Build Me Up (12-week training plan)

You are a madman doing that back to back!! I came off the bike a broken man on Tuesday night after doing Aspire :frowning_face: . I had to take yesterday off! I hope your having a rest day.

I’m glad I’m not the only one finding them tough. At least we are nearly at the end. And you have done the two big ones. Now do I do the 2 hour one tonight and get it out the way or do I do the one hour ones and save the big one for the weekend?!?!


Hey, I have Tenacity and Aspire coming up on Saturday and Sunday! And I did Thew today (Friday). It should be an interesting couple of days, but I think I’ll get through it. :slight_smile:

Saturday update: Aspire is in the bag. It was rough, but I got through it. Tomorrow is Tenacity!

Last proper workout done! Only the recovery sessions and THE TEST to go. The last 2 weeks, with 5 tough workouts each week, have left me pretty drained, but feeling positive that I could complete nearly all of them. Just off for a snooze, I may be some time … :smile:

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I have just finished the plan.
I really enjoy it.
Let’s now wait two weeks ans start with the next one.
Anyone has tried Single Track Slayer?
It has been really useful to have all zwos downloaded as a Workouts.

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Well, that’s a bit disappointing. Did the FTP test today and got 186W (20 min average 196W). Before the plan it was 190W. I may have started slightly too hard, as at 10 miins my average was 206W, But I did get a new maximum HR and FTHR (up from 160 to 165).

My sympathies. I’m a little concerned the same thing is going to happen to me. Twelve weeks of (sometimes) very hard work, and you end up in the same place as you started.

Except… not really.

Personally I can tell I’m a lot stronger now that when I started the plan. My FTP is in the same ballpark as yours. And starting out, there is no way I could have held 200 watts for an hour. Even though the Ramp Test said that was my FTP.

I’ve never done a 20-minute FTP test. And there is, apparently, a bit of skill involved in pacing them. You almost sorta need to know ahead of time what number you want to end up with. Start out trying to hold that number, and then in the last few minutes, if you got any gas left in the tank, put the hammer down. (Is that a mixed metaphor? I think it is.)

The good news is: Whatever number you get on a Zwift FTP test doesn’t go in your permanent record. There is no permanent record. You can always do another 20-minute test, or a ramp test. Or whatever.

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I’ll probably be doing my FTP test on Sunday night. I had been wondering how to approach it, but your idea of picking a target, staying with it, and then adding a little extra at the end if I have it is probably a good way to go.

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When I did it I picked a heart rate zone that I thought I could sustain for the 20 minutes and kept in that. It gave me a lower FTP than I had hoped for, but it turned out to be really realistic for my next training plan. Good luck on Sunday @MarcinMN ! Let us know how the pick-a -target method works for you. Maybe I’ll try that next time!

I agree Andrew. I’ve been out a couple of times and my HR-based endurance zone is a bit quicker than it was. I definitely got better with intervals at VO2-max and above. Neither of these are necessarily reflected in an FTP number.

The metaphor is consistent, but does that exclude it being mixed? Buggered if I know :laughing:


Well, I did the FTP test today. I’ll admit I was a little disappointed, but that was mostly because I assumed that the running average that Zwift was giving me during the 20 minute test segment was going to be my new FTP, but it turned out to be 10 points lower than that. If I had known that, I maybe could have squeezed out a little more effort…though probably not much if I’m honest with myself.

When I first started this plan, I was pretty new to Zwift and using a smart trainer. Heck, I was pretty new to cycling since I only started late this past summer. As a result, I don’t think I had used Zwift enough yet for my FTP score to settle into what it actually was. I say that because when I started it was at 154, but then a week or two into the plan I did an extra (outside of the training plan) ride on the Road to Sky route and when I finished that Zwift told me that my FTP was now 181!

As for today’s test, I started out with the goal of holding my wattage at 200W. I couldn’t quite maintain that, but for most of the test segment it wavered between 190W and 200W. I even had enough left to push hard for the last minute. That final push managed to raise my running average from 193W up to 194W. As I said, I assumed that average would be the new FTP, so as I realized that holding 200W might be too hard, I settled in where I was at thinking that 193W would still be a respectable gain. Alas, my final FTP score was 184.

That’s still a 3 point gain over the “corrected” FTP I gained a couple weeks in, and a whopping 30 points higher than what it was when I first started! But that initial score was lower than it should be, I’m sure. At any rate, I feel the plan worked me pretty hard and that I gained some fitness from it. Also, it gave me something to focus on rather than just pedaling and staring at a movie. We’ll see if I notice much difference when I get the bike back outside!

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Well done on your new result. Pacing the FTP test is hard. The figure is based on 95% of your average power over that 20 minute period, whereas Zwift is displaying just that average power. Hence the apparent discrepancy.

