New guy with 140ish FTP looking to hit 225 by May 2013

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by ira41, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    4
    It's indicative that your FTP might be higher than you think but it is by no means a definite indicator. I find that my normalized power for a really hard and mostly steady 60 min ride (e.g. a road race, hard group ride) is usually right around my FTP, but if I go out and do L6 and/or L7 intervals my normalized power for 60 min easily exceeds my FTP. Like today I did 8 1-3 minute hill climbs with a lot of L1 in-between. My normalized power for the middle 60 min was 260 watts but my estimated FTP is 244. I don't think this positively indicates that my FTP is higher, because my 20 min L4 intervals have been in the 220-240 range lately.
     


  2. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    So its been two weeks, the weather has improved so the bike is officially off the trainer. My INDOOR SEASON IS OVER!!!
    Went on a group ride yesterday ended up with a NP around 195w, 45miles, 2200ft of climbing. There were many times during the ride I thought we were going slow and I had to dial it down.


    This is the ride where I wanted to gauge improvement from my indoor season, here is what I noticed.

    1. Climbing is much easier, however my body is not used to the lower cadence hammer on hills I was doing, joints ache a bit.
    2. NP averages seems to be about 50w-65w more than in October 2012
    3. My fit is dialed in
    4. Spending time 60-90 minutes on the trainer with non stop pedaling has inspired some serious confidence on the road.
    5. Riding outside makes stacking ctl and tss easy, ride yesterday was almost 300 tss I cant do that indoors.


    While my FTP isn't where I wanted it to be at this stage its pretty close and I think I filled some major holes in base fitness.

    At this point I am not doing structured training rather going to commute 150 miles per week with a goal of 200 -250 miles per week total. all events will be longer rides
    I figure I am going to keep this up until fall where I will start my indoor season again, by that time I should have some good mileage on my legs and I can expect big improvements given the base.


    I figure my ftp is about the 195w I was riding yesterday, I could have gone harder for sure putting my AP around that number, this puts me at 2.5w/kg from 1.65w/kg when I started that is almost a full 1w/kg. I lost 23lbs which helps.

    If I was doing it all over again I would be more consistent, and would have mixed in more SST vs. L4 earlier allowing for more time in the saddle overall. this indoor season has been a lesson in learning my body, my limits and how to push.
     
  3. smaryka

    smaryka Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    8
    If a 45 mile ride got you 300 TSS, your FTP is seriously set way too low. Even if you rode 15mph you'd have to ride 3 hours at threshold for that ride (impossible) to generate 300 TSS. Now that you're riding outside lots, start to get dialled into what intensity your rides feel, because that will help you solidify your FTP a lot without having to test all the time. In other words, a few rides that feel like .75 IF but give you .85 IF means your FTP is ready for a bump.

    So 45 miles was what, 2.5 hours yesterday? 2.25 hours? If you did 195w NP for that, and it was a ~90% effort, your FTP should be more like 215w. But test outside now and see.

    Also, not sure what you mean by low cadences up a climb but if you're doing under 70rpm then time to think about some better gears, it's no good to grind away up climbs unless they are so steep you have no choice. And even then it's better to have more gears.
     
  4. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are correct FTP set on my cycleops was 171w. So I am sure my tss was lower, and I agree I was hammering the hills too much and too low of cadence rather than spinning up them. the ride was about 2.5 hours of riding. it was hardly a 90% effort though, it felt close to 80%. One thing I found that was tough was actually slowing down, riding with the group there were many times especially climbing I felt I was being held up. Towards the last part of the ride I stopped trying to stay behind the guy in front of me and the last few climbs were more fun because of it.

    This was literally my first time riding in a group and not only did I not get dropped I felt like they were holding me up a bit.

    I do need to find out what my outdoor FTP is, but my goals have changed to simply ride lots and commute.
     
  5. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I have been enjoying riding outside for the last few weeks.

    Some observations, Its much much easier to accumulate TSS outdoors. My commute home is an hour and 15 minutes I can usually hit 100 tss and it leaves me less wrecked than an hour sst.
    In fact I am finding I can ride almost double the tss per week on about the same RPE vs. indoors. I am able to do about 500 tss with a rest day vs. feeling like I needed a rest day every 200 tss or so. I know coasting and micro rests are part of it, just seems like a huge gap in RPE from indoors to outdoors. Been riding in groups on weekends and its such a blast.

