Hey guys. Below is a snapshot of my training history over the last year. I’ve been consistently increasing training load. Not with any real plan…just because my body has been feeling alright, and generally has been bouncing back quicker and quicker from efforta that I previously would have been feeling the effects of for longer, and then more recently I’d been on leave from work (just back this week actually…).
Anyway…long story short…is the rate at which I’ve increase training load anything I should be concerned about? I don’t feel like I am overtraining or anything, but of course I am in the last week of SSB2 so I do feel pretty cooked.
Have you all seen any data published by the TraineRoad team that shows a correlation to general riders w/kg and the average amount of TSS the riders with that particular w/kg carry on a weekly/monthly basis?
I feel like the TSS is very relative to the riders strength and fitness, which I would assume correlates better to w/kg than it does to raw watts.
I just can’t think of a way to get to a good answer to this, because you obviously just can’t keep ramping TSS up as you get stronger/fitter. There has to be a ceiling, but a ceiling that doesn’t really relate to your FTP. To get to the answer of your question, I really feel like the variable of “junk” TSS (if that is a thing) needs to be taken out and you could really only look at structured training to understand the training response? super interesting question in general.
I guess this is the foundation of endurance training, it would correlate very highly. a high tss and a high wkg. Once you reach your ‘ceiling’ you just sharpen from a different angle, which for most of us is 4-5wkg. For 98% of athletes that use TR is they won’t reach it. Not many of us have 20-25 hours a week on the bike, so there is always fitness to be had and increases in wkg to be found.
Look at how the pros train and operate, they might have a good idea of their FTP but it’s much more than that number. Coming into the season they are looking at durability, repeatability, recovery, etc.
I would love to see the correlation from the data standpoint of the users. For instance, what the average TSS is for those over 4.0 wkg. Likewise, How that TSS runs in relationship to the wkg. I know I have had years where I did a lot more TSS, but assume I didn’t have nearly as high of an FTP (But I could slog away for hours at an endurance pace. It is interesting to think about generating a lot of TSS at a very low percentage of FTP vs doing the same TSS at a higher percentage.
It would be a neat experiment to see case study of new riders who were of two groups; 100TSS a week in 4 rides and `100TSS a week in 2 rides to see their rate of progression and when they plateau.
Ramp rate is the increase in CTL per week. TR doesn’t give you that metric, you’d have to use other software (TP, for example) to easily see it. However, it’s related to an increase in tss/week (minus a decay of old ctl). The TR plans have a pretty low ramp rate build in, I think mainly because they work within time restrictions, which makes it difficult to ramp up tss a lot. (The progession in TR plans is more about time-in-zone and power/duration increases).
If you ramp up too quickly, you might put more stress on your body than it can handle, with can lead to injuries and overtraining.
Firstly, mass (kg) doesn’t come into the TSS calculation. TSS is IF^2 × time. IF is the intesity factor, NP/FTP. So your question really is, is power related to TSS aquired at different intesities? I wouldn’t think so, but training at different intensities affects different energy systems. Low intensity is more related to you aerobic base, and high intensity will likely have a larger proortion of anaerobic contribution in it (because you can’t work at high IF for very long).
When using TR (or other FTP-scaled workouts), there shouldn’t be a difference in TSS acquired by people with different W/kg. However, if you ride outside in a group, it is likely that comperatively weaker riders acquire mire TSS for the same route, because they have to work at a higher IF to keep up. The same is true for heavier riders, if it’s a hilly route (so this is where mass does come into it after all).
Can only speak from my experience, but TSS (or more importantly, volume) makes a big difference. and frequency too
People talk a lot about ramp rates and not doing too much, but i spent a long time in the same frustrating place until i increased volume. A year ago i was probably doing maybe 500 TSS a week, compared to 800-1000 now.
Similar age…also doing this a relatively long time. Not directed at you @iamhollandmore just using your comment to expand a thought.
