Reality hits hard - what can I expect?

Just did my ramp test, 1 week back into riding after 8+ weeks of zero cycling following being knocked off my bike by a car.

I’ve gone from around 3.3W/Kg back down to 2.4W/Kg. :flushed:

My initial demotivation from this outcome has passed and now I’m eager to get back at it.

I will be starting SSBLV1 next week and my intention is to not just plough through the first phase (as I did before) but instead apply some personal learning I gained from last time around having done SSB LV 1+2 and Short Power build.

To this end I will be doing two of the three prescribed TR workouts a week and then (weather permitting) substituting the weekend workout for an outdoor ride that will have a higher TSS overall but be made up of more ‘tempo’ riding interspersed with some VO2 and Threshold efforts.

After the first 2 weeks (and depending on how I feel I am reacting to the stimulus) I will also begin to slowly add a little more volume by extending the cool down section of each TR workout to add low intensity time in the saddle; also doing ‘Dans’ on two of my ‘rest’ days to add in some super easy volume which I found beneficial in aiding recovery (noticeably less muscle soreness) once the SSB intensity begins to progress and build over the weeks.

I found personally my body responds very well to this type of split training stimulus.

My questions is, given my FTP has seen a circa 75Watt drop, is it reasonable to expect I will see an initial ‘bump’ from just getting back in the saddle or should I expect that the regaining of my power and endurance will be a long slow steady slog?

I guess I’m hoping that having previously made gains, they will be (at least initially) somewhat easier to get back to than when I first made them.

My plan is to monitor my RPE and if / once it begins to get easier use the intensity control to push the last couple of intervals in each TR workout a little, being careful not to over do it.

My theory is it will help extend my progress in regaining my fitness (a little) and then when I re-test at the prescribes points in the plan I will be rebaselining.

Either way - work starts here :grin::muscle:t2:

Anyone had a similar experience of coming back from an enforced extended break from cycling? If so, any transferable lessons gratefully received :+1:t2::+1:t2:


Don’t be disheartened you will be back in no time!

I’d be tempted to re-test ftp more often than is prescribed as I’d assume initial gains will be quick.


I had minor surgery last fall and took a couple months off. I had roughly a 40 watt loss I think. I got most of that back cruising along in traditional base…lots of easy 90 minute-2hr zone 2 ride just easing back into riding.

So…based on my lone experience, I’d guess it wont come back overnight, but at least a very large chunk of the loss will come back more easily than gettingnit the first time.

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I had a bad wreck in 2018. Injured knee, broken wrist, broken shoulder, severed ulnar nerve. The chart shows my drop in ftp and increase over time. I think it would have been significantly quicker if I hadn’t hurt my knee though.



Wow - you went from 2.2 to nearly 4 in around 12 months - great work man !! :smiley:

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Well, almost a year later and I still haven’t quite made it to 4. Too many little setbacks. Hopefully though the chart helps show that you’ll get a majority of your fitness back in a few weeks.

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Glad your back and healthy again. I wouldnt expect it to be a long steady slog. Maybe the first week back you’ll find things difficult but it’s been 8 weeks so it’s to be expected.

Once over the initial “back to training kinks” your gains will come quickly. A solid base is a solid base. They went over this in the last podcast. The VO2 and more anareboic fitness fades quicker but the bigger base you have the lords it fades. That’s not to say it’s going to be easy but you won’t be spending a lot of time playing catch up.

It’s a spiral effect. Once you see or feel yourself improving it will only feed your motivation that much more.

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I had 4 months off at the end of last year with a similar drop in FTP. I started back with my own “pyramid” kind of plan: three 3-week phases of each zone, Z2->Z3->Z4; starting at ~4hrs/week and moving up to ~10hr. Keep it consistent and your power will definitely return.

You’ve got the right idea about starting with low volume. I might also suggest a core exercise routine/Coach Chad’s strength exercises just to help your body with the rigours of being back on the bike.

You might also get out on the road to see if you’ve got any jitters being around traffic (accident PTSD!).

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