    I still think I need to retest my ftp as my NP is often more than my FTP by about 10 watts for my commute home.

    I also finally realized why my power numbers are so much lower than everyone else.
    I seem to be the only totally untrained person who uses power, most people have a few riding seasons down before they make the investment. I made it with zero miles on my legs over 3 years so I am always comparing myself to people who have a few years of training on me.

    I don't suck I just don't have the hours and miles in.

    I have noticed something and I am wondering if there is a correlation or I am just imaging things.

    Its seems my current CTL is tracking with the amount of miles I can comfortably do.

    Example when my CTL was 30, I could do 30 before I had issues, and it seems to have tracked this way up to 54 CTL.

    I am wondering when my CTL is closer to 80-100 if that will mean I am ready to ride a century
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    Good news on riding more and building more training load.

    From what you've written above I'd suspect your FTP is somewhere around 215 to 220 but you'll need a very hard ride or something like a set of 20 to 30 minute full out intervals outside or a focused test to know for sure. If you're holding 195 for a couple of hours or more then your FTP is almost certainly higher, especially if it feels slow and you have to consciously hold back. A couple of hours at 90% of FTP would be very, very hard for most folks. Not impossible but no one would mistake it for too easy and feel they were holding back.

    In terms of CTL, any correlation between CTL absolute values and miles is coincidental. The physiology and numbers just don't work that way. But yeah, more CTL usually doesn't hurt unless you go crazy chasing CTL at the expense of doing the kind of riding that best addresses your training needs. For the riding you talk about preparing for, as in long day riding, more CTL is almost always better unless it burns you out or leaves you too tired to ride. But for someone chasing specific sorts of competitive racing events CTL can be important but as long as it's not rock bottom their specific event related training is often more important. For instance if you're going to race short 10 mile time trials then super high CTL likely takes a back seat to focused Threshold and even VO2 Max training.

    Anyway, great job but go out and find somewhere outdoors where you can do some hard solo 20 minute or longer Threshold intervals. Go do a 2x20 set or something like that on flat or road with a steady grade and no traffic interruptions. See what power you can reliably hold for those efforts when you do them at or very near your limit. Take the average of a set or the typical daily value of the final interval in each set as a pretty good estimate of your current FTP.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  7. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Dave as always great advice, I am looking forward to doing another test I do have to find a decent road to do it on, I am thinking we have a few longer ones with say a 1%-%3 grade.
    I think some form of incline will make it easier for me to pace, vs. rolling terrain flats etc. I think for this season most of my riders will be event centuries and group rides with 4 to 5 days a week commuting. Not sure how much structured training I am going to do beyond just riding lots and trying to climb as much as I can. then again if I can find a decent route without so much traffic and stops I may be able to turn my commute into training.

    Holding power and being consistent is much easier indoors. My VI outdoors is around 1.2 right now. because most of my commute home is climbing to some extent and some hills just put me over my FTP just to get over them.

    Another thing is my 5 second one minute and 5 minute power is AWFUL, I have a hard time putting down more than 700 watts regardless of what i'm doing. I am hoping to focus more on that outdoors because simulating climbs indoors is just hard for me.

    So I am thinking of focusing less on FTP more on the other metrics and volume while outdoors. using the rainy season for FTP work.

    Does that seem like a bad idea? and downsides to that approach?
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    Well I wouldn't suggest completely giving up on FTP work until next winter. It's most people's best bang for the buck thing to focus on year round. Maybe not so many dedicated SST and L4 sessions outdoors but I wouldn't put that on the shelf till winter and still look to get a couple of long L4 efforts each week if you can manage it.

    In terms of short power, don't expect to see that rise unless you set aside time to specifically focus on it. Next to accidentally hitting your actual FTP for a full hour the next hardest thing is probably accidentally hitting your best 1 minute power for a full minute. It's a brutal duration to sustain high power, too long for a sprint but you have to almost sprint it to hit your best. Expect to feel like wretching and have to pedal easy, easy gears for a bit or even get off your bike if you hit your best possible 1 minute power. Do this early in a group ride and you'll likely get dropped as you have to recover after the effort. Do it late in a long ride and the cumulative fatigue from earlier riding can make it tough to hit your best numbers so it's not the kind of thing that happens without dedicated effort and those efforts aren't that much fun so folks don't do them a lot.

