So, I've been pretty quiet the last few months, though I've been lurking here. I've been riding relatively little of late, indulging a newfound interest in running. I've taken up the new sport for lots of reasons, not the least of which was a pretty major case of demotivation. Looking back about four months on this case of the "blahs", I think I've spotted a contributing mistake. I want to mention it here, since judging from all the SST/L4 threads, it might become a popular mistake. It's been widely observed that there's such a thing as training too much. Beyond a certain point, returns not only diminish, they become counter-productive: too much fatigue is piling up for the body to accomodate the stresses involved, and performances degrade. In the TSS paradigm, this point seems to be somewhere in the 100-150 TSS/d range for most riders. A non-obvious consequence of this, is that somewhere between the wide range of volumes that yield effective training, and this "breaking point" that leads to worse performance, there is a "stagnation region": a zone where your body is just barely able to recover from workout to workout, but unable to actually improve from workout to workout. This is just the intermediate value theorem in action: if you accept that training volume X produces useful adaptations, and training volume Y is counter-adaptive, then there is some value between X and Y where you're working pretty hard, but standing still. The approach that a lot of self-coached athletes are taking to TSTWKT/performance manager is basically a recipe for finding this point, and training there all the time. If the goal is to "ramp CTL as high as you can", but still be recovered enough to do your workouts, isn't this the very definition of stagnation? I spent about three months around 100-110 TSS/d in late summer/early autumn '06, and in retrospect, I was basically treading water that whole time. Four months later, doing about half the bike volume I was doing and replacing most of the rest of the volume with run training, I appear to still be in the same ("peak") shape I was in in October, with respect to FTP. I think I'd found my stagnation point; nervousness about "losing fitness" (which I equated with CTL) prevented me from backing off, and only an inability to continue meeting previous performance benchmarks prevented me from pushing even higher. So, I worked very, very hard to tread water for a long while, leading to frustration with the sport in general, and a desire to go buy a pair of running shoes. Am I alone here? Sound familiar to anybody else? You can play this little intermediate value theorem game with the left side of the "volume vs. performance" graph, too. I.e., there's some CTL below which detraining occurs, and in the border between this detraining region and the productive training region, there's a "maintenance region," in which the athlete is doing as little work as she can to stay in the shape they're currently in. I wonder how many athletes would have the discipline to really nail down where this maintenance region lies; I personally suspect it may be way lower than one might expect, perhaps in the region of 40-50 tss/d (though it will certainly vary between athletes). If the idea of finding as tiny training volume that produces no fitness change strikes you as wasted time or effort, than why are so many of us in such a rush to find an enormous training volume that produces no change in fitness?