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Old 07-07-14, 08:47 PM   #1
wsuhoops1000
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Hows this FTP Improvement Plan Look??

Been riding a bit over a year. FTP is 200 watts. Weight 60kg.

3x20 @95%
90 min @90%
Easy
2x20 @100%
90 min @90%
5 hours @75%
Easy

3x20 @95%
5x5 @115%
Easy
2x20 @100%
90 min @90%
3x20 @95%
Off

3x25 @95%
100 min @90%
Easy
2x25 @100%
95 min @90%
5 hours @75%
Easy

Recovery Week?



New FTP Test. Repeat?
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Old 07-07-14, 08:59 PM   #2
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I don't see the point of the 90 minute ride at 90%. I would just alternate 2x20's at 95-100% (whatever is manageable) with easy/rest days and do a longer ride on the weekend. Or two days of 2x20's and one day of 5x5's per week. If you're just starting out at intervals that is a boat load of intensity to jump right into.
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Old 07-07-14, 09:00 PM   #3
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meh. if you never ride over ftp, how's your FTP going to go up?

just do 5x5 at max or 110 or 105 or whatever every other day for 5 weeks. I mean, all these intervals look so miserable you might as well do something to overload the system.

source: I know a guy who's a cat 1.
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Old 07-07-14, 09:33 PM   #4
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Good God. If you're FTP is set right, that's a lot of work. You have weeks where you're doing 2 and 3 days of 2x20+ FTP intervals.

I would compare the TSS you might expect from those weeks to the TSS you've been averaging and looks at the increase. You could do more of the sweet spot stuff and less of the FTP intervals and not grind yourself down. I've had good luck with 90% of FTP. I've found that I can train FTP effectively at efforts anywhere from 90+% of FTP, so long as the time increases accordingly.

I think the more traditional approach is to do the 5x5s (VO2 max) vs FTP stuff is to do the more intense stuff after the longer, less intense intervals. In practice, I don't how much it matters. I usually do 5x5 kind of stuff after I've done longer ints just because I need that acclimatization.

(below more related to VO2/AC than FTP)

FWIW, I've been doing - 3 sets of: 1min @ 150%, rest 1 min, then rest 5 minutes, then do the 3 sets of 1min @ 150% again. Only 6 minutes of actual work, but MUCH harder than it looks when you read it on a screen. It was recommended to me to do that workout every other day for the 2 or 3 weeks leading up to a priority race, and I could tell the difference. These, of course, were after all the base/build stuff. I imagine they're similar to @waterrockets WRI workouts.
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Old 07-07-14, 09:44 PM   #5
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What's your need to increase FTP? A few months ago I was big on increasing it but now I don't see much relevancy in it for the type of racing I do.
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Old 07-07-14, 10:03 PM   #6
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...rest 1 min, then rest 5 minutes...
wut
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Old 07-07-14, 10:14 PM   #7
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meh. if you never ride over ftp, how's your FTP going to go up?
SST is not over FTP, and it pushed me up to 4.75W/kg... and I'm a kilo guy.

My sources are finding bigger gains with more push threshold work than pull threshold work (but still a split, not an elimination of the harder stuff). I also saw my highest threshold in 2.5 years after I backed off the interval intensity on threshold work, and I was absolutely plateaued -- could not bump up FTP for about 10 weeks, then 3 weeks baked off a bit and FTP bumps 20W.

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Good God. If you're FTP is set right, that's a lot of work. You have weeks where you're doing 2 and 3 days of 2x20+ FTP intervals.
Yep: yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yep View Post
I would compare the TSS you might expect from those weeks to the TSS you've been averaging and looks at the increase. You could do more of the sweet spot stuff and less of the FTP intervals and not grind yourself down. I've had good luck with 90% of FTP. I've found that I can train FTP effectively at efforts anywhere from 90+% of FTP, so long as the time increases accordingly.

I think the more traditional approach is to do the 5x5s (VO2 max) vs FTP stuff is to do the more intense stuff after the longer, less intense intervals. In practice, I don't how much it matters. I usually do 5x5 kind of stuff after I've done longer ints just because I need that acclimatization.

