Or, maybe it is. I don’t know. I’m struggling to decide if I should make a manual adjustment to my FTP, or if im just not very fit when it comes to long ftp intervals, or even long SS ones for that matter.
I started at the beginning of this year as I was getting ready for race season, so I know I haven’t been at this all that long. Did a ramp test for my initial FTP. I also did a Zwift ramp test a while before that so I had a baseline. Previously, I would use Garmin suggested workouts on my head unit for training. My race season ended in August and after a week off I started Sweet Spot Base Medium 1, and am now in the middle of SSb2.
I many times feel like the intensity of threshold workouts is in Vo2 max territory, and even Sweet Spot seems to be more threshold effort level for me. I’m being prescribed two threshold workouts a week, plus a vo2 and a SS with one endurance effort as well. The threshold efforts on Wednesday crush my legs so that when Friday rolls around I can definitely feel some residual fatigue going in. Where I’m struggling to understand things is my Vo2 Max efforts prescribed by TR feel sorta easy. I did Coy on Monday and had to bump it up to 110% in order for it to feel adequately Vo2 territory. Today I did Beacon -3 and while I finished it, I think many would suggest I failed based on a couple breaks I took between the last two intervals. I rated it All Out and got a small reduction in Threshold PL.
Long story short (kinda): Should I do a manual adjustment to my FTP? Bump it down 3-5%? Or should I keep going? I have an AI FTP update coming Monday so we will see what that says, but I’ve been consistently getting FTP increases every 28 days, which I think is part of the problem.
I think I may change the scheduled threshold workout on Wednesdays to a long endurance ride of 2-3 hours since it seems like I can recover overnight from efforts like that. Thoughts and advice are appreciated. Happy to answer any questions, I know this is somewhat long winded and no one here knows my history/ skill level etc…
The ramp test is great for the majority of folk but for a limited number of folk it runs too low or two high. Its kinda a Bell Curve kind of thing. Preliminary it sounds like it might be over predicting for you. If you’ve done more than 10 indoors TRs workouts Id reccomend running AI FTP instead. If you haven’t drop your FTP for a bit and run it in the future. In the event it reccomends something similar to the ramp (and even if it doesn’t) answer your post ride surveys properly and let Adaptive Training (AT) react to it. @mcneese.chad has some good stuff on AI FTP D and AT.
I only did the ramp test for an initial FTP. AI FTP has been setting it since, and it has consistently been raising it every 28 days. I always answer the post workout survey’s honestly. I will say, from the outset my FTP was consistent between TR Ramp, Zwift ramp and however Garmin measures their estimated FTP. Not exactly the same but very close. Then AI FTP was released and it had a similar number.
If I reduce it a bit, will it take that into account for the next FTP assessment? Meaning, will it suggest a huge jump because I’ve technically been running under what it thinks I should be at? So, I’d have to reduce it again if I accept the increase?
I did try and hold off on an increase at one point, but the PLs started to get really difficult, so I accepted it in the end.
I am not fully converse with the system but I think if you’re constantly having to dial things down, it’ll lower your AI FTP eventually not raise it and marking things all out and answering struggle surveys will do it too.
Two threshold workouts, a sweet spot (basically lower end of the same thing), and a VO2 is a lot. I’d cut a threshold and swap for an endurance paced ride and see how your body responds. Don’t be a slave to the training plan, take control and listen to your body.
you are either fatigued, or your ftp is too high, or both. you could be doing too much riding above endurance pace generally. how long can you ride at ftp +/- a few watts? if its less than 30 mins (minimum), then chickity check yourself before you wreck yourself! ftp should be doable.
for context my AI ftp always overestimates mine. its my vanity number only.
This happens to me too but… I just keep hammering the “all out” button at the end of the workout or quitting workouts until the AI drops me down to something reasonable. You shouldn’t be digging deep every workout…probably only once per week. You shouldn’t be dreading the next 3 intervals. You shouldn’t be at “race pace” or using every trick in your book to get thru the workout. If you drop the work even a bit it’s a “did not pass”. Hard, deep, fast breathing mid way thru the 1st interval = rate it as all out. “Race pace” is all out!
The theory that “training is so hard the race seems easy” is bullshit, nobody can sustain that kind of training for long. Well…maybe if on gear. But just let the AI know the reality of the situation “you’re killing me dude!” and it’ll dial it back within a few workouts.
Seems like the general consensus is the training load is too much and I should change it up. I guess intuitively I knew this. As I said this last week, I swapped one of the threshold sessions for an endurance session to prepare for what I knew would be a difficult threshold session on Friday.
