Training after extended break/off-season

Hi everyone, I peaked pretty early last year and then spent most of my summer just maintaining my FTP around 315-320 W with most of my events being cancelled due to heat or forest fires. I spent most of the fall doing nothing but lifting weights and catching up on work and family life with one or two outdoor easy rides on my mountain bike for fun.

I just started my plan for 2022 and tested down at 278 which is not super unexpected, but I’m already blasting through the sweet spot progression and bumping up the intensity by 2-3% while still finding them easy to moderate. I’m using AT and it keeps suggesting harder workouts but I feel like I should probably retest or just manually bump up the FTP by 10ish W. I’m curious what the best plan of attack is if you’re seeing huge gains but the training cycles is 6 weeks between ramp tests.

At the moment some of the workouts seem more like an hour-ish at tempo instead of a true sweet spot workout but maybe I’m thinking about it wrong.

10W on 278 is nothing. AT should pick up the slack. Personally I’d carry on with AT and see where it takes you :slight_smile:

You can always precede every workout with a ramp test

Edit: Im being facetious in case it read legitimately

I had a similar experience this year. I stopped riding for about 6 months and, despite continuing with regular running, dropped from 300W to 230W. I started doing some TR workouts and very rapidly realised that i was already bouncing back and finding the work very easy, so after 2 weeks i retested again at 255W and a few weeks after that tested again at 277W and i’m working off that now but reckon i’m more at 285W.

So, use your experience and do what you want. It’s not a rigidly defined “You MUST do this or else!”, re-test anytime you want, or just bump your FTP up to what you think it is. You will still be riding and training. AT will adjust.

:laughing:

I definitely might be overthinking it a little. I might just manually adjust and be on the conservative side. I don’t mind ramp tests but fitting them in without skipping workouts is always kind of a bear. I hope my return is as quick and strong as yours was, hoping to move up to Cat 1 in our XC series this year.