(below more related to VO2/AC than FTP)
Yeah, along these lines, I would stay away from any VO2 stuff when the focus is on building FTP. Just eliminate these intervals altogether for this block.

My suggestion to wsuhoops is to train just below threshold for much of your interval work so that you can do 3-4 days/week of that kind of work without overtraining. I think that you can work in one workout with tough "pull" intervals each week in place of one of the easier threshold workouts, as that won't tear you down too much. The key is patience, because it doesn't feel like you're doing enough. You can practice suffering when you're done building FTP and start doing the VO2/AWC/ATP stuff...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yep View Post
FWIW, I've been doing - 3 sets of: 1min @ 150%, rest 1 min, then rest 5 minutes, then do the 3 sets of 1min @ 150% again. Only 6 minutes of actual work, but MUCH harder than it looks when you read it on a screen. It was recommended to me to do that workout every other day for the 2 or 3 weeks leading up to a priority race, and I could tell the difference. These, of course, were after all the base/build stuff. I imagine they're similar to @waterrockets WRI workouts.
Well, the WRI stuff is steady RPE, allowing power to fall. The focus is on maintaining the effort and pain, and ending up well into the AWC training zone for the minute. Then I recover at 70% for 5 minutes between each interval. For a 1' test, it's RPE 10, pure and simple. For intervals, RPE 9, usually, with a 10 on the last one. I can't get into AWC for all 5 or 6 intervals if I target RPE 10 each time.
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Old 07-07-14, 10:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
SST is not over FTP, and it pushed me up to 4.75W/kg... and I'm a kilo guy.

My sources are finding bigger gains with more push threshold work than pull threshold work (but still a split, not an elimination of the harder stuff). I also saw my highest threshold in 2.5 years after I backed off the interval intensity on threshold work, and I was absolutely plateaued -- could not bump up FTP for about 10 weeks, then 3 weeks baked off a bit and FTP bumps 20W.

That's great and all, but if we're going to give advice by size of our ftps he going to want to take mine. Anyway, I'd give different advice if someone had been riding for years. He said he'd been riding just over a year, which means he is nowhere near a plateau or genetic limit. I think he'd get there faster raising the left and letting the right fill on it's own.

Whatever he does, after only a year, is going to lead to gains. There's no wrong answer, I just thought the posted schedule looked more miserable than anything else.
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Old 07-07-14, 10:40 PM   #9
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I was absolutely plateaued -- could not bump up FTP for about 10 weeks, then 3 weeks baked off a bit and FTP bumps 20W.
Were you able to maintain the FTP increase? Are you sure it wasn't a temporary bump from having a positive TSB? My impression from reading the wattage board is that SST training is no longer in vogue. It's all about intervals in Z4+ or base training in Z1/Z2. Obviously if it's working for you that's all that matters.
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Old 07-07-14, 11:07 PM   #10
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That's great and all, but if we're going to give advice by size of our ftps he going to want to take mine.

ummmmmm my plan? ride 25 hours a week of jra
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Old 07-08-14, 04:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yep View Post
FWIW, I've been doing - 3 sets of: 1min @ 150%, rest 1 min, then rest 5 minutes, then do the 3 sets of 1min @ 150% again. Only 6 minutes of actual work, but MUCH harder than it looks when you read it on a screen. It was recommended to me to do that workout every other day for the 2 or 3 weeks leading up to a priority race, and I could tell the difference. These, of course, were after all the base/build stuff. I imagine they're similar to @waterrockets WRI workouts.
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
wut
I read it as such:
3 x 1 min 150%, 1 min rest

3 min rest

3 x 1 min 150%, 1 min rest

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ummmmmm my plan? ride 25 hours a week of jra
That's usually what I do, if I can, like my SoCal training camps. I throw in some localized/immediate goals, like if I ride out to Palomar then I need to complete the ride before a certain time (to avoid riding at night) which means doing the various climbs at some kind of reasonable-to-me speeds. I also do a few jumps to keep from getting too bored. I finish those kinds of weeks fatigued but mentally really fresh, like really psyched to go racing.

