Trainer FTFP vs. Outdoor season podcast question

I faithfully listen to your Podcast and benefit from every one.

I don’t hear my age group mentioned much (62+) and I have a first year training issue I haven’t heard addressed (doesn’t mean you haven’t covered it). I was wondering if my issue was age, the heat or training change related (maybe a combo). I am road biking only given my relative newness to the sport. I have decades of other sports including martial arts, tennis, swimming, lifting, etc.)

I overcame hip replacement last year greatly helped by FasCat weight training, base build, SS, and hill climb. I killed my first event (my first A race as a comeback from surgery) which began the outdoor transition for me. I FTFP (until outdoor season started) and Winning in the Kitchen.

Given my recovery status (1 year anniversary next month) I don’t do both indoor training and outdoor group rides as I need the recovery days. I group ride Tues/Thurs/Sat/Sun. Rides are about 40-60 miles and we average 20-22 MPH. I am the oldest in my group with the least amount of biking history (3 years). This same group was 19-20 last year so everyone is improving.

I have noticed that I don’t seem to have the sustained power I did right after winter when we just went outside. I will note that my group is going faster and I feel like I’ve lost something since my last plan finished (Phil’s climbing). I’m getting dropped near the end of the rides and am not climbing as well as I was. Perhaps it is that the others are improving and I’m not at their rate. I bonked 3 times in a row last week, but they were 96 degree heat and I felt it.

Do you recommend giving up the group rides (I don’t want to if I don’t have to) or some adjustment to training that would improve the performance that I had? If so, how do I balance the indoor/outdoor mix. I have a 7 month outdoor season and want to get the most out of it.

I will go back to the weight/base/SS plans once the good weather is over. I love the plans and they have greatly improved my riding so maybe I just need more years of riding?

Thank you


We would need more info, believe it or not.

One thing I’d like to see is you performance manager chart. This could give us an indication of where your CTL (fitness) and TSB (fatigue) is compared to earlier this season.

Some may think you need more training when I fact you made need less. With all the group rides you’ve been doing it maybe more intensity than you can recover from. Being older you do need more recovery.

Also earlier in the season you are coming off more of aerobic training i.e sweet spot training. This maybe overall more effective for you. Plus bring indoors it always you to stay in your zones for the whole ride. In a group ride setting you are more likely to hit all zones.

We absolutely recommend one group ride a week, typically Saturday. You could get a weekday one in but after two a week that is plenty. After that you aren’t really following a plan per say.

So go into your TrainingPeaks dashboard and look at your Performance Manager Chart. Look at your CTL and TSB and compare than till now. Look at your ride intensity factors (if) are they much higher now? Might want to do more of a 2 week ON 1 week OFF as opposed to 3/1 with your age.

What is the best way for to get you my chart for you to look at. Cut and paste wouldn’t show the stats behind it. Is there a DM somehow?


Can you take a screen shot on your computer or even app through the phone. Performance Manager Chart. Make the settings the last 180 days

Here you go. Weight training was in Dec. My A race was 4/6. Outdoor season was when I stopped the trainer. I’m not sure if this uploaded or not, if not i’ll re-try

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You had a great build up to just a couple of weeks before your goal even in April. Reached your peak CTL (fitness) in late March, then tapered down, rested, and brought up your TSB (fatigue level) to positive so you would be fresh! That was textbook and the plan worked.

So now you have been carrying on for several weeks now and CTL (fitness) has been dropping. Pretty typical for a season to have highs and lows. Ideally you would do a second build phase now and ramp that CTL back up to get some fitness back. Look to sweet spot 2,3 plan to do that. You need that aerobic fitness back. Seems you have been doing a lot of intensity. Time top get back some endurance and advance aerobic work with sweet spot.

That would be my suggestion.


Great, thanks for the help. I’ll go back to SS plans.

One last question, you said I was doing a lot of intensity which is true. I’m in a faster group than last year and am at the limit a good part of the time. Is this contributing to my loss in aerobic fitness? My heart rate is high the entire time (for me) as it is an aggressive group ride.

I’m still getting the SS plan and going back to the trainer.

You’re not getting as much overall workload, less Training Stress (TSS). Intensity is high, but my guess are rides are shorter and if you look at your overall duration in zones you spend a lot of time in zone 5/6 and a lot in zone 1. This time in zone 1 you are not getting any training adaptation from. So this is the reason for a slight loss in fitness.

A heavy block of sweet sweet spot should bring it back up. Your body needs a good mix of training or becomes stagnate. All intensity or all sweet spot isn’t good.

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Thank you. That was an excellent explanation.