Stick a Fork in Me I’m Done?

Not sure of my next step. Just reached the mid-point of the build program, and my wattage actually dropped. This was after a hard fought consistent 4 weeks of training. Looking back at almost two years of data, I’ve had a sign wave of FTP results from 264 to 287. I started the pandemic lockdown at 284, and I’m at 269. I can do unstructured training and have an FTP of 260. I’ve pretty darn consistent. I rarely miss a workout. I just don’t think this TrainerRoad thing works for me. Any one has any thoughts? Just looking for a reason to continue?

You need to rest. Take a few days totally off the bike, then a couple of easy rides, and test again.

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I doubt your physiology is any special. Make sure your diet and recovery are sufficient. If that doesn’t help perhaps consider adding or removing volume.

Okay a few things…

  1. What plan did you pick? If you went high/mid volume off the couch you probably wrote a check your body isn’t ready to cash.

  2. Imo TR under does rest weeks. A lot of plans call for 3 weeks on, 1 rest week. Or even 2 on 1 rest. TR seems to be 5 weeks on 1 rest week off. Listen to your body and add a rest day or a rest week and your body and you motivation will climb. Rest week doesn’t mean sitting on your ass. It means lighter work like Pettit or shorter work lengths.

Think of it this way…you take a “rest week” of lighter work and only “break even” for the week cardio wise so what…your fully charged for the next sessions. Great you’ve got time.

  1. Don’t starve workouts. Eat ~2hrs before and 100 cal/half hour on bike for anything 90 min or more.

  2. Every once in a while I like to get outside and forget about TR and just enjoy and see what my training has done for me.

  3. I’m a avid reader on fitness and that motivates me big time. Same with data.

6, Read the post about the things TR users do that they aren’t supposed to. No one is perfect. It’s a tool not a hard rule. Tailor it to your body.

  1. Most important watch the caffeine and SLEEP MORE
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Assuming this is you, it doesn’t really look like you recovered after three weeks of load: 390 → 417 → 428 → 406. For reference, your Short Power LV plan goes down to 149 for the first recovery week, or a little over half the previous week. You did a big ride with a decent amount of climbing on August 1, then took three days off, then ramped.

I think you were probably a little flat for your ramp. You’ve been mostly hitting your marks, so it’s unlikely that your actual capability has dropped 15 watts. How are you feeling? How’s your sleep?

According to your notes, you were sick and missed two weeks of training in May, and you clawed your way back to 275 by July. That is awesome, and it means this ramp only had you down 6 watts, not 15. That’s probably within the margin of error for your trainer.

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I went through pretty much the same as you, got a big jump in ftp when I started doing workouts and then using TR pretty much stayed stagnate for 4 years, presumed it was my age, got given a year of sufferfest and start following their training plans which are a lot more polorised, sufferer hard, with a lot of zone 2 and got a significant jump in ftp. Watching the Dylan Johnonson videos and he is pretty much, 2 maybe 3 hard workouts a week, the rest zone 2

At the moment I am doing the low volume plans, tuesday, thursday and saturday, recovery ride on friday, and long wednesday and sundays. Even thought I am only doing 3 TR workouts a week, the thursday one is do what you want day, so could be a workout or chain gang, or …

Anyway, this really is working for me, and although the jumps aren’t as big when I started it, definiatly improving all the time at the moment

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Forget about FTP, do as much long, easy training that you can manage and throw in one, maybe two hard sessions per week. You’re probably over trained from chasing a number that is, in the most part, totally misunderstood.

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Agree with this @Berggeiss - your FTP is a training anchor not a defining number. Step back, rest and take it easier maybe. I’m 54 and mine (FTP) has gone all over the place - usually because I’ve been unwell or over done it. When I’ve looked back i can usually work out why.
Lets not forget life stress will have an impact as will age, rest, sleep, maybe even mindset - you may have bailed early. It’s only a competition with yourself.

