Masters CTL target and personal experience


I listened to the podcast about Masters CTL and have read the forum threads on the subject.

When I look at TrainingPeaks for the weeks prior to an A race, I see I had a CTL that maxed at 118. I was certainly tired and cranky. I backed off a bit and dropped the CTL to 100 -105. I felt great, strong and ready to do my best.

I’ll be 67 years old this December, and you’re suggestion for my age is around CTL of 60. Seems like quite a difference from last season’s load.

Should I drop the target CTL to 60 or aim for what I can handle, 100 or so? (The rapid drop in CTL is due to a crash that ended my season - no race.) I know that this is a few months out, but I am curious.

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Hi Bruce -

I think you have a setting wrong bc I don’t think a CTL of 118 is possible ?? Unless you have training 14-16 hours a week?

Since timing is everything per our podcast I’d also like to know what you are training for and when in relation to your build (it’s hard to tell from the app pic you posted)

Thanks for the reply.

I realized after that the chart i attached was less informative than I at first thought.

I’m pretty sure the underlying values, (weight, TP, LT) were correct. I was doing a lot of volume, 11-13 hours per week, SS and endurance. Scaled back to 9-11 hours that brought the CTL to ~100. The event was 3 weeks after the high of 118 and a week following my last workout.

Clearly this topic isn’t urgent for Northern Hemisphere athletes at the moment, but will in the spring/summer.


I was playing around with TP ATP event settings and I can see that if I set the event CTL to 90, there is no way I could sustain the TSS for the weeks prior.

Setting the event CTL to 70, I could see that the weekly TSS is something I know I can handle. A CTL of 80 would lead to some very tough weeks.

So, I’d say your prescribed peak CTL for an age group you have described is a really good starting point.

Thanks for your expertise and ‘forcing’ me to dig deeper into the concept.


Hi , I had same issue. Max CTL last July was 120 before tapering into a 3 day stage race. So I was surprised recently when it was suggested in the podcast that 50+ should have peak CTL of 80’s. Mine current ctl is mid 70’s. What setting should I be looking at to ensure this is correct?


ATL constant explanation is in there. Think Frank said to leave CTL alone on a podcast or in this forum.

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Also an accurate up-to-date FTP is critical for accurate TSS’s day to day and consequently CTL over time.

120 is high and I’d have to look at your PMC chart in a coaching or coaching subscription capacity in order to fully see what is going on. There is such a thing as riding to much! Remember raw power output applied at the right time win’s bike races, not how much you ride/how high your drive your CTL.

For athletes especially, us older older athletes the higher we drive your CTL the more we run the risk of dulling our peak power outputs (that win races).


Frank may have said CTL is a constant, but that wouldn’t account for different physiology of each cyclist. That is the essence of my original question.

There is no constant in TrainingPeaks for Target CTL, the Target CTL for an event must be input. There are constants in the Training Volume section whch I think you may be refering to, which I have not altered, the same as Frank suggested.

When I plug in Frank’s suggested Target CTL, the weekly TSS is lower, lower than I can easily absorb.

In the end, I think I have a handle on the relationships.

“the higher we drive your CTL the more we run the risk of dulling our peak power outputs” is what I was experiencing, besides being tired and cranky; even though I had a solid TP (for me), I couldn’t push all-out for as long as I could earlier in the season.

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“the higher we drive your CTL the more we run the risk of dulling our peak power outputs”
Yes , thats probably what is happening. Regular top 10-15 finishes but no points or podiums. Hopefully the 18week SS plan will keep me in check prior to racin starting in March.

I was saying that in relation to a CTL that IMO was waaay too high for the athlete’s age (118).

Our sweet spot plans are balanced and age appropriate. And when you finish them you need to switch ‘from base to race’ as described and shown here:


Yes , Frank , that is my intention. I have started the 18week SS plan this week which will take me to the start of racing next March. Should I continue with the full 18 weeks or start the base to race earlier?

Hi @johnmccambridge - maybe but maybe not - it all comes down to two important aspects of your training

#1 the timing of the 18 weeks in relation to the date of your A race/goals/time frame

#2 Interval Training - specifically knowing when to Switch from Base to Race: as posted above.

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@FRANK I have uploaded a copy of the PMC to illustrate what I was talking about - a high ATL then a taper.

As you can see, the TSB was good and I felt strong for the A event on the date highlighted. (Unfortunately a crash during training a couple of days prior ended my season, so the race was not completed).

Leads me back to the original question of aiming for a higher CTL. If I feel I can handle higher weekly TSS and recover, is it advisable to add a bit of TSS with adding more time than workouts call for? I know this is a few months out.

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Hi I am Paul, Not sure if this in the best place for this. I heard on the post cast that as we get older we can not train or ride as much. I was look forward to training or riding a lot more when I retire. I am 55 now and planning on retiring about 62 to 65 years old. With more time to ride I should be able to get a higher CTL, so I thought. I have got my CTL up to high 80’s low 90’s riding 8 to 13 hours a week in the past. When I retire I was planning to ride 14 to 20 hours a week or more.

Thank you

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