I can't do a long week like that at home though. Lots of other things I end up doing than go ride the bike 3-6 hours a day.
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Old 07-08-14, 05:46 AM   #12
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That's great and all, but if we're going to give advice by size of our ftps he going to want to take mine.
I didn't clarify. When I started the SST stuff, I had been racing and training for 16 years. I got my power meter and got a plateau threshold of 320W. I started SST, and I was able to bump it to 360W, with a 475W 5' power, though my 1' power dropped to 775W (at 167 lbs). These were big gains, and I was not suffering as much in threshold training. I got too happy seeing those numbers and changed my intervals to more intense, and that's when I started falling off, then some training schedule changes hit... then injury, then illness...

My coach has several Cat 1 and pro athletes doing an under-threshold focus, and they're making big gains.

Quote:
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Whatever he does, after only a year, is going to lead to gains. There's no wrong answer, I just thought the posted schedule looked more miserable than anything else.
On this, we certainly agree.
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Old 07-08-14, 05:50 AM   #13
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That's great and all, but if we're going to give advice by size of our ftps he going to want to take mine. Anyway, I'd give different advice if someone had been riding for years. He said he'd been riding just over a year, which means he is nowhere near a plateau or genetic limit. I think he'd get there faster raising the left and letting the right fill on it's own.

Whatever he does, after only a year, is going to lead to gains. There's no wrong answer, I just thought the posted schedule looked more miserable than anything else.
So he wants to take your advice, your suggesting intervals, of which you never do any. So basically your advice is from theory. Your fitness comes from JRA and SST/VO2 work you get in group rides.

Waterrockets has good advice, that would be a good place to start. I personally prefer structure sub-threshold intervals. But the pushing seems to work really good for threshold improvement. Especially if the person has never done any structure like that before.
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Old 07-08-14, 06:12 AM   #14
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What works for me is longer intervals at tempo mixed with VO2 work. Too much threshold just tires me out after a couple of weeks. I have been racing for ten years with a lifetime break in the middle.
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Old 07-08-14, 09:00 AM   #15
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SST is not over FTP, and it pushed me up to 4.75W/kg... and I'm a kilo guy.

My sources are finding bigger gains with more push threshold work than pull threshold work (but still a split, not an elimination of the harder stuff). I also saw my highest threshold in 2.5 years after I backed off the interval intensity on threshold work, and I was absolutely plateaued -- could not bump up FTP for about 10 weeks, then 3 weeks baked off a bit and FTP bumps 20W.



Yep: yep.



Yeah, along these lines, I would stay away from any VO2 stuff when the focus is on building FTP. Just eliminate these intervals altogether for this block.

My suggestion to wsuhoops is to train just below threshold for much of your interval work so that you can do 3-4 days/week of that kind of work without overtraining. I think that you can work in one workout with tough "pull" intervals each week in place of one of the easier threshold workouts, as that won't tear you down too much. The key is patience, because it doesn't feel like you're doing enough. You can practice suffering when you're done building FTP and start doing the VO2/AWC/ATP stuff...



Well, the WRI stuff is steady RPE, allowing power to fall. The focus is on maintaining the effort and pain, and ending up well into the AWC training zone for the minute. Then I recover at 70% for 5 minutes between each interval. For a 1' test, it's RPE 10, pure and simple. For intervals, RPE 9, usually, with a 10 on the last one. I can't get into AWC for all 5 or 6 intervals if I target RPE 10 each time.

awesome info waterrockets and everyone else. Definetely lots to think about, its all overwhelming somewhat but I think subthreshold would be a good place to start. Basically my plan so far has been ride wherever I feel like, go hard if I want, easy if I want. Then I got a power meter and rode with it not displaying just riding like I normally do, and I realize I spend most of my time riding really really easy. I got good at cruising at 18-19mph but pushing up to threshold for 20-30min has been something I'm not as used too.

Hence I did 90 min at 90% and it didn't feel too bad, fun actually. but only 20 more watts at 100% threshold is really a different ballgame for me.

Also too the guy who said it seemed miserable I like longer intervals they hurt a hell of a lot less then short 3-5 min intervals
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Old 07-08-14, 09:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I didn't clarify. When I started the SST stuff, I had been racing and training for 16 years. I got my power meter and got a plateau threshold of 320W. I started SST, and I was able to bump it to 360W, with a 475W 5' power, though my 1' power dropped to 775W (at 167 lbs). These were big gains, and I was not suffering as much in threshold training. I got too happy seeing those numbers and changed my intervals to more intense, and that's when I started falling off, then some training schedule changes hit... then injury, then illness...

