12 weeks, but possibly unrealistic weeks?

Hello, I am new to FasCat, started working with the system just this past December 3rd.

I came in with decent form, having been doing a few weeks of intervals and sweet spot workouts from another vendor. I have only 12 weeks until my first “A” event (March 13). I know that event might not happen due to covid restrictions, but I would like to train for it as if it is, and I will ride a solo/virtual event in its place if it’s cancelled.

I purchased the 18 weeks of Sweet Spot and the gravel grinder. My thought was, after figuring out how to use the Fascat/Training Peaks “system” for a couple of weeks, and sitting 12 weeks out from the event, I would do the middle six weeks of 18 weeks SS followed by the six week gravel grinder for a neat 12 weeks heading into the event date.

I have plugged that into Training Peaks and started into it, but after listening to Frank’s podcast on the Performance Manager Chart, I am a little worried because there are a couple of weeks with really big CTL jumps. The biggest increase is 9 from one Monday to the next. I believe that Frank said he likes to keep his weekly CTL gains around 3 or 4 per week, and that is (obviously) more than twice that.

Maybe this is an artifact of my CTL starting on December 3rd at 10, even though I had been training prior to that, just because that’s the first date of training data that is entered into Training Peaks.

The plan seems to finish up as recommended. The overall CTL isn’t very high (peaking at 71 two weeks before the event) but on event day, my TSB is 20, which is right around what Frank said he views as ideal.

Anyhow, that was king of longwinded, but any thoughts on whether the really big weekly increases are realistic or sustainable (or on whatever else) are appreciated. I do want to learn how to make this work!

Thanks, all.

Welcome @johnhintz to the Coalition - let’s back up a sec and define a) what you are training and b) when that is. That will help us answer a LOT of questions.

The problem will your above decision is you have great form for a race that isn’t happening and then not as good form for the race that does latter on in the season. Whereas its better to hedge for the latter race - make that your A race and train thru this race that will probably get cancelled (you can make it a BIG ride but not waste CTL pulling form for).

Curious when you say ‘sweet spot workouts from another vendor’?

Hope this helps -

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Thanks, Frank. I apologize. I’m probably asking the impossible, i.e., too many questions bundled up into an ambiguous post.

Oh, if it matters (and, unfortunately it does), I am 54 years old.

I get your point about assuming the March 13 event does not go. Even if it does, I can ride 100 miles in not-absolute-peak form and do fine on that ride, even if not reaching “true physiological peak” as you would hope to for an “A” race.

Let me see if I can ask my CTL question more clearly. The way my training blocks are set up now (which I am not wedded to; I want to figure out how to do this right), in weeks 3, 4 & 5 of my current block, my CTL has weekly ramp rates of 7 (from 41 to 48), 6 (from 48 to 54), and 10 (from 54 to 64). Those are WAY bigger ramp rates than you suggest for a masters athlete in the recent PMC podcast. I can think of two possible responses to this (but, of course, there could be a better response):

  1. One response: That’s way too steep of a ramp up! You are going to wear yourself out way too quickly! (If that’s the case, I will need to figure out how to tweak it to make it more sustainable.)

  2. The ramp rates are artificially large b/c I started in the middle (2nd six weeks) of the SS18wk training block with a Training Peaks CTL of 10 (which doesn’t actually reflect the training load I am carrying into the block; it’s just an artifact of not having any data going into it).

I’m still not sure my questions or my dilemma makes much sense. It’s difficult to articulate. I arrive at Fascat after years of alternating between seasonal (~May-October) structureless outside riding followed by mostly indoor riding using Trainerroad on a smart trainer (intervals, including lots of sweet spot work). I decided to try FasCat this winter for a few reasons: 1. I wanted to ride more outside this summer and fascat plans seem to integrate that very easily; 2. I wanted a break from so much interval work; 3. A change of scenery can be good. 4. The Fascat plans are a really good deal. 5. I like being able to plop a plan into Training Peaks and analyze it (although, as is probably evident, this is what I am really wrestling with trying to figure out now).

I’m ok with the learning curve. I think this will be a fun way to go. I appreciate the input.

Happy holidays to FasCat nation!

John in PA

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