I race XC, road, gravel and CX. Started mtbing in the summer of 2020, got a road bike in 2021 and raced the 1 road and 1 XC event that were held in my area. In December 2021 I got an indoor trainer and in late April 2022 I started Trainer Road. In 2022 I also got a gravel bike and over the 2022 season raced XC, gravel, CX and road events, at the start of 2022 I moved up from Sport class in XC to Expert and for the last race of Road in 2022 I moved up from Cat C to Cat B.
After 1 year of consistent Trainer Road training (Low volume plan focused on XC or Rolling Road Plan builder plans and Traditional Base, all 3 blocks over winter) I am presently at a FTP of 224, weight of 57.1kg and 3.92 w/kg. Have had in my mind for a while, that if I could hit a FTP of 240 or 4.2 W/Kg it would be around the level that that fellas I race against with 280-300ish W FTPs (but at closer to 80 kg).
While I followed the plan throughout the fall and didn’t fail workouts (I’ve probably failed 4 or 5 over the course of the year) while CX racing I was only doing 2 workouts a week on average with 2 CX races every other weekend but at only 45 mins each, they were not providing a lot of estimated TSS, over this period there is not FTP changes as AI FTP kept recommending lower FTPs which I have always rejected.
This year (since Jan 2023) the main change or process goal I have been following is to do >6 hours of riding per week. With the usual progression of TR’s low volume workouts by March 4th this caught up to me and left me overly fatigued, completing my workouts barely with cadence in the 60s using ERG mode. I decided to take a week and swap all my workouts to Townsend -1 but wasn’t able to overcome the fatigue until March 26th when my cadence started to recover on easy Z2 workouts and I started doing SS, Threshold and VO2 workouts again but at a lower PL than my plan had originally prescribed. I was able to maintain my >6 hours of training throughout this period without having to take a significant period off the bike to recover.
Had my first race of the season this past weekend, a Circuit Road Race, last year I raced Cat C (Cat 3) this year I raced Cat B. Last year and this year I was dropped around lap 3, unable to stay in the bunch. Looking at lap times from last year, I was about 15 seconds faster per lap on average than last and likely would have won the Cat C race this year however, the lead pack of this year’s race in Cat B were about 15 seconds a lap faster than me. By the end of the race the leaders had an avg speed 2.2 km/h faster than I had by then end and my Strava estimated avg wattage for the 1h8mins was 208 watts while those who had power meters or also had Strava power estimates ranged from 280 to 300w. I finished 14th out of 21, with a couple DNFs but ahead of a few other riders that were also dropped.
Seem to have a bit of a cold post race but if I can get over it, plan on racing my first XC race of the year this weekend.
In terms of my plan going to continue trying to maintain the >6 hours per week of volume on TR with a bit of outdoor riding (racing, group rides and skills work on XC and road bike) I’ve found with the extra volume though I need to do a slower progression through the PLs so while TR may say from one week to the next go from 3.0 to 3.4 for my SS, VO2 and Threshold workouts I may instead go 3.0 to 3.1 or 3.2 and have been finding so far that hasn’t overly fatigued me again, I am also choosing easier Z2 workouts to get the extra 2.5 to 3h of TR volume per week.
I’ve definitely gotten faster but unfortunately at least in the first road race of the year I am likely too fast for Cat C but not fast enough to be competitive in Cat B yet.
Happy to hear any thoughts or advice.
My main goal this year is to maintain that >6h per week of training, hopefully enabling me to work my way up to >400 TSS per week on avg. Right now I’m not presently going to the gym but when I feel I have the room for that additional fatigue would like to start working up to 2 to 3 days per week in the gym on top of the >6 hours per week of training. If I can manage both the >6 hours per week of training and 2 to 3 days a week in the gym, I would like to then start working towards 8 hours per week of riding with time weekly workouts in the gym. Don’t have any firm timeline for when I would like to work my way to this level however, as I’m currently floundering a bit just managing >6h a week over the past few months.