Some training questions from a cycling noob


Some background, i am 47 years old and i never trained at anything before i bought myself a mtb. So this summer i have been cycling outdoors on trails but i noticed that i am very weak compared to my fiend and others.

So i started with TrainerRoad and did the ramp test. I got a very low score 153 watt. No suprise there. I am at SSB 1 low volume and atm in week 3.

I have completed all the workouts so far but today it was really really hard for me. It was Eclipse.

I now that this workout is for building muscular endurance and not stress heart and lungs to much. But for some reson my heartrate was very high and at the end i was over 190 bpm and topped out at 196 bpm.

So now to my question, is it wise to give it my all just to complete the workout like i did or is it better to lower the % and monitor my heartrate so it don’t go so high?

Good on you for getting out there.

I’m also at week 3 in SSB 1 low volume and saw that on the agenda. 3 * 20 minutes SS is not easy for anybody let alone someone new to training

The problem you have is that your ability to hold sweetspot at the min is low so very quickly your go from a manageable effort to an all out effort. Probably start with a couple of back pedals when your HR is ramping up see if that helps. If it doesn’t I would try moving it down a maybe 5%

You are seeing quite a bit of HR creep over the duration of those intervals. This is normal, but yours seems higher than it should be to me - lots of things can cause this but I’m curious how your cooling is working. Do you have good fans to keep the air flowing over you? If not - that will help (but not solve your problem).

I dug a little bit into your past few rides and it definitely seems like you were having a rough day today. Your HR was staying consistently lower during similar intervals just a week or two ago - and wasn’t nearly that high during more intense shorter intervals.

It might just have been a bad day. Did you rest ok the prior couple of nights? Introduce any other variables like some alcohol or perhaps starting to feel a little sick?

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Yea i have a big fan blowing at max and i don’t feel to hot. I have no clue why this was so hard compared to recent workouts. Sleep is good on weekends so i don’t think that is it. And not really feeling like i have a cold or something. And no alcohol either, i am a boring dude. :wink:

So mabey my body is abit fatigue or something.

So looks like i was wrong about getting sick. After a night of sleep i woke up feeling like i have a cold incoming. I guess it explain why my bpm was so much higher then previous efforts. To bad, i so want to complete my training plan. :frowning:

If you need a little rest then take it and keep going when you can. A few days off and still completing a plan is still a lot more training than sitting on the sofa!

You’re starting out and have a great attitude and Desire which is great. I am also new to structured training and am just starting 4th week. At times I’m tired but reminding myself that this is a lot more training than I’m used to. Even over summer when I was on the road it was still only 3 rides a week max, most weeks and prior to starting this plan I had 6 weeks of no training then a couple of weeks where I did a few small Small rides week.


Welcome to cycling, MTB, and training! It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

Its very common for new athletes to not recognize the signs of overtraining and get sick. Give some thought to how you felt in the days leading up to this session. Was your resting heart rate elevated? Were you feeling above average fatigue? Was your sleep poor? How was your diet? Try to learn from the experience and grow your ability to “see it coming” next time. Then maybe you can skip a workout and get some extra recovery before things go to far downhill.

Get well soon and get back in there!

Yea, i have alot to learn for sure! I am prepared to train hard to get fitter and have more fun at the trails. That is my only goal atm. I have no trackrecord of resting pulse ect so if i had mabey i noticed it before the workout. Sleep is hard to get sometimes, i go up superearly in the morning and job is quite stressful.

Thx for all responding and trying to help me.

Sorry to hear you’re sick - definitely listen to your body.

If the sickness is just in your head (and not your lungs) most people can get away with continuing their plans but if it spreads beyond that you definitely need a rest.

When in doubt, be conservative with an illness and your training. You can do more damage by over training than you will lose fitness by under training

196 bpm at 47?? That is pretty impressive to me. I am 45, and my body shuts down at 180 bpm. That FTP is close to where I started last year, and it rose to 195 using Zwift. I am looking for better gains this year, so I swapped to TR and loving it so far! Recover from being sick, then jump right back at it. Another benefit I have found with hard training is I have been sick much less.

Yea, when doing the ramp test i had 198 bpm. But that does not help me very much, i am still weak. lol I am definitely “sick” in my head quite often but this time something else going on. Nose is abit runny but that is about it, my "rest pulse seems abit lower today so mabey not so bad after all.

TrainerRoad suits a guy like me, just follow the workout and pedal. :slight_smile:

Hi there,

Im 45 and also I have high ppm. I started cycling a year ago, My first FTP test was 167w, after Low Base 1 and 2 I went to 194w, and after that I went to 206w

The most important part of trainning is consistence, try to do 3 workouts a week and you will see improvements. And rest if you are sick

Keep trainning!

Hi again,

I am at my last week on SSB 1 and soon it is time for a new FTP ramp test. I have thinking about my last ramp FTP i did with 198 bpm in the end.

Now when i have done my workouts i have tested a few different cadences, trying to find my “optimal” cadence. I think it is around 90-100 that i prefer. When cadence is over 100 my heart start beating quite alot faster.

In my last FTP ramp test i noticed that as it got harder to pedal i started to pedal faster instead of pedal harder. I started out at 90 rpm and in the last few minutes my cadence was 115.

So for my next FTP test i was thinking that i should not pedal over 100 rpm? Or is is it normal to ramp up cadence towards the end of the test?

The faster the cadence the less force you have to apply per pedal stroke - so if your body is naturally increasing cadence then it is likely as an attempt to avoid muscle fatigue and push the burden onto your cardiovascular system.

Increasing your cadence isn’t that bad of a thing - although 115 does seem pretty high to me

I generally test around 100 cadence and know that I’m reaching my failure point when I cannot maintain that cadence - the last 30-45 seconds my cadence will start to drop down to the mid then low 90’s and my legs start to bog down with the fatigue and then I grind to a stop.

When i did the first test i just gave it my all and i had no plan for cadence att all. I just tried to give it my all. But seeing how much i stressed my cardiovascular system i guess it is abit “better” to pedal slower.

I will try and stay below 100 in cadence for my next ramp test and see how it goes.

So first six week done and i did a new ramp test. [ Up to 175 watt from 153 before. So almost 15% increase. Very happy with that. Max heartrate was 197 this time.

Also i did not pedal as fast as my first time, think that helped abit. Was below 100 cadence all the time.

Thank you TrainerRoad!