No progress. Advice?

Hello, everyone!

31 years, 186cm heigh, 86kg. Been riding at home since december. First there was TrainerRoad 3 time a week, finished it somewhere in april with FTP progress 180 -> 200.
Then in late April i started Sufferfest, 4DP showed 207, All-rounder type and that established my training programm - All purpose road.
I chose Advanced, aroud 5 trainings per week indoors. Today this programm ended, i tried my best not to skip anything and had around 4-5 hours a week. Each training according to plan felt absolutely destroying in process, bit i felt i had no problem recovering. The thing is, i didnt feel effort is becoming more easy, but i think it should have?
Today i participated in outdoors group race. I rode total of 60km, avg speed was 30 km/h, average ftp 170, there were total ascends of ~550m (cant tell angles) and average headwind time after time.
I was absolutely destroyed in very begining, could keep pace (was announced average 36 km/h, there were no any more low level group i could choose) and i rode all the distance alone.

I wasnt expexting much in this race, but looking back to my ~6 month of indoor training, i feel absolutely destroyed with no actual progress. I was supposed just to get plan and “do as i am told” no?
What am i doing wrong? What is a curve of progress? What is estimated time for me to reach 300 FTP ?

Would appreciate advice from expirienced people, thank you!

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Hey there. Are you doing an end of plan test out of interest?
That would be the best ‘apples for apples’ thing to do at some point (with the approp prep week) to help you get a sense of change over the last 3m

What would be useful to know, to help comment, were you training in the years before TR/SUF - such that you are quite well trained already?

One thing - 207 to 300 is a big jump. There will be people who have never been on a bike, or are massively detrained who will see fairly big changes.

Using an example … it can often be a couple of percent changes, sometimes double figures - again depending on the start point. So hard to say whether 207 to 300 is do’able and how long it would take.

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There’s loads of variables that could have affected your performance - aerodynamics, tapering, just a bad day.

Where are you in your training plan? It your at the end then a recovery week and new Full Frontal might be worth it to check your progress, or if your mid plan then Half Monty at the end of your next recovery week.

One thing, I thought the advance plan was more than 4-5 hours a week?

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I have no experience with the advance plans, but in the last 2years this is my second time doing a novice plan, other times I try to do 2, with luck 3, sufferfest rides, all in the range of 35 to 50min, and rarely outside rides, somehow my ftp not only was maintained but went up. In my modest opinion you are not rest enough. Try novice plan with strength. Take it easier.

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I’m going to answer with a slightly different perspective and say that 30kph average sounds pretty good to me! Beats what I’d average with my mid 220’s FTP on the road. Also no way I’d hang on to a 36kph group! Do you have a sense of your average speed before you started the training? That’s one way to measure progress (I saw my road rides on similar routes go from 23 to 25 to 27, not that I’m much of a roadie).

As for reaching 300, that’s very personal. I know I’d never get there however long I trained (but then I’m also no longer 31!). Good goal to have if you want but you’ll likely need to see how you progress through a few more training blocks, races etc. before you can get a sense of your curve and true rider type. I’d also suggest maybe getting some coaching advise if it’s something you really want to go for. Good luck with the journey, stick with it, don’t lose the fun.

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Hello! Thank you very much for comment!

I will do some 4DP test in the end of month. I was not ever training before SUF, was just doing some commute riding 40-60 km in comfortable tempo.

What if i change programm? From All purpose Road to, TT or endurance focused?

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Hello! Appreciate your participating!

Your ftp of 220 is nice ! Keep up the good work! I also think you would manage to keep with 36km\h group!

My average speed in a sense of training was somewhat 26.
Well, i just wonder, why is progress taking so long? How fast it should be, what i can do better, than i already do to help myself?
For the rest, i understand - maybe i need to dive into training more deeply and devote sighnifically more time…

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Hey there, firstly welcome to Sufferlandria, now you’re here you can never leave :wink:

As a few others have already said, that is some great progress you’ve seen in a short space of time! Goal setting is vital and a long term goal of FTP 300 is good but for now I would put the emphasis on the short and medium goals

You mentioned about feeling destroyed at the end of every ride (we love to hear this) but make sure you are not over doing it. It may be worth considering doing an intermediate plan to make smaller steadier progress with your 4DP numbers.

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Hi Capablanca,

It sounds like you did a good job of adhering to the Advanced plan.

Did you complete the Full Frontal or Half Monty after? Not sure if you did, but it would be good to have an apples to apples comparison.

For indoor training, are you using a speed sensor for virtual watts, or a smart trainer? I found virtual watts while helpful for progression were not close to actual watts(like 40% high).

Did your outdoor average power or average ftp come from a power meter or based on Strava?

I find that my kickr core measures about 2-3% below my 4iiii power meter.

Getting up to 300 watts is probably achievable, but it may take a couple years, I think 0-10% improvement over a training cycle is probably typical.

There are lots of reasons why outdoor riding watts are hard to hit, including coasting down hills and stopping for traffic, maybe fatigue, power meter differences between indoor and outdoor, depending how your outdoor watts are determined and if not by a power meter, your drivetrain efficiency and aerodynamics are not properly accounted for.

