Training Plan Suggestion, from 2w/kg to 3w/kg

Hi All,

I just started this hobby since January this year, bought CAAD13. Now I am really committed to improve my cycling performance, I have pedal power meter, smart bike trainer and sufferfest!

I did Full Frontal Test twice, my profile is pursuiter and weakness is sustained effort, that’s the reason my FTP is quite low about 2.2 Watt / kg.

1st Test, April
FTP 136, MAP 190, AC 240, NM 649

2nd Test, July
FTP 147, MAP 199, AC 248, NM 738

FTP test based on riding outdoor high intensity for an hour is 162 ( data from Trainingpeaks).

I am happy with gradual improvement so far and currently following special block FTP 4 weeks. But have no idea what I should do next to improve FTP.

Are there any suggestion training plan to improve my FTP from 2.2 watt / kg to 3 watt / kg? is it possible to achieve this with 5 hours / week training? I don’t mind to follow 6-12 months a program to achieve this (if this is possible, if not pls give any feedback).

Thank you!

Work on increasing your MAP to increase your FTP. If you can lift MAP higher you have more of a chance in getting a higher FTP.

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Welcome to the sufferfest

I started roughly the same time as you with indoor training previously doing occasional commutes or pottering about on my own.

I’m currently enjoying the power builder plan, it’s not purely FTP focused but seems well rounded with some FTP workouts. Also at 6 weeks you can start a longer plan for the winter season.

When picking a plan I’d suggest you consider time, workload and enjoyment. I started the hilly gran Fondo plan and while I saw gains the workload crushed me. I was getting on the trainer because the computer told me rather than looking forward to the workout. - my two takeaway lessons were:

  • having no fun makes the excuses easier
  • the plan is a good structure but listen to yourself and forgive yourself a miss or a deferral on a session if your really not at the races. Your performance will be down in the session and sour the overall process

Good luck

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Thank you @James_Tapp I just realized this, so MAP is the ceiling of FTP. I misunderstood this because from the 4DP profile my strength is VO2 Max, MAP graph is exceptional, so I thougth MAP is number is good enough.

@BertieBoy thanks for sharing your learning, yeah I think max workout time for me is 7 hours per week. I am not aiming for race, just to keep up and have fun with fast group ride with friends on flat or climbing hills.

You might want to view the vid on how to get the most out of the 4DP test and retest at the end of this month. BTW, your FTP and MAP numbers look good. However, like it has been said here, you will need to bump up your MAP and subsequently your VO2 Max numbers (AC) in order to bring up your FTP. What training plan you currently doing? And yes, it is possible to bring up your FTP over a year to what you want to do, you have to be VERY dedicated to make it happen though.

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@jmckenzieKOS Currently I am doing FTP special block and then I will try half monty as I haven’t done it before, because I am curious to see my FTP and MAP number compare to FF.

After reading other topics, some suggest to do Time Trial 12 weeks and then followed by Full Frontal. Or just building base first all-purpose road since this is my 1st year of cycling.

I am also interested to take these plan later,
Power builder 6 weeks
Speed demon 4 weeks
Volcano climb 4 weeks

@dhiku I would suggest sticking to some of the general plans 1st like all purpose road. Your numbers will definitely go up and you will likely see some quick improvement but you also have to give your body (and mind) some time to acclimate to the training. Doing something like Volcano plan or even the MAP might add a bit too much stress too soon as those plans are a bit more intense. Good luck!

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I did All Purpose Road in January, it got me .5w/kg (3.5w/kg to 4w/kg) and across the board improvements in the other metrics. I wasn’t untrained, but hadn’t done a structured plan before, just ad-hoc sufferfest and outdoor stuff. I really liked it. I threw in the strength and yoga and can highly recommend them too.

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When I first joined Sufferfest, I asked a similar question. I can’t remember if it was on these forums, or on the Facebook group, but one of the knights had some very sagely advice.

He basically said not to chase numbers. Find a goal - like beating a PR, riding 200km in a certain time, or being at the front of the pack in your group. The power and better watt/kg will come. You’ll find far more enjoyment this way.

Chasing the raw numbers is a moving target, and I guess you’re never quite happy with what you get, cause it’s so easy to reach 3w/kg, then aim for 3.5w/kg. But your circumstances might change; you might move, get sick, your bike breaks, whatever, and if your goal is just increasing FTP, then you miss out on all the other joy a bike brings.

But to bring it back on topic… if you want to increase your FTP, pick any of the plans you’ve mentioned, you can’t really go wrong. 5 hours a week is “only” 5x 1 hour SUF sessions that will leave you bleeding from the eyes.

Maybe throw in the Mental Toughness Program, too.

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Hi Dhiku,

Welcome to the Sufferfest and thanks for sharing your progress, looks like you are making great progress so far!

In regards to training plans, consistency and working away gradually is going to be important here, and working your way through novice, intermediate and then advanced plans. It is always helpful to target events also as this will help put your training into practice.

