SSB1MV Too easy yet TSS/IF match?

I’m now in my third week of SSB1MV. Aiming to get as fit as possible and to increase my FTP optimally, I wonder whether SSB1MV is too easy for me. Whatever training I accomplish (intervals, tempo, endurance), it is really doable. My heart rate is 168-170 max briefly, but mostly 150-160.

I tested my FTP before I began with the ramp test at 196, that was after 1.5 rest week (I wanted to make sure I was fully rested before I started structured trainings with TrainerRoad).

However, all trainings I finish are on par with the expected TSS/IF. Does that mean I exerted the amount of effort TrainerRoad expected me to do? Or can it still be too easy for me?

Also never had cramps, or leg pain, or muscle pain next day. Just smooth sailing.

Move your ftp up manually in your settings and do the next workout. Sometimes people test low and it should be higher. The tss/if are just results of the workout setup based on your ftp/hr.

If you don’t want to move it up manually stay the course for the next 3 weeks since you are half way through the block.

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SSB1 should feel pretty easy relatively speaking. I’d recommend just staying the course with what you have and seeing what the improvement looks like next block :slight_smile:

Most of the time, workouts should feel doable. There are comparatively few workouts where you will be really mentally taxed to complete them. The times you should feel like the workout is hard are:

  • When you’ve gone from mid volume to high volume (or low to mid volume)
  • When you are working on an area where you are comparatively week
  • Towards the end of a build block
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I started ssblv1 after two long backpacking trips. My FTP was way down after 6 weeks without a ride. The workouts seemed too easy so I started adjusting each one up a few percent a week. By the end I was at 115% and the workouts were challenging but doable.

Thanks!

Honestly, this truly worries me. I am here to increase my FTP, not decrease it. I do not care about pain or fatigue (it is healthy of course). Pain = speed leaving the body!

Will try 105% for my next week, see where that’ll leave me.

If you’re new to structured training or come from a fairly significant fitness drop prior to getting back into it, you’ll see immediate gains and workouts will feel easy, especially in SSB1.

Fear not, they’ll get much harder. Enjoy it while it lasts. :grinning:

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From other threads it appears that most FTP gains are during the Build phase, SSB1 & SSB2 are mainly foundation work in preparing you for that. It’s common for FTP to increase only slightly after SSB1, some even see it remain static.

While you feel fine with the current workload, remember it increases over time so there’s a chance that you’ll find your ceiling as it were.

Also remember that TR’s FTP value is primarily aimed at setting the difficulty of the workouts. As above, you may be one of those who test high or low. It may also be worth trying one of the original 8min or 20min FTP tests to see what they give.

Thanks! I must say over/unders like reinstein (more close to VO2max?) are about right: I really want that recovery after an interval block. It’s just that the rest of the trainings feel way too easy. But now I understand it’s probably for building base, and increasing FTP will come from SSB2 onwards.

Just making sure I train at the edge of my possibilities without overtraining…

Thanks! Quite informative. I feel doing structured workouts is way easier than what I did outside. Guess I’m gonna buy a power meter next season outside and compare. Only had HR to judge my outside efforts.

You can of course do a Ramp Test again (I’d do it on a day after a rest day, swap out one of the workouts) and do something “simple” afterwards to make up the TSS, would give you an idea if you under performed in the first time. if you got the same result, you could do the 2 x 8 instead the next time TR perscribed a Ramp TEst

Thanks for all the input. I did Tunnabora today at 103% (FTP 196 --> 202) and my BPM was on average 141, max 157.

How difficult should Tunnabora be? It more felt like Tempo than close to FTP. At no point I felt like I had to push through purely on mental effort, like I had with Reinstein during the over unders.

Also, how IS TSS calculated? Is that an estimation based on FTP x Watt? Or is there actually a post-ride calculation that truly calculates the TSS based on actual BPM and watt delivered? Because I interpret it as :
TSS afterwards > TSS before == more effort expended than required
TSS afterwards < TSS Before == was too easy
TSS afterwards == TSS before == was exactly right.

Here’s a pic of my ride:

TSS

Maybe your FTP is too low. But: SSB MV1 is supposed to be easy. I wouldn’t dial up the intensity too much because the stress will significantly increase with SSB2 and then again in build. If your workouts are hard in SSB1 (and it sounds like what you mean by hard is close to failure) you will crash and burn later in the cycle. I promise.

It’s common that people think they’re not achieving adaptation when workouts feel easy but that isn’t the case.

If your ftp test was done right, odds are you’re getting faster right now.

Edit: TSS is purely a function of watts as a percentage of ftp and time. If TSS is higher than prescribed, you overshot the watt target longer or more significantly than you undershot it.

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TSS = (sec x NP x IF)/(FTP x 3600) x 100

sec = total ride duration (not just moving) in seconds,
IF = NP/FTP, &
Normalized Power (NP) is calculated with the algorithms below:

  • Step 1: Calculate the rolling average with a window of 30 seconds: Start at 30 seconds, calculate the average power of the previous 30 seconds and to the for every second after that.
  • Step 2: Calculate the 4th power of the values from the previous step.
  • Step 3: Calculate the average of the values from the previous step.
  • Step 4: Take the fourth root of the average from the previous step. This is your normalized power.

This is only circumstance where FTP is pegged to 60 minutes as a means to quantify stress since TSS of 100 in 60 minutes is the maximum one can achieve based on the definition. TSS by itself has little value without context (hence the adage of “not all TSS are created equally”).

The weekly IF of SS Base I MV is between 0.80 - 0.83 excluding rest week of 0.66. Given that the weekly duration is up to 6 hours, with the hardest ride per week around an IF of 0.89 over 90 minutes (hard tempo basically), it’s very doable.

BPM? IMO, heart rate is kind of useless above mid tempo. Since majority of the intervals are on the upper end, it’s just nice to know.

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If a few workouts in a row are very manageable @103% go to 105% and just keep ramping it up from there My experience is that I really ramped up the difficulty in SSB1 (112% by the end) but much less in SSB2 (105-106%). I might not be able to go above 100% in Build as I suspect my days of gaining 5W/wk aren’t going to go on forever (or even another week!)