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Questions for Achieving an Ambitious FTP Goal

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Questions for Achieving an Ambitious FTP Goal

Old 02-08-24, 05:50 AM
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Ride your bike, ride your bike... someone said that once.

Update - at this point last year I had already finished 2 12 weeks blocks of intensity. I started too early without enough "base" miles. I gained very little during those training blocks.

Now, I just finished 1400+/- miles of fairly strict Z2. Before that was unstructured free riding all spring and summer. I stretched out my Z2 time and volume - a smart trainer helped immensely with this.

This time last year, after 2 training blocks:
192#
15 min threshold effort = 240w @ 148 BPM*** average
4 min VO2 = 305-310w @ 156 BMP average

After high volume Z2 work and a summer of free riding, last night:
179#
15 min threshold = 277w @ 147BPM (nowhere near full gas, finished the effort easily, was trying to keep the same HR level as last year to note the improvement)
4 min VO2 = 326w @ 154 BMP (max 163 BPM**)

Close to a 40w threshold bump, without any interval training. Perceived effort level seemed easier than I recall, the power flowed easier, and I had more in the tank for the VO2 effort.

I was essentially stuck, like Sir Crash seems to be, for the better part of 2 years. Volume at Z2 seemed to be the key. It will be interesting to see what the next few months of hard training will bring...

*** Compared to some of y'all, I have a very low max HR and a tight power range. I see more watts gained per beat than many people I watch on youtube, but they rev into areas that would cause me to explode... not sure if that is good/bad or doesn't matter.
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Old 02-08-24, 09:04 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Ride your bike, ride your bike... someone said that once.

Update - at this point last year I had already finished 2 12 weeks blocks of intensity. I started too early without enough "base" miles. I gained very little during those training blocks.

Now, I just finished 1400+/- miles of fairly strict Z2. Before that was unstructured free riding all spring and summer. I stretched out my Z2 time and volume - a smart trainer helped immensely with this.

This time last year, after 2 training blocks:
192#
15 min threshold effort = 240w @ 148 BPM*** average
4 min VO2 = 305-310w @ 156 BMP average

After high volume Z2 work and a summer of free riding, last night:
179#
15 min threshold = 277w @ 147BPM (nowhere near full gas, finished the effort easily, was trying to keep the same HR level as last year to note the improvement)
4 min VO2 = 326w @ 154 BMP (max 163 BPM**)

Close to a 40w threshold bump, without any interval training. Perceived effort level seemed easier than I recall, the power flowed easier, and I had more in the tank for the VO2 effort.

I was essentially stuck, like Sir Crash seems to be, for the better part of 2 years. Volume at Z2 seemed to be the key. It will be interesting to see what the next few months of hard training will bring...

*** Compared to some of y'all, I have a very low max HR and a tight power range. I see more watts gained per beat than many people I watch on youtube, but they rev into areas that would cause me to explode... not sure if that is good/bad or doesn't matter.
I don't know if I would describe myself as "stuck". I am unsurprised that progress would feel slow, but everyone I've spoken with has said that developing a motor takes time, years. Throughout a winter of hard trainer work, perhaps the most important thing I've learned is patience. We'll see though if I do really peter out. As of my last check, my FTP has gone up slightly to 223, which is a small but measurable gain.

As for structured training vs. just volume, I've heard both sides. Anecdotal evidence from both sides that argue structure heavy vs. just volume, so I've kinda given up on trying to decide which one is better and simply respond to time and what I can do. Unfortunately my work constraints in the semesters means that I can't just disappear for 4-6 hours for volume. I'll be adding in volume training in the summer when I'm not teaching.

But it's good to hear you've managed to find gains your way! I'll see how far I can get with my current approach, and adjust as needed. I'll likely go find a coach after my first racing season, once i have a better idea of my racing performances.
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Old 02-08-24, 10:13 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by sir_crash_alot
As for structured training vs. just volume, I've heard both sides. Anecdotal evidence from both sides that argue structure heavy vs. just volume, so I've kinda given up on trying to decide which one is better and simply respond to time and what I can do. Unfortunately my work constraints in the semesters means that I can't just disappear for 4-6 hours for volume. I'll be adding in volume training in the summer when I'm not teaching.
For years I've taught only in the fall semester and did all my other research the rest of the year. During the fall, my hours went way down and you can only do what you can do so I would prop up my training by substituting intensity for volume. I have years of this experiment. My conclusion is that when time-crunched, intensity can substitute for some volume but not all, so each January (like this one) I'm starting at a lower spot than where I was in August. Bottom line, TSS is not a complete field-leveler. There are, however, variations in where my January starts, depending on how much intensity and volume I was able to accumulate during the fall. In severe years, I'd lose 10-15% of my CP over the fall; in better years, I'd lose only 5-10%. My sprint doesn't change much: it kinda sucks year 'round.
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Old 04-01-24, 08:09 PM
  #104  
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So I've been plugging away, and the gains are pretty small month-to-month. I am in a rhythm though, and hard intervals have just become a regular habit such that if I go a few days without my regular training, I start to get antsy.

Perhaps the biggest feeling of improvement since I started pursuing this seriously has been that now my "resting" power is about the same as my FTP from August 2023. Realizing that in the middle of a hard interval felt good.

Current FTP: 229 watts
Watts/kg: 3.77
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Old 04-01-24, 09:09 PM
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Resting power is a new term for me. What is it?
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Old 04-02-24, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
Resting power is a new term for me. What is it?
I expect he means the recovery power level in-between intervals.
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Old 04-02-24, 07:14 AM
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ok, that makes sense then. i think i have a ways to go then.
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Old 04-02-24, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I expect he means the recovery power level in-between intervals.
Correct. Thanks! Yes, not really a concept or a term, but just a power level where I feel I'm still able to clear the lactate and get ready for the next hard set.
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Old 04-02-24, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
Resting power is a new term for me. What is it?
They say that when someone dies, right?
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Old 04-02-24, 10:13 AM
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no rest for the weary?
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