How much should I let my CTL drop?

My off-season time off the bike is over, I am currently in a living situation where I don’t feel comfortable at the gym and don’t have space to create my own home gym.

Q1: My CTL is currently hovering around 60 just doing some soul rides, time off, and some Zwift racing. My high CTL was 86, about 20 CTL higher than my previous 2 years Thanks to Fascat. Is that CTL drop sufficient? Or should I take another full week off and rest?

Q2: I feel I need gym time, My thought was 6 weeks SS and see how I feel about the gym after that. I know that isn’t ideal but I wanted Fascats feedback on that plan.

I don’t have a 2021 plan yet. My only sign-up is Wasatch All-Road on August 28th but I wouldn’t say that’s my A race. I’m kind of waiting to see what happens and what races I get into.

If you took a good offseason break you can just roll from where you are at. You should have taking at least 1 week completely off. This is the best way to approach an offseason. We really give our athletes two weeks. So first week completely off and maybe a second week off the bike, but some other aerobic activity being ok like hiking.

When you complete the gym work is up to when you have your goal rides, races and events. If you have no early season goals or ride plans pushing the start of the resistance plan back 6 weeks from now would be ok. It is all about timing.

While doing the resistance training plan your legs will not feel strong. You are really fatiguing the muscles. You will feel much better a few weeks after so just know that.

If you had a good offseason break you can start with a sweet spot plan now to see how you feel in the next 6 weeks. Or you could do our 3 week fall foundation plan. This is a great place to start! Its not too long, does include a bit of on the bike strength work, short tempo and sweet spot efforts. Then you can go from there.


Hey Jake, thanks for the very thorough reply.

We are on the same page. Already completed “fall foundation” training plan and now onto SS1.

Similar vein, I just completed my 20 minute power test and my power is down about 8% from my high last summer. I’m assuming after a presumed “peak” and some time not training, this is actually what I want? I’m not trying to be the group ride hero and likely looking to peak later in the summer.

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Yes - threshold power goes up and it goes back down - your ‘form’ as illustrated by the PMC chart relationship CTL/ATL/TSB

Everyone’s power and CTL should go down in the off season and the idea I like to make the analogy of is ‘one step backwards in order to make two more greater steps forward’