Hey everyone; I put myself a bit in a hole, and would definitely appreciate your opinions on how to get out of it
Let me try to recap where I’m coming from:
- been cycling since 3y-ish; last year (for the first time) started doing some structured training here and there, but my job schedule wasn’t really conducive to consistency.
- while I don’t have a specific target event, this year I’d like to get stronger on the bike, with the goal of doing a race sometime towards the end of the season, and maybe compete next year.
- hence, beginning this January, I scheduled Sweet Spot Base I and II, low volume (no issues with consistency), with the intent of adding the odd 2-3 hours long ride outside over the weekend (literally, did it 3 times between temperatures getting a bit nicer and when lockdown hit)
- got in lockdown on March 10th: with the extra time available, I filled the last 2 weeks of SSP2 with the Tour of Watopia stages (Zwift racing: short and sharp, never too long; ~40 minutes and more or less “threshold” work)
- after the end of SSP2 recovery week, hit Short Power Build (I know short power is a bit of my big area for improvement, hence…), but given the extra load I seemed to manage relatively decently, decided to give mid-volume a shot.
- got through the first 3 weeks with increasing fatigue; sweet spot sessions were relatively good, but reading through my comments to the VO2Max rides, it seemed to get tougher, and tougher: by the end of week 3, I started having to skip intervals here and there
- after the recovery week, the ramp test showed a slight FTP decrease (-1.5%): I thought it could be expected, having focused on VO2Max, but I am just not going through the sessions: had to reduce the intensity of the first (5-7%), and just could not finish the second and third (which was a SSP workout, I just didn’t have the legs).
To me, the correlation with the higher volume seems pretty clear. And it seems pretty clear that I am not recovering enough: even after a full day off, the legs are still really heavy, and as soon as I hit past FTP, 15 seconds are as much as I can really go through, let alone a 1.5h workout with repeats.
Now, I’m planning to go back to low-volume and see if that’s more manageable. Did an easy ride yesterday, I’m off the bike today and I’d do a ramp-test tomorrow, before hitting W2 of SPB low-volume (Williamson) on Wednesday. Is that too early? Should I be more conservative, and go for 2 full days off? Should I rather take a full active-recovery week, and kick-off next week?
Thanks for the advice