Lowering TSS mid season for a new ramp


Since 2-3 years a happy user off TR, using it for racing outdoor crits.
Since the current pandemic I have increased my TSS from 500-700/week ( due to no races and I could handle the extra TSS without overtraining ).

My fitness(CTL) curve went in an straight line up and my power numbers in and outside where also improving. My form and fatigue are somewhat the same - I try take every 3-4 weeks an easy week to let the fatigue go.
After some weeks/months I am somewhat at an plateau with my CTL. If I do more and higher TSS I will fail. And more important, my legs aren’t as fresh as some weeks ago (but i am still crushing the watts ).

My question is, if i reduce now my TSS back to 500 (maybe some week extra recovery to restart with fresh legs) and make an new ramp from 500 to 700 TSS/ week. Will I see my CTL and/or powernumbers exceed the prevouis CTL and/or powernumbers or will I get the same numbers as now.


Bart, I recommend focusing on overall fitness and how you feel. I incorrectly focused too much on CTL and what I thought a Performance Management Chart should look like that I screwed up a couple of different recovery weeks and ended up not recovering.

When was the last time you took an off season (even if just two weeks)? When did you last do a base phase?

For me, my burn out was both mental and physical. I was just tired of getting my a$$ kicked by hard intervals all the time. I did SSB I HV because 1) it fit better into my schedule and 2) had only sweet spot work. It’s been great and I’m starting to actually want to do threshold and VO2 work again. For me, that’s a sign that recovery has worked - both within a recovery week and (in this case) an entire base season.

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I think it’s important to remember that CTL doesn’t equal fitness. It’s just a measure of your load. There are TONS of folks who are really fast and are doing less TSS per week than you currently are. And there are tons of folks that are hovering at 3.0 w/kg doing as much or more, wondering why they don’t improve.

I don’t know why this is happening w/o seeing your rides so it’s hard to comment. Maybe you aren’t periodizing? Maybe you aren’t being specific enough? Who knows.

It’s possible. It just depends on what your plan looks like and how you’re periodizing your training.