Road to workout level 10 - Does it make sense?

Hello everyone, fall is here (at least in germany) and outside riding is getting wet and muddy. After hearing Nate talking in an older TR-podcast episode about working his way up to workout level 10 I got curious. I currently work my way through sustained power build, followed by short power build, followed by a 8 week polarized plan. Last one is planed because I gave it a try earlier this year and it felt really good but sadly I got covid.
I always aimed for a higher FTP but after getting over the 300 mark I really feel comfortable with it. Since I dont try to “hunt” for a better number I thought about dedicating several months to getting my workout levels to Level 10. I also want to start running in the next few month and a new FTP always feels like a strain to me. I want to get comfortable with my current ftp before really building up next year. What do you think about this or have you tried it by yourself? I’m open for any kind of input :smiley:

I’ve been doing this for a while. It really lets me take control of what days are intensity and what days are easy. Some weeks I’m cruising and do 3 intensity days with PL increases of 1 or more (Stretch) or some weeks I’m feeling lower and I do 1 to 2 intensity days with .1-.4 PL increases. The rest of my riding is achievable Z2 to add volume.

Because the PLs decay after 2 weeks without attention I try to hit Productive Endurance through VO2 at least once every 2 weeks to keep the progression. So week one might be

M: SS Progression
T: Z2 Achievable
W: Threshold Progression
Th: Z2 Achievable
F: Tempo Progression

Week 2 then
M: SS Progression
T: Z2 Achievable
W: VO2 Progression
Th: Z2 Achievable
F: Z2 Progression

My work schedule allows for longer rides every other Friday so this works nicely for me. And if at any point I dont feel like I can hit one of those progression days I just replace it with low Z2 or a rest day and take the decrease.

I have hit 10 on Endurance, Tempo and SS and am now working on extending Threshold. I’ll save really cranking on VO2 until closer to the start of next season

I have a couple of times started bumping against how much time I can dedicate to riding. e.g. Endurance over 7.5 ish turns into 3-6 hour workouts. If I am hitting the stops on time I do AI FTP detection, accept the new FTP and it lowers my PLs and I start the ladder climb again. I’ve recalculated 3(?) times now

Depends on your goals. For me personally (not racing, just aspiring for longer solo rides)

  • endurance: for ever improving base fitness, I keep it always near 10 (during indoor season maybe little bit lower)
  • threshold:
    • while chasing higher FTP, hitting 4x16min used to be good enough (PL around 7)
    • now new goal is extending TTE, so trying to get PL >9 (a la 2x40min)
  • other zones: following whatever plan prescribes

In nutshell: yes, push explicitly those PLs that are important for your goals but let Plan Builder to push other energy systems as well.