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Increasing FTP during Winter

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Old 10-09-08, 12:29 PM
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dgearhart
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Increasing FTP during Winter

Has anyone worked hard through the winter in past years and actually increased their Threshold Power during the winter without adverse effects create in spring/summer. I know all the common wisdom says that a rider MUST take a break and focus on level 1 and level 2 workouts. However, I took several years off the bike and only started riding last February. I raced in Cat 5 and upgraded to Cat 4 at the end of year with a top 5 finishes in 5 and 4 races. I am not the type to burnout, and I'd like to train medium hard this winter with one interval session focused on V02, one interval session with 2x20 for increasing FTP, and Sat/Sun weekend rides in 40 - 50 miles. Anyone do this without "burning out"? I'm confident I can do it without burning out, but everyone says "don't do it"...
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Old 10-09-08, 12:39 PM
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Sounds like what I essentially intend to do - one TT session, one lactate session, a roller ride and one long ride on the weekend. I think it will work out. I won't ever be doing two hard days in a row.
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Old 10-09-08, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dgearhart View Post
Has anyone worked hard through the winter in past years and actually increased their Threshold Power during the winter without adverse effects create in spring/summer. I know all the common wisdom says that a rider MUST take a break and focus on level 1 and level 2 workouts. However, I took several years off the bike and only started riding last February. I raced in Cat 5 and upgraded to Cat 4 at the end of year with a top 5 finishes in 5 and 4 races. I am not the type to burnout, and I'd like to train medium hard this winter with one interval session focused on V02, one interval session with 2x20 for increasing FTP, and Sat/Sun weekend rides in 40 - 50 miles. Anyone do this without "burning out"? I'm confident I can do it without burning out, but everyone says "don't do it"...
do a search of SST and base training, you'll find lots of threads.
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Old 10-09-08, 01:21 PM
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The ONLY time I increase FTP is in the offseason.
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Old 10-09-08, 02:10 PM
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Was about to say..... now (winter) is when you increase your FTP. That and your common wisdom of zone 1 and 2 workouts being your winter focus is old school and flawed

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Old 10-09-08, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
The ONLY time I increase FTP is in the offseason.
Yep...
Long cyclocross rides, both on fire roads and in the woods.
It's fine to have a Z1/Z2 day once a week, but you need some effort on the other days to keep levels up.
We do a night ride on cross bikes, in the woods, that's 2 hours long. I break it into 30 minute segments.
1st segment-warm up while spinning to trail
2nd segment- 50 to 60 percent effort to the turnaround
3rd- 85-90% back to the trailhead
4th-cool down, spin home

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Old 10-09-08, 02:48 PM
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This season, I started a build phase in November, and plan to do the same this year. I'll carry into April or so, let it all go, then start over. My 2nd peak was amazing.
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Old 10-09-08, 03:03 PM
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I too increased my FTP about 30% (very sucky last sept.) from mid nov. to mid april where I had a short and shallow peak, earning my upgrade. I then spent may and june training for a stage race and peaked huge bringing my FTP up another 5 % and having the strongest 5 weeks of my short racing life.

I'll be starting "real" training the first week of Nov. focused on 1-2 SST sessions, 1 day of threshold climbs (3-6' climbs) and one long day (4-5 hours) on the fixed gear, MTB or CX. A few group rides and CX races peppered throughout to keep the top end familiar enough.

But, SST is the hot ****! ...for me at least.


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Old 10-09-08, 03:31 PM
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For what it's worth, I'm focusing on building threshold and neuromuscular power this winter. I've been doing a lot of sweetspotting and some strength work. However, regarding the VO2max intervals, from what I understand they're very taxing and it only takes 10-12 weeks to bring that system to its peak, so I'm not sure why you'd want to them all winter. I think that's time that could be better spent in L3 or L4.
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Old 10-09-08, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
This season, I started a build phase in November, and plan to do the same this year. I'll carry into April or so, let it all go, then start over. My 2nd peak was amazing.
curious, when did you start your racing last season? 2nd peak was August, right?
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Old 10-09-08, 04:50 PM
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To break up the monotony of the rollers/DVD routine, I'm putting some washers on each side of my powertap hub to space it out to 135, and slapping on a 9 speed cassette. Taking the MTB out into the snow for some 10mph, no rear brake needed, 300w SST goodness.

And also doing 15s on/offs until I puke.

The way I figure, winter is the only time I don't have to worry about being too tired from killing myself on the weekdays to perform well on the weekends. If I'm tired, instead of doing poorly in a race I just go for an easy 2hrs in the woods or watch "Wedding Crashers" on my rollers. No big deal.
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Old 10-09-08, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by slim_77 View Post
curious, when did you start your racing last season? 2nd peak was August, right?
It's probably easiest just to see it. I don't put much stake in the absolute CTL number, because it moves the whole graph whenever I update my FTP (I was in the mid-90s approaching the peak until I bumped the FTP to 345W).

