Training Religiously and going backwards

I have been training in a structured way for several years and joined TR last November on the high volume plan. I started off at just under 3w/kg and after my first base blocks I broke through the 3w/kg barrier. Happniness so far.
Then the yoghurt hit the fan. I did the next 6 week block and ftp stayed the same. No biggie, right?
I started the first build block of 4 weeks and didn’t manage a single workout. Keeping the cadence up seems undoable. I have been reducing resistance more and more. Now I’m on the last week and reduced the VO2max by 15% and still battled! The intervals ended up being only 3w over my ftp and I could only keep the cadence up for the first minute. Then it was hanging on for dear life on erg mode to avoid grinding to a complete halt.
No idea what to expect from the next block. My suspicion is that my ftp will drop at the next ramp test, which is frustrating since I’ve been so disciplined and committed to the plan. Any advice???

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Assuming that your setup hasn’t changed and that recovery isn’t an issue I would point you towards a longer protocol to get a more realistic FTP. The ramp test isn’t for everyone. :slight_smile:

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Welcome to the forums QotN, something doesn’t seem right!

Can you post which plans and volumes please and gaps in training or additional activities, and what is your hardware setup?

My first thoughts are hardware - turn off erg mode to start with, and see what output you can maintain.

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Make sure your trainer/power meter is properly calibrated.
Also ensure very good cooling with at least 2 fans (or one heavy duty one).
I guess if you’ve been doing structured training for several years you might be getting close to your ceiling?

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How do you feel day to day?

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I think perhaps you should look at a lower volume plan. The high volume plan is seemingly aimed at a select few and perhaps not something sustainable continuously for most. I might even suggest a low volume plan with added zone 2 rides to get to the number of hours per week you’d like to do. My theory is that high volume plan has you too fatigued to do the work.

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Are you saying there is an issue with your power meter or that you are exhausted? If the latter, the answer is easy.

When was the last time you had a proper rest?

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QotN, two suggestions…

1.) Zero your power meter. Calibrate your trainer. Sounds like you’re not new to the game so probably you’re already doing this…just wanted to explicitly suggest it.

2.) Take a week off & then resume with a lower volume plan.

Some athletes have an iron will that is strong enough to crush their physiology (Lawson Craddock springs to mind). You might be one of those riders. Give yourself a break. :wink:

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You say you’ve been training in a structured way for several years prior to joining TR. When was the last time you took a break from training for more than a week?

I actually think the ftp was right when I tested. I felt stronger than on the previous test abs gained 7w so I didn’t suspect it being unrealistic. Perhaps I’m just overdoing it? But will check out protocol options as you suggest, it will be interesting to see if there’s a difference.

Hi JoeX
I started with TR in November. I’m definitely nowhere near my personal peak. Had been doing structured training before but lost my way a bit when the hard lockdown arrived in South Africa in March 2020. only bought an indoor Trainers few weeks later. It was a plain one at first, then upgraded to a smart trainer after a few months.
I was using Garmin dual sided power pedals at first, then I put my old bile on the Trainer and moved the power pedals to my outdoor road bike. However, the underperformance started before I moved the pedals. I’m saying this because I was recording power through the Trainer (BKOOL pro) and the pedals and they matched. So unfortunately I’m afraid the numbers are probably correct.

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Oh and I’m on the high volume medium at the Moment. Before TR I was training 2-3 days a week plus 1-2 weekend rides. So I’d say my overall volume has increased but not in an unreasonable way.

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I was using power pedals to have a second power reading and the numbers match. I train outside there’s always a slight breeze and never too hot early in the morning.
Hopefully I’m not close to my peak. All my friends are faster!

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I feel fine to be honest. I sleep well and I’m not stressed. Even though I work a lot, I love what I do.
I look forward to training too.

That sounds possible to be honest. Next week is a rest week so I’m gonna reset it after that. Are you suggesting the mid volume plan? And then I manually add easy aerobic workouts?
Tell me more, this is worth a shot I’ve got nothing to lose and am willing to try.

I had lots of time off in September October last year. And now I’m obviously doing the rest weeks as per TR plan

Hmmm… I guess if I say my power reading is correct then that leaves me with option 2? :slight_smile:

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Ok I hear you
My readings are correct as I had a second reading on Magenbitter power pedals until I removed them a week ago. But the numbers always matched.
So would you say medium volume? I’m gonna have so much time on my hands I won’t know what to do with myself…
Any advice?
Oh and yes next week is a rest week anyway
If I go to low or medium volume should I start with base or continue with the second block of build which is what’s up next if I change nothing?

Well done for answering all the questions! A rare thing on forums.
Sounds like you’re ok psychologically, don’t sound run down from your posts. Just want to help you troubleshoot physical reasons whilst others help with the tech.

Do you think you’re getting enough calories? How can you be sure? Are you calculating your intake?
I ask because I think TR training is pretty hard on the body. I find even low volume more demanding than when I do hours and hours of outside riding.

Could it be worth trying to put on a couple of pounds whilst maintaining your training? It’d be a good experiment to do and surprisingly hard to achieve I’ll wager.

One final question for now. When you shower after a hard workout, do you smell ammonia ever? (Not a weird question I promise. I learnt this one from my own experience)

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