Realistic FTP goals?

Heal up man! I hope you didn’t get the Hernia by lifting too much weights in the gym (couldn’t resist) LOL

I am doing core work but pretty much stopped most other strength training. I am a pretty muscular guy thanks to many years of lifting so I kind of want to lose a bit of upper body muscle mass before getting back to that. I do realize that is no excuse for lower body work and will try to fit that in which shouldn’t be too difficult.

I thought about that but don’t want to acquire unnecessary TSS/risk poor performance on training by doing another test. My goal is to stay consistent and because I started TR with ramp test, that’s how I plan to continue. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious though.

Maybe this is something that I will try at the end of the program!

Yeah understandable with the worry of accumulating too much tss. I see a 20 minute test as a good solid state training session and the tss is much the same as the other sweet spot base workouts. You’re obviously a pretty fit guy so I don’t think substituting a workout for a one off 20 minute test something you wouldn’t be able to handle.

Hey - the short answer is it’s probably hard to know!

Other people have noted some good stuff, but I’ll just add something from my own experience! After 36 months of riding a lot, going hard etc., but no structured training, got a PM and started structured training with TR in Autumn 2018.

Went from 307w to 315w to 323w over base and going into build. Went back to racing crits in early season that I was hanging on the back of the year before, finding myself able to drive the pace, make people hurt and be competitive in the final.

I think I assumed that fitness would just keep going up and up, and would be at 340-350w at end of the year. This… didn’t happen. I was flying in April, but racing hard crits twice a week, not following proper structure, and crucially not giving myself a proper rest meant I was definitely slower by August and fading hard. I’d been so desperate to use the newfound fitness - when you get these early gains you feel invincible, but you aren’t…

Sorry - just a longwinded way of saying that it can be easy to lose fitness (even when that seems impossible at the time), and that you need periods of rest, reset and time off the bike. You can’t - and won’t - get exponentially fitter.

People have also made good points about extended power and being able to hold FTP: there’s more to fitness than the abstract number. With more experience, I’ve now started to realise this: I’m probably at a similar FTP (325w) to this time last year, but because I have really worked on holding it for extended periods of time, as well as doing so with not too much loss in TT position, I feel much stronger coming into the upcoming TT season.

Best of luck!

1 Like

I didn’t use a specialty plan, only SSBHV and then GBHV. I saw solid gains but I had just started training a few months before so it was to be expected. Ultimately I prefer to ride more volume and I’m not big on the amount of intensity in the plans. I’m admittedly also not big on structured intervals either. I do some old standards in season but mostly just hop in a zwift race that hits what I’m targeting for that day.

I personally love the WHOOP, but I’m not the type to obsess over data. I think most folks that have issues with it are focusing too much on daily numbers and not looking at the trend. I don’t pull the plug because I’m in the red one day or go out and do intervals because it’s green.

I would also add that since going off the structured plan I haven’t stressed as much about FTP and I’ve seen a ton of improvement. I don’t test unless my current zones are becoming noticeably easy or I set a PR and then I’ll just do an effort or race to verify. Last test I used one of the zwift pro am races. I did a clearing effort in my warmup and then suffered through a bit over 20min of racing at 5.3wkg for a measly ~40th place finish but a nice PR :wink:

Don’t stress FTP too much. It’s (probably)not going to be a linear progression. I felt stagnant last year, but my short power went way up. Now I’m starting the year after an aerobic block with minimal intensity and just got a solid bump in power across all durations. It ebbs and flows and consistency is key to long term gains.

2 Likes

Very interested to what level MV will bring you! Shared a model previously based on self-reported TR user data, and the average TR user your age and lean weight would not reach 350W based on a MV plan. But that does not mean individuals with above-average preconditions cannot reach that level. Would be surprised though if your development curve would not flatten significantly around that level (using MV).

Time will tell. In early March I will be done 4 weeks of build where it assigns me another ramp test. I am crushing my workouts at 315W FTP currently and even set Tuesday’s VO2 max workout to 105% intensity as the first block was too manageable. I have been having thoughts to adjust my FTP to 320W but am trusting the process and leaving it at its’ current level.

Build is the first time all program (I am 14.5ish weeks in) that I am working above FTP. It only makes sense for me to believe that I will be able to hold and achieve greater wattage on my next ramp test and more so on the one after the second half of build.

This is my second year so although I think Tanner nailed it that I need HV to achieve my potential, I think MV was a great decision for the purpose letting my body adapt to the stress of structured training (before upping the volume next offseason November 2020).

