CTL increase question

I just added SweetSpot 2 to my Training Peaks calendar and one thing jumps out that makes me wonder if I’ve got something wrong–or am being too literal:

The web site copy description for SS2 says I can expect “to boost your Chronic Training Load 40-60%” Trainingpeaks calendar shows closer to a 17% increase over the course of the 6 weeks.

Maybe my reported FTP is wrong? Maybe I should chose “Intermediate” instead of “Basic”?

(FWIW, my CTL during SS1 didn’t ramp all that much either, but I can tell I’m a lot stronger which of course is the point. )

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What were you doing before in terms of hours training? Weekly TSS?

My first assumption would be that the basic plan is not enough training for you and you should do the intermediate plan. The basic plan is for the true beginner. You probably already have had some solid training since your CTL is not moving all that much from the basic plan.

But regardless the efforts you do now are specific to improving your aerobic engine and is aligned with proper recovery so you will get stronger regardless of what your CTL does. Some of these are missed when doing your own training. But pushing that CTL up a bit and increasing your workload will be beneficial to taking the next step so trying our intermediate plans could be good.


Wow, thanks for the speedy reply! Since Jan 1 I’ve been averaging 6+/- hours a week on the bike and according to TP my weekly TSS over the last 90 days has been 304.

At 52, I’m more of sportiv/fondo “competitor” and find the 4-8 hours for basic plans to be perfect in terms of what I’m willing to put in–esp that optional extra Zone 2 when I can.

Intermediate 8-12 hours/wk sounds like burn-out city to me, so should I just accept that my CTL ramp rate will be pretty flat?


I am 55 and a Fondo guy like you I assume. I have been doing the Intermediate SS 18 week plan since January where my CTL started at 20 and is now 63. 10+ hours a week is too much for me with work and life, so I tailor the rides i.e. 2 hour intervals during the week down to 1.5 etc, and sometimes I also may cut some time off of the Sunday ride. I average 708 hours per week except for the regen weeks and have a steady gain of 8-10 CTL per month and am feeling much stronger.

Yea , another thing that occurred to me is if you have your FTP set too high ?

Thanks Jim & Frank!

Upon further review, I think bumping up to the Intermediate plan is probably the smart call–if that’s an option? (Just bought it this morning!)

I got a lottery spot in our local version of Triple Bypass: RAMROD in Washington State in late July. 150 miles and 10K elevation in a single lap around the flanks of Mt Rainier… Ramping up the SS volume is the way to go–before I switch the the Climb plan in June.

Hey Steve,

Since you just purchased I did swap those out for you. So you will have to accept the new training plan like before.

Frank and Jim both gave great advice. Make sure you check that FTP to make sure it is accurate. The extra riding will be good for such a big ride in July. Make sure you are recovering well after each workout and ride. Stick to your zones and don’t over do the efforts.

Thanks. I have the plan updated and am ready to roll.

Will pay extra attention to my end of SS1 FTP test next week. And yes, recovering well has been one of the big lessons so far–good sleep, I even got a Whoop after seeing one of your YouTube vids…

Speaking of Youtube and FTP tests, saw this former Euro pro doing a video using the Zwift ramp test rather than the standard 20min to check his FTP. Pros/Cons of Ramp test vs 20min?

I’m currently on week three from the intermediate 18 weeks SS program. If i look at my PMC, my CTL is not really going up. Should i be better of with the advanced plan? I dont know if i can spend that much time in training, and with a full time work recovery may be to low…
I’m 41 years old, so i have set my ATL to 5. I think this is ok?

Any toughts?


Looks like your CTL is in the mid to high 70’s? And with an average TSS of 442 thats a pretty strong baseline.
At the end of the plan it looks like you are predicted to cap out in the low 80’s. If you have 8-12 hours a week to work with that is a pretty strong CTL to be at finishing out base season at. What are your goals? In general for a masters athlete a CTL in the 80’s is very strong and will allow for a very good launching pad when you switch from base to race and jump into a race prep plan.
I would not recommend jumping onto the advanced plan if you have a full time job and are 41. But if you have some extra time to devote to training and recovery and you are looking to give your CTL a bit more of a boost, then you could add on an hour here and there to the weekend rides as long as you are not sacrificing workouts to come (so look to target the third week of the build).