I think you managed to stick to the advanced road plan, then I’d pick something with a similar training load.

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Thank you for reply!
Not quite understand, you mean you have about 2-3 trainings per week? What is the name of programm - all purpose or specific?
It would be helpful if you can remember what was your progress steps during this 2 years.

For the more resting - i donno, i dont ever feel tired or anything like that

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Thank you very much for thorough reply!

I use smart trainer only, all power data comes from it, Kickr Core, i dont have any other power meter to compare. Currently my programm have ended and i will be doing only Zwift races till august, then i will do Front Frontal to see changes.

Trainin cycle is 4-5 weeks in average? Should i rest and how much between cycles?

Similar training load - is still Advanced you mean? But should it be All-Purpose Road again, of better try Race \ TT \ something else?

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Thank you for reply!

Ok, so you mean, i should stick intermediate… Ok, maybe i should give it a go, but in the same time i am afraid to go too easy on myself and miss real gain.

Maybe i should tru not All Purpose Road but some other plan and select it as Intermediate load ? Maybe you can advice specific?

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Hi Capablanca,

Ok, so you have good power information coming from your Kickr Core, and so your outdoor power must be just speed based from Strava or another gps based workout app(as you noted in your original message). I wouldn’t focus too much on that, because of all those factors I noted about how Strava’s speed based power is not compared well to the power measured by your Kickr Core.

I would recommend doing one of the two tests on Sufferfest since you completed your training program, otherwise you really won’t know if it was effective if you do Zwift races until the end of August. If you try the Half Monty, its much easier to recover from than the Full Frontal.

I wasn’t sure what you meant by training cycle of 4-5 weeks, but the All Purpose Road plans are setup with 3 hard weeks, followed by 1 week at roughly 50%, and this runs 3 times for 12 weeks total. That allows you recover on every 4th week.

I think if you managed to completed Advanced, I’d try another plan that has a similar amount of training hours.

Having said all this, if you are planning to race in Zwift for the next 6 weeks, I wouldn’t recommend another training plan, the Zwift races are going to be pretty intense, and the combination of the two would be overload, and your performance in the races will suffer. You may want to use Sufferfest for recovery rides or fitting in a workout if you have any fresh days.

Good luck with the races.

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Well, the advance plan might be to much for you. You said that you come from a plan that you rode 3x/week and over 4months your FTP increased from 180 to 200watts, that’s pretty good. Why the need to increase to 5 rides/week? Even with a decrease rate of improvement, you probably would have great improvement through the year. More is not necessary better.
Regarding my own experience, I have more than 20years of endurance sport, but only the last 18months I started riding indoor, and I started with sufferfest. I have been playing around with power for the last 5 years or so, and my ftp vary between 290 and 320 with a MAP between 350 and 370.
Since I have started with sufferfest with the aim of not loose to much fitness while my kids are small, it is rare the week that I ride more than 3 times (and that is not all at 10o%) which makes it difficult to comply with the plans. I do try to do regular 15min yoga. At the moment my FTP is around 335watts with a MAP of 408. I also struggle with most of the sessions, they are quite demanding, that’s why more rest is important, I think.
It is possible to have gains with less. Volume is important, but maybe you are not ready for it.

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Firstly an 30 km/h average pace is nothing to be sniffed at.

So while looking at your FTP number is useful. W/KG is probably a more useful way to set a goal. Based in your numbers given you are at 2.4 w/kg. If you FTP was 300, then you would be at 3.48 w/kg which is quite a jump.

It is doable, but would need to be carefully done over a long period and not just a 12 week plan. As others have said, I suspect you going for the advanced plan may not have been the best option.

The intermediate plan, with Strength and Yoga would probably be better suited for you. Trust the plan, and listen to your body. Work to the prescribed numbers and intensities and you should go far wrong. Also to repeat what others have said, you might be worth re-testing to see where you are after the plan.

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How did your Fitness test results compare over the course of the 12 weeks? If you saw limited progress, I would recommend the intermediate to allow your body time to develop a solid fitness base with the necessary recovery time.
Do you have an event goal or are you looking to build the 4DP numbers?

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Thank you very much!
I understood, i will stick to more \ less similar plan and will compare results is the end on 12 week to see what is really going on.

All the best to you!

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Thank you very much, for devoting your time and analyzing my data!
I think you advice, from your expirience, is the most mindful!
Its is easy to agree that maybe big volume is not good for me, i will thy Intermediate, will see where it leads me!

All the best to you and to your young family! Be healthy

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Thank you very much for your expirience! I will definetely try Intermediate now.

For my goals - i just want to increase my 4DP numbers. Currently in my country there are events, requiring minimum 36km\h average to stay with Group for 60-80kms. Im not gonna handle it this year, so i just need to be prepared next year.

Last question, is there any sense switching from All-Purpose-Road to any other in Road section?

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Thank you very much for your time and kind words!

Its good, that a newbie like me can get a good amount of useful info in this situation.
I will switch to Intermediate and see how it goes.

All the best to you!

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