New to TR - Struggling in LV SSB1

I’m in my 3rd week of LV SSB1 and have yet to make it through a workout without dialing the intensity down midway through AND taking a few backpedal breaks.

I am particularly struggling through the longer intervals, such as Ericsson and Antelope. My legs light up and I get to the point where I just can’t turn the cranks anymore at that level of intensity.

I know some of it is mental, and I need to just suffer through it. But I feel like I got a good ramp test and that my FTP is probably about right. I’m hoping some of this is just getting adjusted to TR. But in searching this topic I’ve seen where some users are breezing their way through LV SSB1.

Any suggestions here? Do i just need to HTFU, or should I dial down my FTP? I’ve been riding for a couple of years now…mostly a mix of road and MTB. I’ve done a lot of MTB XC races and am currently training for a marathon race in March.

What trainer are you using? If it’s a wheel-on, did you do a spindown prior to taking your FTP test and do you do spindowns prior to starting your workouts?

Regarding your Ramp Test, did you make sure to not stand up during any portion of it? Mashing the pedals, especially toward the end will give you too high an FTP.

How’s your cadence during the intervals?

It’s always so frustrating not being able to finish workouts. Hopefully there’s an easy answer somewhere in there!

I’m using a Kickr Snap (wheel on). I do a spin down about every 3rd workout.

For the ramp test, I did a spin down prior and stayed in the saddle the entire time.

For cadence, I am attempting to stay around 90rpm, but as fatigue sets in that rpm slows down. And then the kickr snap is unforgiving when you slow cadence down…you almost have to come to a stop so that the power will let up or you’ll burn some matches trying to get cadence back up.

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Hmm… I have a Kickr Snap too. Sounds like you’re doing it all right. Did you do the initial “overall” calibration when you first got it?
Only other thing I can think of is maybe tire pressure has changed significantly, but that should be dealt with with the spindowns…

If it comes down to not being able to maintain cadence, it might just be a good idea to knock your FTP down a few percent until you can manage cadence in the 90’s for long Sweet Spot intervals.

I’ll have to check in to the overall calibration. I just plugged it in and did a spin down.

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Are you keeping mostly to the prescribed plan and schedule? Sometimes people will comment that the plan is too hard, and then it’ll turn out they’re doing mostly outdoor rides and not really sticking to the plan much.

Are you getting enough rest, and fueling appropriately before hard workouts? I’ll try to make sure I get enough carbs in before a hard workout. I’ll often eat some carbs during the rides also, especially on the 90+ minute rides. Caffeine can help too, if you’re not doing workouts too late in the day. And make sure you’ve got a good fan, to keep cooling appropriate.

Are you doing other stressful things throughout the day? I tried to do a sweet spot ride recently the same day I also played racquetball. It crushed me. I did the same ride a couple days later, and it was MUCH easier without that added stress. Mental stress adds up too, if you had a particularly stressful day/week/etc of work, that’ll make a difference.

And also keep in mind that the ramp test is there to provide an estimate. Some people find it’ll over or under estimate what they’re actually capable of. I think if you rule out most of the above, don’t be afraid to drop your FTP a little bit until you settle on something you find sustainable. If you drop FTP now, complete workouts successfully, and stick to the plan, you’ll gain more fitness than keeping FTP high, but failing workouts.


It’s been awhile, but I’m pretty sure there’s an initial spindown that needs to just be done once right after you get it - after that, it’s just the regular occasional spindowns. Hopefully that’s it!

Thanks roflsocks.

I am sticking to the schedule, riding indoors on the kickr, etc. I definitely get pretty thrashed in the workouts. Even though it’s low volume, I’m occasionally still bringing some fatigue into the next workout. I may just need to skip one or do a low intensity ride instead so that I can catch up on recovery.

Also, I would say my diet has been decent on ride days, but not nearly as deliberate as I could be, so I’ll try to step it up there.

Also, I’m not being exposed to much stress outside of the workouts. No racquetball for me :slight_smile:

Training indoors takes some getting used to, it’s hard work. If you’re pretty confident the FTP you’re at seems accurate, and barring any kickr setup issues… I’d say from my experience, mentally tough it out push through the intervals.
The harder workouts, I sometimes treat like I would a race. I eat well and hydrate the day before thinking of the workout ahead, I plan the best i can when the workout will be, and I approach it knowing ‘this is going to be hard’.
Antelope is one of my favorite workouts. :slight_smile:

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My Kickr Snap was badly calibrated when I got it. It took some time for me searching the web before I realized that I probably would have to do a so called ”factory spindown”. That solved the problem for me. I also do a couple of regular spindowns during every workout, because the duration of the spindown slows down after a while, which can affect the resistance (it gets harder!).

What about cooling? A good fan, placed to blow a lot of air over your torso, probably makes a much bigger difference than you realize. Otherwise your limiter is how much work you can do before your core body temperature is too high, and hard work is effectively impossible.

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SSB gets easier, I found the first few weeks are the toughest, then your body should start to adapt. Loads of good advice above. Definitely make sure you’re fuelled before the ride, and during if it’s over 60 mins. I’d agree that skipping an easier workout and recovering fully is a better option than constantly carrying fatigue in and dealing down intensity all the time.

Kickr Snap user here. What made a difference for me, aside from all the great advise above, was ensuring the setup was correct. I bought a Tacx trainer tire, inflated to 100 psi, and tightened the nob just right.

I fought with how tight to turn the nob. I realized that on my previous tire I was getting lots of slippage and loosing watts or it was too tight. Basically you want the minimum tightness without slippage. To achieve this, hold the flywheel with your left hand, then pull down on the tire rather aggressively with consistent pressure. The tire shouldn’t slip on the roller without serious force (all your body weight pulling down). Then over the course of the next couple rides pay attention if the tire slips. It should only slip initially if you give a max pedal stroke as in a max VO2 interval sprint.

If you no longer get slippage, each workout lessen the knob a small bit, quarter turn, and do a workout. If no slippage you’re good. Continue until you notice slippage and then tighten it a quarter turn. This is your perfect spot and mark it on the nob with a sharpie.

Do a spin down calibration after 10 mins of use before every workout.

Cooling is huge. I was training in the UK summer and getting blurred vision and headaches and thought I was dying trying to complete workouts. Simple fan has made such an incredible difference, to the point that I have no idea how I coped before!

All good advice. I’ll take a look at the trainer tonight.

My legs feel about 90% recovered this morning. I’ve got Carson on tap for tonight. I think I’m recovered enough to give it a whirl. I’m going to eat and hydrate appropriately and also try to amp up my mental game. My goal is to make it through 3 full intervals at 100% intensity, and then the remaining 3 at 95% intensity but with 0 backpedaling breaks.

Update: I went through the wahoo app and did a warm up and spin down…didn’t see anything else for calibration. I ate a few extra carbs and went a little further on my mental focus. I made it almost through the 4th of 6 intervals on Carson before taking a back pedal break. I took intensity down to 95% and finished without any other breaks…but i really had to fight through it.

All in all I am happy with this performance and feel like I made some progress this time. That 4th interval is a tough one, but I can see where I am getting a lot closer to completing a workout at full power with no breaks.

Thanks y’all!

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