IMO With the explosion of virtual riding, recovery tools, coaching companies, supplement companies and other platforms like TR, legions of cyclist very new to riding have no idea how to ride let alone how to train has resulted in an over emphasized need for rest/recovery.
Before someone chimes in and spins this yes rest/recovery is one of the pillars of training and arguably the most important one. But, in the context of plateauing you just can’t improve with out raising the ceiling on stress.
The real issue for all us career/family 9 to 5 working stiffs is how to quantify off the bike stress. Whoop/hrv doesn’t cut it.
Well, as a bit of an update…the end of my SSB2 training block resulted in a 15 watt increase going into short power build.
So now, as luck would have it my training load is again largely constrained by time now, rather than ability to cope/motivation.
So I’ll again slide back to somewhere between the mid volume plan, and the ~10hrs+ I was doing before.
Lookijg like group rides are starting to pick up, so I might be able to swing 2 a days on thursday; VO2 workout in the morning, then do whatever I’m capable of on an evening training ride, going into either a day off on fri or super easy recovery ride. Looks like I’ll also get some extra time in with a hard ~60 mile group ride sundays in lieu of the sunday sweet spot ride.
I’d wager that 9/10 times the issue is that people raise the stress with intensity rather than volume. The approach should always be minimum effective dose, then increase, repeat. You have to find your limits, but you can be smart about it. I’ll be 40 soon but know from experience that I perform best with a CTL well above Frank Overton’s masters recommendation.
As far as the life stress, I’m honestly very pleased with WHOOP. I had a crazy few weeks with work back in April-May and the impact on my RHR/HRV was so perfectly in line it was canny. I get it’s not a perfect tool but for someone that puts in a lot of hours and has a good bit of outside stress to balance it’s been a great tool. I do always add the asterisk that data nerds and the metric obsessed should steer clear.
Believe we are trying the same, I had some base and skipped ahead to week 5 on the 18 week plan. The first block in that plan seems good if you are coming off a break, or still lifting heavy before going to maintenance. Will be interesting to see your conclusions, I’d give it two blocks and then consider if the volume drop is good or bad. Training response is individual, but for context I’m eight years older and doing 3:1 per the plan. Over 4 months saw FTP go from 234 to 260 (highest since 2017). Think part of the difference versus TR SSB HV is having a plan with explicit longer rides on weekends, and part is doing fewer hard days and therefore being more rested. The “how much training can the sponge absorb” analogy.
If you listen to the masters podcast from a year or two ago, he gives examples of cyclists in 50s (my decade) that are able to do more volume (and CTL above 80-90). Agree with you about finding personal limits. Generic recommendations are just that, generic and a point of reference.
I’m guessing you’ll see some nice power numbers, especially short power.
I watched my CTL plummet from near 120 to the 80s with my few time crunched weeks. Only managed 3-5hrs and mostly all zwift races compared to my normal pyramidal 12-14hr weeks. Lots of power PRs and I’m feeling fine jumping right back into the volume now.
Regardless of loading schedules or micro cycles or whatever structure, long term consistency is the key to getting fast and staying fast.
I guess I miss communicated my thought. The relationship between TSS and wkg that I am referring to meant this… take my example of…
I ride SSB Low volume. I never go above 3.8wkg in a years worth of riding.
I ride SSB mid volume, I now hover around 4.0wkg
I ride SSB high volume and can get into the 4.2wkg
Those seem to be real results to me without a change in body weight, just increase in FTP due to the increase in planned TSS
Is it realistic to say that it doesn’t matter what your training style is, but rather that When you can carry more TSS your FTP/wkg climbs. So in reality none of us will know our ceiling unless we get to 20 hrs a week like the pros. Could I get to 5wkg just by building up to a volume of 1000tss per week.
Maybe this sounds ridiculous but I have felt much faster during the seasons that I log a lot of miles. I feel as though structured training just slows you to get better results on less time, but limits your gains.