Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Making FTP Progress by Taking it Easy

Last year I was able to maintain FTP growth through January 8th - then my results flattened out. It's probably not a coincidence that I started doing much more VO2max and anaerobic work in January last year. Either then intensity somehow stunted my FTP progress or, more likely, the reduced time available for SST and L4 work stopped my FTP improvement.

This year I've pretty much stayed away from high intensity work except for what I got in the Peach Peloton attack zones. I did my first set of hill repeats for 2009 on Monday.

Yesterday I did another FTP test. It appears that my FTP is still creeping upward. That's good news, but it makes me wonder if I should continue to hold off on intensity training even longer into the year. Oddly enough, I don't feel that my anaerobic system is suffering much from the lack of training. One thing's for sure, the absence of intensity in January and February has me feeling much fresher and I've not been sick since last spring.

I guess if the training program ain't broke, don't try to fix it. So for now I'll let my intensity mostly come from races and see what happens. I'll probably know in my first crit if the lack of anaerobic work has set me back in that area. My current FTP chart is below. I probably should do at least FTP test in my recently modified TT position to see how that stands. But I've been putting it off because, well, hurts a lot to be in that position for 45 minutes - I really didn't develop the new position for longer races.

4 Comments:

Colin Griffiths said...

Funny that Robert, I guess we are on similar learning curves. I've been having the same internal debate and have been holding back from so much work at or above threshold. Like you, I've not seen anything detrimental as yet.

Robert Jordan said...

I'm beginning to think really slow-twitch guys might be wasting some of thier time with lots of high-intensity training. Some is needed, but maybe not so much as is commonly thought. It may be that I get plenty of intensity from racing and I only need to train my FTP in the off-season?

Anonymous said...

u have seen the light.

Colin Griffiths said...

Or it might just be that doing the same 40 min efforts week in week out from November to whenever just creates a plateau you can't get off. Perhaps what we need to do is to keep trying to lift different points on the power profile curve and offering our bodies a variable ongoing challenge (something it won't get used to). You can then still maintain the structured and focused approach that racing will not give you.