Stagnated progress

First time poster, long time reader. I have been using Trainer Road for just over 12 months now, I have made significant progress in that time. FTP up 40 watts (not a flex, just for context as it relates to my question) I have about 8 hours a week available for training, things have been going along fine until the past month where the workouts have been getting progressively more and more out of reach. In the past adaptive training prescribed workouts that were difficult but achievable however as I said now they are getting to the point where I am failing workouts and the intensity seems beyond my reach. Does there come a point where you will start progressing much slower, which I am ok with, I am just curious if it would be best for me to slowing the progressions down even if adaptive training is suggesting something harder, any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!

https://www.trainerroad.com/app/career/luke%20horjus#

Yes things do slow down; there’s a lot of newbie gains to be made at first but after then things slow down and some folk reach a plateau. Myself whilst I was coached at first my FTP shot up in the first few years, I then started with TR and had good motivation and whilst things slowed down I hit a peak and slowly came down since and hit a plateau. My best results timewise on TT’s probably came just after my FTP had started to decline when I held it steady rather than accepting 5-10w increases. Use alternates maybe and sub in a productive achievable workout if you think you need to slow down your plan.

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I think you can still get a lot fitter without being directly visible in your tested FTP.

Cycling performance is more then just FTP depending on your preferred cycling discipline, although FTP is a good (best?) indicator for racing performance.

For instance, if you are more of a gran fondo rider, then your sustainability below FTP is more important. And if you are a crit racer/sprinter your power above FTP is more important.

Just keep at it consistently and with a purpose and your FTP will follow.

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Are you answering the surveys accurately?

Do you feel like you should be able to handle the workouts? Are you just barely failing them, or like first set of intervals you fail? Do you feel like you are performing better than you were 1-2 months ago, or worse?

Hey there! Welcome to the TR community. :smiley:

Great work with the FTP boost! I was just checking out your account you linked – I’m gonna flex on your behalf here because your FTP is REALLY REALLY IMPRESSIVE!! 392 watts is a HUGE FTP! :muscle: :muscle:

That said, things do indeed start to slow down after you make some initial gains through structured training. From what I can tell, though, it looks like you only had to bail on one recent workout – is that correct?

If so, I wouldn’t read into it too much. We all crack on some workouts eventually and it’s part of the process of pushing ourselves and getting stronger. If it was something that became a pattern, that’s when I’d be thinking of ringing the alarm bells.

If you think using Workout Alternates to manually control your progressions a bit more might be useful, then go for it! Don’t be afraid of rating workouts as “Very Hard” or even “All Out” if that’s what they feel like for you when you’re filling out your post-workout surveys – that info helps Adaptive Training dial in your future workouts even better for you.

I’d also say make sure to stay on top of your nutrition when you’re training – with an FTP as high as yours, you’ll be burning through tons of carbs per hour because of how hard you’ll be pedaling. Even if your sessions are 1-2hrs in length, I think it would be worth taking some gels or drink mix with you to keep your fuel stores topped off.

@Derailleur also brought up a great point here – you’ll gain fitness in areas beyond your FTP as well. Your repeatability of hard efforts will likely get better and better, and you’ll also likely find that you can sustain a given power for much longer than you may have been able to at first. Even if your FTP starts to feel like it’s stagnant, remember to think about other areas on your power curve that might be improving.

Hope this info is helpful – feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions!

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Holy Jesus, 392 watts on 8 hours per week. Maybe it’s time for a coach and another 10 hours per week to train?!!! :slight_smile:

Everybody hits a plateau along the way. At some point you may want to try to identify limiters and train your physiology accordingly. That probably requires expert help.

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I appreciate everyone’s feedback, I have failed 2 workouts recently however even the ones i have been getting through have gone from challenging to me holding on by the seat of my pants. I guess that’s the problem with gamifying cycling training, there is the danger of becoming win or loss where if i don’t get that progression level bump then i think i am going backwards, when in fact even a workout that is only 90% completed is still pushing you forwards. This probably requires a mentality shift vs any training changes.

Thanks again everyone

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Wait, he has a 391w FTP?

He should be giving us advice…

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One thing to consider… your don’t need to “progress” every workout. Personally I choose one hard workout a week to really challenge myself. The others are hard but manageable. You can’t “go to the well” every workout.

Especially now that you have base fitness you need to train smart as much as you train hard!

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Haha, i know my FTP is high which is why i didn’t want to mention it because i didn’t want the usual ‘what does he have to complain about’. I don’t care about the number i just want to keep getting better, i love the process and always pushing to be better.

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I’ve been feeling the same way for the past 3 weeks in that I’ve plateaued and have had to dial back the instensity of a few workouts, and have failed to complete a few. I’m on the LV plan supplemented by indoor endurance zone rides between my hard days. One thing that changed for me this past month is almost zero outdoor rides, due to crap weather, (normally I would do several outdoor mtb or road rides in addition to my indoor LV plan). I’m guessing the lack of outdoor riding is impacting my progress with indoor rides. Not a big deal for me as it’s early season and there will be plenty of time for outdoor rides as the weather improves and so will come improvements in my TR workouts and ftp. Or maybe I’m truly overtired and don’t realize it (started weightlifing a month ago). My Garmin watch Training Status suggests I’m ‘overtrained’, tho I don’t put too much emphasis on the accuracy of the watch. I’m not too concerned and usually over time things sort themselves out.