Newbie Question - CTL (Fitness) Drop with Early Structured Training

Newbie 51 yo. Been doing Crossfit for the past 2 years before shutting it down when COVID hit. After adding on some COVID weight and becoming a bit sedentary I started riding in August after buying my first Road Bike with the goal of doing some form of post-COVID Racing.

Pretty much ramped up my outdoor riding building CTL close to 80 before starting structured training with TR this fall. Definitely was able to lay down some base having completed my first 50mi and Metric Century before heading indoors.

According to TrainingPeaks, I was carrying quite a bit of Fatigue and Form was well negative (-40) before starting structured training.

With TR I’m in midst of SSB1 MV and feel great. CTL now steady at 65-68 and managing fatigue well with Form now hovering near 0.

Already getting stronger with structured training. And before anyone tells me to not worry about the numbers, I’m more interested in understanding the drop in CTL, improvement with Form, and how it overall impacts my prep for next Spring (with whatever events become available).

I intend for the moment to stay on plan and #TrustTheProcess - unless y’all provide advice to add some additional Training Stress to my weekly prescribed plan.

Thanks Y’all!

Maybe this will help.

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CTL is just the average of your daily TSS for the past 90 days…since we tend to ride outside longer (and hence, higher TSS), it is not surprising that your daily TSS is dropping now that you are inside on a trainer (even if doing SS intervals).

But you are getting structure, which is critical for improving (especially for a newbie). Really, any training is going to pay huge dividends if you are new to the sport…trust the process and enjoy the gains. They will come thick and fast at first…

@JulianFishtown & @Power13 :dart:

This explains exactly what I was looking to understand and explains why I was feeling like I was consistently in a hole from one day to the next. I was trying to “build Fitness” according to the TP numbers instead of managing TSS and workout composition (which of course is tough when outside and not knowing what unstructured training does)…

Following structured planning, I definitely feel way more consistent in my training on a daily basis, and has allowed me to also focus more on other big variables such as nutrition, sleep, etc.

Thank you!