SSBMVI starting to feel easy - retest?

I have a max HR of pretty much 200bpm and I hit 196bpm on my ramp test. I’ve always had a fairly high heart rate compared to my friends on rides, even when I’m in good shape (for me). Last year my training involved riding around at 150bpm for 3 to 5 hrs most weekends and I have no problem holding a heart rate of around 160 for a couple hours.

I’m new to structured training and am on SSBMVI and I came into it fairly untrained (261W FTP on ramp test on trainer) after being quite fit last year (339W for 20 mins on the road). I just did Carson for the second time after feeling quite strong on my two weekend sessions (McAdie which I bumped up to 103% on the last interval and Antelope which I did at 103%).

When I did Carson 12 days ago I remember it being fairly unpleasant to the extent that I largely didn’t do the low cadence drills and the standing drills, as I was worried about not being able to hold the power targets. My average HR including the rests was 152 and my max was 171. This time, my workout average was 137bpm and my max was 154. It barely felt like sweet spot as my heart had completely stabilised during the work intervals. The average in each was only about 146bpm.

As I’ve never followed a structured plan before, I want to see this through without deviating from the plan but I can’t help but think that I should be working harder in a 1hr ride. My questions really are is Carson supposed to feel that easy and should I retest?

My advice would be to trust your perceived exertion and increase your FTP manually, but be conservative. If you’re increasing the workout intensity, perhaps manually bump your FTP by 3% and see how it feels.

The danger here is that you overestimate your FTP, which can lead to excessive fatigue and reduced training adaptations, so make sure you’re being conservative. It’s better to be riding at an intensity that’s slightly too low than to be riding at an intensity thats slightly too high.