Low FTP, give me hope

Can’t argue with that!

I’m 50, so this one does give me hope.

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Nice to hear👍

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@atmatthewat as somebody who routinely looks at a lot of ramp tests…100W to 150W isn’t an unusual result. There are a lot of riders out there testing in that range.

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Lot’s of good success stories & guidance; awesome forum!

Another option is to just keep it simple and be patient.

A low volume plan well executed on the new trainer & TR plan will raise your strength, ability, & enjoyment on the bike over a relatively short time. You will get stronger and faster.

Embrace where you are and don’t compare; let the plan run it’s course through a few “test-train-rest-repeat” cycles and stay hydrated.

Enjoy the ride!

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Welcome to cycling. You didn’t mention your age, not that it matters much. Improvement is possible at any age. I’m a greybeard who trains to slow down the inevitable slow down.
Century’s are a mind game… anybody can do one with right mindset, nutrition and hydration. Consistent training is key along with some education. find a local group that rides at you current level. A high FTP just means faster…5 hr century vs 6 or 7. I’m 64 @ 2 W/Kg and doing flattish centuries in 6 hrs.

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Why does it have to be a supported century? Find a cafe 50 miles away from home, ride there, have a break, ride back. You’ve got all day to do it.

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I’m 51, since leaving the army 10 years ago I’d done no cardio exercise, only weight training. First ramp test was 129 in October last year, followed the TR structured training, suffered as I should. Now at 252 ftp, 2.9 w/kg at 86kg and getting better.
Stick with it, suffer and the gains will come.

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It doesn’t have to be, but it would be a goal to train towards with friends who are riding them as well. And in some areas, there’s something to be said for the associated road closures, etc.

Are you currently doing any outdoor rides solo? If so, you’ll notice a real boost when restrictions change.

Just riding with others is worth 10+ miles for the fact that your mind is in conversation and off the task in hand. If you find the right group to ride with, that’ll get you another 10+ and a slight bump in pace because the work will be shared.

Make no bones about it, a Century is a great milestone and it can be a tough undertaking. Just don’t under sell yourself. You’re training to make it happen and I believe that you’ll make it happen :+1:

I have never found someone as slow as myself to ride with.

I could ride with my wife, but on a typical ride I go 73% her speed, and with even more climbing that drops to 68%, and she only dusted off her bike a few weeks ago too. She says she can’t even stay upright going as slow as I do uphill.

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Get creative. If you have faster cycling friends and they do recovery rides, ask if you can come along. They’ll be short-ish (45 minutes) rides and it’ll be a great opportunity for you to nail your drafting.

Speaking from my own personal experience, good cyclists like helping others achieve in the sport. The team I race with is full of the guys who helped me along my journey. They’re all still faster than me though :wink:

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A couple of thoughts.

If it’s pure speed you want, how is your bike setup? One thing people often forget is that at low ftp, rolling resistance and drivetrain losses really matter. They are constants and become less important the more power you’ve got. But at low power, a 10W loss from a dirty drivetrain, and a 10W loss from bad tyres or wrong pressure can take a large proportion of you power and your ability to move forward. Look after that bike!

Also, what happens when you ride with someone a bit faster, and they pull away? Do you turn yourself inside out to stick with them, or do you think that’s pointless and just go your own speed? Don’t take this the wrong way, but I sometimes get the impression that slower people I ride with aren’t really trying to keep up and give up too early. (I do get dropped plenty of rides myself too. I usually feel like I’m maxing out my HR and start to see stars, but I don’t know what they think I’m doing - maybe that I give up too early, lol)

Or, last, how about a change of track. Get an ebike. Find a group of people to ride with, who you normally couldn’t stick with. The bike will make it possible, and you will get used to riding longer distances and at higher speed than you currently do. Keep up the training of course, and the speed will carry over.

Wrong way to look at it. You finished in the top 90%. Way better than a DNF. You did it. FTP aside.

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Yes and no. I was proud of myself for finishing the metric century. But I also knew that despite all the training for it, I couldn’t meet the required pace for the century I’d signed up to ride a few weeks later.

It happens on hills. I’m in my lowest gear, cadence of 40-45, mashing as hard as my legs can possibly do… and there’s literally nothing I can do to will my body to produce enough more power to chase them. And they tell me they’d fall over if they tried to ride behind me. (And yes, losing weight is probably the best path to fixing this)

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Congrats on taking the first step to improving yourself. When it comes to my personal performance I try not to look at what others are doing. I can only control me, and hope to improve upon my previous tri results.
About 1.5 years ago I was 102kg after gaining weight post high school. I have slowly gotten that down to 86 kgs I still have more to go but I look take pride in what I have accomplished.
I am envious of you as you set out on what may look like a daunting task. There is so much room for improvement through small training and nutrition changes.

The way I look at it, unless you are racing, does it really matter if you’re in the top or bottom of finishers? Finishing a metric century with 4,000 ft of climbing is a good accomplishment, congrats! Feel good about that!

You want competition, compete against yourself. Can you take a few minutes off your next metric century? Can you PR one of your fave strava segments?

My FTP started at about 195, I’m now about 203. I’m seeing some improvements, enjoying my riding more and being slightly less slow up wills, so I’m counting that as a win.

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Any sort of incline will punish weight and low watts way more than riding on the flat.

I started at 127 FTP, if I recall correctly. and was about 80kg.
First year I got to 170 FTP, and I went down to 74 kg.
I’m on year 4 now, fluctuating between 72 and 73 kgs, and kind of stuck close to 200 FTP. My highest has been 220, and I usually detrain to high 180s when I stop for w/e reason, such as off-season or sickness.
I’m a bit frustrated, as I would like to be closer to 4w/kg than 3, but I guess everyone has that frustration, the difference is the new goal in mind. for me might be 4w/kg, but for others is going to be 2, 5, 6? who knows?
I’m so hooked that I’m racing cat 4-5 in my city, and I even made it to the podium once!

Keep going at it, how good are you going to get? Very difficult to tell. But I can assure you, you are going to get faster than what you are now. So why not? Go for it!!

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