Just wondering your experience (Coming back from a break, with a massive FTP loss)

Hello guys.

I am 32 years old, and been riding bike for the last 3-4 years. Before that, i played soccer, did weightlifting (alot) and basketball, and so on.

Last year i did the ramp test, before i needed to get surgery - which had me out for about 6-7weeks with doing absolutely NOTHING. After 6 weeks of nothing i could start doing some low intensity rides, which i did for the first couple of weeks, and now im back into proper training.

I ramp tested 290 watts before my surgery, and did a ramp test after 7 weeks of absolutely nothing, and 1 week of low intensity. I experienced a decrease in FTP 21%.
So the new FTP was 231 - pretty sad about that :smiley: Anyways…

I have been training proper again with SSMV - and finished block 1, and my new FTP is 260w.

What is your experience? I have now 7 weeks of good training base in my body now - and 8 weeks if you count the rest week(did the 5 days low intensity as prescribed) Shouldnt my FTP have had more gain? Or will the biggest yet to come after SSBMV2 ?

I have never done mid vol. before - usually the last two years i did low vol. with an extra weekend ride - whats your experience with mid vol? Will it be enough stress to see me mark the 4/w/kg ? Or do I need more stress for that? (Last year i were at 3.7-8) - could push about 320 outside, and 290 inside on trainer)

So to some up my questions:

  • Coming back from injury/surgery with absence for about 7 weeks - how long would you reckon it takes to get back to the old FTP?
  • Allways been low vol before, now mid vol - should i except to see more gains to my FTP? In Denmark its not to hilly - so i would like to see increase in just FTP rather than w/kg
  • What your experience with mid vol? What kind of increases have you gotton? (I will do, base, sustrained and climbing)
  • My goal is to hit 320 watts on the HT before the seasons beings (April) Is that posible with the background i have?

Thanks for your input

Sweet Spot Base 1 is loads of sweet spot, but not much VO2 or Anaerobic work. I find that my FTP doesn’t go up much (if at all) during this phase. SSB2 has a much wider range of efforts, so I would expect that you will get another good bump from that, and then Build is where you make the biggest FTP gains.
Everyone is individual, so predicting response is hard, but it sounds like you’re making good progress and keeping at it will see you back to (and surpassing) your previous FTP fairly quickly. For contrast, I had 4 weeks of nothing and another month of little riding after injury last July, and my FTP is still not quite back to where I was before I got injured. Keep on keeping on and you’ll get there…

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In my experience it just takes time. Be patient and consistent and don’t worry test to test. If you can handle more volume do that…but if you take too much volume you’ll crash and burn :slight_smile:.

I took two large cycling breaks:

  1. Build TR and birth if first child
  2. Birth of second child

Both times I went down to a 189 FTP and a weight around 205-210. FTP is now at a solid 330 at 190 and I think it will keep going up if I’m consistent and keep the volume up.


I’ll throw in my experience here too.

Last time I tested at the end of my 2017 season my FTP was at 330 watts. I skipped a season of training and just rode for fun due to a hectic school and workload and was dissapointed to find that my FTP dropped to 270 watts at the beginning of this season, lower than it had ever been in recent history.

I went through the full SSB I and when I re-tested after the 6 weeks, my FTP only went up 10 watts to 280. To me, your 30 watt gain in 6 weeks seems rather impressive.

Despite my minimal gains in FTP though, I have certainly gained a significant amount of fitness that is apparent when I ride outside. Almost all of my training was indoors, and in the past few weeks I raced a crit and did a couple outdoor rides and I was simply blown away with how much fitness I had gained despite the mediocre FTP improvements.

It’s important to remember that your FTP is just a number. It’s an important number that helps to customize your training to your current ability level, but it does not fully define your fitness.

And as @Nate_Pearson said, you gotta be patient. SSB I is pretty low intensity, so depending on how your body reacts to high intensity training, SSB II and Build could see more significant FTP improvements. And as long as you continue to be consistent with your training and focus on maintaining your structure even when the temperatures become more favorable, you will get faster :fire:.


