I know this will sound an odd one as anyone would say ssblv2 to follow but I’m wondering if it’s the smartest move.
I came back from a period of 3 full weeks off the bike and then after 2 outdoor ride I put in my first ramp test of this winter season, 225w. I’ve just finished the 6 weeks and hit 250w in a test this evening, I’m wondering if 10% gain is simply too much and if the previous workouts will have been able to provide the necessary base to go onto the next stage. To note I have been increasing several of the workouts from 60mins to 90mins when I’ve felt comfortable and tried to get a long Sunday club ride in also.
A bit of background, last year I did SSBMV1 with poor compliance and hit 240w, I then failed most workouts I attempted in SSBMV2 and got into a really poor mindset with the trainer. I don’t want to get into that habit again and make sure I have my strongest winter to date.
What would you recommend, just continue the plan or drop back and redo SSBLV1?
I’d say completing SSB1 successfully has adequately prepared you for SSB2 and you should be fine; it is harder, but that’s how it’s designed to be. You be a little anxious about it since you had a poor experience last year, but if you’re crushing your workouts (and if you’re adding time to each workout and riding outside, it sounds like you are), then you’ll be fine
That said, what are your goals? A stronger base is never a bad thing, and if you have a few extra weeks to fill then maybe an extra 6 weeks is beneficial. This could be doubly true if you’re aiming to spend some time in the gym or are aiming at weight loss
I would sooner repeat SSB2 than go back to SSB1, i.e. square one.
I feel SSB1 is for exactly what you’ve described, basically coming off a rest period off the bike. Or for others, off the couch or after a hard season.
The real work happens in SSB2. Your latest ramp test says 250w. Now you need to get it into your mind that it is totally achievable to complete every single workout in SSB2 with full compliance at 250w. If you can’t the only thing to blame is mental fortitude.
Upon successful completion of SSB2, you will go into Build much stronger mentally.
I would say continue the plan. Given your compliance issues with MV last year I also think that doing LV and then supplementing with longer workouts and club rides is a great approach.
FTP is just a training number, it’s important but not something to get too hung up on. There’s a bit of variance in how you test depending on form and fatigue so always take test results with a pinch of salt and be prepared to override them based on what your training and experience is telling you. E.g. maybe your first test underestimated your fitness by 5-10W as your body was adapting to the newfound stress of riding again after a 3 week break. And then maybe you just happened to hit your next test on a great day where your legs were fresh and you got a result that’s maybe a few watts higher than you could replicate on a normal day. In which case maybe your bump in fitness is “only” 5% (which is still awesome…). Basically go into it and see how you go, if you’re struggling on an individual workout then bump that workout down a few %. If you’re consistently struggling on workouts then manually adjust your FTP 5W down and see if that helps (and if it does then try bumping it up again a few weeks later if things feel more comfortable). But I think it’s better to move onto a new plan, variety is the spice of life and doing some different workouts is more likely to keep you fresh and motivated than doing the same ones again.