and "fitness/freshness"

Over the spring/summer/fall I’m able to have enough volume that I can stay in the green or red unless tapering for a race. In the winter I can’t ride outside and I’m much busier at work so I get 6-8 hrs (5 workouts) on the trainer and 2 hrs (2 workouts) lifting. This basically keeps me in the gray/blue zone. I assume this is because I’m not riding as many hours and the hours I do ride are much less physical than my actual MTB rides.

How much attention should I pay to this? The goal is to get faster/improve energy systems over the winter. I had my initial structured training (low volume) noob gains after the first couple winters of doing this. Now, when I look at .icu it makes me wonder if I will just be maintaining.

I know I have significant room to raise my current FTP (250) as the winter before last I hit 293. Last winter was plagued with nagging injuries.

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“Fitness” or chronic training load is simply a measure of training stress accumulation. In a sense if you ride more you are more fit but it still a bit of a misnomer for the metric. Chasing a higher number isn’t really a good strategy, focus more on the workouts you need to do to achieve specific goals, and if you can increase volume in a sensible way go for that too


As mentioned in a recent podcast. If you’re motivated to keep training (off season) then go for it.
Since you mentioned “nagging injuries “ you don’t want to over train. It’s a fine line.
Best of luck which ever way you decide.



To clarify – I was having significant hip pain for most of last winter and was very inconsistent with training. I got diagnosed with avascular necrosis in my femur in March. I was releived that it wasn’t caused by or related to riding. Since then I’ve gotten a cortisone injection and manage the pain with celebrex. I rode 4-5 days a week April>October.

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I broke my hip in a MTB accident back in May, I’m already back up to almost 230 FTP (down from 260-280 from this years peak) I could be higher right now but just letting trainer road give me the “natural” FTP bumps. I feel like it’s saving me from injury.