Other than FTP, What are some subtle ways to see if you're gaining fitness?

Sure, they all are. I’m trying to make the point about the concept without the inevitable “marketing” of the software. Nothing wrong with the software. Coggan, Peaks Coaching, TP, etc. might own the term TTE, but they don’t own fatigue resistance.

I’d like to become more like the dashed line in this chart.


Not as easy to measure as FTP unfortunately.

Thanks to @Mikael_Eriksson for this:

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I do a couple regular group rides once the season starts and each has a couple “Standard” efforts of various lengths I use those as one of my primary gauges of my fitness in season. These efforts vary from about 1 minute to about 15 minutes and the way they get ridden and the fact the groups are fairly consistent in membership make them decent tests. These actually fit much better than a basic FTP test with my necessary race fitness (crits mostly) both in terms of length/effort and even to some degree with whom I will be racing against, The nice thing about these kinds of efforts as they can be race like and test not just your basic fitness but the finer edge of being fit enough to be able to execute tactics while riding at a high effort level.

I was just asking a very well regarded coach about this yesterday after back to back 3hr .85 and .88IF workouts holding very consistent SS power. I recovered great and easily got the work done. Thought maybe FTP test time until he burst my bubble…

His “general ratios” for TTE for a well trained cyclist or triathlete:

100% FTP = 60min
95% FTP = 120min
90% FTP = 240min

I want to know who’s at 5w/kg that hits those numbers…


Totally forgot about this. Just got it. Thank you for this.

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After a long period of structured indoor only training, I always find it very interesting when I go and do a long ride on a route or XC course that I have a lot of prior data on. Based both on how I feel out on the trail, and the numbers I generate in Strava, I get a really good handle of where I’m at and how I’m progressing.

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Agreed. Great way to measure where you’re at.
Just a few weeks ago I did a high tempo/group race and was hanging with 1 and 2s on this long climb but not too steep climb. Where I was questioning how much fitness I was gaining, I saw it first hand a I was digging to stay. Yeah I was in the red, but it felt. so. damn. good. Just knowing if I could hang on and get over the climb, things would slow down and regroup on the next lap.

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:joy: I found this comment amusing as I recall doing a climb last year. I had already left the group I started the ride with and I was lightly singing as I was passing people on the climb. With each pass, I felt stronger and stronger. That day, I knew I had done something right in my training.

Are there workouts in TR that are structured to this? For example, is there a workout in TR with a 120 min block at 95% FTP?

Nothing I can find. You’d need to make one in the Workout Creator.

I wouldn’t let the advice from that “well regarded coach” burst your bubble because his generalizations don’t hold true . . .

The shape of everyone’s PDC is different. How long you can hold any given power, including your FTP, is based on your muscle fiber type and other genetic factors. You can improve the curve “substantially” (shift to the right) with fatigue resistance training (e.g. FTP TTE from 30 to 70mins). However, as Tim Cusick (WKO4 product lead) shows in his video on the topics of fatigue resistance, optimized intervals and elsewhere, you can have 2 different athletes with the same FTPs, but very different shapes of their PDCs, and thus the %s the coach provided you would be very different.

Regarding 5WpKg, I would suspect that a fairly substantial majority of the folks at 4.5WpKg and above can do 50mins+ once they have done the training at their current FTP levels due to the amount and type of training it takes to get to where they are at. I suggest perusing this thread:


My bubble is fully in tact and FWIW he works more with elite triathletes than crit racers:)

The VO2/Vla conversation factors into this too and I’m with you on TTE being dependent on the athlete and training.

I’m only bringing it up because until recently I wouldn’t have expected the type of work I’ve been doing to be reasonable on a regular basis because I hadn’t tried.

I’m just over 4.7w/kg currently.

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Don’t think so. I’m between plans and just riding SS and focusing on driving up CTL right now.

@Tarmacuser +1 on @mcneese.chad suggestion re: Workout Creator.

I’m a huge believer in Tim Cusick’s suggestions re: progressive intervals for improving fatigue resistance. So when the +1, +2, etc. versions for the SS, threshold, or O/Us aren’t available, I’ll import the relevant TR workout into WC, and make the adjustments to achieve the progression (e.g. longer intervals, more intervals). WC is great and easy to use for this purpose.


I finally got rid of my TP and Strava Premium (or whatever it’s called now) after downloading Golden Cheetah last month. It’s local, not cloud based, so you have to manually upload your rides from Garmin/TR/Strava/etc. but it’s an amazing piece of software. Not only does it have ATL and CTL, but worlds of other metrics that are great for tracking progress (or in my case, regression lately). It’s got a steep learning curve and it’s very Spartan as far as interface goes, but if you have some time to play around with it, it seems very powerful. It took me a day or two to get all of my old rides out of other programs, but it was totally worth not spending $15/month going forward.

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FWIW: At the suggestion of my son who was a long time GC user, I used GC for a year. However, UI is awful, it’s not documented well and no user community that I found. So I bit the bullet a couple of years ago and bought WK04. A world of difference. It still uses a dated UI, but a substantial improvement over GC. Much more functionality. Similar to TR, it has a great user community on FB. Also similar to TR, there are many, many great informational videos. Workouts can automatically be uploaded to TP and synced with WK04. It is desktop only and I have found well worth the price. I only wish I had made the transition from GC -> WKO4 sooner.

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I used Golden Cheetah for a while then decided to pay for WKO4 just because it was a little easier to use.

Tip on importing workouts into GC - You can have your TR rides automatically uploaded to DropBox as they occur. Then, it was pretty quick and easy to download them and then import them into GC in bulk. https://support.trainerroad.com/hc/en-us/articles/204889060-Dropbox

It all depends which type of fitness you care about. If your anaerobic power profile is important to you, there’s a lot there that is not dependent on FTP.
Max sprint power going up.
Anaerobic capacity going up.
Faster recovery between hard efforts.
Ability to repeat more hard efforts in a single workout.
Ability to manage a higher TSS load over time.
I’ll also +1 TTE, and overall muscular endurance.