Problems with rising CTL

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by domi, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. domi

    domi New Member

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    Hello!

    I have a problem with rising my CTL. At the time it is about 60, but wenn i let it climb higher, I am felling ill and tired very fast.
    In Summer it was no Problem to rise CTL more than 5 Points a week, now 5 Points are a challenge!
    What could be the Problem?
    I am always rising my CTL for 3 Weeks and then do a regeneration week, but after this week i am feeling more tired than during the weeks of rising.
    any suggestions?

    Thanks
    Domi
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    - Yes, CTL becomes harder to build when it's at a higher level and it's tougher in the winter than summer with shorter rides, less daylight and perhaps indoor training. Long rides build CTL fast and short rides can only be so intense so it does get more difficult this time of year.

    - How fast are you attempting to build, IOW what's your typical workout TSS relative to your current CTL and how many days or sessions do you train per week? Are you making an effort to replenish your glycogen stores immediately after getting off the bike so that you can train again the following day or do a double session if necessary. How intense are your sessions? Do you have other additional life stresses that are making it difficult to train?

    - I've gone away from the preplanned 3 on 1 off type weekly cycles for several reasons. First I found I don't need a rest week every third or every fourth week if I'm doing SST and L4 work and keep tabs on how I'm recovering and my overall workload. A lot of times I was coming into a planned rest week feeling really good only to resume training feeling really blocked up and lousy. Like you, I found those first couple of workouts after a down week to be very difficult till I got back into a regular training routine. Now I take some rest and rarely an entire week when I'm unusually tired, I'm tapering or I have to because of life and work schedules. I listen to my body and don't hesitate to back off if I'm really tired or sore and I use the Performance Manager in WKO+ to monitor my training load and back off a bit when I think I'm digging too deep a hole. Most of the time work or other things in life provide interruptions more often than I like so I don't preplan my rest anymore.


    FWIW I also look at rest quite differently now with respect to CTL. A workout with TSS sufficiently above my current CTL is training, one near my current CTL is maintaining and often lets ATL drop a bit giving me a TSB rebound and a workout with TSS much below my current CTL is relatively easy. I've started playing with 6 day training weeks where one day is a low TSS workout, it might still be Tempo or low SST but for only half an hour to 45 minutes or so. I tend to feel really fresh the following day. I picked that up in discussions with rmur and so far it feels really good and adds a bit of weekly TSS. I don't do it every week but have worked 6 out of 7 days for 3 weeks in the last month and so far I really like the soft day that isn't really rest.

    Just a couple of thoughts, YMMV.....

    -Dave
     
  3. domi

    domi New Member

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    Thank you for help!
    I am not training indoors, because I have enough time to ride at daylight and a CTL of 60 is not really high, i think, in summer i rised my CTL from 36 to 75 within 1,5 months without problems! So, i don´t really understand why I´m not able to rise it this time?
    My rides are about 2-3.5h this time.

    At the moment I´m riding 5 times a week. (2 1 3 1)
    My workout TSS is between 80 and 170 at a CTL of about 60-70.
    I eat carbohydrates before and after every session.
    They are not very intense, I do some longer L2 workouts and L3+SST.
    At the moment i don´t have any stress, because I´m having holidays at the moment, and I´m only 15h a week at University!

    This is a good idea, maybe I will also try this, i have the feeling, that i just can´t handle this weeks with so much rest!

    Hmm, interesting, also a thing to think about!

    thanks for replies
    Domi
     
  4. domi

    domi New Member

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    Hey, after some weeks I have to write again.


    From one day to another, suddenly i do have no problem with rising my CTL, I am somehow regenerating much faster than say one week before, no clue why...:cool:

    The last days I am feeling very strong, but my Power is very inconsistent, one day I am feeling like my FTP is about 235W (and also tested it is 235W) and some days later My FTP feels much much higher (about 260 or something like that).
    How come? How can I get more consistent?
    Right now I am doing some sweet spot, and want to start two weeks from now. Will then my power raise very quickly? ( Last years highest FTP was about 285, but I was ill very much.)
    My aim is a FTP of 300W (at 65kg).

