I’m curious to hear from those with (or previously with) really really low FTPs. I’m new’ish to TrainerRoad, and structured training. I am using virtual power, and have an FTP of 75 (yes… you read that right… there is no “1” in front of that. It’s a 2 digit number). What is a reasonable rate of improvement to expect if sticking pretty well with the plans? Anyone else come from a really really low FTP and make it to the high 100’s or low 200’s? How long did it take you? Which plans did you follow? My main goal is just to be a strong, fast road rider, dabble in mountain bikes, and have fun strong rides with my team without getting dropped. I play with a few century rides and triathlons through the year, but I primarily ride for fun.
That’s virtual power… so don’t be disheartened or really put much stock in that number. Just make sure your trainer/bike setup is the same every time and continue to train. You’ll get stronger. My guess is that your “real” ftp is much higher than that just based on what you say you like to do.
The TrainerRoad guys frequently recommend sweet spot base 1 and 2 (low or mid volume), general build (low or mid volume), and a specialty plan that addresses your goals etc. then recycle. I’ve personally had great increases in fitness with base and build and for various reasons I always get cut short prior to completing much of specialty (hoping to change that this season).
Presuming that your virtual power setup is correct and you were able to find your trainer in the list of compatible ones and you have done your initial ramp test. Your FTP is what it is. That is your starting point. You are you and there is no set improvement flow chart that will indicate how much improvement you will make. Being new to structured training You should see pretty good jumps in FTP if you put the work in and be consistent with your workouts. It’s a process so trust it because it works. Most people see double digit jumps in their FTP throughout the base and build phases of the program when they are new to the program. Don’t jump the gun and add a bunch of training load to your schedule thinking that you can rush the process. There are countless threads in this forum from people who tried to rush things and crashed and burned. Start out in Sweet Spot Base 1 low volume. Do a ramp test to set your base FTP if you have not done so already. Don’t jump to mid volume thinking that it will speed up the process. You can make those judgments later when you have an idea how your body is reacting to the new training stress. Good luck and enjoy the ride.
Thanks. I’m just finishing SSB2 mid volume right now. Planning on Sustain Power Build next. I’m hoping to get a real power meter soon, as I suspect your assessment of my power is accurate. The power numbers on the crew i ride with are significantly higher than mine, and I can manage my own pulls and win a Hill Sprint here and there. Either way, I have a long way to go to get truly strong!
Loving the journey and loving TR. thanks for your input.
I started Trainer Road in November after two months off the bike due to severe tendinopathy in my right knee. My initial FTP was 90, this in comparison to 170 from a 20 min effort on Zwift last spring. I did Traditional Base 1, and 2, followed by Sweet spot base one and currently in SSBII. My last ramp test put the FTP at 185. Still lower than my racing career, but it did double over the indicated time period.