Upping the load

After a major injury and two years of rehab. I did my ramp test and chose a plan accordingly. The workouts now (3 weeks in) seem too easy. Should I just up the intensity of each individual workout or just scrap the phase, retest and start again?

Depends how easy they feel. I’d be more inclined to do a few workouts at a higher percentage and see how you feel. Try adding, say, 5% and see if that brings your perceived rate of exertion more in-line with what’s expected by the Intensity Factor (IF) of the workout e.g. a 0.9IF should feel like it’s on the verge of burying you. Eventually after a few workouts you’ll likely reach the point where you can just manually bump your FTP to a figure which feels more in line with your actual FTP.


Agree with @Rev0knuckle. No need to scrap the plan and start over, which I assume you’re in SSB1? An increase of 5% is a good start. If still too easy after interval sessions or long SS workouts, add a couple more percentages until you feel challenged by the workouts, but not soul crushing efforts.

When you say “upping the load” I assume you mean intensity and not volume (ie. LV plan to MV or HV)?

Don’t scrap the plan so far - progress is motivating; starting over would be the opposite IMO. Instead, dial up the intensity of workouts a little bit over the course of the last few weeks of the phase.

I came into this “season” with pretty good fitness, although I had been mostly off the bike for several weeks. Three or four weeks into SSB1MV it was evident that I had gained (or regained) substantial fitness from my first ramp test. I simply bumped up workout intensity for those key workouts over the last two weeks, and then when I tested at the start of SSB2MV I saw a 7% FTP increase. You’ll probably experience something similar.

1 Like

Did Petit today at 115% and my heart rate never went over 116. And yes I am doing low volume base phase.

So you’re doing low volume traditional base? There’s nothing challenging about traditional base low volume; it’s not supposed to be hard.

If you’re doing Trad Base LV1, you’re almost done with that first phase. You’ll ramp test again at the start of the next phase.

With this additional detail, I’d tell you to go one of two ways… Finish the week as scheduled, then:

  1. If you feel like you’re still recovering and easing into training, continue on with traditional base LV2 or MV 2, whatever volume is appropriate. The ramp test will take care of itself.

  2. If you are cleared for full, intense training, start Sweet Spot Base 1 LV next week. Again, you’ll ramp test again, but you’ll find the workouts far more challenging.

On the podcast, Chad usually recommends Sweet Spot Base for most everyone. The exceptions are the triathlon plans and those who have the time and motivation to do Traditional Base High Volume. Traditional Base plans otherwise are recommended for rehab or coming back from a long layoff. Sounds like you fall into the latter, so finish TB1 and make your choice from there.

That’s low but I wouldn’t base any FTP setting on a ride like Petitt as it’s essentially a recovery ride. Try something at 0.8IF or above at 115% and then see how you get on.

1 Like

To be pedantic, Pettit isn’t a recovery ride. It’s aerobic endurance. a recovery ride should be no more than 45-55% of FTP whereas Pettit is 60-70%

@pmoores My starting point would be to review and ensure that your FTP test was accurate in the first place, what equipment did you use for the FTP test? was it a smart trainer or power meter? and did you feel like you rode to maximum effort and failure?

That’s very low, at least it would be for me.

I have done Pettit 5 times in the last 6 weeks or so and the lowest my max HR recorded was 151 bpm.

Did you do the sprints? That’s the point I see my HR spiking in Pettit.

Turns out I only had 1 week left and has been completed. I just retested and my FTP has gone up 21 points. Now the decision to redo Sweet Spot Base or move on to Sustained Power Build? (First world problems)

1 Like

Do Sweet Spot Base. If you’ve been off for two years and have only done four weeks of Traditional Base LV, you need to bring your base up before moving into Sustained Power Build. I’d recommend SSB1LV next. It’s a good step up from Traditional Base in terms of intensity.

1 Like