Running out of base?

I am currently on the MTB Interval Plan (repeating the plan with higher FTP this round and on week 3), and enjoying power gains across multiple metrics :slight_smile: However, I’m concerned that my CTL is decreasing over the last eight weeks…it’s decreased from 96 down to 79 and I have about four weeks before my next priority race. Recently I heard Frank say on a podcast that cyclocross racers can “run out of base” during the season because they are constantly recovering from the higher intensities of their discipline. I’m a masters athlete (50 years old) with MTB XC events lasting 1.5 to 2 hrs…My questions are:

  1. As long as I continue to see improvements in power/speed, should I even care about CTL and just keep ftfp-ing?
  2. If I should care about CTL, how would I know when to care? How low is too low?

These are all great questions @robert.dale

that’s why its all about the timing of your training to your goal events. Are your goal events coming up here soon?

If so don’t worry about your CTL during the plan, especially when your power is increasing! But you will want to manage it after your goals events.



Thanks Frank! It’s an honor that you answered my question! I have just under 4 weeks until next priority race so I will stay the course and then go with a Sweet Spot plan for Summer to prepare for Fall events. BTW, I remember hearing you mentioning visiting UAB…I have a Master’s from there…currently at Univ. Of South Alabama. Thanks again! Big fan here!

Always a pleasure to help the Alabama athletes! The Bump n Grind MTB Race in Birmingham was my 5th race ever!

You can reload your CTL after you finish your MTB plan or if you have more racing get into an ‘in season’ plan:


Thanks again Frank!!! Awesome about the Bump n Grind!! That is my last race for Spring and then will jump on a Sweet Spot plan. Will keep the in-season plan in mind for Fall season. All the best to you!