12 wk ftp builder

I’m on week 7 of the 12wk ftp builder which I was finding easy, but am now struggling with as my weight has gone up & my fitness gone down. I’m having 1 rest day a wk & running the others - nothing different to what I’ve been doing for the past 20odd years although it’s the first time I’ve ever followed any bike specific training. Anyone else had this?

FWIW, all of the FTP builder regimens become increasingly difficult as the weeks go on.  If they didn’t? They wouldn’t ‘build’ much of anything.  With that out of the way…

Do you mean your weight has gone up and your fitness has gone down over the 7 weeks that have elapsed since you started the 12 wk FTP Builder? 

It’s hard to believe the former would increase that much over 7 weeks to make a difference - particularly because Zwift  workouts are tailored to you based on your FTP (in *Watts*, not watts/kg). So, even if your weight has gone up? It wouldn’t make the FTP Builder any more difficult. 

Re: Fitness? That *should* only be improving while you’re actively training - unless you’re OVERtraining. This can be easy to do w/ Zwift.  The workouts generally build in some active recovery time and even encourage you to take rest days - but if you do any riding _in addition _to the workouts - it’s easy to overdo it.  If you use Strava, keep an eye on your Suffer Score and/or ‘relative effort’/weekly effort.   If you’re training a lot and workouts that shouldn’t be too difficult suddenly are? You need to plan more than just a single day of rest & recovery.



If your Fitness is decreasing significant and it’s hard for you to do the workout in a proper manner, then you’re over training. This is actually the time you need to be careful.

Hi Sam, as some others mentioned, it’s definitely easy to over do it! I’d be weary of going too hard, and be sure to rest when things start to feel a bit taxing. 

You can also make sure you’ve adjusted your weight in your settings in Zwiftand even edit your FTP if things are feeling a bit too difficult. I hope you’re enjoying your rides!

Thanks for the comments…

When I started the build I weighed 51kg & my vo2 max was 52. I now weigh 52.5kg & my vo2 max has dropped to 49 (I’m a 44 yr old female)

Because of this, riding at say 2.5w/kg feels harder than it did initially, not because of my weight gain, but because of my loss of fitness.

I was surprised at the weight gain, but in hindsight, I am training with far less intensity on this build than I would normally so I guess thats a given. What I was not expecting was the decline in fitness. I know you need to build up, but it seems to me that the base for the build is too low so its taken me down the ladder before it can build me back up, & I can’t see how I’m going to get anywhere near my starting point, let alone past it.

I’m definitely not overtraining as my training load is usually far higher. Every session I do my garmin tells me it’s unproductive so I’m feeling slightly demoralised to say the least!

I’ve just started wk 10 but can’t see how my FTP will have increased when everything else has declined. I’m sticking with it in the hope that something miraculous will happen within the next few weeks, & I hope I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I guess I was just hoping that others would have had a similar experience so that I could reassure myself that the past 2 months haven’t been a total waste of time!

Fingers crossed!



 I have noticed that a couple of the programs you’ve mentioned do start out too easy for a well developed athlete.  I think they are designed for someone not very developed and probably new to the sport or never rides with disciplined training .  so one should adjust accordingly.  

at 44years old 6 days a week, with running, is too much, and too hard on the body. IMO.  I may be out of bounds here, but unless you’re getting some real easy days (hr under 110)  its most likely too much.  I’m guessing since your running everyday they are not easy ( because running is not easy on the body)  and you are probably not recovering.  

I used to race with a guy who could do a 2:38 marathon.  He ran on his recovery days too, and he could never figure out why his bike races were so bad.  He never came close to recovering, so he never built.  His fitness was superb, and he should have been killing most everyone that lined up,  but he was never around at the finish.