Wanted to share my story - questions at the end

Hi all, i wanted to share my story on how i started cycling. But also tease out a thought.


I am 36 yrs old, work full time in wealth advisory and about to have our 7th child. YES 7. I still cant believe it!!!

I have always been active, gym, basketball, golf - if you call golf active! But with the stresses of life, i found myself putting on weight. At Christmas lunch last year, swimming with my kids (I live in Sydney), I looked around and saw most of the dads sitting around, overweight and beaten down by life. This was going to be me in 10 yrs, unless i made changes.

With a large family, time is to focus on me is limited. So i decided to start cycling to work. 12kms each way (about 7miles). This changed my life. I am 165cms tall and weighted 82kgs. Now, 70kgs. My kids love fit dad. My wife say in am good to look at!!

They key to my success was consistency. I am a decision that I would ride everyday - whether is it was raining, hailing, windy, cold or sunny. And did.

Why did i tell you all of that?

As my passion for cycling grew, i found myself spending more and more time riding, reading, watching and browsing all things cycling. As i got fitter my goals, or as coach Chad says, my priorities changed. I wanted to get faster. I found TR on Youtube - and here we are…

I joined TR and completed my first FPT test in July. Disappointing with 195 FPT, i committed myself to Base Low volume. In Sept my FTP was 229. Happy days - Well…more watts = more pain!! Thank you TR.

Here is my question…

I am of east African decent, from Tanzania (next to Kenya - those guys how run far!!) to be exact. I found that i respond to certain types of workouts - Spanish Neddle and Bashful - VO2 (and hate others - over/under). I recently completed a Dexa, i am at 11% body fat and have 66kgs of lean mass. I feel i have a lot a power, specially 1 minute power. My goal is to get to about 270 - 280 FTP over the next 12 months so i could race with the young kids in my local crits.

How should i approach my training / workout to build more muscular endurance, raise FTP whilst taking advantage of my genetic make up? How should i use my commute rides - recovery or VO2, sprints? Beside my commute, i have up to 4 - 5 hours i could train each week.


Sounds like SSB --> short power build --> criterium speciality might be the route for you. The low volume plans are probably all you have time for but if you find a free hour you can always pull in the workout of the day from the medium volume version of the plan you are in.

As for getting to and from work… I suggest gently. As you learn how much training stress your body can take then you could consider adding some short intervals here but I think 12km is a bit short (it’s only going to be 20-25 minutes really??)

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To echo the above, I would be careful with the commuting miles… Probably too short to turn in to workouts, so go very easy so they help your aerobic base out but without causing fatigue for TR workouts.

SSB into short power build would be my route… Nobody likes Over/Unders but they do a really good job of raising your FTP and preparing you for the stresses to come in build/specialty.

Well done on committing! Crits are a lot of fun in an odd way, whilst being super stressful and hard at the same time. I love them and hate them in equal measure.

Great feedback. Thank you. You are right in the fatigue. I have found that my Weekly TSS pushing above 750 to even 990 (not all stress is equal) because of my commute rides. This has not given me the right amount of time to rest and recover and has impacted TR workouts.

That TSS seems high to me, based on a 24km round trip commute? How are you measuring power output outside? Perhaps your FTP is higher than you think it is…

That is monster TSS!! For reference SSB High volume 2 maxes out at 732TSS a week and TR have always been very clear that only a very small handful of users are actually able to do the high volume plans.

Have you a power meter on your commuting bike? What turbo trainer are you using? What are your power sources? Have you done FTP test both indoor and outdoor (they dont always correlate well for people). Your FTP value is used to determine TSS so if it’s set incorrectly then the other maths are bad too.

Hmm, now you got me thinking.!! The TSS values is what I read from TR when looking at my rides. I have attached a snapshot showing weekly average over last 6wks.


I have a power2max PM and a Wahoo HRM. I use the Wahoo kickr Snap for my indoor training. I use the power from the Wahoo when training.

The FTP test was completed on the Wahoo Kickr. I have never done an outside FTP test… maybe I should look at this.

Wheel on turbo trainers can have a higher degree of variance than you might expect. If you can it would be preferable to use your power2max as your power source at all times.

Good advice. I will sync my wahoo with the PM and redo the FTP test. And one outside.

The value of testing both indoors and outdoors is debatable (as in, it has really been debated to death on these forums!) but using powermatch to use your Power2Max as the source for your Kickr Snap is without question the best way to go! Sounds like your FTP set on the Snap might be much lower than your Power2Max reads and therefore the TrainerRoad software thinks you are absolutely smashing it every commute - hence the high TSS.

I used to use my commutes as fun time hammerfests but since joining TR I’ve done just as you say and dialed the intensity way down a la Coach Chad’s “just lift your knees & let them fall”. Commute takes me about twice as long now. :confused:

Same here! I used to commute most days and I usually ‘pootled’ in and then rode full gas on the way home.

I’m much faster now I don’t commute by bike anymore!

Eased off the pedals this morning, SOOO HARD…to go easy. But it was fun. Actually enjoyed my ride

Thanks for the insights. I will redo my FTP test this weekend using power match and see where we end up…

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I did my FTP test using power matching. FTP 10watts higher. Which explains some high TSS. I still feel there was a few more watts there - still experimenting with power match. The power was too smooth…