Monthly checkup

Hi Jake

First month is wrapping up. Unfortunately I got sick last week and taking my daughter to college this week. So FtfP didn’t go so well. First two weeks were great. Not so much the last two. So not sure what to ask or what you can tell me. I plan to restart SS polarized next week.

Let me know if there is anything I should be taking into account starting next week


Oh one other thing. As you will be able to see, I do a lot of rides on the trainer. I don’t mind it (sometimes like it). It’s hard in Atlanta to get out of traffic and stop and go riding. And the danger factor is real. I will likely do almost all weekday rides indoors. I’ve got a good Saturday group ride I can do. Sunday’s I can do outdoor but occsssionally might do indoors. I generally feel like a trainer ride on time is equal to about 1.5x outdoors. So a 2 hour zone 2 on the trainer is 3 hours outdoors.

Any thoughts on all that?

Hey Sandy!

Those first two weeks were absolutely perfect! Those weeks were dialed in and your efforts were great! Your first set of 3 minute Vo2 max efforts on July 29th you started a bit easy but after that the rest of your efforts that day the previous week for 4 minutes were great! You moved from the lower zone 5 to the middle end of the zone even with the longer 4 minute efforts. So feel free to push those a bit more if you are feeling good the next go around.

Your last group ride on August 8th, the Gap ride, was an awesome ride! Big amount of sweet spot / threshold efforts. You did 269 TSS in 3 hours. That is 70 TSS more than the previous week in the same amount of time! Shows how much more of an effort that ride took. You actually hit your peak 1 hour power on this ride and that was after 2 hours of hard riding! So that is impressive especially considering the day started off with a 20 minute climb that you did over your FTP! So you still had good endurance to ride that strong later on in the ride. Great sign of fitness.

The first group ride was good. Not quite the intensity of the gap ride, but still not bad. You did get in 202 TSS for the 3.5 hours so that is a solid pace. Nearly 60 TSS per hour which is kind of what you want as the minimum for a sweet spot group ride. The plan called for 175 TSS but since you rode a little longer you went over that target so in the long run you did get in the proper workload.

The sweet spot intervals you have been doing are perfect! 91% of your FTP so right in the middle to upper end of sweet spot which is a great pace! Not too easy and not too hard which is allowing you to repeat those efforts consistently. That is what you really want.

As for shorter trainer rides on Sunday you can do that. What you want to look at is TSS. TSS is your training stress score. This is how hard a ride is. If you ride more zone 3 as opposed to zone 2 power you can accumulate more TSS in a shorter period of time. We recommend this a lot with our riders who have to ride the trainer. Just trying to cut the trainer time. There is a caveat to this however. With the Sweet spot 4 plan the idea is to keep the intensity down on days you are not doing efforts. This way you are fresher when its time to go hard. Will doing 1.5 - 2 hour ride with some tempo burn you out, not but be careful with how hard you ride.

So for a 2 hour zone 2 heart rate ride you have been getting in 95 TSS. So basically 43 TSS per hour. So that is what your goal should be.

Make sure to get that ride in on next Tuesday before the intervals on Wednesday. You will want to open back up after a few days off. That first set maybe more of a warm up than anything so don’t worry too much about the outcome of the power. It maybe a shock to the system, but will be more opened up after that.

1 Like

Hi Jake

Really helpful feedback. The first group ride was a “solo” group ride and the second an actual group ride, which is probably why the effort was harder.

Was just thinking about SS4 versus a different plan. I’ve got 40 weeks before my A event “DK to be renamed”. There is the 32 week plan you have. And then either SS4 or gravel plan for 38 weeks. Giving two weeks of play for “life, family, illness.”

Would that be a better approach. The one issue is I don’t have a gym and honestly I don’t feel comfortable going to a gym and probably won’t for a while. I have some basic dumbbells and resistance bands. But that is it. How effectively could I do the weights without a gym? I think Frank mentioned you may have a new “home based” plan for weights?

Our 32 week plan going into the 6 week gravel plan would be an awesome approach! Yes we are currently working on a new resistance plan which we could adjust your training plan when that time comes. In the plan still would be the on the bike strength workouts which you could complete. Then you could do the other workouts we come up with as alternatives to not being able to go to the gym. This will probably be the norm for most.

Since you have 40 weeks till DK and those two plans would be 38 weeks but we would need to add a week of recovery between the new plans which would make 39 weeks. So maybe you can just have an easy next week of some zone 2 riding and roll into the 32 week plan at that point. Then as we go along we can make changes as needed, if needed.

Sounds like a good plan. Since I had an easy week last week and not so hard this week, I’d like to get rolling on the 32 week plan. Assuming we are mostly through the pandemic by next spring, I will likely have a week of spring break (and that’s a no bike/all family week). And will see what happens around the Christmas holidays.

So a pretty good chance, life will happen later. But I’m not traveling for work at least through Jan 2021 so I hope to really be able to FtfP through then.

Any reason you can think of NOT to start next week?

Ugh. I can’t count. It’s 41 weeks until DK. But I still feel like I’d I start next week we have more flexibility when (not if) life gets in the way.

But let me know if you think otherwise. Also I will likely do my 20 min test on the trainer. I’ve done it multiple times as well as ramp tests. The 20 min test I’ve done has a 5 min clearing effort. I know you guys don’t have that outdoors. But as long as I stay consistent with that, is that ok. Or should I skip that clearing effort and just warm up and then go!?


Hi Sandy!

Just go ahead and start the 32 week plan! Sounds like you have a few things that may conflict your plan and we can easily just adjust as we go along. The important thing is to have the 6 week gravel plan finish on the week of the event. So sounds like that may get pushed back with a few week hiccups you may have. We can help you move things around as that time comes.

I would recommend the 20 minute test. As for the 5 minute clearing effort I don’t think that is completely necessary indoors since it’s hard enough to produce maximal power indoors. I would just stay consistent with what you do! Your FPT seems to be accurate based on the data I see. We can adjust as needed as well. The reason for it is to take anaerobic power out of the equation which can lead to a more accurate depiction of your FTP (60 minute power).

Hi Jake,

I think I’ve finished up another month. I looked over the 32 plan and the tension internals and weights made my knees hurt just thinking about them (legacy of growing up a tennis player). So I pivoted and decided to do the six weeks polarized again since I got sick last time.

I felt pretty good about the 4 weeks. Maybe hoping for a bit bigger bump in FTP but I guess I’ll take what I can get. Let me know your thoughts/analysis and I’ll be finishing up the last two weeks.

Oh and would it be a total mistake to go for an easy outdoor ride tomorrow. Weather looks like it’s going to be perfect and would be nice to just spin for a few hours.