Workout Intensity

I’m new to cycling. Picked up a bike at the start of the summer; a turbo not long after. Spent the summer working towards a pair of half-marathons I wanted to PB in, with the idea that once the running was out of the way, I’d take a month off and start working on the cycling, following the low-volume Sweet Spot plans before transitioning over to the half Ironman*.

While the plan was for it to be a period of active recovery, I’m wondering if I should be concerned about how quickly my ‘fitness’ is tapering off, according to this chart:


(You can two build and taper sections for the 3rd and 5th races on the chart)

I suspect it’s probably just vanity, but I guess my heart isn’t being as taxed cycling as it was running. I notice long(er) outdoor rides offer a spike, but even the 90 minute turbo sessions don’t spike it much. I feel it in my legs, but not my heart. I appreciate it’s not wise to build and build and build, but was hoping that I’d almost be in maintenance mode.

  • Ol’ muggins here took part in a sprint duathlon and liked it so much, he went ahead and entered himself in next year’s Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire.
  1. The chart above appears to be from Strava? Just trying to confirm where and how you are analyzing your data.

  2. What exactly are you doing for your cycling workouts? You don’t mention any specifics about workouts or training plans you follow.

  3. Are they based on a FTP test to set your training zones? You don’t mention how you are setting intensity or duration in your bike/trainer workouts.

Basically, you haven’t given much detail about what you are actually doing, so we can’t really help without more info.

  1. Just from a common sense perspective, look at how much volume you had in August, September and October compared to now. Should it really be any surprise that your fitness is dropping?

  2. You’ve had a big few months. Now is the time to drop things down and allow your body to recover. Don’t sacrifice long terms gains for short term gains now. The point isn’t to be fast now, it’s to be fast when it counts. Recover, build your base and start in on your Ironman training. You’ll slowly begin to rebuild your volume and intensity and you’ll get back to where you were.

  3. The CTL chart is fun to look at (I love to watch mine every day, too), but it is by no means the be-all, end-all of training.

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Thanks for your replies!


  1. That’s right: I could have lifted it from Training Peaks to show a similar curve.
  2. Whoops! I’m a few weeks into TR’s Sweet Spot Base vol. 1
  3. They are: took the ramp test at the start of the plan and is also set over on Strava/TP. I should note that the chart there is the combined Power/Heart Rate


All good points, and perhaps that’s the kind of advice I needed. I feel that chart has gotten its hooks into me and if I don’t see it going up, I’m not on-plan. I need to remember that I’m not building currently, I’m just laying the groundwork for future work.

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