Starting 18week SS with CTL @ 85

Hey all, I’ve been looking through previous posts but not found a full answer.

I’ve been hovering around 90-85 CTL for a couple months now after peaking at 104 earlier in the year.

I’m starting the 18week plan in 2 week and projections show my CTL tailing off.

Should I top up with zone 2 or just accept the drop is not a factor in the bigger picture?



Hey Dan,
First, how significant is the drop and how long is it projected to fall for? Secondly, is the volume of the plan similar to what you have done/could handle in the past (e.g. how much TSS where you doing in previous weeks during the off season )?

I’ll also note that it is expected for power and CTL to drop during the off season, especially after taking a proper post season break . As you progress through that SS plan (the first 6 weeks are to get the ball rolling), the training load will increase and CTL will start to build. Think of it as one step backwards, to get two steps forwards :wink:

if you are already at 85-90 @dan.kendall you’d need to bump up your plan level, from basic to intermediate or from intermediate to advanced. More TSS is the only way to move an already high CTL, higher

Thank you both! I’ve figured out how to move the PMC chart further into future and I can see it starts building again.
I’ve been averaging 8-10 hours per week and tbh that’s about as much as I can get in, so I went for intermediate plan. Half of that time is the weekend as well.

I guess I’m just worried of wasting some of the base I’ve build this winter, last year my CTL was 35-40 until March when some enforced time off work allowed me to ride for longer for a few weeks and kept building it up of the rest of the year until Sep when it peaked at 104ish


Your CTL should be going up from where you are at today - therefore you may be in the wrong plan and not need sweet spot parts 1 & 2.

What are you training fro and when is it?

For starters I see you should try to implement a ramp rate of 2-3 per week for at least the next 6 weeks and that might mean sweet spot part 3 (not parts 1 & 2). Again will depend on your timing

My main targets are two hilly TTS (60-70km) in May, fingers crossed. And then a team half Ironman where I’m doing the bike leg in June is a big target. I was the fastest on the bike leg in 2019 and want to go quicker this time. Scattered throughout will be TTS, can’t see too many road races this year in the UK.

Maybe I’m asking the wrong question…

If I’m already nearly at capacity with training time now (made up of mainly zone2 and 2x z3/4intervals through the week) then perhaps CTL is the wrong metric to get hung up on.

To be honest if I look at the 3 mid week sessions n the plan they are more ‘intense’ than I’m doing now, it’s just I have been doing 5-7 hours on a weekend which is spiking my CTL.

Can I keep up this volume or FTFP as it were :grinning:

Hey Dan,
Given what you describe and your goal races, i think you would benefit from our monthly coaching subscription. With that a coach can go in once per month and adjust your plan according to your goal races.

But to answer your question: It sounds to me like you may be capable of more volume on the weekends than you are able to do during the week, which is why you went with the intermediate plan and not the advanced one. Now you want to know whether you should continue the same volume you have been doing on the weekend that has allowed you to increase your FTP while you follow your Fascat plan, correct?

If so, the answer to that depends… While you build your base (with sweet spotting), this is fine. But the closer you move towards your target races, the less of a training load you will want to carry and you should focus more on your race specific intervals that will allow you to be in peak form for the race
In other words, you will see a drop in CTL and rise in TSB… Less fatigue = fresher and faster :wink:

As Frank indicated, it may be more ideal for you to do SS part 3 (weeks 12-18 of your plan) which will give you the volume and intensity you need to continue to build your base for a bit. Then you can follow that up with a race specific plan such as our intervals for TT’s to get you in peak form.

More info on tapering here: Tapering In Cycling for Peak Performance