Last year I did the advanced resistance, sweet spot polarised and VO2 training plans. I’m currently on the advanced sweet spot - week 12. What interests me is that midway during the VO2s plan last I reached a peak power output that I wasn’t able return too and actually saw a tailing off in power. The polarised advanced was pretty tiring too. I did raise my ftp to 322 (20 watts more than it had previously been but wondered if I’d burnt so many matches in training that I couldn’t perform).
My first question is at the age of nearly 48 was the advanced plans and their intensity too much? My second question is if I decreased the intensity would I reach the same ftp? My third question is with body responses and recovery very individual how can you tell the right plan for you (or is there a general rule of thumb?). I have an Apple Watch so would be interested to know if there is an app that I can use to figure this out.
So being 48 our intermediate plan is probably the best route. Our advance plan is more or less for under 25 riders that don’t have major family responsibilities.
The advance plan is probably too much. The workload can be high and not allowing you to fully recover. When you are able to recover that is when you get stronger. You don’t always want a sense of fatigue. This becomes more important in our interval plans or while doing Vo2 max work. You need to be fresh to hit the higher intensity numbers. This will maximize the work you can put in.
To answer you second question even if you lower the training load you can still hold the same FTP. Those two numbers do not correlate at all. It comes down to maximizing your training time by doing intervals and sweet spot training. So getting in more work in less training time. Then you can spend the rest of the time resting. You will get similar interval work in. The reason to ride longer would be to help your endurance fitness, ability to produce close to maximal watts over 3, 4 or 5 hours. But your FTP number shouldn’t be effected by going from an advance plan to intermediate plan.
So we build our plans based on years of experience. They fit the needs of most people. With our coaching we can do individual training plans based on needs. Some riders do respond different to training, training loads, intensity or need a slightly varied schedule. But it sounds like you already responded to the training very well! You just need to focus on recovery. I believe dropping down your overall workload will actually help you. It will allow you to recover and hit your higher numbers in training.
So for training we like our athletes to do a resistance training plan to build strength, then move into a base period through 12 - 18 weeks of sweet spot training and then going into our interval plans. Which one depends on the type of events, goals or system you want to improve on. In the summer you might circle back to some more sweet spot and a second round of interval training in the fall.
Thanks Jake, that’s really informative and a great steer. A quick question: what do I do to amend the current plan from adv to intermediate?
With doing the plans last year you would need to buy the intermediate version of the plan. We swap those out for those that buy and within usually a week decide they bought the wrong one for them.
If you didn’t want to buy new plans You could try to use the plans you have a cut the hours down to 8 - 12 hours a week. Mostly would just chop off some zone 2 time. Making most weekday rides 90 minutes and maybe a bit on the weekends. Wouldn’t be exactly the same. But what Im basically recommending is you try doing less weekly TSS so you have a better ability to recover.
One thing you can do is look back last year and see when some of your best performances were. See how many TSS per week you were doing. Look to see what your CTL was. Then you can see the workload you perform best at and around. Maybe if there is a point that is too much and you just start feeling tired and fatigued.