MV plan - no progress after 3.5 months ;-(

OK guys - you convinced me :slight_smile: - will do the 20min test next time (after Build 2).
Understand that this will “just” give me a new baseline but if it helps me better tracking progress then all fine.
And then I think I will start looking into block periodization - just need to figure out what to train when when I want to peak end May/early June for my A race (I hope it will happen…).

Thanks for all the great advise provided - really appreciate it :+1: :+1: :+1:

BTW - if someone can tell me how to properly quote on this board…don’t see that option on my Firefox but then I might be blind… :thinking:


I just select the text and it comes at as an option in a grey box with the text


[quote=“JoeX, post:10, topic:52819”]
SSB and general build focus on threshold and below[/quote]
Really? Coming from a few years of Sustained Power Build, there looks to be plenty above threshold in General Build to me, even before Rolling Road Race! I’m quite intimidated with what plan builder is giving me.

I was focused on long endurance events the last couple of years, but pivoting to give racing another go this year, if it happens. If it doesn’t, albeit still progressing, addressing my own weaknesses!

May I ask a question on this please?

After the first block of SSB LV the ramp was no different to before - could this be down to the lack of VO2 work in the first block. Does the second block have sufficient VO2 sessions on it or would you add more in?

After reading the article you posted I’m looking at raising my ceiling as I think my floor has come up a bit. :grin: Also as an older bloke…

I felt the same way after ssbmv2 with a small bump in ftp. Felt I was on my way for a better test result and it didn’t happen.
Instead of beating myself up, I check out personal records,season match, that’s where I see how all my average power is up ,up to 2 hours time my power is at least 15 watts higher than just 4 months ago.
Like has been stated a high Ftp makes the ego feel good but the real progress is that repeatability and sustained higher power averages than ever before.
Just keep grinding and trust the process and nail those key workouts.

I wouldn’t switch to a different test protocol. eFTP, RT and 20min FTP are not necessarily comparable.

Different question: what did you do the 3-6 months before the start of SSB 1? How many weekly hours did you train? What was your weekly average?
If there is no progress, you are either heavily fatigued or the stimulus of the MV plans (just around 5-7h) is not enough.

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Agree with this - changing tests is unlikely to provide you with a huge amount of value in the longer term. Even if the ramp test favours anaerobic contribution and this doesn’t suit you you’ll still see increases as your FTP increases, they just might be slower and lower than those jumps in numbers would have been using another protocol. The ramp test is great because it’s super simple and easy to repeat each time in the same way, no questioning about pacing etc. If you’re not having problems with workouts being too easy or too hard then I think you might be better off looking at the stimulus rather than the testing method.

How are the workouts feeling? If they are still hard, it might be the right FTP. If you can crush them, then maybe it’s fair to boost it up regardless. The progress is never linear, I’ve had nice steady progress followed by months stalling/regressive results only to continue with strong progress later on.

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You can check my calendar - made it public. Most weeks one 40km race simulation “game” with some folks, a recovery ride and a longer (60-70km) tempo/ss ride. On most weekends one 100+km ride, most often >1000m elevation with some friends. No race but no coffee-ride either.
But TSS-wise I think I was at a constant level some 3mths before starting TR SSBMV1. That plan kept the TSS at a comparable level so possibly it’s indeed a matter of too little (or the wrong) stimulus…that’s the key Q I had asked myself. Actually my hope was that when entering a (more) structured training regime I would get more outcome with the same input (TSS) due to less junk miles

Yes, ssb II has more VO2 max workouts, but they are more introduction to proper vo2 max workouts (week 5, Spencer is proper vo2 max) to gently prime your body and prepare it for vo2 max. So if you have some experience I would change the Taylor, Mills and Bluebell for something similar to Spencer (simply look in the workout catalogue for longer vo2 max workouts).

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After finishing SSBMV1 my FTP only increased by 1 watt. However, I can now handle 10-18 minute SS intervals. Whereas beforehand, I struggled w/ anything over 10 minutes. I would’ve liked to have seen FTP gains, but I know I am definitely stronger than before starting.


N=1 anecdote - I use the RT to measure my FTP levels for indoor training (I do a 20 minute test to set my levels when the weather turns warm and my riding is done primarily outside). V02 is a weakness for me and as a result, I generally see a bigger improvement in RT FTP numbers after a build\specialty phase than a SSB phase. Although the RT doesn’t show big FTP gains after a SSB block, I do see improvements in muscular endurance and the mental ability to handle longer efforts at sub-threshold\threshold. As an added bonus, increasing my mental capacity on the trainer makes holding sub-threshold\threshold efforts outside feel like an endurance\tempo effort.

Thanks for making your calendar public.
TSS wise it looks consistent enough to me. So I don’t think TR is too hard. Actually your 6 week Tss average seems to be lower since you are doing TR workouts.
TSS is not the whole picture. I assume your hours were substantially higher before you started the TR Plan.
If that’s the case, then I’d say MV is a good maintenance and you’d have to do more to see gains. Maybe you could do 90min Z2 instead of 60min during your second Training day/week. And the Z2 alternative from the weekly description instead of the shorter Sweetspot rides.
6h training/week is not much if you did 10h before.

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Sustained Power Build, with its focus on 3min, 6min, and 8min VO2max intervals, can help you achieve highest Ramp Test result.

IME this plan prepares you mentally better than the other plans due to its interval durations. The real suffering in the Ramp Test happens in the last 6-8 minutes.

Thanks for that - though Taylor, Mills and Bluebell are all noted as VO2 max workouts. Looks like they’re designed to increase the durations up to 3 minutes as I get to Spencer. Are you saying I should start with longer intervals? :thinking:

I’m finding the same - I can now crush longer SS intervals that used to kill me so it’s definitely improved that area.

Thanks again for all the really good input!
Looks I might have identified another cause…coming from a completely different direction…
I had done the RT on Tuesday, then did an endurance workout Wed evening even when in the afternoon I got some headache. HR went a little too far up and I stopped after 1hr…and since Wednesday night the most-visited room at home is my bathroom :frowning: Seems I caught a nasty bug earlier without noticing. Nevertheless I will take a closer look at the block training when back on the bike some time next week


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I’m calling that a win :wink:

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Yes, they are but they are too short with too long brakes to make any sort of impact into your vo2 max. That is why I treat them as “leg primers” for proper vo2 max. For the first year of training that is fine, second - I think they are waiste of time. But this is my opininion, not a professional coach and you can take it with a grain of salt. But for me, anything shorter than 3 minutes simply does not work for vo2 max. 2 min would work if you push really hard, probably way above prescripted power.


OK, thanks for the clarification. Funnily enough I usually do well on VO2 max.
Will see how it goes - good points.

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