    Sprints and 5 second power aren't as brutal but still take a dedicated effort and some good sprint technique which usually means easier gears and higher leg speed than most people think and launching with good starting speed like off a descent that dumps onto flats. You might hold your best 20 minutes on a gradual climb but don't expect to hit your best possible 5 second power while grinding big gears on a climb, think explosive high leg speed efforts with good upper body engagement, not like climbing a hill out of the saddle but low and taut and pouncing on those pedals with everything you've got. It can take a while to learn good sprinting technique and to see your best peak and 5 second power numbers.

    OTOH, hit some shorter to medium length hills pretty hard and you may very well start seeing good 5 minute power numbers, that happens a lot around here with a lot of steep hills that take about that long to climb.

    Mostly keep up the work, but I'd look for places to still do some SST or L4 work outdoors and try to hit those systems at least every 10 days or so if not every week in addition to your increased volume.

    -Dave
     
  9. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Dave,

    On my commute which is an hour and 15 minutes I spend a good 20 minutes in L4 and another 20 above L4, with the rest Usually L2 recovering from a climb or whatever.
    Thign is im pretty sure that time spent isn't in 20minute increments rather spread out int he ride itself. I will try and find a route thats condusive to steady L4 and SST and mayeb focus on it a couple of times per week, I dont want to lose anything I spent winter gaining.
     
  10. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    Yeah, try to make those L4 efforts at least 10 minutes long and I much prefer longer as in 15 to 30 minutes per stretch if you can. You don't need to or even want to do that every day but if one of your am or pm commutes has a long enough open stretch of road or a long enough hill then work it in occasionally. Personally when I work these into my commutes I'm happy to do one on days I use that route unless the route gives me obvious opportunities for a pair or more.

    IOW, a formal 2x20 or other highly structured session is great on the trainer and can be great on a dedicated training day but to meld training with lifestyle via commutes a little flexibility goes a long way and don't let perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to doing some solid work on the bike when you can. So maybe you can find a commute with a single 15 to 30 minute stretch of open road or a hill that takes about that long to climb. Use the days you commute that way to challenge yourself but you still get a lot of training value even if you don't do a set of structured repeats and you don't need to do that kind of stuff every day. In fact if you start challenging yourself that way on some days then be willing to pace back on other days when you're a bit less fresh so you can have the energy on the days it's most valuable but still ride a lot.

    -Dave
     
  11. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    so its been a few weeks and a lot has changed since my last update.

    Found out my fit was messed up substantially causing me knee pain and pain along my thigh to hip. yup IT band issues, I was confusing it with general soreness. Moved my seat nearly 2 inches back and lowered a tad and now I can ride as many days in a row as I want. I am shocked how much this adjustment has changed my ability to ride and not having to always push through pain.

    So having my fit dialed in and my nutrition in check allows me to do 500-800 tss a week, I can ride 4 or 5 days in a row without much issue.
    My CTL is up around 60 from 30 some time ago, I am currently ramping 5-8 a week with the goal of getting to and maintaining 100 around July.

    I have adjusted my ftp to 200W based on ride data and have found multiple routes for threshold and SST work. I figure I will retest in a few weeks and think I may even hit my goal of 225.

    The difference in my ability to stack tss and CTL outdoors vs indoors is dramatic and im currently struggling trying to figure out how im going to maintain a decent maintence/ threshold program once the rain comes. I now have a group as well and a lot of them mountain bike in the rainy months.

    Thanks to Dave and everyone for the good advice over the months, it was Dave challenging my schedule as not real challenging that really got me investigating other causes for why I was feeling like I was feeling. Turns out I can ride many days in a row as long as my IT band isnt giving me fits.
     
  12. joroshiba

    joroshiba New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    1
    Since I suffer from an inability to push myself on the trainer, I have come up with the following method for dealing with rain: rain jacket, fenders, cover for the helmet, and really slow 'flat proof' tires. (Continental Super Sport + are my training tire of choice, they ride as subtley as bricks and feel like pulling a parachute around but I have NEVER gotten a flat on one)
     
  13. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Update - Its May and just tested my FTP yesterday, 20 minute TT @ 236 watts x.95 = 224watts.

