I Need Some Advice Please!

So lately I’ve been doing pretty well at some TT’s (for my expectations). I was racing/training/club rides something like this… on, off, on, on, off, on, off, on, on, off etc etc. the other week, I went away for 5 days. I did 45 miles walking around Rome, come back, took a day off and attempted a 20min FTP Test and I absolutely flopped! I’ve done a few rides recently but no races and recently I took 3 days off and did a FTP Test again today and I flopped yet again!! My recent 10 mile TT’s have been mid 23’s with a NP of 321. Today I managed 10 mins of my FTP Test and i was struggling around 250watts!!!

What do I do? Do I take more time off because of the excess walking I’ve done or do I MTFU and crack on but lower my FTP? I’m completely gutted as I was in the zone and eager to get on the bike and now I just cba

Here’s my activity…

If I were in your shoes, I would simply proceed with your previous FTP for a week or two, then after you’re in the swing of things, do a FTP test. In my case training is often interrupted by life, the most recent being a cross country car trip.

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Someone on another forum said that I could of caught something on the plane by the air con unit? Is this a common thing?

I’m slightly struggling to grasp the timeline in your post, it’s a little confusing at points. Can you lay out the holiday, the walking, the rides, and the FTP test(s) clearly in order?

Are you able to view my activity on the link I posted? I think my profile is Public

If you can, then I went away on June 21st - 25th. Across them 5 days we did 45 miles

EDIT: Account now Public

Took a quick look… something is wonky. You can’t finish a 20 min test but you have a 2+ hour ride with a .97 IF and a 1:30 ride with a 1.04 IF… and this seems to be a normal concordance going back into you Calendar.

So your FTP setting are clearly off. Are you using the same power meter inside and out?

I’d go back and muscle through a ramp test, take that measurement and go from there with getting consistent training.

I travel a lot and I mean a lot and never got sick from germs/air on the plane. I personally attribute not getting sick to wearing noise cancelling headphones as the loud noises is what lowers your cortisol levels.

If I remember correctly @Nate_Pearson covered this in a podcast where he explained that he buys all of his employees noise cancelling headphones for this very reason. Since I started wearing them while traveling with loud noises I have not been sick for over 1.5 years now.

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I would just lower the ftp to something you feel is right for the workouts. Do a week of sweet spot and retest.
Sometimes travel and a break just screw up the body. It will come back if you’re patient. Just tone it down and workout if you’re not sick.

My FTP was set to 284 back in March I think. It’s most definitely gone up, like you say “2+ hour ride with a .97 IF and a 1:30 ride with a 1.04 IF”. Now it seems I’m struggling to get around 284 again!

Yes it’s the same power meter, I calibrate it and the trainer every ride. I might do a ramp test today but I know I’m going to get poor results but I need to know why

Maybe one for the podcast? @Nate_Pearson @Jonathan @chad

I feel like they commonly say that if you’re losing watts it is due to over training/over fatiguing yourself, either that or something else has changed to negatively affect your performance. As Chad would say, “take a week off the bike right now” to truly rest. I know personally that one day of rest after at trip like that would not be enough for me to recover.

So I just took an Ramp test, what’s peoples thoughts?

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Looks like an FTP of ~290 - 294 to me.

289 is what it’s come up with. Does that seem right thought compared to the rides what I’ve been doing lately? Seems a bit low

Actually, it was special guest Amber that gave the tip about the headphones re: fighting travel sickness.

Nate did say he gets the TR group the headphones too, but that is so they can focus on work and get into flow.

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By the way, it says it on my profile but im 199lb/89kg, current W/kg is 3.20 “allegedly”

I’d guess that your poor tests/workouts were a result of you being fatigued and/or sick, your last test shows you’re coming out of the hole but maybe not quite 100% yet. Flying might well have been a contributing factor - I fly a lot with work, have had quite a few disappointing races or workouts in the day or 2 after flying, even if it’s a fairly innocuous daytime short haul trip. Never quite sure why, guess some combo of plane air and germs, disruption to sleep/routine, stress of travelling (and in my case if I’m travelling with work it’s normally due to an important meeting or presentation which adds stress, I hardly ever get affected when travelling for pleasure).

If you were already tired from a lot of TTs or hard training the trip might have pushed you over the edge. Or maybe a few days of not cycling made your body think it was time to go into recovery mode and shut things down for a while. I get that when tapering after a big block of training - first couple of days into the taper I feel awful, then as the fatigue clears I start to feel fresh. Made the mistake once of doing a 10 mile TT the week before a 70.3 when I was 3 days into a 10 day taper. Worst TT of my life, NP of 291W at a time when my FTP was >320, RPE was through the roof. Threw me into a compete panic about the race, but a week later when the taper had had time to do it’s job I felt awesome and set a big PB both on the bike and overall.

Wouldn’t overthink it, just pay attention to recovery and keep an eye on your fatigue levels and be prepared to adjust your plan as necessary with more rest days or easier workouts in the next few weeks.

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Nice reply, thanks. So what do you suggest I should do? Carry on training but maybe lower the FTP by 10%? I’ve got an important 10m TT next Tuesday and I really need to be at my best for that. Pretty much an A race

Tuesday in 48 hours or in 9 days? If it’s an A race I’d basically treat it as a taper from here on in, you’re not going to gain any fitness at this point so it’s just about being as fresh and sharp as you can be. If you’ve got an established taper that you’ve used before and has worked for you then go for that. If not then look at the last week of the Specialty plans for structure. Basic idea is to drop volume but keep the mix of intensity similar to what you normally do. If not feeling right it’s nearly always better to do less not more.

9 days time. No I don’t have a specific rapper that I use so I will use the last week of speciality like you said. Thinking about it, that’s definitely the right approach because like you say, I can’t gain anything in a week so I’ll get that out the way and then crack back on with training. I’ll jump straight into a build phase to try and get my FTP up

Sounds wise, good luck!