Please, help me to get back on track!

Hi there!

Long story short, as Jonathan says from time to time in the Podcast, “life happened” and I had to fully stop training for about three months to temporarily fully focus on another thing. As you can see on my profile page, everything was GREAT this year and I was looking forward to my objectives, until news came the first week of April.

During this period, I´ve gained about 3kg (might look not that much but the shift in body composition from muscle to fat is staggering) and I totally feel I´ve lost all my hard-earned watts and cardiovascular fitness.

I´ve thrown my season off the window. I know the first step is to take a Ramp Test ASAP, but… what next? Back to base plan? Build plan to try to have to have as much fun as possible this summer and then start over this fall?

All input will be very appreciated.

Cheers from Madrid.


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3 months entirely off leads to a recommendation of starting at Base.

  • You might consider skipping Sweet Spot Base 1 and jump in to Sweet Spot Base 2.
  • Coach Chad really recommends that people not skip SSB2 in general, because it has some great prep.
  • Then you could move on to Build of your choice.

Don’t forget to go on a joy ride! Do your favorite climb, sprint to a stop sign for no reason, and ride with some friends. Life happens to all of us. I know it can be easier said than done, but try not to focus on the watts lost, and simply enjoy riding again. :smiley:


First set some goals - otherwise motivating yourself through the sessions will be harder. The FTP reset and w/kg update won’t be easy to take, but a necessary evil.

Agree with @mcneese.chad that SSB2 can be a good place to refocus is you’ve still got some residual base to work with. Depending on what your goals are, and how far away they are, you could go back to SSB1 and sprinkle in some outdoor riding. If the weather permits, riding outdoors rather than some of the easier workouts can be a good motivation boost.

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First task is to retake control of your training time during the week; re-establish the expectation of making time to train. A motivating goal, as @jdv said, can be really helpful. Second thing is to not compare yourself to where you were before your training interruption, or where you imagine you would have been. Start a new TR “season” so you can see you progress from where you are now.

As for what particular plan, base is probably “correct” but go with whatever gets you motivated to actually do it. A return to regular training is more important than fine-tuning the particular composition of that training, in my opinion.

Good luck!


Similar to above but different as my season ended abruptly on “Good Friday” when a crash resulted in fractures to pelvis (ilium not ring), shoulder and rib. Had been working from January towards TT season which has now gone for the year. Was given clinical ok to start gentle leg spin yesterday and will do this for a couple of weeks. Plan to start structured training plan at three months from crash which should be a reasonable point for bone healing. My question is do I reset/lower my FTP empirically or do I try my best on the ramp test? I’m a tad reluctant to force the latter given the injuries but advice appreciated. For these initial gentle spins I’ve reduced my FTP to about 60% but this is not based on any science. For background, I am 67 (used to say I felt 37), FTP 260, and 16500 km last year. Thoughts on best approach to build recovery fitness then work up to TT fitness? Thank you.


Unless you really like the structure I’d just focus on enjoying the bike again, get a rhythm going with when you ride, then throw in some specific sessions to kick start the improvement.


Using a Low Volume plan to establish a schedule, but either follow it a bit loose or substitute with outside rides could be one way to start heading down the road, without too much overbearing structure.


…and the recommended FTP approach for my situation?

Coming back from your injury is different than the OP, and should likely be considered with more care. I would think a Low Volume Traditional Base for 4 weeks, with a deliberately low FTP setting (like you already did, to make very certain that you are ready to get back on the bike) could be safe start.

Anything you do I would do with a slower hand than you might want to do.

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Many thanks for prompt response. Will do as per advice. So traditional base 1&2 then sweet spot onwards.

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I think so. Traditional Base is actually 3 total phases, 4 weeks each. So you could simply evaluate your feeling and progress at the end of each one. If you feel good and ready to move on, you can probably move up to SS even after the first TB1. I think it’s most important to listen to your body (and your doctor if you need to relay your progress) and take it one step at a time. Better to go too slow than too fast.

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Thank you so much for your very interesting contributions! I’ve noted down quite a few good points:

  • Start a new TR season, just to check any progress
  • Ride outside! (well that one was already in the plan :smile: )
  • Define new goals
  • Set again feasible training windows

I think that my main goal will be to regain as much endurance as possible to have fun riding this summer vacations.

I think I gained back my passion for riding in less than 10 seconds of offroading.

Once again, thanks for your help!


Indeed. Last thing I want to do is delay recovery thro overdoing it.

Sorry to harp on about this but re FTP in my situation. If I read you correctly, I should gradually increase this empirically on feel/body response rather than via ramp until my body/ medical advice tells me healing complete. So perhaps leave until start sweet spot?

Are there any historical pod casts discussing recovery from major trauma? Apologies if I have missed this on a quick scan thro the archive. If not, would make an interesting podcast topic?

Speaking from experience your primary focus should be on healing not training - a mistake I’ve made twice. For me I couldn’t ride the trainer at all, the pain to swing my leg over the bike was too great. I could ride outside as I could lay the bike over to get onto the saddle - which is ridiculous.

If at three months your doctor has said it’s okay, I’d retest and then do a few weeks of structure based on feel. It’s been mentioned a few times recently by the TR team that you can tweak your FTP up if you feel comfortable - the alternative might be to use a custom plan where you retest more frequently as your body gets stronger.

If it’s unlikely that you will race a TT before next year; then you have plenty of time to recover well, and build a robust base.


Thanks @jdv for taking time to respond. All sounds very sensible and based on experience. I think part of the difficulty is when one reaches the limbo land stage of recovery and you start thinking you are more healed than you realistically are.


My pelvis was a few years ago, but my current rehab is from a shattered clavicle I did a year ago. I didn’t want to drop too much fitness and rushed back onto the trainer - no surgery - within two weeks of the crash. I’ve no doubt that this severely hampered my healing. If I’d had the foresight to wait I probably wouldn’t now be waiting for surgery.

Heal first, heal strong, get the rehab done; boring and frustrating as your FTP ticks down day by day but you’ll bounce back for sure and TR is the perfect platform for it.


Yes, I would avoid any FTP or Ramp test until you really feel safe and ready to work. They are all quite taxing and I’d be concerned about overdoing it.

You can manually adjust it during Traditional Base if you feel you are making gains. However, I would approach that phase more from a rehab perspective and be on the low side if anything.

I can’t think of anything similar to this being covered with much more depth on the cast, but I could be forgetting one. They have mentions the use of TB for rehab and coming back a few times, but I forget the precise context.

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Thanks again Chad… All noted and appreciated. Podcast opportunity awaits!

Very much enjoying the forum and podcasts as a relatively recent convert to TR. Congrats to all involved.

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My first thought on reading this was…I wonder if removing the front wheel, getting onto the bike, and then putting the front wheel back on would have worked?

It’s so easy for me to tell people to focus on recovery and rest - but then applying those same lessons to my training is much much harder