Managing ftp after month of being sick

Hey all,
I’m a longtime forum reader/ TR podcast listener, relatively new TR user, first time poster in need of some advice.

First a bit of backstory.
34 years old male, recreational rider: group rides, sportives and grand fondos. Started SSB LV 1 in October at 75kg/268ftp. New to structured training but made it through the first 6 weeks LV plus weekly 120-180tss outside ride without any issues. After the 6th week I felt tired/under the weather so took another easy week before retesting at 75kg/290ftp.
Started SSB LV 2 and kept doing the weekly outside ride, got through that plan similarly well but then got sick after the 6th week again.

This time it was serious. A three week flu, with an additional 2 weeks of coughing and being very low on energy. I had 4 (attempts at) rides between January 19th and last Tuesday.

So I did the ramp test and got 73kg/247ftp. Max HR was way lower on this test as well 193 vs 202 and 204 on earlier ramp tests. Didn’t get to retest after completing SSB LV 2, but based on HR and RPE during the 5th week (Leconte and Lamarck) I guess I had another ftp bump of somewhere around 10 watts.

So now after this long intro my question. How best to manage my ftp setting? My plan is to bump it up weekly by 5-8 watts based on how the workouts felt. Is this a good way to go about it? Plan builder recommended doing SSB 1 and 2 again and I don’t think waiting 6 weeks between testing is going to help me get my ftp back up anytime soon. So I’m I being to inpatient, or on the right track with this approach? Or should I plan more ramp tests into my schedule?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


I’m Dutch, so hopefully my story makes sense to you all.

Just increase your ftp manually every couple of workouts, depending on how you feel. You loss in fitness will likely be mainly due to the flu, and you should get back pretty quickly.

If you’re still feeling low in energy now, I’d start with endurence type workouts, no high intensity. That will get you moving, and once you feel good again, add the intensity.


I had Flu and Sinisitus over Christmas New year, 2 weeks off the bike then another 2 weeks of Zone1/2 riding gradually building up time in the saddle starting with a couple of 30 min rides, building up to 2 hours.

Finnaly got back into training on the 20th Jan. Over this month FTP Dropped from 330w to 293w.
I went in with SSB2 LV
I Bumped FTP up by 2-3% percent each week, using the Vo2 Max workout as a gague.
I would start the Vo2 workout without changing FTP and manually bump it up a percent, do an interval, bump it up again etc finding what felt right, then set that as my new FTP, then at the next workout you can gague how that feels on the new FTP etc. I didn’t change it for the 5th week, because it already felt hard enough.

As you would expect this is an inverse curve, big gains at first then it tapers off. Now 5 weeks back into training, i’m back up to 310w FTP, and that may jump up a bit again after a rest week.

Thanks for the replies guys. Sounds like manually raising ftp based on feel is the way to go then. @hollandgdavid you must have been equally frustrated with such a big power drop, good to hear you’ve regained some of your fitness.
Luckily we’ve had only Gail force winds the last few weeks, that softened the pain of not being able to ride.

Indeed, but I’ve been through it before, and know it’s not the end of the world (It just feels like it).

i had to take three months off last year and that really knocked it out of me. Take your time and you’ll soon be back up there.

Almost at the end of my 2018 season (as in, qualified for my A Race, then got sick six weeks out) I got glandular fever which kept me from training for a month.

For the first two weeks I basically only did half-hour rides before building up to an hour and a half long easy rides for another couple of weeks before retesting and jumping back in to a low-volume plan, I figured my body wasn’t really up to doing the whole chunk of intensity for that duration, didn’t want to get sick again.

Take your time building back in, you may have over-loaded yourself, so be patient with yourself as you get back on it, and remember getting faster is a multi-year thing!