6 Week FTP training program nearly complete -- what next ?


As mentioned in previous posts, I’m a bit of a natural runner who’s never followed training programs for running. But I’m not a natural cyclist. For cycling, I feel I need to follow something reasonably structured to progress.

I’m at the end of the 6 week FTP improvement training plan. With the optional 5th day of the 6th week left to do.

Here’s a few observations, that I would like help/feedback on.

  • if I’ve ever cycled on the road on the flats or uphill, or just even on a Zwift free ride (no Erg mode workout), I will typically tend to go into a high gear with a low cadence. It seems to be my “natural” way to ride. But when I use my Erg mode for the FTP training, I tend to use lower gears than if I were to just ride (gear ratio of 2.38 or 2.63). For the first 20 mins (during warmup and first intervals), it seems a bit of an effort to maintain a cadence of 90-100 rpm, but from 45 mins to 120 mins, I find I’m naturally doing 110 rpm cadence and getting into the zone doing up to to 130 rpm cadence easily. Furthermore, ironically on the high power intervals that ask for 60 rpm cadence, I find it unnatural, and still tend towards 90 rpm. It’s almost like using workouts with Erg mode makes me use lower gear ratios with a higher cadence. So I have the following questions:

---- does this mean I should have started in a higher gear ratio for my workouts so that towards the last 2/3 of the workouts I’m staying between 90-100 rpm ?

---- is it that I’m a spinner type cyclist who just naturally tends to higher cadance and lower resistance (lower gear ratios) after a 20-30 warmup phase (personally I don’t think it’s the case as in the past I’ve tended to high gears with low cadence, but I’m such a newbie I just don’t know) ?

With the two questions above, I then have the following other questions:

– on the next workout program I choose to do, should I start with a higher gear ratio ?

– I’m at a running fitness level where I could easily handle a marathon. I’d like to be doing some long distance cycling (140 - 200 km). Should I do the 12 week FTP  training program to keep improving my FTP or should I switch to the first century training program instead (I tend to suspect the switch to the first century tearing program would be the thing to do, but I’m such a newbie, I wonder if it’s best for a new cyclist to keep working on their FTP in the first six months) ?

– if I do start the 12 week FTP program, I assume I can ignore the first two weeks (where it says ignore if you are already in shape) – is my assumption correct ?

Any advice from experienced cyclists is most welcome :slight_smile:

Loving Zwift… Ride On !

Hi Robert,

Did you ever receive any feedback from these questions? I’m today where you were in March and would love to hear what was the response.