I'm new here. A little about me and a request for feedback

Since I’m new here, and I am asking for feedback from those of you with vastly more TR experience than I have, I thought telling you a little about me might be a good idea.

In 3 weeks I will be 60; which sounds worse than it is. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January 2016; surgery, hormone therapy and 7.5 weeks of radiation followed. It could be due to any number of factors; but, I attribute the ~25 pounds I gained to the hormone therapy.

I’ve ridden bikes since I got my first Stingray as a kid and haven’t stopped riding. I would like to and should ride more than I do, but I suspect that is a common refrain for many people that consider themselves a cyclist. I have a mountain bike (Pivot Mach 429); an all-road/gravel bike (Cannondale CAAD-X) and a road bike (Ritte Snob Disc). I have a Stages power meter on the Ritte and it is the bike I’m using on a Wahoo Kick’r to complete my TR workouts. My goal is simple: I want to be in much better shape and a stronger rider than I am currently. Getting in better shape will also help me lose the extra weight I am carrying. I will likely add additional goals to my list as I progress through my TR workout calendar.

Fast forward to Monday of this week when I completed my first Ramp test. I didn’t know what to expect, but I also didn’t expect much knowing I’m not in peak physical condition. I ended the test due to lung failure more than muscle fatigue. I am starting with the low volume Sweet Spot Base program; yesterday I completed the Mount Field workout and tomorrow is Baxter.

I’ve pasted my Ramp test below and would love some feedback. Let me know if there is a better


Not sure what feedback you’re looking for exactly, but glad to see you tested before you trained. Start there, work through SSB1 and reassess at the start of SSB2. You’ll melt weight away and build a lot of fitness just through your base phase. With a general fitness goal, you can do whatever build you want, though most of the time sustained power build is a good one to help you continue to build your FTP. After that, depending on if you develop any further goals or ideas, you can go back and re-do base or move on to a specialty plan. Good luck!!

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Did any of your treatment involve steroid drugs? I know for example that steroid anti-sickness drugs they give cancer patients during chemotherapy are notorious for (a) keeping you awake, and (b) making you put on weight. If so, that might be a factor.

I’d add another goal to that - have fun. You’ve got a gravel bike and a mountain bike and it’s summer, make sure you get out and enjoy putting your new fitness to good use.

Your ramp test looks fine, like @kurt.braeckel says, work your way through SSB and you’ll almost certainly make major improvements by the time you finish it.

Thank you for your responses, @kurt.braeckel and @martinheadon.

To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, I don’t know what I don’t know.

Since this is my first test, I think the feedback I am looking for is whether there are any glaring anomalies in my results. More likely than not, I am another Joe Average striving to become an above average Joe.

@martinheadon - I like watching the scenery go by way too much to only ride inside. The goal of having fun should go without saying. The drug they gave me was Lupron. It shuts down testosterone production and has the lovely side effect of hot flashes. I now have a deep respect for women going through menopause.


This is multifaceted and the following may come off slightly insane…One thing “strong” riders do is apply pressure to the pedals relentlessly. Up, down, across, through the turn, etc…they just don’t let up. I’m convinced the majority of why TR is successful with many here is because A) they are new to it all and have nowhere to go but up and B) the trainer makes you apply constant pressure.

Out on the open roads it’s easy to coast, spin and generally not really push. Riding with weak riders or riders who are not experienced pedal in spurts, don’t keep power on descents, in general spend a lot more time not pedaling.

TR is one big muscular endurance session. It works. Do that when you ride outside and you will get “stronger”. Want to get lighter? Lose weight in the kitchen…Eat veggies, lean meats and cut out all white carbs. It’s not easy. Sounds easy, but when you ratchet up the stress on the bike it’s pretty hard to control the calorie intake. Good luck. Mind over matter.

I’m not exactly sure what kind of feedback you are looking for, but I’d continue doing what you are doing: follow the low-volume plans, starting from SSB1. Don’t worry about things like your FTP, you goal is to get fit. Your FTP is just a number that is used to dial in the difficulty of the exercises.

The only other two pieces of advice that come to mind are: (1) Make sure you have fun on the bike. At the end, cycling is an outdoor sport, so make sure you venture outside. It seems you have a collection of nice bikes already with which you can tackle any terrain. And (2) try to improve your nutrition. This might be especially important for you, not because of weight gain, but because living a more healthy lifestyle has a direct impact on your recovery from cancer.