Here is a case study you may find interesting in regards to pacing:

If you want to talk through your goals in more detail our coaching team is on hand to help too

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Hi Dhiku,

I started cycling about a year ago and began structured training in September 2020. Between a couple rounds of All Purpose Road (which were actually fairly different as my profile changed, which was a plus) and a few 4 week blocks in the middle (one focused on MAP, one on FTP), I’ve gone from a w/kg of 2.2 to 3.1. It was mainly increased power, but dropping a few pounds helped the math.

No doubt there are many ways to hit your goals, and I’m only knowledgeable enough to know that I have tons to learn still. But from my experience and what I hear echoed here a lot, if you pick a decent plan based on your numbers and stay consistent, you’ll see improvements. Regardless of numbers, this is the most fun I’ve had doing something this healthy in years. Good luck!

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I think you right that volcano climb might be too early for me. Most of people here also suggests general plan, shall I start with novice first? or jump to intermediate and then advance later?

Thanks for sharing and 0.5 is great progress as it is from high number 3.5 to 4. awesome!

Did you choose novice or intermediate all purpose road? I am currently consider all purpose road so I still have some energy to enjoy doing yoga and strength.

@Coach.Rupert.H thanks for sharing pacing article. learned a lot from it.

I am going to join Audax 200KM on 18th September. I did the Audax 120KM 3 months ago and feel quite exhausted in the last 10km.

According to that, my plan is,

  1. Special block base 3 weeks before event. Or other alternative is MAP as currently I am doing FTP block 4 weeks and will be finished this week. I read from article after FTP followed by MAP, but that’s not align with Audax event that focus on endurance.

  2. Then I will continue with all purpose road novice/intermediate combine with strength beginner and yoga. or since I am enjoying group ride 1 hour with friends, time trial novice seems reasonable too. But most of people here suggest all purpose road, so I think I will choose all purpose road.

@Imminent I will always remember this, thanks for sharing the wisdom.

The reason I chase 3 watt / kg is based on my friend input that number is good foundation so I can enjoy any type of cycling either long ride, climbing etc. I did 120KM, or climb 12KM with elevation 600m. And feel quite exhausted after that.

After that I will not chase number higher as I am not interested into racing, just want to enjoy the bike as you suggested.

@Akivisto that is exactly what I am aim for! thanks for sharing your experience. I agree this is the most fun I’ve had doing as well, I work in startup as product manager and seeing my body (product) numbers growing incrementally is very encouraging, just like when I see metrics of features are improving. :smiley:

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Thanks, I try not to worry too much about w/kg, I would happily put on weight if it meant I had a higher FTP!

I did the advanced plan, it was intense but I was confident I could eat and sleep to meet the demands, and since it was a terrible winter + COVID I had no problem with additional volume from ad-hoc outdoor rides adding to my fatigue.

I would suggest if you are doing a long audax you want to focus on endurance over absolute power - the volcano plan looks pretty good as it has some longer tempo rides and would take you nicely to your event in 4 weeks.

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Hey - welcome to Sufferfest and the best training workouts ever. It’s great you’ve managed to fit in a couple of 4DP tests. That will really help you train smart as the months (and years) go.

One wee thing:
I’d be slightly careful or tie’ing a number of hours per week to a specific W/kg. There are just too many variables involved in that equation to assess.

For example - in the first year sometimes people will see huge jumps quickly, some won’t. For example depends on what that persons history is, how they are ‘made up’, all sorts.

So it makes sense to have a target to reach, and structured training here on SUF will help you get there but just be careful about how quickly or slowly things happen and setting expectations of yourself.

In my opinion (that’s just one person) many people will be able to improve their cycling capability with 5hrs/week (building in rest weeks at either week 3 or week 4). There’s enough time in there to get some VO2, some low cadence (eg goat) strength type efforts and some ftp and/or endurance work in a week. All of which will work on different aspects.

So enjoy the ride as they say, follow some of the plans and over time you’ll feel fitter, you’ll likely become a more capable cyclist.
The numbers are really only there though so that your training is set properly. They are in themselves a guide to progress as well but remember they’re only ever a point in time guide on the day of a 4DP. The thing you’ll really notice is when it transfers outside. So please don’t get too stressed by those.

and agree with @Imminent above :point_up_2: :point_up_2:

Enjoy.

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@dhiku Either novice or intermediate will probably work. Perhaps start with novice and if you feel like you can handle more volume then you can always switch plans during the plan period. To switch you delete the current plan and it will delete all workouts that you haven’t completed. Then add the new plan but chose schedule via the plan end date and put in the same date of the prior plan.

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@Jim volcano plan looks interesting, i will try your advice! thanks

@Martin thank you, that makes me feel good if 5 hours is good enough, and I can enjoy fun ride with friends as well. I will remember the expectation setting for myself, and I agree because everyone progress is different.

@JSampson wah thanks for the tips! do you think novice is too easy since I already training 5 hours a week regularly? does novice reduce hour training only? or also intensity?

I understand that stepladder / progressive overlad is important, from novice - intermediate - advance, but maybe start from intermediate then advance would be better option in my case. thoughts?

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@dhiku Only you can answer that question. Let your body tell you what the right level is. If it is too easy or too hard you can always adjust.

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noted. thanks again for all the advice. really appreciate.