think it was a mistake indeed. During the whole time I felt like I could have done more, thats’ why I switch to Normal Low Volume build now.
I want to increase volume, but I dont want to increase the days on the bike too much. So I might stick to low volume and just use alternates to do longer workouts.
If you have the time, even adding 30min of zone 2 after the workout can do wonders for your fitness. Do that 3 times a week and your adding a bunch of volume compared to the regular low volume plan.
I recommend setting yourself a higher bar.
No need to feel defensive……this is just the honest feedback you requested. It isn’t a reflection of you.
80% consistency when you are on a LV plan just isn’t that much training stimulus. Doing a Polarized plan is only compounding the problem. I would suggest changing to a SweetSpot plan at least and work on hitting those numbers.
If you have the time, definitely add volume. If you can do a MV plan, great. If not, as suggested, add in Z2 time where you can. An extra 30 min after a workout, a longer Z2 weekend ride, etc.
If a SS plan is not if interest, or you just want to be outside and still struggle with hitting the prescribed numbers, just up your overall volume.
It’s great that you’re consistently active now.
Hopefully, you’re seeing other qualitative improvements like feeling better, eating better, etc.
You may have seen improvement in recovery time, intra and post workout. So, that ‘same FTP’ is probably worth more in real life than the initial estimate to be honest.
I think part of this is that initial shock of 184 is a quite low FTP to beging with. It shouldn’t be a plateu this early.
The roads in the Netherlands generally do not lend themselves for proper outside workouts except maybe 3-4 minute intervals max. Train indoors or get volume outside
Aiftp doesn’t look at the post workout surveys
I’ve been disappointed with my FTP improvements before, thinking I’d really put in the work and anything would get me faster. That was before I realized (and accepted) that anything under 6 hours of riding per week and a frequency of at least 3 rides is considered really low volume and very suboptimal.
Also, prolonged time off, especially if due to sickness, can really undo that month’s progress. For me the most important part of training is staying consistent, trying to get on the bike at least once every 2 days and gauging how I feel in order to not get sick / recover better.
Yeah, I thought it was good enough, but there’s the ocasional threshold effort that I have to pause because of a crossing or 15s interval that I have to skip because of corner.
If you don’t enjoy your current process of structured training, find a version that you you enjoy and that will likely lead to better compliance and results. If you just like riding your bike and don’t enjoy the structured aspect of training at all, you are probably better off just riding your bike if that’s what motivates you.
If you do choose to continue with structure, I’d echo the other comments about moving away from polarized. Heavy sweet spot with some intervals mixed in is what I’d focus on if I only had a handful of hours per week to train.
I also like riding out side but find it difficult to execute longer intervals on the streets and roads near me. Too many stops and most are flat or rolling hills which make consistent intervals difficult. What has worked for me it to follow a low volume Sweet Spot plan and do two intense workouts indoors during the week coupled with a long hard solo or group ride outdoors on the weekend. I don’t follow a particular workout on the weekend - I just let the roads dictate the effort. That might work if you have time for a 3+ hour ride on the weekends. I usually do these rides at tempo to sweet spot - so ending up with an IF of .8 or more. I’ve seen good FTP increases and also endurance gains from doing this.
I think part of this is understanding what actually cause you to improve. Improvement comes when your body adapts to increased stimulus. If you are just doing 80% of what is required, your body may not see a need to adapt, particularly if you have been doing the same stimulus for some time. You have to progressively overload your body and you can do that either by adding volume or adding intensity. Volume is typically the most reliable way to do it because it is less likely to cause excess fatigue, but you need to be shooting for 105%, not 80%.
So 3.5 hours per week for 8 months, all on a trainer?
I think this is the main solution. Better compliance will help a bit.
Get out side on your bike for 2-3 hours and just pedal.