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Marc, that’s a fairly accurate description of my FTP test, except there was no way I could have gone any harder towards the end. I tried to hold 210W, to give me an FTP of 200W. Managed for the first 10 mins then went into a bit of a decline, so could have paced it better.

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Currently on week 9 and really enjoying it. My FTP has increased gradually as the plan has gone on. I started with an FTP of 217 and was finding it too easy. The last few weeks I was at 240 and still finding myself increasing the bias often. Last week was week 8 which only has 3 sessions, so in the middle of that I decided to do a free ride up Alpe Du Zwift - I was planning on taking it easy but having never done the climb and feeling pretty strong I put a fair effort in. I got up in 56:46 and my FTP increased to 245 afterwards. Now I’ve got some hard weeks in BMU approaching so it’s going to be tough but hopefully I can see it through.

Also going to be hard with the weather improving, I skipped the pedalling drills at the weekend so I could get out in the fresh air but hopefully that’ll be the only one I skip.

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Hi @MarcinMN ! Indeed, the pacing is hard! Well done! Do you track your heart rate? And if so, were you able to notice which “working zone” you were in? I am not sure what the zones are according to official definitions, but I have noticed for myself that I am working sustainably hard in the 150 to 158ish BPM range. Once I get into the 160s that is right on the edge of unsustainable for me. I did my latest FTP test on Friday (after the Pebble Pounder Plan) and decided to try doing it during a small group ride. I hope that wasn’t cheating, but it was much easier for me to give a harder effort in the group (of riders who are all stronger than I am). I only raised my FTP by 6 points from my last test, but think that was really the best I could do, especially since I kept my heart rate in the upper 150s last time and was in the mid 160s this time. That is a fitness gain too, isn’t it? Being able to ride at a higher heart rate for a longer period of time?

I also thought that the 20 minute average was the FTP… So thanks for pointing that out. That will be helpful for future tests.

Hope to see you out there on Zwift before you head outside! Ride On!

Well here I am, started this week the plan. With a 186ftp.

Let’s see where I am in July!

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6 watts increase is good! Yes, being able to sustain a higher HR longer is also a gain! Don’t be discouraged by these numbers so much. What about your overall fitness? How are you feeling compared to before? How is your sleep? How is your mental state? All these are good indicator you are becoming healthier! That’s what it’s all about!


Got Covid in final week of Build Me Up training plan!

It was all going so well! Week 11 is a really tough week given it’s the last week before the FTP Test. Symptoms started on Monday, attempted the 2 hour Aspire workout on Tuesday, threw in the towel 90mins in feeling very fatigued. Felt bad on Wed, didn’t do a wortkout. Got a test on Thursday but was feeling better by then and managed the Ruckus workout last night. Test came back this morning (Fri) positive but I feel fine. Given that I’m in isolation now I may as well attempt the last 3 workouts that need to be done before Sunday night. If I feel too fatigued I’ll just call it a day. Shame you can’t pause the training plans for a week.

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If anyone was disappointed with their FTP gain after this program, my suggestion is to go try the Road to Sky route. I’ve done a portion of it a couple times this week and both times Zwift gave me a nice FTP boost when I stopped. I haven’t even gone all the way up the mountain yet. The first time I stopped at the #10 marker, and today I stopped at the #6 marker.

I’m sure individual results will vary, but my approach once I get to the actual mountain is to keep it in a gear where I can keep my cadence at around 70 rpm on the steep portions (around 10% and higher incline). I think physically I could have made it to the top today, but mentally I decided to stop at 1 hour. lol :stuck_out_tongue:


Hi @Paul_Monan ! Take good care of yourself! Yes, it is dumb that the plans can’t ever be paused! Even if you can’t finish the program though you will have undoubtedly improved your cycling fitness with BMU and will have that to build on again later. I hope you continue to feel fine and hope to see you out there. Ride On!

Hi. I finished “build me up” just today. I have done all 50 session but sometimes was hard to fit in my life.
I started this plan late (1st Feb) because I bought my first trainer wahoo kickr core.
I’m 44 and ride on bike 3rd season. 2019- 5000km but 2020 just 2500km

Starting weight: 86kg
Starting FTP: 241W
W/kg: 2,77

After plan:
Weight: 86kg
FTP: 311W
W/kg: 3.61

I’m very happy - my FTP increased +70W (+29%). My best FTP ever was 295W (2019).

The hardest training for me was “cucumber”. After week nr 6 I increase my FTP from 241W to 250W because I felt good. After week 11 I felt a bit tired but I saw that strenght looks good. What is great in this plan is discipline. But it would by maybe easier if there was an option to make some break for day or two. There was a lot of pressure on time :wink:

Anyway I think for me this plan fit great. Mayby I can repeat it next winter
Good luck