A couple of years ago, Nov 22, I had an FTP of 260, last year mainly due to me not doing anything structured that settled down to 230-240… then in October 23 I went to Vegas for the week and managed to catch COVID for the first time and it took until just after Xmas to get back on the bike properly. In the middle of January TR adjusted my FTP to 197.
One change I’ve felt is that I can’t really do the Sweet Spot or above style efforts.
So I’m just selecting work outs and alternating between Endurance & Tempo workouts.
My first AI FTP in February my FTP moved to 205.
At the moment I’ve completed Tempo level workouts at 2.6, and endurance workouts at level 5.3 and in all honesty I found them easy., although I clicked ‘moderate’ on the last Endurance ride I did… I think because I was on the bike for 2 hours and got a bit bored!
If I select train now TR is suggesting Endurance at 5.9.
My question is, if I’m finding these easy, is my FTP wrong? I’ve got another AI FTP coming up on Monday and quite happy, if the FTP goes up, to continue this progress… I’m actually finding a benefit to not doing the massive Heart Rate stuff… but what I don’t want to do is train down to train back up.
I know that some will suggest a FTP test of some description… but that’s quite difficult at the moment as I can’t do the all out efforts.
I just want to make sure I’m training my endurance/tempo at the right level and slowly bring it up.
Cheers - I understand that rationale. My problem is I can’t sit at FTP at all at the moment for any length of time, so I can’t do the test, but I can, I think, sit at the Endurance/Tempo level that’s associated with it.
Trainer Road looks to be bringing up my FTP slowly but my concern is that I’m bringing TR upto my level rather than the other way around.
I’m probably asking a lot and it maybe impossible without doing a test.
Yeah, your ‘endurance pace’ power is only loosely coupled to your FTP, so trying to associate them is more art than science.
With anything at or below threshold, unless you really have a compelling reason to go harder, go longer instead.
It’ll very, very likely do you more good to stick at, say, 65% of FTP and just increase the length of your rides by 10% week-on-week than it will to nudge up the power week-on-week while keeping the duration the same.
Of course, doing a bit of both might be perfect. If you have two 2 hour 65% of FTP rides, you could progress one out to 4 hours and the other up to 85%.
Why can’t you do anything at SS or above? Are you injured? Did a doctor or coach tell you not to? I’m trying to understand if you can’t hold your zones because you have a limitation or if you’re just using an FTP that is wildly incorrect.
Thanks. I do know what FTP is and I’m aware of all the different ways of looking at it and testing it.
My difficulty is not in understanding my FTP, it’s just my understanding of how the FTP score within Trainer Road impacts and changes the endurance/tempo rides that are under it.
I’m finding my endurance/tempo rides too easy but at the moment I can’t do the test to reset it so I’m relying on the work I’m doing at Endurance/Tempo giving TR the data it needs to calculate using AI FTP, and at the moment that data is slowly bringing up my theoretical FTP. I may just have to wait until it catches up.
To be really honest I’m not really bothered about my absolute FTP. More that I’m doing the correct work for my abilities.
Just one man’s opinion, but it sounds like you’re holding onto your previous FTP too dearly, and that means it might be significantly off, which means your zones are also significantly off. You say you’re not worried about your FTP, but also that you want to be sure you’re in the correct zones. Those statements are contradictory. The way to determine the correct zones is by establishing your FTP. Personally, I wouldn’t expect an AI model to properly make that determination if you’re not feeding it info above what you are guessing is your Z2/3. (Actually, I don’t trust the AI models at all, but that’s a whole different conversation). Once you have your FTP set properly, you won’t have an issue holding SS or even TH for extended periods.
The endurance work outs will feel easy. By definition they should feel easy. Other than getting uncomfortable through the amount I sweat, they don’t even register for me even when you get to progression levels of 5, 6.
Whereas on the other hand VO2 and threshold will be quite challenging at PL 5.
I doubt trainerroad will catch up very quickly if all you do is endurance, as it needs data points from the other zones. Even doing a monster endurance session I doubt will help AI boost your FTP. But if you are not touching the workouts for the other zones, then does it matter that much?
When you complete your endurance and tempo workouts, would you honestly be able to do them completely over again, without issue? If you your answer to that question is anything other than “yes”, then those workouts are not (by TR’s definition) “easy.”
,mm I guess I know what you are saying… I really am not that concerned about the absolute number. I used to be but you quickly realise that holding a number for an hour doesn’t have much practical use. I’m also not that bothered about my old FTP number.
I am feeding it some information when I cycle outdoors but you are right I’m not adding anything else.
I know I’m asking the impossible. I just wanted to see people’s opinions about how to deal with this and see what others have done.
cheers - yes I see what you mean… it’s hard at the moment as I don’t feel I can do rides higher than Tempo but I do want to make some progress. What I’m worried about is that TR maybe catching up with me rather than the other way round.
I know this isn’t an easy fix… maybe a just have to sit and wait… and hope that I can eventually get back to doing higher intensity stuff.
If this is your goal and you’re really not worried about FTP, maybe check out this thread. In a nutshell, some folks have had luck doing tempo/low sweetspot rides with an HR cap (~80-83% max hr). You extend interval time when HR is stable.
Might not be the best approach if you want to be a punchy rider, but great for building a base and getting back into longer efforts.
If you aren’t physically capable of doing rides above tempo, say even a 1.0 level threshold or a 1.0 VO2 max then unless you are an absolute real physiological outlier I’d suggest even your current FTP is too high.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t tried to cling to an old FTP number, but once you realise you’ll be in a better place if you train properly, accept what your current FTP is and allow tempo/threshold/VO2 zones to be broadly in the right place, you won’t get back to your previous FTP in the most time effective manner.
You’re training now, not training to be able to train
In summary, I suppose what I am getting at is, if you are able to do a broad spread of workouts across the different zones, TR AI will collect more data about you and be able to assess your “real” FTP quicker rather than you waiting until you are capable of going to tempo workouts and above with a currently “incorrect” FTP.