There were times in SSB that the new (to me) amount of work was causing my body to feel tired at the beginning. I think I have started to adjust to it and am finding myself bouncing back with more energy and strength as I work through build which from what I have read is the phase that beat most people down.

I will keep this thread posted on my Ramp test results as I perform them. I have been over estimating my FTP before each test, so at the risk of doing that again, I want to say that I will hit 335-350W by the end of build.

This thread has been awesome at providing me with motivation. I was excited to learn that it takes 5 years to hit my genetic potential so if I can hit or be close to these numbers before completing my second year of cycling, then I’ll be pretty stoked.

Thanks all! <3

FTP is not related to how long you can ride for an hour. It is your functional threashold power not hour power. It’s a common misconseption that one should be able to ride at FTP for an hour.

A cyclist however should be training to ride at FTP for 40 - 70 minutes.

1 Like

You’re doing really great. I’m sure that has a lot to do with the fact that you were an athlete previous to getting into cycling.

Most people struggle quite a bit to get 2-3% per cycle.

That said you should not be upset or too concenered if you hit a plateau at some point. With your massive FTP improvements above 300w that is a possible thing that might happen.

I certainly hope you can hit your goal.

I’d agree with you that MV is great for improving FTP. I did HV last year and got pretty strong, but my FTP was not improving enough. I think that I was over fatigued after a while, and although I built stamina, I wasn’t getting faster, just going longer.

If you feel that you need to add more volume, I would just keep up with the MV plan and sprinkle extra Zone 2 in when you have extra time during a week. This depends on your goals, if you are just doing crits it probably doesn’t matter to you.

If you have the time, dedication and are taking recovery seriously, you should certinaly be able to exceed a 350W FTP. I however have no idea if you can hit 400W, that is some pretty high level FTP power.

1 Like

Yeah, 400 is a lofty goal for sure and I am definitely aware that it may never be achievable. But I will never know unless I try. I am staying realistic knowing that I may plateau at any point, which may even occur before 350 but I refuse to allow that thought make me complacent in trying to push myself to the limits. I know that there will come a time where I am working for marginal gains and looking to improve by 1-2-3% but I feel like my biggest leaps/gains are going to come this year and possibly next…

Thanks for your feedback on going from MV->HV affected you. The MV + Z2 concept is one that I will consider when it comes closer to starting the cycle again.

FWIW, I am a Mountain Biker, racing XC. I bought my first road bike in June 2019 and fell in love. I plan to enter some road events this year to get a feel for it. The MTBer in me hates to admit that I think I can achieve more as a road bike racer than a MTB racer. I wouldn’t be surprised if my N+1 is a gravel bike so I can satisfy the best of both worlds but my budget for 2020 is already blown haha

1 Like

Alright guys, did my ramp test after the first half of Build (4 weeks). My FTP went from 315 to 341. After getting smaller than expected bumps in FTP from the start to the end of 12 weeks of Base which had me start this thread, I am now both stoked and excitedly nervous for training this next month of Build before testing again and starting 8 weeks of specialty.

I had a draining 2hr fatbike race on Sunday in loose snow and definitely came into this carrying more fatigue than I’d like but I think 2 days of rest was good enough. I had a fatbike race the weekend prior to last months ramp test as well so at least I am staying consistent :stuck_out_tongue:

The more I thought about the advice given here over the past month, the more excited I am getting. I think I have nailed down a plan to keep myself at a high level after my initial specialty phase (with some good tips from the podcast) and will start next offseason (November 2020) much stronger than I have started this year, will be doing HV from my current MV, and will hopefully be at my goal weight so I can eat a bit more which should only help. I am beyond thrilled I have found that fine line to shed weight yet make big gains in my power but know that if I could eat a few hundo more calories a day then I’d recover optimally.

I have a feeling next year I will hit all time highs across the board but am staying focused on right now… Getting stronger, lighter and more adaptive to the work load. I am at the start of my second year of cycling so I need to build some big mileage in these legs this spring/summer/fall to handle the workload and I am stoked for it.

BIKES! YES!

Holy ramp test bump! Nice job. That would scare the heck out of me for my next O/U workout!