    So I did it, I am 1 watt shy of my May goal. at this point I am not setting any real short term targets or goals just overall shooting for an FTP of 350w in the next two years.

    To summarize I started a shotty, inconsistent FTP building plan last October. My first test put me around 140 watts at 88.5 kg. I’m now 224 watts at 78kg and hitting my stride.
    Gained 84 watts and lost 10kg and basically didn’t get anything dialed in until the first of the year.
    Key lessons I have learned starting from a total novice unfit rider.

    1. Consistency is key and making strides on 4-6 hours of riding a week just isn’t optimal, for me I needed at least 8 hours per week with several rides over the 90 minute mark. 10hours is substantially better for building fitness than 6hours, more than double for me.

    2. L4 sessions with no base is not the best use of time. When a new rider asks how to build fitness and is told to just ride lots, its actually solid advice.

    3. For me %75 of training is a mental game, %25 body and capabilities.

    4. SST intervals don’t leave me wrecked, L4 intervals do, so I do more SST because I like to ride.

    5. For me pushing and pulling FTP via SST and L5-L6 leads to more progress than simply pushing or pulling.

    I figure I have trained seriously for 5 months, which means I have a good 18 months of solid gains to come, before I see similar diminished returns of very fit riders. This fall I am getting a coach, rollers and computrainer.
    I am now chasing you guys on here 4.6w/kg here I come.
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    Nice job!

    A couple of thoughts:

    - For all practical purposes you've hit your target. Commercial power meter accuracy is only +/- 1.5% or worse for most units so at your power levels thats ~ +/- 3 watts or so. Add to that day to day variations in testing and it's really hard to accurately pin down FTP to closer than 5 watt increments. IOW, when setting FTP don't bother trying to nail it to the closest watt, the instruments and human variations basically make that impossible.

    - To be fair you haven't really done a controlled test to see if a combo of push/pull is your best bet. You went from a seriously light training load to increasing load and introducing the L5 work. Not exactly a controlled study and a very hard thing to determine in only five months of reasonable structured training. If it works for you then great, but if you start to burn out on the high end sessions I'd strongly recommend backing down on them and doing more Tempo/SST/L4 work rather than push on with the L5 work into burnout as so often happens. IME, five to six weeks at a stretch is about as long as many riders can tolerate weekly dedicated L5 sessions so I use them for specific race prep work and not as a general means to build FTP. Sure the random L5 effort or hard push on a group ride is great but doing things like 5x5 L5 interval sets on a regular basis for too long can easily lead to burnout and hanging the bike up in frustration as we've seen here and elsewhere many times over the years.

    Great work and great summary of what worked and what didn't work so well for you.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  15. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree I went from light training to moderate so the push pull is totally subjective. I actually don't do any structured L5-L6, unless you count riding the same hills etc. On my commute over half my time in spent in L4 and above, Figure its 70 minutes one way with a fair bit of coasting and stoplights. The only intervals I'm doing are SST a couple of times a week.

    I can only view it from the standpoint since riding outside with hills and much work beyond threshold my fitness has skyrocketed. then again I am doing almost double the volume with most of the increase L3-L6. When i was doing 3 or 4 L4 session per week, I feel like I wasn't seeing gains, but then again volume was 6 hours vs 10 or more.

    I think the key to my cycling future is going to be handling volume indoors, I know I can do SST and L4 sessions on the trainer, I am hoping coaching, Rollers and computrainer can help me do a couple of multi hour L3 and L2 sessions a week. because I'm convinced the ability to ride 3 hours in L3 makes my SST and L4 sessions more productive but I admit it could all be in my head.
     
  16. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,432
    Likes Received:
    92
    Good job on the progress. I agree with Dave on the real potential for burnout on the L5+ stuff, but under your circumstances it's easier to manage, if not even enjoyable. It's the structure day in day out going beyond several weeks that can do one in, but drilling some hills and hitting the afterburners during the commute, if you are anything like me actually come naturally,
     
  17. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're spot on, when i'm outdoors the challenge is going slow and pacing vs the constant desire to go as fast as I can. I suspect I will hate L5 intervals on a trainer. but on hills ts fun.
     
