Thought it might be a good idea to start a thread where you can discuss how you went after completing one of the training plans. After spending three months suffering it might feel good to talk about the gains and losses before moving onto the next plan.
So here goes:
Plan: Pre Season XC Mountain Bike with the lot (yoga, strength, mental)
Pre plan numbers: Full frontal 290 FTP, 345 MAP, 467 AC, 909 NM - Time Triallist
Post plan numbers: Full frontal 307 FTP, 364 MAP, 457 AC, 888 NM - Time Triallist
Lifetime best numbers: pre-2017 accident FTP 330-340 based on 10-12 hours a week
My FTP improvement exceeded my expectations by a long way given the modest on bike training hours. I also had couple of major non-exercise related issues to deal with along the way - so achieving any improvement would have been pleasing.
What I liked about he plan: I really like how riding, yoga & strength is integrated into the one plan. I have always understood the importance of stretching / yoga & strength but never managed to find time for it / integrate it well into a training schedule. I now realise that to do this you have to accept doing less bike work which is something I wasn’t previously able to do (for fear of not improving). I also really enjoyed the challenge of the key workouts for each week - like an event or race to look forward to which was quite motivating. The 4DP profile works really well - these workouts are tailored very well to your abilities.
I modified the plan a little - instead of doing the sufferfest strength I did my own kettlebell training - and I would recommend this to anyone who wanted to move onto using weights. I swapped out a number of the recovery spins for a 60 minute walk - I figured it would achieve the same thing. Towards the later stages of the plan I upped the intensity (as I could feel the sessions becoming easier). I also experimented with doing multiple of the moderate sessions back to back on the same day instead of on the scheduled days. Finally, if I could ride outside on the weekend I just did what I felt like without worrying too much about the plan - after all riding the trails is the goal.
When I started the plan I felt that the 2:1 rest ratio was too easy - but I stuck with it and this really helped me stay on track when off the bike events happened. When everything was going well I did add in some extra load on the recovery weeks after I felt recovered - but tried to do this with weight training, longer endurance rides etc (not middle of the road sessions).
What’s next? I had planned to crush myself with a 4 week block of something hard. But after getting these results I have decided to repeat the same plan again (with the new 4DP numbers of course). Based on past training experience I expect to plateau - as previoulsy it could take a year to get an increase of 10 watts for the FTP (if I was lucky). But for now it makes sense to keep up with a well balanced program.