2 Likes

More than 8% in a month, that is a nice bump :slight_smile:

In general terms I am in sort of the same boat as you are, trying to see where my genes can take me. Never done any real structured cycling training, so I’m really curious as to what consistency in following the TR plans will bring :slight_smile:

6’1, also 34 but quite a bit heavier, and also with an athletic background. I know I’ll never hit 5W/kg as my weight prohibits it — would have to crank out 475W, so yeah, that’s a no go lol :stuck_out_tongue: But in terms of watts I think I might be able to get somewhere between 360 and that magic 400, so between 3,8 - 4,2W/kg.

For me loosing weight is not an option, I like where I’m at (so does the misses :wink: ), so it’s only power I can focus on.

Good take away I already found is to have a daily intake of around 2,5-3g of carbs per kg prior to my workouts. I normally do them in the eavening, so I’ll have all the necessary carbs in the morning and early afternoon. Keeps me well fuel for workouts and it makes it easier for me to complete each workout to at least a 100%.

Prior to this I had occasions where I couldn’t finish a workout properly. After starting to carb count I never failed a workout… yet at least :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, I utilized a really good point @anon20047708 made in his post after a year of training. Started using condensed magnesium shots before going to bed, it started doing wonders for recovery. My legs are so much fresher in the mornings after hard workouts.

I have a week and a half left on my SSBMV2 block, so I am curious to see what comes after. Subjectively I do feel that my body is getting stronger, so who knows… Got a decent 5% increase after SSBMV1 which also included a full week of missed training due to an infection, so keeping my fingers crossed that my next Ramp will go well :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyways, my point is… whoever gets to 400watts wins :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey guys - I’m back!

So last year, shortly after I got to 341W FTP - All my goal events quickly were becoming COVID-Cancelled. I pumped the brakes on Trainerroad due to a lack of motivation. Looking back, it was a disappointing decision to make because I didn’t do much training at the new FTP and therefore could not perform to the potential that I tested at.

I sold my fatbike and bought a gravel bike - thankfully just before stock was depleted everywhere. I used the season to put big miles into my legs. I was in an unofficial gravel race with elite/former pro riders and I not only kept up but I managed to finish a head of couple. It was my first road/gravel race so it was cool to get some experience. I doubled my last years kilometer total/riding time. My record rides were a 305km (190mi) road ride, 3000m elevation at 30km/h (19mi/h) and a 245km (153mi), 2000m elevation gravel ride. COVID cancelled the races but opened up opportunities to do some epic rides which is awesome.

This year I am back to a MV plan. The plan is to add rides in where I can for more volume with the emphasise being that I absolutely hit all the workouts/equivalent rides in MV.

This offseason started SSB1 at 310W and have just begun SSB2 at 322W FTP. I am quite a head of where I was last year so I am feeling really encouraged.

Here’s to hoping for a 360+ FTP.

Cheers.

3 Likes

Update time!

After SSBMVI I was at 322W. Completed SSBMVII and tested at 332W FTP. I am after the first rest week of build I tested at 343W FTP. I have 3.5 weeks left of build before my next test.

I am totally cool if my FTP stays there and I just complete the program with the ability to use this FTP well ie. Ride in sweet spot at 310W for 60+ minutes or push threshold for 15/20 minutes over and over with some recovery in between. But hey, if it gets up to 350 then I’ll be super stoked as long as I can put out some hurt using the power.

My training volume due to some missed workouts is rather low. I am training like 5/6/7 hours a week but the sacrifices made are typically on the easier rides - I always try to hit the main workouts but must say that I have flopped on some Sundays. For this current block (2nd half of build), I have subbed the Sunday SS to a 3 hour endurance ride that is suggested in the weekly notes. I wish I had done this all along. The Saturdays this off season have left me pretty drained for Sundays (I always am fueled going in, take a recovery shake after and sleep well).

I have realized that I cannot handle a HV TR plan without crashing. To be honest, the MV is rather tough at times with the Saturday/Sunday combo being the hard part for me. I have made some plans to increase volume for next off season without increasing the amount of intervals per week - and the plan will be as follows:

Low Volume Plan which has me doing intervals Mon, Weds, Fri.
Self added: Tuesday 1 hour endurance (with a few 20 second sprints), Thursday 1 hour endurance, Saturday 3 hour endurance & Sunday 3 hour endurance.

This plan will have me at 500-650TSS and about 11-12 hours of training a week. I think this will give me a better idea of my ceiling and that fact I am where I am now given the “little” work that I’ve put in has me pretty motivated to say the least.

I will continue to update you all on my progress for this season. Fingers crossed for 350!

4 Likes