  18. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    So its been a few months since my last update.
    Just completed my first century Saturday. Just under 8 hours with 6500 ft of climbing.
    Fought quad and hamstring cramps after mile 60, I think caused by lack of big rides leading up to the event.

    Good news was other than normal fatigue I had zero pain, which means I have finally dialed in my bike fit which had been an ongoing issue.
    Given I started last fall with interval training and no real base I didn’t see the gains I would have liked. Going into this fall I want a solid game plan. Given I have about 3k miles on my legs this season I feel like I have base already and don’t need to really “build base” this fall, I want to jump into L4 and sst work, as I think the best thing I can do for myself is build ftp and then start with hill repeats in the spring.

    This whole periodization concept is a bit puzzling, why would I need a base if I don’t really have an off season? Don’t I carry my base from prior riding?
    My CTL right now is about 70 and I plan to keep a 3-5 a week ramp until the weather turns or I hit 100 ctl which ever comes first.

    Sure ill probably take a week or two off during the holidays and lose some CTL because of focused L4 and sst work during the fall/winter.
    But I’m confused about plans for people who really don’t take a lot of time off?

    I think I have huge potential heading into the “off season” and don’t want to screw it up, also my team mate says I need to do some weight training to help with the climbs, its what he did and he is a billy goat. But that’s counter to everything I have read.
     
  19. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    Well part of it is likely how you define 'base'. Back in the day that was usually taken to be long slow easy miles often limited to your small chainring for a couple of months. That tradition is still strong in some circles but others view base as a solid foundation of aerobic fitness regardless of how you acquired that fitness. IOW, you likely have a substantial base now but steady riding into the fall including some longer days when you can and a lot of sustainable work even if it's Tempo/SST or Threshold work are all forms of solid aerobic base work and base work does not need to be easy light gear spinning but it really shouldn't be hard bursty anaerobic work or top end speed work if you want to keep it up for months on end and build a foundation for harder work next season.

    So yeah, pretty much everyone has a lot of base as they finish up the season (but heck it's barely August the season aint over yet, lot's of good riding for a couple of months at least) and if you don't take a long break before resuming training you don't have to go back to square one. But you still may start in with 'base work' even if that's more of a Tempo/SST and even L4 variety. How far you should dial things back depends a bit on how fried you are from the riding you did this season and how long a break you take away from the bike before starting in with winter training. For most folks at least a short break or at the very least a period of riding without structure, without training goals and during which you only ride when motivated is usually a good idea. That's for mental as much as physiological reasons as it's good to have some time when bike riding does not become a chore or an obsession so that when you return to full time training you're not totally fried mentally just as the long winter begins.

    Lot's of ways to manage the tail end of the season, any breaks you might take and then the ramp back up to next year. I personally like to do some big challenging rides in late summer through mid autumn when I've got the fitness but am willing to ride without structure and without worrying about how a big ride might impact near term races. So it's a good time of year to go places you don't normally go on your bike, hit an autumn century or explore places out of state on your bike with a road trip. But at some point I usually do hang up the bike for at least a week or two. For me that's once mid summer, then again after cyclocross season wraps up but then after a break it's back to building towards the next season and that begins with a lot of sustainable work whether that's longer slower rides or a lot of Tempo or SST work or even structured Threshold work to take me through mid winter and then a transition to pre-season race prep work.

    Have fun right now and use some of that hard earned fitness, go hard if you feel like going hard, take it easy if you don't feel like riding, try some longer rides and explore new places. All of that will help you to build even further towards next year's goals but hopefully will do so without a lot of mental stress and a feeling like you're always on a tight training schedule.

    Have fun and keep the rubber side down,
    -Dave
     
  20. ira41

    ira41 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Dave, My entire summer so far has been interval free, I know its sort of backwards. But most of this summer I have just been out riding, I tend to favor riding at an IF of .82 to .92.

    So while I dont plan on SST work etc most of my rides include a decent dose, because its just how I roll. I figure I will continue this until the weather puts me indoors. With a century under my belt with some decent climbing I have the confidence to head out to places I was kind of avoiding.

    Fall/winter, I plan to get much more regimented with a focus on SST and L4 intervals, being as how any grade above 7% puts me above threshold to climb. I'm hoping to be able to handle 8% to %10 grades within my FTP next season which should make the climbs less of an issue.
     
Loading...
Loading...