    Domi
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Remember, FTP is defined as your best hour long(approximately) effort under ideal conditions. For a road cylcist the gold standard is a 40km TT when well rested and highly motivated. It won't happen every day or even every week, especially during times of heavy training and base building. If you don't rest and if you aren't highly motivated, you won't actually hold your FTP for an hour. It's a big part of the reason that your regular, repeatable, long training intervals can be used as a very good estimate of your current FTP. The shorter duration of regular training intervals(20 to 30 minutes) helps make up for the lack of motivation and cumulative fatigue that would prevent you from putting out a full hour long FTP effort.

    As you train more and build a deeper base you should be able to put out good solid training efforts more consistently. They may not be right up at your current FTP if your training load is heavy, but they should get more consistent with a deeper training base. It comes back to "the more you train, the more you can train". The good news is that you don't need to train right up against your FTP to see progress and to raise your FTP. Training at 85-90% of your FTP with long intervals will build sustainable power and is a lot easier to do several times per week, week after week than pushing your efforts right up to 100%.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  6. domi

    domi New Member

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    Thank you for answering Dave!

    I got the 235 W by one 20 min test with an 20´L4 Intervall before, so I averaged 250 in this test and because of this estimatet my FTP at about 235W.

    The second time I had 250 W NP during a L3 training (2h L3, but not high end!) in which I did some short sprints (4 sprints in 20 min.) between the sprints I was drafting a little bit.

    Do you think I underestimated my FTP?

    Another question:

    How can I raise my FTP faster, with the 85-90% you mentioned, or with L4 work, or should I just mix it a little bit?

    My first A race is on April 20th, and my big goal would be to break the 300W boarder before or in the race. Does this sound possible?

    Thanks,
    Domi
     
  7. domi

    domi New Member

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    Ah, I forgot, my current CTL is at 75,5.
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Possibly, it's hard to say. For one thing your testing methods seem to change from test to test which makes things difficult. If you use the "regular, repeatable long interval" method for estimating FTP then they should be power levels you hit quite regularly during your L4 efforts not your best effort on any given day. The NP during a longer L3 ride I wouldn't take too seriously. Using NP to estimate FTP assumes you've been challenged up to your limits during the ride and generally assumes a bit shorter ride. Something like a one hour criterium where you've been pushed hard. If it's during a longer L3 ride you were probably either holding back a bit to get home in one piece or a bit tired from the early parts of the ride or simply didn't push up to and beyond your limits.

    If you look at your power distribution histogram for say the last 28 days or perhaps the last 14 days, what does it look like? Do you see a substantial step down between two adjacent bins that correspond to your 235 or 250 watt estimates? Play with bin sizes a bit but I usually get good results with bins sized between 7 and 15 watts. Again, this only works if your rides have pressed you up to and beyond your FTP on a regular basis. If not it will underestimate FTP.

    Well, if you could sustain pure L4 work day in and day out and still recover well enough to continue to train hard then it would probably raise your FTP very rapidly. But those are big "ifs" most folks can't do very many back to back L4 sessions without excessive fatigue. Backing off to SST (85-95%) can allow you to do more total weekly training that focuses on FTP.

    Mixing it up a bit is a real good idea. I challenge my best 20 and 30 minute efforts at least once every two weeks but do quite a bit more work at a bit lower level(85-90%). A good approach I push a lot is to start the week with your hardest efforts but shortest overall workout, follow it with a day of slightly easier but longer work and finish a 3 day block with an easier but longer ride. So it might look like, L4, SST, L3 or something like that in 3 consecutive days.

    If your FTP estimates above are accurate then I think that goal is going to be difficult to reach in such a short time. Many folks don't increase FTP by 65 watts in a full season if they've had much previous training. Pulling that off in 3 months would be very impressive. But who knows, you're young, perhaps without a great deal of training history, you've started training with structured measurable methods. And it sounds like your FTP may be underestimated at the moment. The only way to find out is to keep training.

    Just don't get too hung up in any arbitrary numbers like 300 watts. You'll get what you'll get by the time your races roll around. It may or may not be enough to achieve your competitive goals. But the point is to continue to improve throughout the season and into future seasons. Cycling fitness along with race savvy and tactical knowledge takes time to develop and new racers typically improve for many years. Even with 300 watts of FTP at your disposal someone with more race savvy or better fitness for the course could make you suffer and with less than 300 watts you could still ride a very good race if you ride smart. Power is great, but it's only one aspect of racing sucess in mass start events.

