Your FTP improvements

Not FTP as the whole discussion about holding it for X minutes or it being different outside and all that so I’m going for it’s just the TR training number.

I’m a couple weeks into my second 6 week polarised plan and my 60min watt/kg is steadily improving. I have lost some weight but less than a kilo.

Pretty pleased with the trend and plan to bust out an 8 week next then some more base.

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So close now! Today Alpe du Zwift with Kolie Moore’s FTP test pacing and negative splitting at 41:25. In power it means 397 W at 85 kg. I had very good legs even though I had five hour long ride yesterday. I assume I could have done about 5 minutes still which would put my TTE at 45-50 minutes. Weight is going down slowly so I expect to break 5 W/kg and 400 W FTP mark in winter. I won’t just chase the watts though, just consistent work with TTE and a lot of base miles now before I do a VO2max block after Christmas which will give me good performance. I have to study racing tactics too and train my skills because there is a lot of time to gain in races. My A race is in June so I have had my off season already and will get everything out of training time now.

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You’re a BEAST!

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That is amazing. I thought RHR wasn’t supposed to change.

MaxHR cant physically change from your genetics (although you can fail to realise your true Genetic max). RestingHR on the other hand varies all the time, it reduces as you get older and fitter (conversely it can also decline if you are worn out) and rises if your body is fighting an infection etc.

Ok, I know many factors can influence RHR, I just didn’t think it could change so much in someone who is already doing a lot of training.

It is quite a range indeed, I’m just going on memory but I don’t think I’ve seen my RHR vary by over 13bpm and that’s when I’ve been fighting something (pushing the upper end up). My normal variation during training is something like 5-6bpm at the most

I did my first FTP test about 11 months ago, fresh off the couch when I got a wattbike. My score was 181w at 90kg, at 55 years old. Now a year older, I have just started working with a coach who ran my data through WKO5 and gave me an FTP of 315w, at 85kg. I am jealous of moukari, who can push out many more watts at the same weight! :smiley:

While my graphing skills are primitive, you can see a rapid increase in the first quarter of the chart. This coincides with my increase in volume from 0 hours per week to the 5-8hr range. Then, in the middle of the chart, there is a fairly flat period, where I kind of stabilized at this weekly volume level. Then starting in July, I took weekly volume up to the 12hr level for a couple months. This brought my FTP to the high 290s by August. I decided this was close enough to 300, so I rewarded myself by getting an actual bike with wheels. Then in late August, I took weekly volume up to 14hrs, where I have been ever since. Interestingly, it was going from 12hr/week to 14hr/week that was the trigger for me to lose quite a bit of the weight I’ve lost this year, going from 88.5kg in mid-August to 86kg in mid-October (and prompting me to get another DXA scan).

I did do a pretty intensive three-week VO2 block in July/August, but other than that my HIT has mostly been once a week at most. The rest of the time just riding a lot of Z2.
Apart from FTP gains and a bit of weight loss, I have done several DXA scans (highly recommended) and noticed significant body composition changes (decrease in fat mass, increase in lean mass). A DXA I did on Feb 1 (close to the start of my bike training) of this year showed 19.4% body fat at 90kg, compared to October 14 results of 12.8% body fat at 86kg. Over this period I lost about 6.4kg of fat while gaining about 2.6kg of lean mass. The DXA scans help me stay realistic about how much weight loss I can expect—my basic principle is, I don’t mind losing fat, but if I start to lose a lot of lean mass, that is a problem. 12.8% without obsessive calorie counting is already pretty low for my age, but perhaps 10-11% is possible. This would put me at 82-83kg as a target weight (at 192cm height), so 4 w/kg is not an impossibility in the next year.

It is a bit surprising to me that I have gained lean mass this year, because while I believe my health has generally improved greatly, one of the challenges has been to keep up with strength training. I have gone from doing weights 3-4 times a week last year, to (at most) once a week this year. Time management aside, it is just really difficult to add strength training while also adding cycling volume. But I find that after a month or two, you get accustomed to the new (higher) volume, and can then either add more volume, or something else. All this year, I have added more cycling volume, but going forward I will try to add back more strength training. We’ll see how well I stick to that aspiration :smiley:

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What is this heresy!?! :flushed: :joy:

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Good job! Remember that I am 25 years younger than you - I hope that I can do 315 W FTP at 55 years old then :smiley: You are 10 cm taller too so it’s not easy to lose a lot more of weight anymore. Your body fat is quite low already so just do quality training and volume and the weight will go down a bit still.

