Using TR for a while but not progressing.... but why?!

I have been using TR for a few years now but have barely made any gains.
If I do the ramp test staying seated to start a plan I can then follow the plan with ease.
If I stand in the ramp test I can get a bit more FTP but have still never failed to finish a workout/plan.
Does anyone else find that despite sticking to the plans (usually 3 rides per week and an extra outdoors at weekend) they just don’t seem to improve?
Very frustrating… I was thinking that at least on Zwift I could maybe push myself harder and see if that has a better Impact.
Any thoughts on this, ideas etc?

Have you seen any FTP increases or even time at FTP since starting? A bit of info on your plan/cycling history would be useful.

I have seen some increase, c 10% but that was really in the early days, and I am talking low FTP numbers. 55yr male at70kg. I have been on TR for c 2-3 yrs I guess

What kind of plans have you been following? How many hours per week?

It could be that you simply need more time in the saddle…or more intensity…

I have generally rotated through Base, Build and then a Speciality doing the 3 rides per week plan, and then I often do an extra ride outdoors at weekends. So minimum 3 hours per week but could be 5-6.

Sounds as though you could have reached the maximum achievable with current hours you may see gains from adding additional hours (perhaps moving form low to med vol).

OR

I’d be tempted to introduce a new stimulus (i.e., 4-6 week VO2 block) to see if that get things moving. Could be your FTP is close to VO2 max and the latter needs shifting upwards, before then bringing up your FTP.

Would you be interested in making your calendar public? Some specific detail could be really useful here

I think some sort of new stimulus is needed. It feels like I can do a test, then follow the plan with relative ease and manage all the intervals etc.
What is a 4-6 week VO2 block, is there one on TR?

Gendarme; Stanislaus -4; Freel +1, ; Bashful; Baird +2; Mills; Dade +1; Spencer.

Could do each twice working through the progression. on a day on/day off basis (depending on you ability to recover).

Maybe but I guess it depends what info it gives etc. Do you know how I do that?

It just shows us what you see, i.e your calendar and training history etc.

You can do it by (on Trainer Road in your browser) going to Account, and then selecting Public.

Thanks, interesting link there. I think this sounds like the sort of shock to the system I might need!
I think I will try that on a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday before ride with mates on Sunday for 4 weeks.
Ouch, just realised today is Tuesday!

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Final question, has you power measuring method changed at all over the course of your TR history?

Just keep an eye on recovery, that’s a fairly heavy load. Could always do Tue/Thurs for the sessions and then easy riding around these.

I have done that. The calendar goes very quiet from April/May onwards as I started to ride more outside but I guess it reveals more before then

onemanpeloton
October 13

It just shows us what you see, i.e your calendar and training history etc.

You can do it by (on Trainer Road in your browser) going to Account, and then selecting Public.

This was my first thought, too. 3 hours per week would be a maintenance plan for me to try to avoid losing fitness, but I don’t think it would be enough to progress (but I could be wrong).

On the other hand, if I never failed a workout and didn’t have problems completing the plans, I’d regularly tweak the FTP manually to increase it, and see how things go that way.

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No. All done via a watt bike atom

d_diston
October 13

Final question, has you power measuring method changed at all over the course of your TR history?

If you have never failed a workout I dont think you are going deep enough in the ramp test. That is resulting in all your training being too easy and limiting progress. The hardest workouts in the hardest weeks should be just doable, not easily finished. If you dont ever have a day where sleep/life/food/sickness made you fail a workout then your workouts are way to easy. If you really cant get yourself to go quite a lot deeper in the ramp test, I would go ahead and push your ftp up manually till you start failing some workouts then back it off 5% and see if you dont start making progress again with stuff hard enough.

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Thanks for making your profile public, helps understand the data!

The short answer to your question is that you’re lacking consistency and plan adherence. I didn’t go back and look at your entire history, only 2020. But starting in January of this year you missed or failed workouts at a pace of several a month

January: 1 week of training
February: 4 weeks of training, 5 workouts skipped/not completed
March: 4 weeks of training, good compliance but not on an official plan as near as I can tell
April: 4 weeks of riding, mostly all outside without a PM so hard to tell compliance with structure
May short power build - 3 weeks of 2 TR workouts a week, 1 week of 0. Again hard to tell compliance on the outdoor stuff
June short power build - similar to May, averaged around 1.5 or 2 TR workouts, rest was outside or skipped

It basically continued like that for the rest of the season. It isn’t that you have to ride indoors and do the trainer workouts, but more that I can’t tell if you’re attempting to complete the workouts outside or not. This two week block was a fairly typical one

You might be complying with the structure on those outdoor rides, but its really hard to tell

This probably reads as a pretty harsh post, I don’t mean it as such. It’s really fine to not adhere to a plan - but to me it doesn’t look like you’re really having good consistency or adherence to the plans, so its hard to blame the structure for your lack of progress

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Not harsh at all. This year has been very different as I have ridden far more outside and my finding TR progress static. If you could see previous months/ years (for some reason I don’t seem to be able to via iPad) then you would see far more consistency.
While accepting your observation I am still pretty confident that should I do a test and start a build plan from now the issue would be the same.