I guess I was just trusting the program to make changes based on performance, but it’s kept my pls pretty consistent. So, does anybody follow the medium volume ss plan or is everyone modifying the plans?
I modify my plan usually. The last few weeks I haven’t modified the type but Im doing the furst SS workout by RPE on the rural 30mins of my commute. Intensity is quite low too though. When it becomes to sketchy to workout on my commute and intensity ramps up I’ll swap the middle of 3 HIIT workout for an Endurance one.
It’ll drop the intensity without you doing anything but you have to rate really hard “crush your legs” workouts as all out and the reason is obviously intensity. If you just call them hard or even very hard it won’t change. They are supposed to be hard but I’m convinced most of what we call hard is actually damn near all out.
In its current iteration, TR Adaptive Training should probably be called Semi-Adaptive Training IMO…
The issue is that while PLs (which I think are a great innovation for calibrating workouts) get adjusted for your upcoming workouts, the structure of the plan you’re following was set in stone when you/Plan Builder initially chose that plan, and so the nature of the workout that you’re served up is not influenced by how you’re performing or recovering, ie. no adaptation of the plan structure occurs, ever. This is quite a big deal!
Hence, while TR AT is hugely better than the pre-AT days, in that the workouts are now very well calibrated, I find, to your own strengths in a particular area (“energy system”), allowing difficulty levels to ramp in a progressive manner across a plan, it is still down to you to take the helicopter view, overseeing & manually adjusting the overall plan structure, ensuring that the volume and type of workouts you’re being given are manageable w.r.t. accumulated fatigue etc. This currently is the flaw in TR’s AT approach.
The next level is for TR’s plan structure to also adapt, as we see other platforms beginning to do, taking a finer grained approach to availability and adjusting the plan’s structure (ie. the type and volume of workouts) in response to how you’re actually performing and your fatigue, and I think a few people around here would like to hear some noises hinting that the limitations of the current approach are recognised and that there’s a roadmap to address that.
All approaches will have limitations, and nearly everything can be improved upon, so acknowledging areas for improvement is not a sign of weakness but of strength, and would give confidence to customers that the direction of travel is a good one.
AT only changes the difficulty of your upcoming workouts, by selecting ones with an appropriate Workout Level. It doesn’t alter the nature or number of workouts that you’ll be doing - that format doesn’t change.
The format/structure of your plan, ie. the type of workouts (which zones / energy systems), you’ll be hitting each week, is set in stone the moment you selected your plan on Day 0. For example, if you’re doing Sustained Power Build Mid Volume, then each of your non-recovery weeks will have 2x VO2 Max, 1x Threshold, 1x Sweet Spot & 1x Endurance, because that’s what the menu here says it will have:
If you’re knackered by Week 6, you’ll still be asked to do 2x VO2 Max, 1x Threshold, 1x Sweet Spot & 1x Endurance, unless you intervene and make manual adjustments. Now, the difficulty of some of the workouts being served up to you may have been dialled back by AT based on your feedback, but the format of the week, ie. the nature of the workouts that you’re being asked to do, isn’t adjusted. As such, AT is only adjusting (adapting) a narrow aspect of what could be adjusted if all parameters were in play. It doesn’t, for example, respond to you feeding back that you’re knackered by swapping out a VO2max and the Threshold workout, and giving you one longer Endurance workout instead, to cut the intensity so that your fatigue might get back on track.
I’m not slating it here, just describing how it currently operates in “v1”.
Basically, imagine your TR plan as a game board, and you’re moving game pieces down a few lanes based on days of the week. You’ve got lane 1 (Tues - VO2Max), lane 2 (Thur - Threshold), lane 3 (Sat - Sweet Spot).
TR’s AI/ML manages ONLY the progression of pieces down each individual lane. Lane 1 will always be VO2Max, lane 2 Threshold, etc., and it will only try to progress each piece down its lane at what it thinks is your ideal rate.
What it will NOT do is take into consideration any other work outside of its plan or framework. It doesn’t know or care that you you’re doing five hours endurance rides every Sunday, and it doesn’t know or care about your overall training load, so it always try to progress game pieces down their lanes regardless of any external training stresses.
What a lot of newer apps are starting to do is examine your overall training stress and make adjustments not just to the level of a workout, but to the type of workout, so if you do a huge ride the day before an intense VO2Max workout is scheduled, it’ll change it to an easy day, or even remove a workout altogether in favor of a rest day.