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Nailed it! :v:t2::ok_hand:t3:

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Re reading your thread it depends what you want to achieve. I’ve seen overall gains that are pretty tangible over the years but there have been ups and big downs. Funnily enough some of the best rides I’ve had have been when my FTP wasn’t that high but my base was solid. But I don’t race - I use it because I have very little time to train or ride so find it very time efficient. If you stick to the plan and maybe look at other areas to support that it seems to work out pretty well for most.
And there are loads of very supportive folks on the forum who’ve probably been through what you have already.

Rest and nutrition are extremely important, but your FTP isn’t going to go up as a direct result of all that, IME. Instead, they’re going to prepare your body for more consistent, higher volume training, and THAT is what’s going to bring up your FTP.

Your consistency in nailing at least two hard TR workouts every week is actually very good. Scrolling through your calendar, there are few weeks where you didn’t accomplish that. Now capitalize on your hard work by maintaining that, but increase your TSS through LSD (Z1-Z2 Long Slow Distance). I’d shoot for 500-600 TSS (maybe 3 weeks on, 1 week off, and repeat) and see how things improve.

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Yeah,
I find your thoughts very interesting. That is kinda what I was thinking. My consistency only suffered when I got sick a few weeks back. I tried to add zone 2 volume, but I don’t think I can tolerate 600 TSS. Also, my problem boils down to TR has 3 hard workouts per week, and it seems to grind me down. I’m 52, but maybe I’m aging faster, or something? Not sure of my next step. If I can ride unstructured and be at 260 FTP or train to the brink of desinergration and be at 269, there doesn’t seem to be much ROI. Thanks for your insights. I’m taking some time off to consider my next move.

Thanks for the encouragement. I’m new to racing. Had some success in my age category, and I want more. My goal would be to chase down the riders that beat me. That’s why my emphasis is on improving my FTP.

Johnnyvee,
Thanks for your input. I’m using FTP to measure progress. I’m not seeing it on the TR plan. You are about my age; I’m 52. Do you anything to modify the Low Volume plans? Are you able to complete the Base, Build, Specialty cycle without cracking? I’m just curious, as I’m trying to find a way to improve.

Elloteth,
Thanks for your insights. I appreciate the deep dive. I think you are right about that ride last Sunday, it felt like a tipping point that sent me over the edge. Three days wasn’t enough recovery.

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Triathlete,
I don’t know about my physilology, but I’ve been pretty consistent for 2 years, and I’m not seeing any progress. In fact, I’ve consistently progressed to 280 something and crashed to 260 something. So, it’s just not working for me.

I’m 52. I don’t know if I’m too old for 3 structured workouts a week. I just know that more of the same is not going to yield different results.

Thanks for your feedback. It is what I would have said, if it wasn’t happening to me.

Kurt,
Thanks for weighing in. I took your advice, and forced myself off the bike for a couple of days. Now, I’m having no motivation to get back on. Sure sign of over training. Appreciate your timely thoughts.

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Take ftp with a grain of salt as it is only a baseline for workouts. Focus more on sustained power. Works for me.

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Thanks for taking the time and replying to my post.

I guess the only way to figure out what’s holding you back is to try something different. Perhaps less intensity for some time? Or maybe more intensity closely stacked together? Or more volume?

Whatever you end up doing. Make sure you nail your recovery. @ellotheth has made some pretty good comments on that.

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We get hung up on FTP. Its a number to set your training. I have been using TR for 4 years…first two were me breaking down constantly. Last two have been consistent and large improvements. It hasnt been improvements in FTP as it really has stayed in a very similar range but if you ask me about my performance on the road it is a different story. I am 60 now. Yesterday I set personal bests in my sprint numbers up to 15secs. At the same point I did a ride that felt steady but was the fastest I have ever done for 72k. I used to struggle to maintain a 30k/hr pace yet now I can do it solo over a couple of hours. I can hold a higher percentage of my FTP for a couple hours where as before it was a struggle for anything over an hour. Improvement takes time. Sometimes the improvement doesnt appear in the number we are measuring.

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