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Gosh, I just tested at 3.35wkg, very poor and a fall from 3.75wkg since my last test - admittedly last August - and 4wkg in July '21. Tests in between were missed due to mitigating circumstances of covid x 2 in Jan & July, then Bronchitis followed by flu over 7 weeks from the last week of October to mid December meaning 17 weeks missed training, 2.5kg weight increase and only 3 weeks training over an indulgent Christmas period before the test.

Even though I’m a long endurance racer and not the most powerful rider this loss still comes as a shock!

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New PB (by a total watt) and Wkg PB. Either a good sign for the upcoming season, or a good sign I’m peaking in February :joy:

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Update a couple of years later - I’ve stayed fairly consistent with LV plans to prep for different races (3-4 a year, gravel and mountain bike). I hit a new high of 292 (4.24 w/kg) a couple of months ago and have managed to hold it there through base training. Feeling very good halfway through LV general build and expecting to see a small bump.

With our second baby due in May, I’m taking 2023 off of racing (except a fat bike race in a few weeks) and am planning on a very extended/flexible base phase until I can commit to consistent training again. Hopefully I can stave off too much fitness loss by using Train Now whenever I can sneak in a ride!

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I wanted to chime in again after a year of consistent training. Started last year with a low volume Olympic plan from January to august. FTP 157->220. In September I started SSBLV 1 and 2, followed by sustained power build. I added in z2 rides where I could. In November my power meter died, and I had to use my trainer power while I got that fixed so I had to adjust down my ftp, but it rebounded quickly. Ftp 220->240. This week I am starting up triathlon season, I am using plan builder and going mid volume for an Olympic race in august. Can’t wait to see where another year of consistency takes me.

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Wow! That’s so awesome. I hope to be like you.

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Great improvements!! Consistency is KEY!

Happy training, everyone – keep up the awesome work! :muscle:

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Some back story to this so bear with me.

Started smoking at age 14 (the worst thing I ever did in my life) and quit nearly 30 years later in December 2012 aged 43 (best thing I ever did in my life). Started riding a bike around the same time, weighing around 95kg.

First TR FTP test on 31st October 2017 at age 48, weighing 76.7kg. 232w (3.02 w/kg).

Spent the next few years following the same format of going through SSBLV1, SSBLV2 & general build plans between October and February then just doing outdoor recreational and club rides for the rest of the year, starting again with the TR structured training in October.

Oct 2017 - 232w & 3.02 w/kg
Feb 2018 - 256w & 3.43 w/kg

Oct 2018 - 248w & 3.46 w/kg
Feb 2019 - 265w & 3.89 w/kg

Oct 2019 - 254w & 3.43 w/kg
June 2020 - 263w & 3.61 w/kg

Important to note at this point that I was clueless about nutrition and recovery. I thought the way to get faster was to work harder so had experimented with doing mid volume plans but wasn’t doing any kind of workout fuelling, my general diet was bad and I wasn’t getting enough sleep. End result being burnout and plateau.

Did the usual October to February thing over the winter of 20/21 but kept it going and did some sporadic structured training throughout the summer of 21 which I think led to my best results so far up to that point.

October 2020 - 245w & 3.37 w/kg
August 2021 - 277w & 3.79 w/kg

Started the winter block in September 2021 but at that point I started listening to the podcasts and this was a total game changer. Took me nearly a year to listen to them all from start to finish, during which time I learned so much about fuelling and recovery. Started paying more attention to recovery and nutrition in 2022, as well as being more consistent with training throughout the year.

As an aside, I raced for the first time ever in 2022, competing in the road bike class in my local TT league and actually won it.

Sept 2021 - 269w & 3.59 w/kg
Aug 2022 - 282w & 3.93 w/kg
Sep 2022 - 278w & 3.99 w/kg

Took a few easy weeks at the end of the TT season then started back on it at the end of October 2022. I set myself 2 goals to achieve before the start of the 2023 TT season, those being to break the 300w and 4 w/kg barriers, the latter of which I’ve now achieved.

Am really focussed on my nutrition, both on and off the bike, as well as recovery. Am keeping to a LV plan but have added in a lot more endurance rides since November and am really starting to see the results now. At this rate I will hopefully hit 300w around April / May time in time for the start of the TT season.

Oct 2022 - 281w & 4.05 w/kg
Nov 2022 - 284w & 4.12 w/kg
Jan 2023 - 288w & 4.2 w/kg

I’m 53, 178cm and currently 68kg.

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What an inspiring story. I will take your advice if listening to the podcasts to heart.

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Increased stroke volume for which endurance rides are the most potent driver. Then increased blood volume and haemoglobin from high intensity. Deliver more oxygen per beat. Thus you can maintain same cardiac output at lower heart rate.

I recommend listening to them. As well as being entertaining I’d say applying what I’ve learned from them is making me faster.

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