    Keep up the hard work and good luck,
    -Dave
     
  9. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    ...
     
  10. domi

    domi New Member

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    Excuse me rmur17. I don´t understand what you are saying, I think because my English is not the best...:(
    What do you mean, I just don´t have any clue.


    I just did L3 workouts the last few weeks, and never rode all out, so I think with that method I can´t estimate it.


    Hmm, I am hoping because I think when I can put on my short cycling clothes I´ll get about 20W for free... At least when I put them on at the beginning of the Winter I lost 30W from one day to another...

    Beeing able to stay in the peloton is my biggest aim of my life, my whole live is at the moment planned for this aim.
    My opinion is that I need about 300W to succed this aim, so I have to get this numbers!
     
  11. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I don't know much about racing categories in Austria, but I'm guessing from your posts that you're an entry level racer. If so you shouldn't need 300 watts to hang with the peloton. That of course depends on your weight, the course profile and the way racers are categorized where you race. But on this side of the pond 300 watts for someone of moderate racing weight would allow them to stomp on the entry level fields. Have you seen the power profile charts: http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/images/powerprofile_v4.gif

    300 watts for a 75 kg rider is 4 watts/kg or roughly halfway up the charts from beginners to world class professionals. Maybe your races are a lot harder, but 300 watts is a lot of power for someone just hoping to hang with the peloton.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  12. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'd expect that'd be a very good sign indeed :) I've had a few that floated up to high L3 and felt easy, but none that wandered up into L4 yet.

    But thanks for the tip, I'm amazed at how much steadier my CTL ramp is with soft rest days and how much better I feel by not taking so many days completely off the bike. As I've said elsewhere, I don't think I'll carry this into race season when I'll be doing harder efforts and recovering from races, but it sure is a great way to build SST base.

    -Dave
     
  13. domi

    domi New Member

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    Well, 300W would be 4,6W/kg. (65kg)
    Here we don´t really have an entry level. At most races I have to ride with Continental and Pro-Continental Teams, and that is not easy!
    On April 20th there are no CT and PCT teams, but this doesn´t change very much...
     
  14. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    yes it's really just a tongue in cheek way of saying that current FTP is probably underestimated :D . Or I suppose really, really, really good legs.

    I'm starting to feel 'normal' again now. Last two weeks I've managed 11hrs and 800-850 TSS(2) pts. CTL up from 65 (late November) to 93 and it feels like night and day.

    Last evening I did my indoor 40k - had to split it around 30k due to saddle "issues" but I finished off the last 10k just as well as the first. Only 16W (4%)off my best Sunday evening 40K effort from last year so I was quite pleased with that. Not up to Ade's Herculean effort :D but I was really feeling it the last 5k.
     
  15. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Wondered if you were going there...
    Good work, I'm approaching 90 right now but coming up on some work induced training breaks so it'll drop a bit. Been hovering around 650-700 TSS/week, good job holding 800+ on a diet of indoor training.
    That's gotta be satisfying. My numbers are way up from last year, but still below my peak season efforts last August. The gap is closing but slowly, right now I'm just hoping to match my August efforts by the time indoor training ends. That should set me up for a good spring if I can pull it off.
    That was quite an effort, one I don't think up to mentally. I'm having enough trouble putting out three good Monod efforts on the trainer, don't think I've got it for a full hour of pain while going nowhere...

    -Dave
     
  16. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    :D As we say in London thanks for 'biggin me up' Rick. I didn't have a trainer PM last year but I reckon I'm fitter than at any time last year. Another 10-15watt gain before racing start in mid march would be even better. Any advice?
     
  17. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    on the other thread
     
  18. domi

    domi New Member

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    Hey!

    Today I did another FTP-Test I averaged 270 over 20min. (NP:275).
    Unfortunately there were many down-hills, so it might be a bit more...
    But to stay realistic I took the numbers I had and so my new FTP is 257W.

    This sounds much better!:cool:
    Let´s see, I think the 300W are possible now!
     
  19. domi

    domi New Member

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    Just to keep you updated:
    After a new Test I now can say, that I did the 300W! My new FTP is 300W!
    I´m feeling like a motorcycle...
    Let´s see how much I can rise it till my first race!

    greets
    domi
     
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