What to make of all the numbers - starting training plan

Hey everyone,

60yo cyclist here, been riding seriously for about 9 years.
When I started riding in San Diego I had a metabolic coach as well as cycling coach for first year.
I was only able to get my ftp in the 250-260 range and VO2max to about 48.
Then moved to the East Coast and all went downhill for over a year.

Recently moved again and thankfully back in area with lots of climbing opportunities and started real training again.

So here are my questions -

I am in week 2 of the Sweet Spot Plan I - I already had some history in Garmin and TP due to my own workouts prior to starting plan. That was influencing recommended recovery and Training Load numbers.

My initial FTP was only 206 and VO2 was tracking at 46.

After week 1 of the plan my Garmin was showing that I was overtraining - I was over range in all three areas (Aerobic Hi, Lo, and Anaerobic) and was recommending rest time of 3 days after the Group Sweet Spot ride.

I feel challenged on the rides - today was 3x12minute SS ride. Numbers were right where they were supposed to be. Garmin stills shows Unproductive with VO2 decreasing but Training Load is optimal (863). It recommends 42 hours recovery.

How should I think about using my numbers in Garmin - more long term data of all my rides - vs the plan - or do I just not think about it and just do the plan?

Goals for me are increasing FTP and VO2 - more of a fitness focus (ot racing) as I still need really good fitness fo two reasons: enjoy centuries and would like to go for double centuries and also active firefighter so need to have good cardiac fitness and strength.

Appreciate any good advice.
Thank you

Welcome to the Coalition @sean.sauber!

First things first - don’t get lost in the #'s, simply do your best to follow the plan. Did you make today’s workout ‘turn green’? Good do that again tomorrow and the next day and the next. Keep following the plan.

Don’t pay attention to the Garmin #'s - I’ve found those to be useless. Use the metrics/numbers from TrainingPeaks and again if you are following the plan you are doing it right.

Hope that helps - good luck with your training,

Thank you Frank. That is the clarity I am looking for. My ride Monday was green.

As for Saturday - I didnt quite understand the instructions -
“Its OK if your power and HR is above or below Sweet Spot for short periods of time (< 60 seconds). What’s most important is Normalized Power for entire group ride or length of time the group got going” -

I rode making sure that I didn’t get out of the SS for more than 60 seconds. For the whole ride my NP was right on SS and thus my TSS was 214 vs the prescribed 126.
The ride was green but not sure why the predicted TSS was so low.

Thanks for the help