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You should take an FTP test so your training zones are set correctly and so you can maintain consistency in growth over time. By setting it too low you will not be hitting the desired systems when you are following any prescribed power targets. Frankly this is the primary upside of the ramp test - it is short and doesn’t require prep or recovery time - just go do it and find out what your FTP is now, there’s no reason not to

I weigh around 170 lbs and HR is pretty hard to compare across people, but I think my max last year was around 180


Why not just do the ramp test right now? It is not enough to tire you out and effect any other planned rides. That way you get your ftp set correctly and go from there.


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We’re around the same age but in different places on our training journey - you’ll get there. If you must compare, compare against yourself not against others


Upfront: Do you have a power meter on your bike? Otherwise the estimated TSS of Strava can be pretty inaccurate.

If I can give you one good advise: Listen to guys that really know what they are talking about - luckily there are some great individuals who make an amazing podcast. Seriously, binge the TR podcasts and I guess you will realize that there is a lot to learn - no matter at what stage of your cycling career you are.

A few pointers I would like to give you (as a rather beginner).

  • You say you ride (seriously) since a year and at the same time you think your ‘feeling’ leads you to the right training intensity. Out of personal experience when starting training with a power meter and structured training I can report how wrong a feeling can be. Actually I’d never trust my feeling. The usual mistake (and I look at myself here): Hard is not hard enough and easy is not easy enough. Taking it easy on recovery rides is really hard :wink:

  • TSS is useful, but not the only value you should look at. If it’s not measured with a power meter and the correct FTP it’s useless.

  • Efficient training (especially to raise your FTP) is not a about big TSS in rides. An hour long session might be more efficient than your 4-5h rides for that. It’s all about hitting the right training zones for the right duration and pair that with enough rest to absorb the training.

  • HR is pretty useless for training. Bolt statement and I have to clarify that I always have my HR monitor on when training. It gives me a good idea if sth is wrong (too much training, sickness etc). But HR and HR max can vary so much between individuals that there is no use in comparing. And for yourself the HR can vary daily as well due to external reasons (caffeine intake, stress… etc)


Yeah, what Toby said.

There’s no point in looking at TSS or any power based metric (IF, NP, Fitness, Freshness, Fatigue) if you don’t have an accurate FTP, because every calculation of those numbers needs to know your actual FTP, not some guess.

And if you don’t have a power meter, you have the same problems. Estimated power is really rough and not reliable.

If you want the gains of structured, scientific training, guess what? You have to DO structured, scientific training, which requires following prescribed workouts and using accurate data (power, FTP).

Don’t complain that the plan doesn’t get specialty done when you don’t give it enough time to get through specialty. You can start now. They give you outdoor workouts as an option, so not wanting to be inside is not an excuse. If you don’t want to follow a plan, then don’t, but then don’t complain about a plan that you aren’t interested in following.


Yeah, it does sound to me like you’re looking for something different than what TR offers. If you’re really set on doing weekend rides that knock you out for multiple days that’s going to work against most structured plans- and it sounds like you’d be modifying the program anyway, so why not just do your own thing?

I mean, my personal sentiments are that you’ve already got the specialty phase nailed by doing a bunch of long outdoor rides with big climbs (presumably you have a handle on nutrition etc), and you’d really benefit from the consistency of a base/build cycle to increase your existing capabilities. But if that’s not worth it to you, then that’s all good. In the end it all comes back to what your goals are.

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What workouts are in your 1 week of Speciality? I’ve my first event of the year on Saturday and Plan Builder has me doing a single week of Speciality but it’s the taper week with just two workouts: Pisgah and Crane+1. Base and Build plans don’t have a taper week at the end.

This here is why it gives you 1 week of ‘Specialty’. It’s the taper week.

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Nope. Too many external factors like stress, caffeine, sleep etc factor in. Plus HR zones don’t have to equal power zones. Even equally trained riders can have different percentage of Max HR for the same effort. It’s just as it is. Some people have still a quite low HR whilst for others with the slightest effort the HR skyrockets.

That’s why training with power is superior. It’s free from external factors and objective.

Edit: Btw HR variability (HRV) is a term used to measure the time intervals between heart beats. That I actually think is a good additional data point for training to analyze the current state of your exhaustion.

Here’s a good read + podcast about HR vs Power.

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I’m not sure of the value asking to compare two athletes on the basis of HRmax. There is a concept called “lactate threshold heart rate” (LTHR) and its the average HR when at doing a long effort at FTP.

When I ride at FTP for 40-70 minutes, my HR average is about 92% HRmax in a controlled temperature (say 60-70F outside). So for me, that 93% HRmax of rider A would be doing an hour ride at FTP when the temperature is warmer say 80-95F range.

When riding at FTP, people have different LTHR as % HRmax. My LTHR is 92% HRmax, someone else might have LTHR of 88% HRmax. So if we did a 60 minute time-trial at FTP:

  • Rider A power = 100% FTP, 100% LTHR, 92% HRmax
  • Rider B power = 100% FTP, 100% LTHR, 88% HRmax

Do you see why it might be better to use LTHR to compare efforts?


I agree with everything that @bbarrera said. I hope it is clear now that comparing HR is less than ideal.

I don’t even know what the point of the discussion is here anymore. We are drifting away quite a bit from the original question. I gave my advise - take it or leave it. I don’t have to add anything anymore.

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Short version: Your FTP is set too low

Long version: You need to take an FTP test using this power meter and set your FTP based on that. There’s no way anyone can accumulate 327 TSS in 4:12 and feel like it wasn’t hard. That would be an effort that would absolutely destroy you

I did a four hour team time trial about a month ago that was 241 TSS and I thought I was going to die afterwards. Increase your FTP


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You FTP is set far too low. That TSS is totally over estimated.