After riding recreationally for over a dozen years, I decided I wanted to get serious about getting faster. So, at the beginning of 2016, I started my first TrainerRoad Traditional Base plan. A year later I had increased my FTP by 150 percent!
In the following year, things did not go as well, and I saw a decline in my performance. In August of that year, I found myself in the hospital being treated for pulmonary emboli. I guess that would explain the drop in performance. It was my second bout with PE, having first been diagnosed ten years earlier.
After numerous false starts, I decided to try it again. My FTP had fallen below where it was when I started back at the beginning of 2016. So, in November of this year, I started the mid-volume sweet spot base plan. At the beginning of phase II of that plan, I took another threshold test. It was an unmitigated disaster. According to the results, my FTP had fallen by five watts! I was disappointed, but not surprised. At the beginning of the test, I wasn’t sure my body had adequately recovered from the rigors of the previous six weeks of training. The first few minutes of the workout constitutes a warm-up at less than 50 percent of my FTP. It should have felt effortless. It did not.
Ultimately I decided to postpone the start of the second phase. Additionally, I’m having second thoughts about my decision to switch from the traditional base plan to the sweet spot base plan. I’m just wondering whether the sweet spot approach is the right strategy for me. On the other hand, before passing judgment, I want to give it a chance. To be fair, I frequently substituted workouts that were more strenuous than those called for by the plan. Those decisions might have been detrimental. Also, I doubt I’m typical of the target demographic for TrainerRoad. I am 65 years old. Five workouts per week might be too many.
At this point, I’m wondering about the merits of a midstream switch from the sweet spot base plan to the traditional base plan. With the traditional base plan, I have a history of success. Although any number of factors could be affecting my response to the sweet spot plan, I’m a little discouraged. Until I retake the threshold test, the jury is still out. Only then will I know whether I had a bad day, whether I’m suffering from overtraining, or just needed a few more days of recovery. If I make a miraculous recovery, I might give the sweet spot plan another chance. Otherwise, I’m likely to switch to the traditional plan. Your feedback would be appreciated.