One other note, although the CTL is significantly lower for the 2nd peak, the test numbers across the all durations were 5-8% higher. So I've found that I the CTL from peak to peak doesn't necessarily track with performance.

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Old 10-09-08, 10:30 PM
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my coach showed me some athletes of his with picture perfect PMC like that and I just shake my head in disgust. Damn Type 'A's and their perfectionist tendencies!

seriously dude. That is pretty.
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Old 10-09-08, 10:36 PM
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my coach doesn't know any better
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Old 10-09-08, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
my coach doesn't know any better
My coach does. My vacation planner didn't.
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Old 10-10-08, 08:22 AM
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You got nothin' on me Rockets!




What a terrible year. 5 months off due to injuries.

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Old 10-10-08, 12:21 PM
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Last winter I did 2-3 [email protected] 2x with a tempo session and group ride every week. Pretty much peaked in the off season and suffered through the season. I think this winter I'm taking a longer break and going to start doing pure quality endurance rides up this 45 minute climb. I figure I need to work up to being able to do 3 hours of quality work. I think intensity is important to do like every other week but workouts at FTP are too much for me, plus I completely trashed my sprint.
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Old 10-10-08, 01:32 PM
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I kinda agree... I did (1) ftp sessions a week on the trainer from january to early march... ~40 mins of ftp each... those were ok for me, it was the 2-3+ hour tempo rides that burnt my ass out... doing those on a trainer ftl.
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Old 10-10-08, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
I don't put much stake in the absolute CTL number, because it moves the whole graph whenever I update my FTP (I was in the mid-90s approaching the peak until I bumped the FTP to 345W).
That doesn't sound right. In WKO+ you're able to set indpendent FTP's over time periods with a start and end point. For example, Jan1 - Feb 3: 240, Feb 4 - March 17: 255, etc, ending with the present. There's no need to globally change FTP every time you make an adjustment. That's the only way the training manager can make any sense.
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Old 10-10-08, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
That doesn't sound right. In WKO+ you're able to set indpendent FTP's over time periods with a start and end point. For example, Jan1 - Feb 3: 240, Feb 4 - March 17: 255, etc, ending with the present. There's no need to globally change FTP every time you make an adjustment. That's the only way the training manager can make any sense.
Hmm. See, I thought it was just a buggy feature that never got finished. My "effective range" is grayed out all the time, no matter what (V2.2 build 86):






[EDIT/Update] I just realized that I needed to hit "New Zones" to unlock the date input. <sigh>

Seems to work fine now. I'll have to go back and seed it from my logs.

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Old 10-10-08, 03:48 PM
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Ok, I put in some monthly FTP updates. It only slightly changed the way the chart looks, but it did bring the CTL from the two peaks closer together. Even though the CTL is lower on the 2nd peak, my (predicted) FTP was 10W higher. 5s, 1m, and 5m tests all showed 6-8% higher on the 2nd peak.

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Old 10-10-08, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
Hmm. See, I thought it was just a buggy feature that never got finished. My "effective range" is grayed out all the time, no matter what (V2.2 build 86):






[EDIT/Update] I just realized that I needed to hit "New Zones" to unlock the date input. <sigh>

Seems to work fine now. I'll have to go back and seed it from my logs.
How often do you test (e.g., 1st min at X watts, 2nd min at (x+20) watts, etc) to figure out where your zones are?
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Old 10-10-08, 08:12 PM
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I ended up doing a MAP test every 4-5 weeks at the end of the season. Early in the season I tested 5s, 1m, and 5m every month. Once I got used to the rate of change, it was much less frequent. I tested those in June, and again in September.

The bulk of my training is SST, and I was going off of rate of perceived exertion for that. I was riding SST at 300W at the start of my last peak, and ended up at 330W, and I ramped continuously based on feel.
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Old 10-10-08, 08:12 PM
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WR - Your PMC from this year is downright scary. The regularity of your workouts is astonishing. I keep a pretty stinkin regular schedule, but yours is just plain rhythmic.



Originally Posted by SpongeDad View Post
How often do you test (e.g., 1st min at X watts, 2nd min at (x+20) watts, etc) to figure out where your zones are?
Personally, I do it 2 - maybe 3 - times per year. The rest of the year is based on regular ride intervals, hard group rides, and races.

Edited to add: my ending CTL for 2008 was in the upper 130s. That chart was before I re-adjusted FTP for September.
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Old 10-10-08, 08:19 PM
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Wow Nomad, you run a high CTL. I just don't have that kind of time. I'm getting a lot out of 8 hours/week though. It would be cool to crank out a high-volume season some time though.

The key to my rhythm is that I generally don't ride on the weekends (just races and the occasional group ride).
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