Im a complete newbie to Trainer road but have ridden my bike with varying levels of intensity for years. After a year off to pursue other projects have come back to the bike and decided to give Trainer Road a go instead of Wahooo Systm + Zwift.
I am happy with the choice so far as I love the structure of a good plan.
Anyway, I started a plan last week with a ramp test and thought, at the time, that I had let myself off easily. I got 242 Watts when exactly a year ago I was as 320+.
Doing “Mono” this evening I was feeling good so I decided to add 15% for the last 2 intervals and then for the last sweetspot effort I went all threshold and did a mini ramp because I was feeling good.
Just change the number. If you start failing and have to turn the intensity down then change the number down. One of your goals this early on should be figuring out where the sustainable line is for efforts like this. If I can turn every workout up by 15% for a whole block then you should up the number. If you are fresh and just digging yourself an early hole, maybe just let the program do the thing.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to move your FTP up unless you know for sure. You’re early on in the plan so there’s no point pushing too hard too early - this is an endurance sport after all and fitness is built over time. Wait for the AI.
Alternatively, why not compare your heart rate in those intervals with the HR you had for threshold workouts at your higher FTP? If your heart rate is much lower now than it was before then you can be more confident in adjusting your FTP up.
The purpose is to be able to complete all of your workouts for the week, for the month, for the duration of the training plan, not just go all out on one workout. But you probably know that. If the workout intensities didn’t feel hard enough, given the type of intensities (i.e. sweet spot feels like endurance, threshold feels like tempo, etc.) it could be a poor FTP test. I definitely have experienced times when my FTP test wasn’t executed very well and didn’t accurately assess my current training zones.
If that’s the case, then I would just use the “Change Intensity” feature at the bottom left of the screen. You can temporarily bias your FTP higher, and still perform the workout how it was intended.
If you do like the idea of a good plan I wouldn’t recommend going all out at the end of a structured work out. If you really want to challenge yourself just do another ramp test and reset your FTP. You won’t get the intended training benefits if you don’t follow the intervals. Simple as that really.
More is not better. You do sub threshold work to build your aerobic engine. And it’s only January. You sharpen with higher intensity stuff later in the season. Follow the plan. If you don’t think FTP is correct, then do a test - preferably a longer test.
I would certainly raise your FTP. Remember, the point of your FTP is to serve as a baseline. It is quite likely that this over-under workout became a sweetspot workout for you, which is not what you want.
Choosing alternate workouts or so doesn’t help, because that still assumes your power zones are roughly correct, i. e. a threshold workout is actually close to your threshold.
However, one word of caution: especially early in the season, long-term fatigue hasn’t set in. So don’t overdo it early on. As a yardstick, PL 4 threshold workouts should be doable.
I disagree with just changing FTP numbers without a test. What is wrong with another test? People around her train 6-10-12+ hours per week but can’t fit in 20 minutes at threshold to know for sure what their FTP is?
That’s a sensible option, too, but not always necessary in my opinion. Certainly, if @Fuzzynavel plays rollercoaster with his FTP setting several times, I’d rather retest. But if this is an issue that can be solved pragmatically by increasing one’s FTP by hand once and getting sensible training recommendations, I see nothing wrong with that.
Getting a feel of what threshold feels like is an important skill anyways, results of any FTP test should be validated and cross checked. With experience, you can tell roughly how big your FTP is.
Heart rate was ok I was fair bit below my max even at 300 watts (58 watts above current FTP). I think this is a case of lost fitness and a bit of being weak in the mind rather than a massive loss in FTP.
This was a stretch workout. I did a sweet spot ride earlier in the week and ended up going up by 15% again…I told the system it was easy and it adjusted the next few workouts. As I seem to have messed up the ramp test I think I will just play and have fun with the numbers for the next week or so until the AI can up my FTP.
I can easily complete the workouts at this stage. I have no fatigue today despite doing the threshold ramp at the end of the workout last night.