+30w after a block of SS training is something to be proud of. As Nate pointed out, it’s the consistency at the volume that you can handle which will pay off.
It’s tough to predict where you’ll be after each block or if you can hit a certain number. I know it’s easier said than done, but now is a good time to focus on the process rather than hitting a certain FTP goal. Plan work work, stay consistent, fuel your workouts, and eat for the goals you want to achieve.

Good luck!

Nailed it. :hammer:


I disagree a bit here. FTP may just be a “number” but it is a remarkable quantifier of your fitness improvement as a function of time. The purpose of us subscribing to TR is to get faster. Higher FTP normally = faster.

P.S. I am aware that Fitness can be improved upwards (raising the ceiling) or outawards (extending the time you can hold a certain power).

Thanks all. While i know, that fitness brings alot to the table when riding outside, i still use this as a messure to my level. I dont know if i think that 30 watts gained is alot, when going from 290 to nothing - there must be alot of potential to gain fitness and FTP back rather quickly, or is it just me?

I know all that fitness i carry now would be significant outside when riding with my fellow friends, no doubt about it. im just curious if any have experienced the same, and how quick they got there FTP back. Because, i would have loved to gain it back rather quickly, so i could put something more on that level, before season start.

Trainerroad have helped me alot previusly, so im just exited at the fact i now train even more structured on trainerroad than before, and what i can expect.

I will be consistenly - and i have put on some more TSS and session that mid vol descirbed.

In season i think my weekly TSS us about 800 but thats not so structured, and in my opinion its easier to get higher TSS outside than on the trainer.

In all fairness this whole discussion is purely speculative and mostly academic.

FTP isn’t the end all and isn’t always equal, especially between protocols. While the idea of “hour power” is popular, you’ll find cyclists using shorter duration protocols that couldn’t hold FTP wattage for 30min if their life depended on it. When you’re getting stronger you should see both up and out improvements over time.

If getting faster is the concern, the most reliable approach would be to follow the TR plan(s) that best fit your goals and ability to train. Let your FTP be what it is, a metric to crunch workout numbers.

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im just curious if any have experienced the same, and how quick they got there FTP back. Because, i would have loved to gain it back rather quickly, so i could put something more on that level, before season start.

In my view, you are well on the way to gaining it back quickly. 7 weeks of nothing and then a few weeks of really low intensity is a lot of time losing fitness. Especially if the 290 number was you at absolute peak for that season - you would expect to lose a few W by coming off peak and going back to base without any injury issues. Like I said - I had 4 weeks of no exercise and a few more weeks of very limited riding and I lost ~25W. I’ve not got it all back yet, 6 months on. :frowning:
So if you can pick up 30W in SSB1, you’re going to pick up another big bump from SSB2, and you will be able to surpass last year with the gains from Build.

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Stop bleating. Only joking but 30w improve is pretty good and after SSB2 I would expect you to be up towards your previous best.
It just takes time but I am sure you will benefit from a solid progression of work.

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Just adding my experience and providing hope that it gets better: in October 2016 I was probably the fittest I had ever been, which wasn’t anything otherworldly but I felt great averaging 265w for over an hour on zwift races (at 70kg so about 3.8w/kg). I then got sick for a few weeks and then got busy with other life stuff through much of the winter.

I never took a formal FTP test after that but I was probably 225-230 ftp in spring 2017. I kind of eased my way back into riding with endurance stuff and then started up with TR SSB1 during summer 2017 (and tried out CX racing for the first time, kind of funny doing that with only SS training lol), and gradually was able to increase my FTP and by early 2018 (so maybe a 6month period) got to 275w FTP, which I’ve been training with all of 2018 (and did much better with CX racing after actually doing specific training for it), and now after doing SSB1 HV I’ve got myself at 285w and feeling good halfway through SSB2 HV.

As others have said, it takes time and it’s really easy to get discouraged at first, because it never comes back as quickly as you want. But keep at it and it will and possibly even go beyond where you were before!

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