All- Really appreciate the feedback and lots of good questions. Allow me to add some more context:
I’ve training/racing since 2000 with gaps (I’m active duty military); these gaps are sometimes a year, plus. My Threshold P and HR have always baselined around 210-230W (outside) and 170-175bpm depending upon gap. In 2019/2020 I had the opportunity to ride a lot after a 2+ year lay off. In 2019/2020 my FTP (outside) was in the 220-230W range as I worked back into fitness.
Nutrition/Sleep/Recovery: if anything they have improved especially on the bike. Sleep is a bit inconsistent with a 10-month old, but I have been close to consistent. I’ve invested in a WHOOP to assist, but that is relatively new. Body weight has slowly gone down from 174lbs to 169lbs and blood pressure/resting HR has been consistent since OCT 20 (some trend that would accompany fitness gains).
Training: I was on a Mid-Volume SSBI->SSBII, etc, plan mid-OCT through DEC 20. As I began to transition to Build I noted very heavy fatigue and difficulty meeting power targets. I took two weeks near off as I assumed I was over doing it. My RAMP test assessed FTPs were:
OCT 20: 202W; I also maxed my military fitness assessment this month.
DEC 20: 190W
Late-JAN 21: 141W
I am meeting the training targets for 141W, with HR/RPE about right.
Technical Problems: I am, and have, used Garmin Vector pedals since 2014. Consistent for me. But I noticed connectivity issues and variability in DEC 20. Garmin provided updated pods and I still had this low P reading relative to the year past.
I just recently got Vector3 pedals and the reading is much better (no drops) but still very low. I have an old 810 head unit and wonder if its age and abuse is a factor. My (personal) computer is also old relatively speaking (2015 model).
I scheduled an appointment with my doc. I almost wonder if I got COVID and am dealing with some effects (never tested positive in OCT or DEC).
Continue some outdoor testing. I thought I had some Strava data from the hill I did a few days ago, but couldn’t find it for comparison. I don’t have a training partner or access to another power meter for comparison. Based on that in the next week or so, I may just back to a traditional base after a couple weeks off.
I acknowledge that FTP is just a number and its relative. My hope was to race again in 2021 and the number matters insomuch as what is in the realm of possible. My other concern is if it the powermeter is just off, so be it, but to go from consistent averages to something so different is distressing… do I have a physical problem? is the training approach not suitable to my physiology?
If anyone has any additional insights based on the above and/or on Vector pedals it is much appreciated in advance.