Sickness/injury/ lack of progress

Hey guys! So, I started Trainer Road in late September. Since then I have been through two base phases and one build phase. I picked the rolling road race plan since it seemed versatile. I gained two watts during each base phase. I was a bit disappointed but was really looking forward to my upcoming build phase to finally see some real progress! After completing my build phase my FTP decreased by 1 watt. (Sad face) For some background information, I’ve been cycling consistently since May 2020 until I was hit by a vehichle in March 2021 and returned to the bike June 2021. My injuries were aggravated during my second base phase and I had to take a week off. I was back on the bike pretty quickly and I have now integrated my PT exercises into my training. I also fought off a bad cold during my build phase but was able to keep on track with my training and slept extra to combat fatigue. As an additional factor, my work has been extra stressful recently, not much I can do there. I prioritize my sleep, I fuel my workouts, I space out my strength work and my bike rides by at least 3 hours. I feel like I’m doing all the right things … What am I doing wrong? Do I simply need to give this more time? Did I have too many things working against me? Could I be bad at the FTP test? Or am I just doomed to suck for forever? Please help!!!

Probably just fatigued. Your FTP shouldn’t decrease. But it’s really hard to give you info w/o seeing your training calendar and determining if you’re as consistent as you say you are.

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  • Maybe nothing?

Just take a look at what your wrote above. Any one of those alone could be a good reason for stalled progress. Couple any one or all of them and I see a decent reason to expect results like you got or worse.

  • If you mean waiting to see “FTP gains” maybe.
  • Those items above are not helping, that is for sure. Unless you can address some of all of them, it’s hard to make any predictions.
  • Sure, anytime that’s possible. Consider if you were rested, fueled, mentally ready and any other influences. If one or more were off, then maybe fix them and retest. Otherwise, take what you got and move forward.

I would say I’m fairly consistent. I swap 1 training ride for a group ride each week . And I am not perfect, I miss a ride here and there when I work unplanned overtime. I follow the plan 95% of the time. I usually do a little extra.

Don’t despair. There are other ways fitness manifests itself besides ftp. Unless you are only riding a bike on a trainer with one single goal of raising your TR ramp result then look for other subtle but, powerful markers of improved fitness such as:

  1. Being able to hold ftp longer.
  2. Being able to ride at a lower HR (across the PD curve) than before.
  3. Improved HR decoupling.
  4. Being able to increase number of intervals and/or interval duration.
  5. Related to 4 but, a little different, having a bigger match book.
  6. Extrinsic vs. intrinsically motivated can not be underestimated if extrinsic.

All of the above will serve you well on race day or group rides and even in training if you know what to look for. Finding an ftp is about setting zones so you can train effectively. Again, just because the number doesn’t increase does not mean adaptations are not happening. Also, learning to test can be a huge factor as well. Cheers!


Firstly you are not defined by your FTP !

If you are using adaptive training then the progression levels help show progress outside of just the single value of an FTP.

Are you enjoying riding and the process of using a structured training approach? This is supposed to be fun!

I have always found cycling helps me put other parts of life into perspective so sometimes I have to remember to appreciate it for that alone.

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