I was using the intensity changing thing in the bottom corner…I ended up at +180% I think. I wanted to get over 1000kj for the workout and wanted to test myself at 300watts again.
I’m not a light guy. 5’11" and 102kg so w/kg isn’t that impressive. I think 85kg is about my ideal weight so need to drop a few kg.
I would re-test to be honest - ramp test doesnt take too long.
The 240w result seems pretty low based on your previous 320w+ even if you did “let yourself off easily”
I agree with all the valid points above that it is important to recognise that not all workouts are meant to be hard… but you dont want them to be stupidly easy either.
I think AI FTP detection would sort out the situation eventually but I would either do another test now or manually bump up your FTP to something more realistic - maybe 280-290w - then let AI FTP do its thing from there.
Yeah, given the new information in your replies, it definitely sounds as though your FTP is set far too low. The FTP bias and workout survey suggestions are good if the workout level feels slightly off, but if it is this far off (180% bias), then it’s way off. If the ramp test protocol isn’t working great for you, then you might want to give a 20 minute FTP test a go. They are very hard workouts in themselves, so plan accordingly, and make sure you don’t start off too hard on the 20 minute effort.
Also, just check and make sure you are uploading as many rides as possible into TR so that the AI FTP detection has a good amount of data to work with. It will take some time, but once that kicks in, I found that it’s very, very reliable and you shouldn’t be having this problem!
Regarding wanting to get over 1000kJ for the workout - just remember that once your FTP is set properly (or as good as you can get it), your goal should be to complete the workout as prescribed, regardless of kJ’s. It’s all about time in the right intensity. And sometimes the right intensity for that workout is lower, so you won’t feel challenged or you won’t be burning quite as many kJ’s. This all prepares you for what is coming next .You have to follow and trust the plan, or as Frank Overton says, “FTFP”.
@Fuzzynavel, if I’m reading your OP correctly, I’m getting the impression you’ve done very little (if any) structured training. If I may ask, what system/software were you using last year that said your FTP was 320+?
As far as the drop from 320 to 242 is concerned, I would keep in mind a couple things…
you took a year COMPLETELY off the bike. I would think it’s VERY likely that your FTP dropped quite a bit…
I’m making an assumption here, but was the majority of your riding prior to the year off OUTSIDE? If so, one thing to also think about is outside vs inside FTP, as they are likely to be different from one another (inside being lower). So if you were at 320 OUTSIDE, you could possibly be lower inside (probably not 80w though).
As far as my opinion on what to do next… RETEST for sure (and make sure you leave nothing in the tank when you do it!) if you are changing the bias upwards of 180%, then obviously your current FTP is set too low, but I wouldn’t suggest arbitrarily increasing your FTP manually in the system. If you do that and choose a number that is too high (280 for instance), you may then find yourself lowering the bias by 15-20% and/or failing workouts.
Best to do that test over (whichever one you choose), give it all you got and get yourself the best INDOOR baseline you can to start with then let TR guide you from there.
To answer your questions. I was pretty active through 2021 into Jan 22 and then life got busy and I didn’t bother getting on the bike. I have still been going to the gym 3 times per week and lifting but pretty much no cardio of any sort apart from getting some walking steps in.
I am sure my FTP has dropped. I am lacking endurance and fitness but hopefully I should be able to regain some of that after a few weeks of beasting myself.
My FTP was calculated on the Sufferfest 4DP before they joined the Wahoo family and was done on the Kickr Core that I still use. I have Garmin Vector pedals too but have them on my outdoor bike at the moment.
It sounds, from a number of comments, that I should stop messing with the intensity and just make sure I fully commit to another ramp test.
I tend to be quite weak minded when I am in the garage on the bike vs outside…When I’m outside doing a hillclimb I can keep grinding to get to the top but indoors I let myself give up.
I’m next due a TrainerRoad session on Wednesday. I have put in a ramp test but I was due to do Glassy-4 Sweetspot…Will leave that in there too for now and see how I feel after the ramp.