My coach has several Cat 1 and pro athletes doing an under-threshold focus, and they're making big gains.



On this, we certainly agree.
I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't as many right answers to this question as there are riders. I also believe that ftp is likely limited by genetics more than anything else. It's measured in w/kg, so surface area to slow twitch muscle fiber to skeleton size to etc... are all pretty set. You could likely do my workouts and me yours and both of us would end up at about the same place if we were doing our "own" plans.
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Old 07-08-14, 09:27 AM   #17
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Hence I did 90 min at 90% and it didn't feel too bad, fun actually. but only 20 more watts at 100% threshold is really a different ballgame for me.

Also too the guy who said it seemed miserable I like longer intervals they hurt a hell of a lot less then short 3-5 min intervals
Don't neglect your mental toughness, whatever you do. I know plenty of guys who are as strong as or stronger than I am who give up because they don't like being miserable.
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Old 07-08-14, 10:12 AM   #18
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You could likely do my workouts and me yours and both of us would end up at about the same place if we were doing our "own" plans.
this is a correct statement
no matter your training plan, find a system you prefer and stick with it

in the end, knowing "how to win" won't care what training you did that week
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Old 07-08-14, 10:17 AM   #19
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Don't neglect your mental toughness, whatever you do. I know plenty of guys who are as strong as or stronger than I am who give up because they don't like being miserable.
FTMFW!! Something I have learned very well over my years of college swimming and now cycling. Being able to suffer > numbers
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Old 07-08-14, 11:09 AM   #20
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New draft of a lower intensity schedule. Does it look better?

Monday - 2x20 @95%
Tuesday - 90 min tempo @90%
Wednesday - Easy
Thursday - 2x20 @95%
Friday - 3x20 @90-95%
Saturday - Long
Sunday - easy/off


Monday - 3x10 @100+%
Tuesday - 90 min hard tempo @90%
Wednesday - Easy
Thursday 3x20 @90-95%
Friday - 2x20 @100%
Saturday - Long
Sunday - easy/off


Monday 3x20 @90-95%
Tuesday 2x20 @100%
Wednesday - Easy
Thursday - 3x20 @90-95%
Friday - 100 min hard tempo @90%
Saturday - Long
Sunday - Easy/off


Recovery week - z1/2 some small 3
Hope for power
Test FTP
See improvement?
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Old 07-08-14, 11:15 AM   #21
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In my opinion, that's too much still. I would at least drop one of your "on" days if you are going to keep the intensity that high. So you have 4 "on" and 3 "off" days.
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Old 07-08-14, 11:16 AM   #22
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Just a thought as I'm not sure what your objectives are for applying the improved FTP (TTs, road race, crits, tris?), but at what point are you riding with others to ensure you are capable of riding with others? Especially if you plan to ride/race with others in close quarters? I don't want this to deviate from the original intent and become a group ride vs non group ride tangent, but it seems that mixing in a day of riding with others to keep the skills sharp would be good, no?
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Old 07-08-14, 11:19 AM   #23
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Also, what are you goals besides just gaining threshold? What is the reasoning of you trying to gain threshold?

If you devote purely to threshold right now in the middle of the season, you won't really become "faster" in racing. Is your goal racing oriented?
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Old 07-08-14, 11:58 AM   #24
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Something that I didn't see in here is how much base are you going into this with? To get my FTP up over the winter I was on a steady diet of long z2 rides for a couple months with some smaller intensity worked in. That is what helped me the most I think as at that point I hadn't ever done a real "base" period.
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Old 07-08-14, 12:07 PM   #25
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In my opinion, that's too much still. I would at least drop one of your "on" days if you are going to keep the intensity that high. So you have 4 "on" and 3 "off" days.
+1, I would change the 100 minute day at 90% down to maybe 2x60 min at tempo (more like 83-87%). Also instead of 3x20 at 90-95, why not do 2x40 at 87-93% (or SST)?

I would like to hear what your end goal is racing or just getting stronger?
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