In 2021, I was a perfect #FTFP Fascat and yielded great results. Unfortunately, like everyone else’s my key race was cancelled due to COVID. In 2022, I flirted with polarized training (that didn’t work), a bit of Sweet Spot then ended up working w/a coach who followed Dr Stacy Sim’s philosophy of HIIT etc. I was feeling so desperate and helpless plus all the media attention Dr Stacey Sim was receiving that I had to try her philosophy. In the end, I felt like I was never fast or more importantly at full potential. I ended 2022 feeling that I could have done better. My peak power for 2021 vs 2022 was disappointing.
For 2023, I wasn’t going to seriously train and do races but I just have to find out if Sweet Spot training would work for my body. So I decided to train in 2023 and try FasCat Sweet Spot training again.
Results: My FTP jumped 16 watts (10% increase) during first 1/2 of SS 16 week program. Yes FTP is not everything but this was pretty significant improvement for me. It is still a struggle to make my body #FTFP but I am so happy to see this much result so soon. I have great respect for Dr Stacy Sim’s dedication and very thankful that she is raising awareness and discussions around this topic. I just don’t think there is one concrete way to train through peri-menopause/menopause.
I wanted to share my experience just in case there are ladies wondering about what to do.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I think you make a great point here- There are a lot of different training methodologies out there and it’s impossible to know which one is best for you as an individual without trying them all, unfortunately.
I think we need to keep in mind that the HIIT method that Dr. Sims stresses as “the best” for women is likely based on a normal, every day exercising woman, not an endurance athlete who wants to be able to ride at X intensity for X duration of time…
Training at high intensity for short durations may be the best for our bodies physiologically, but it’s not going to result in great endurance performance- which makes sense, because it all comes back to the principle of specificity. If you want to be a good endurance athlete, you need to train for endurance. Of course high intensity training needs to be part of endurance training, but the over-arching program needs to focus on the specific task/discipline that you want to be good at, right?
With the increased information and awareness that we have now as a result of Dr. Sim’s research and media attention, I think we as endurance athletes now know that endurance training isn’t the best/healthiest thing for our bodies, especially as we enter peri-menopause and menopause, but we do it anyway because we love it.
I think one part of her philosophy of training for women is valid, however, in that we need to do plyometrics and we need to lift heavy. Those two stimuli do great things for our bodies (in terms of hormonal responses, bone strength/health, and so much more) that we can’t afford to neglect and won’t negatively impact endurance performance if you don’t over-do it.
I think the bottom line is that we ought to try to find some balance between doing the endurance sports we love, while maintaining some of the training methods that are also good for our overall health to help us live better, healthier lives long term.
Hi Coach Suzie,
Thank you for such thoughtful reply. I completely agree with everything you stated.
I still feel like I am trying to figure out where my body is at.