Agreed, he had that advantage of starting from the bottom.
Was he at 300W before? If yes, then the lost fitness is pretty easy to regain.
No certainly not 300w - so it is all growth. Equipment “failure”; Black & Decker/Makita assist; sand bagging; responds particularly well to 3-4 1hr sweetspot work outs with a typical TSS of 40-60 every other day.
Anyway I’ll eventually get to ride with him outside…think I’ll have him then
In 2017 I went from 279 to 306 in 4 weeks at about 165 lbs, that was the first four weeks of a build. I had previously been over 300 in the past so it does come back quickly and it also fades away quickly if you dont do any structure during the riding season.
That improvement is definitely plausible. I think that on any given day, one’s performance on a ramp test could vary +/- 10 watts FTP (maybe more) – especially if it’s your first (or second) ramp test. Imagine the difference between feeling an off-day vs. an on-day. In my experience, I began using TrainerRoad last April (2020), and from April 5 to May 28 (around ~7 weeks), boosted my FTP by +33 wats – 211 to 244 – about +16%. It was my first time training on a smart trainer and doing so consistently, though I’d been a long-time 3-season cyclist (not much in winter), year-round runner/swimmer, and was a D1 rower, so I did have some long term endurance built up. It seems fairly likely that the largest % gains would occur in the first weeks of consistent training, though this may vary more widely that I envision.
So…part 2 of the test was a climb up Alpe du Zwift.
My protagonist took off like a scalded cat. For the climb segment he averaged c40w below his new FTP (he didn’t finish) and I averaged 6w below my FTP for a bit longer than the hour (including the run in). I completed the challenge in 55:++ his best to date is 1:03:++ so I’m feeling better about myself (LOL). The particularly interesting thing is that all the apps gave me an FTP that matched my Ramp Test and was consistent with holding just over Ramp Test FTP for just under the hour, whilst his was (best guess-timate) 30-35w short of the Ramp Test.
The next stage is come the spring/summer and freedom to meet up that’ll have us perform two more tests, this time outdoors
1: 20/25min climb that’s half-way between us. (Snake Pass)
2: A flat 100km TT that again is approx half-way between us. (Lincolnshire)
A gain of 7-8% (20-25 W) After 3-4 weeks off the bike is normal for me. Did that twice within last two years due to off season / injury. Add some n00b gains and you are at 9%.