My friends are very strong...or am I missing something?

You’re talking about one person. He’s the exception, not the rule.

There might not be too many club riders over 300W, but I reckon 250W is pretty common. And that is still 10% more than the OP. If his FTP is overestimated, due to reliance on short efforts and using the ramp test, it might be something like 25% more. That is a very significant difference.

Regarding the age difference…I think there is some sort of “selection bias”. Many people find cycling when they are older, 30-40 plus. As a sport, cycling is fairly easy to fit around a busy family and job life, more than team sports with fixed training sessions etc. Also the more individual challenges, the chance to get outside with friends etc appeal when you’re older.
People that cycle in their 20s often started as kids, or at the latest in college/university. They often have a good training (and coaching) history. There is also competition from other sports in that age group, so those that stick with cycling tend to be pretty good at it. That’s all of course generalisations with plenty of exceptions! But for example in the UK cyclocross races often fill up for the veteran (40+) categories, and the youth (under 16), but not so much for the senior (18-40) age group. At those ages, you’re either dedicated and good, or you drop out of the sport.


It also helps that EPO was available in his 40s but not in his 20s. :slight_smile:
I remember watching his win on TV in 1992 and thinking ‘my god, he rode them off his wheel’.

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Well, no – I am not saying it‘s routine to do 300 W over a 3 h group ride;-) We are talking FTPs… But I often come back from our flat 100 km group ride with NP significantly above 250, typically in the 260–270 W range. And while this is one of the faster groups, it‘s still a „Masters“ ride. There are faster young-guys rides and I am not even talking about the regular drop rides at all;-)

Yes, most hobby-Masters rides are (a lot) slower, but the one with all participants at FTP = 300 W or 4W/kg or above are not as rare as you might think…

Oh yeah, I agree. Especially when they’re nit sub-60kg. The TR distribution is a bit lower, but it might be significantly skewed by people new to cycling.

Might be an interesting video for anyone who ages: Does our endurance machinery slow down at different rates as we get older? - YouTube

This study was looking at trained / training amateur athletes and while VO2max declined with age, more so after 60+, fractional utilization increased so FTP did not decline as much as VO2max.

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Chapeau to the OP with riding a group 20years younger. That said there’s always some one quicker so don’t be too disheartened.

Take a step back for a better perspective, are you lasting longer, getting faster with this group?

That’s the only metric worth considering, trust in TrainerRoad for providing a sustainable and broad platform for improving your fitness.

And take what others say to with a pinch of salt about their training in the group.

And going back to the days of before TrainerRoad, most old timers would suggest riding with riders who were quicker than you. Other than structured training there no better way to get fitter. At least your not racing yourself fit which is a whole another world of pain, frustration and elation!

I’m not arguing you on that. But a Paris Roubaix winner can hardly be considered the norm.

So you say that’s SO not your experience but you have no idea because you haven’t measured VO2 max in your 20s or now. Come on, if you are going to argue the point, you need to have your measured VO2 max at those ages!

Not sure if our area is an outlier but everyone around here is like 50+ and incredibly strong!
Ok so most ride more than 3/4 times a month but none seem to do much structure or plans.

I would say OP that your FTP isn’t high enough, simple as that.

I did 225np on a 10.5h gravel race! (But it had 12k ft of climbing so you’d have likely beaten me round that course :wink:). And for our local chaingang I usually do 300w average, 330np.

My friend Ian is like you, weight at the lower end of the bell curve but power likewise. He and I struggle at different ends of the ride- me ‘up’ the first 12 miles and him down and back on the flat.

You just need to be ruthless- sit in the draft on the flats and then attack the hills hard to hurt the others the most. If your power, weight or power/weight are different to the majority of the group- group riding in a sociable fashion (ie riding someone else’s pace) is a nightmare.

My trouble as a bigger rider is that when the lighter folk hit the front on a climb, they go up a power zone. That puts me up 2 power zones (to match w/kg)- even in their draft. Then they pull off, and I do a turn and again, am up 2 power zones whilst they are down 3 in my draft!
Then a powerful medium weight guy takes the front on the flat and suddenly I’m still up 2 power zones because of aero differences :rofl:
Before you know it, they’ve done 8 minutes at z2 with 2 minutes at z4/5 whilst I’ve done 10 minutes at z4/5!

You either need more power, different riding buddies or treat the ride like a race and hurt them when you can and hide when they’re currently hurting you.

At 3.3 W/kg he isn’t hurting anyone, hills or not. He needs more power, period.

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3.3 is his ftp though. At vo2 max up the climbs- I guarantee he could hurt 95kg me :rofl:
He just needs to hide at tempo on the flats.

I just took a look at your training calendar. You seem to have no trouble completing V02 max workouts, but it appears you rarely complete a Threshold workout. I think this indicates that your FTP is set too high. Have you tried letting the AI FTP detection determine your FTP, or have you used the ramp test only?
Try this: Either let AI FTP detection determine your FTP, or lower the intensity of your Threshold workouts by 5-10%. Once you find the percentage decrease that allows you to complete Threshold workouts, you can use that to manually adjust your FTP down to a more realistic number… This will likely allow you to complete Threshold workouts, making you stronger and faster. Eventually, you’ll build your FTP up to where you have it set now, possibly exceeding it.

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I was ina similar situation it sounds like. People would eat me alive on the flats, and into a wind, forget it, yet I could hang with them in climbs, or at least not get dropped so fast. So I started riding more indoors, year round. I was having some chest discomfort and not being able to catch my breath so I mentioned it to my doc, and they scheduled a stress test that I failed for a variety of reasons. One was that I didn’t get to the prescribed max in the test, which wasn’t a bad thing, but I also was exhibiting some artifacts on the ‘strip’ that concerned them. I was scheduled for a ‘CTA’ which is a heart rate triggered CT study, and they found a smaller vessel on the back of my heart. Surprise! I didn’t know it but I was riding at my physical max for the condition my body was in. My heart was getting starved of blood. At 55, there goes my Tour de France dreams. :wink:

I started training more, and even with the ‘defect’ I feel I’ve gotten better than before, but will always have the potential of hitting that ceiling. Another story of someone self diagnosing themselves. One local cardiologist actually diagnosed his own heart problem and scheduled himself for a bypass, and is now a powerful tri-athlete.

So get checked out? I was glad to find out that I had no other issues like plaque build-up, everything was clear so that was good to know. Giving up meat was a good idea.

But, yeah I was so discouraged getting dropped so often. Some times getting dropped in the middle of no where and not knowing where the heck I was. Good luck, keep working on endurance with some tempo and VO2Max thrown in?


Thanks, I didn’t know about AI ftp detection, I have always done 8 minutes tests, and ramp tests since is on TR. Threshold workouts are lately a nightmare for me. Many times, when I am on the hard segment of threshold, I began to think “Why to suffer so much? I am not getting paid for this…”. Since a year ago or so It’s very very mental on my case.
I have just tried AI Ftp detection and raised my ftp from 222 to 229 :person_facepalming:t2: