Don't adjust your 4dp metrics manually

So I felt strong and confident coming off a rest week. Had just got a new trainer and things felt good.

So much so that I adjusted my 4dp metrics up +10%. Did a few base rides and felt strong.

Just come off the attacker and made it past 3/5 sets.

Let’s just say I will be adjusting my metrics down. Will just rely on the training plan and the science behind it. Was too keen for progress.

Anyone else made this error?!?

No. I’ve adjusted 4DP numbers (15watts @ FTP, 10 @ Map, 5 @ VO2). But that’s because a) I had good knowledge of my numbers from a different system over many years & b) I did full frontal 1 day after a 4 hour ride. They seem about right as I’m finding some sessions tougher than others & am in the recommendated HR zones.

1 Like

Last year I decided that with a bit more effort I could get my FTP to soar. All I needed to do was to up the metric manually by 10 % .After a short while I would adjust to that effort and everything would be great.Week 1 went fine, week 2 ,I was not recovering between workouts, and 2 rides into week 3 I imploded

2 Likes

Don’t go changing your numbers. I increased the metrics by 1% a week in a bid to reach a 300w FTP and I seriously ripped my calf. That was back in September and I can only ride for 1hr max now without my calf giving up on me. Safe to say I’ve lost at least a year of training and riding on the road for 1hr is hardly worth it. DO NOT adjust your numbers unless you know what you are doing.

1 Like

I was thinking of doing a HM towards the end of the week 3 (rest week) to address whether I need new metrics.
I’m feeling strong after the first 2 weeks into my first Sufferfest 12 week training block (all round road intermediate).
Having had a few years off with very little cycling I did the HM a few weeks ago but can feel the fitness coming back so been raising the intensity by 5-6%.
Wondering whether I can manage more between now and next scheduled test, but don’t want to guess - hence think HM at week 3 maybe best route.

1 Like

Manually adjusting your metrics can work! But, 10% is too much to do all at once. Needs smaller and more calculated adjustments. Even just adjusting my FTP by 10w (~4%) has huge implications for the survivability of my workouts. 1-2w doesn’t make a statistical difference, but a change of just 5w in FTP is noticeable, especially at Tempo or higher. Some workouts make you feel stronger than others. And others work our FTP more than others. And you may feel amazing in one part of a training plan, but feel horrendous in another. So, you need to give yourself time to decide if you really need to adjust your numbers, or if you just had one good day. The next day you may not feel as good, or may have a more difficult workout. You may get away with it in some workouts, but in others 5w can be the difference between barely completing it and blowing up spectacularly with 15 minutes remaining. So, usually best to either stick with the plan, substitute in a Half Monty, or only make very small and incremental manual changes that are well-thought out and not based on any one workout.

1 Like

Just do a HM if you’re feeling up for it. It’s a good workout and the numbers will carry forward.

Since it’s the winter, I don’t see the point of doing too much intensity. I’m likely going to pare my VO2 and NM numbers down to still get a good workout without actually stressing those systems too much. Goal between now and spring… or likely cross season… is going to be just to get some good training in and keep pushing FTP up instead of trying to pull it up with higher intensity.

At a certain point, you need higher intensity to get the FTP to budge, but there’s zero reason you can’t do a HM instead of a planned workout if it’s about an hour in length and similar TSS estimate. I wouldn’t sub it for a recovery ride in your plan though!

2 Likes

I took the Half Monty ramp test some days ago and got an FTP of 232 W.
4-5 days later I took the Full Frontal test and got 209 W for the FTP (MAP was aligned with the one obtained in the Half Monty). Oh, and LTHR was -6 bpm as well.

As I wasn’t reaching the expected HR zone in the FTP Progression workout, I was advised by the staff to set my FTP around 220 W (+5.26 %). Next Tuesday I have the following session of this workout, so I’m eager to see how it goes.

Great advice. Changed my training plan based on this. Going to follow this and push my FTP up. Did a HM this morning and as suspected my FTP was going down. -8watts (-25 watts to what I manually increased it to.) However all purpose road training has increased my LTHR and max heart rate.

Will focus on aerobic system till spring and will just do a tempo building block back to back. Which plan are you doing?

Gonna plan regular HM tests to avoid manually changing stuff. Every month.

I have had OK luck adjusting them manually in the past. 10% is a big adjustment in a short time. Last year I started in the fall ~10% down from March and figured I could regain that a bit quicker than if I had been trying to add 10% to an all=-time high. I cranked up targets 1% probably 2 weeks out of 3 as I went through a 12 week program and that went great. Tested a few % above by previous March at the end of the program.

Was your power meter or smart trainer zero’ed before the tests?

Some folks that run a bit more anaerobic tend to see better results from a ramp test, but I think the 20min part of the HM is supposed to help bridge that divide.

The full frontal test 20 min FTP section is a bit different because it forces you to keep pacing. Negative splitting might be a good way to go if you’re a bit uncertain about where you sit. I know that I under perform in those because I suck at pacing and don’t like doing long drawn out FTP efforts outside of race situations. Shorter intervals during workouts or sweet spot level workouts at 90-95% are much more mentally sustainable for me.

I’m pushing back my FF test because I don’t see any reason why having a lower FTP number in the system would really help me right now. I haven’t had too tough of a time completing my workouts. I know I skew more anaerobic anyway so the HM suits me better.

I calibrate my Kickr ‘18 every 2 weeks, as asked by Wahoo. Both tests were conducted after a single calibration at the beginning of the week.

Today I did the corresponding FTP Progression session (5 x 7 min) after setting my FTP to 220 and I felt it more accurate, as my HR was in the expected zone in each of the intervals. I just had to adjust the cadence downwards in the last 1,5 intervals not to get in Zone 5 by a few bpm. But I assume that is normal cardiac drift stuff going on there.

And overall, the IF was 0,91, which I think it makes sense with such a workout, doesn’t it? (I’m assuming LTHR was well calculated in FF test.)

Rather than guess at adjustments I went ahead and did a retest in week 3 “rest week” …decided to do FF since I had only done HM before embarking on first training plan. Saw a 3% gain in FTP (i.e. HM was accurate) but 20% gain in AC! I guess this was the root cause of the interval sessions feeling too easy (ok ‘manageable’). I wouldn’t have guessed those adjustments - so think it’s best to retest if you start regularly tweaking up intensity levels more than 5%.

2 Likes