TrainerRoad user for a few years now. Predominately race CX (Autumn/Winter) and Crits (Spring/Summer). Not only have I had big improvement in FTP (153 to 202 @ 55kg) but I’m continually learning about what works and what doesn’t that’s specific to me.
I find that any of the short/sharp VO2 max efforts come fairly naturally (it’s still uncomfortable!) and that I generally keep these in check by racing. I can also recover from these quickly and repeat them over and over. The bulk of my TrainerRoad workouts are Endurance based (Z2 HR) and finding this works well in between races and doesn’t fatigue me too much. I also feel more consistent on my long weekend rides.
Where I still struggle is holding anything above 85% of FTP for longer durations and this ends up hindering me come race day. I find I can break/chase the break and wind up a lot of power throughout the whole race but I cannot hold it, end up dropping back and having to sprint again to re-join the group. It also hinders me on longer weekend rides where there’s a long section of road and the group are ‘sitting in’ and holding a relatively stable speed.
Last year I did Sustained Power Build (although total opposite to my target races I felt it was my limiter). I did notice some improvements but I found I was still not increasing the time spent at higher FTP and the 2 ‘effort’ workouts each week left me fatigued at the weekend.
My plan for the Spring was to keep my endurance workouts as they are and implement one ‘effort’ workout per week (I get the other from racing and those Sunday rides aren’t as easy as everyone makes out!).
After all that, a fairly simple question… should I target workouts that are slightly above FTP and increase the time spent here over a period of weeks (is there a maximum time that is possible?) or work below FTP for a set time and increase power (to eventually work around or above FTP)?
An example would be:
5 x 4 mins @ 102% FTP - increase this to 4 mins 30, 5 mins etc
3 x 15 mins @ 80% FTP - increase this to 85% FTP, 90% FTP etc
A N Other?!
Thanks in advance for any insight.