Wanting to push myself but not too hard

Long story short - when I would ride for fun before I started training with TR, I would do 1-3 hours on the bike (group rides, solo). I wasn’t training with power or HR and so after the ride, my legs would be shot for 4-5 days. I couldn’t even get back on the bike without pain (yes i had had a bike fit :slight_smile: ). So, I started training recently with TR and after each workout and subsequent TSS (low vol SSB) I would feel a little howl but nothing that would keep off the bike for even a single day. My question is, I want to get back out and ride more outside, take longer rides, do a lot of hill climbing here in Los Angeles, but I don’t want to set my training back. With an FTP of 165 and Watt/KG of 2.1, how do I accomplish that.

Hey there!

If you don’t have a power meter that you can use outside, what I recommend is go for a longish ride without pushing too hard, and then come home before you’re totally beat.

Assess how you feel after.

If you feel okay, then push it a little further and/or harder the next time :slight_smile:

It sounds like one issue you are experiencing is that you are pushing it too hard on the climbs. To help keep yourself in check:

  1. Remember you have gears ands use them. Even the ones that make you feel like you’re going “too slow”. :wink:
  2. If you are pushing too hard, even in your easiest gear, then you cmay want to consider getting a cassette with a lower climbing gear. Most 11 speed derailleurs can handle an 11-30 cassette, which gives you a really low gear for grinding out those climbs nice and slow.

I do have powertap p1 pedals that I use on and off the trainer - realistically even with a 50/34 in the front and 11-28 in the back, at my lowest gear, i’m still putting out threshold power to get up a climb. And on a 2 hour 20-30 mile ride, my power is all over the place due to a variety of outdoor variables. I mean 165 ftp is super super low.

Even with a lower FTP, you can still take steps to optimize your situation. In fact, with a lower FTP, optimization may be even more important,

Compared to an 11-28, an 11-30 cassette would give you a 7% lower gear in the back, which would make a big difference.

With your current easiest gear and a cadence of 75 RPM, your minimum speed is 7.2 mph.

With an 11-30, your minimum speed would be 6.6 mph.

That may seem insignificant, but it could very easily be the difference between Threshold and Sweet Spot.

Another option would be to plan your routes deliberately to avoid steeper grades and pitches so that you can more easily stay in a good zone. I’m not super familiar with your area, so I don’t have any route suggestions, but if anyone from the LA area has a flat route they like, feel free to chime in!

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if you do have a HR monitor, and a known climb 3+ km at 3-5%. nothing too steep or long.
practice starting off slow and raising your HR as the climb progress, and note points that are comfortable and the tipping point where your legs start to feel fatigue, and the points where your pushing hard but maintainable, and finally in the last 500m the point where your lungs and HR are about to give out.

once you have a few of the points worked out you’ll be able to roughly judge your efforts up a climb with out blowing your self in to the red on every climb