Do workouts get progressively harder during a training plan?

Do workouts get progressively harder during a training plan to compensate for change in FTP or do you need to do regular FTP tests to increase the intensity?

I’ve been doing a TT-Tune up Workout plan and after 3 weeks of being able to complete workouts, I did a ramp test and my FTP increased from 241watts to 252watts. Afterwards I couldn’t fully complete the intervals (especially high power). My Heart rate at 380watts for 2min reached 207bpm and I am 16 so should have a max heart rate of 204bpm.

So, back to my question, do the workout plans get progressively harder? Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks

Not really, they are always tied to your FTP. The workouts will get more difficult as you progress though the plan. For example, in the beginning maybe you are only doing 5 minute intervals at 95% of FTP, a few weeks later you are up to 10 minute intervals at 95%, etc. but again they are based off of your FTP, so if that number stays the same then 95% of FTP at the end of the program is the same as at the beginning.

If you increase your FTP half way through a plan, then all the remaining workouts will be based on the new number.

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So should I change my FTP halfway through the workout or keep it the same as it was at the start?

Sounds like the new FTP is making the workouts too difficult, so you should probably lower it back down. But this is a question your coach should answer, not me (I’m not a coach and not qualified to answer).


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Ok thanks for your help🙂

Testing and gaining a higher FTP is a double edged sword for just the reason you have described.
The higher FTP means that the plan is working, you are progressing, getting fitter, and faster on the bike. The bad news is that the upcoming workouts are again going to push your limits and make you work harder. IF you have a coach consult your coach.

The other thing i noticed is that you are talking about doing work at 150% of FTP (380W, FTP@252W) for two minutes. Ouch!!! That is not meant to be easy. I have never really done work structured at 150%. I do know that that after 2 minutes @ 120% in my VO2 max work I am already really starting to feel it pretty good. I will normally do 3 minutes @120% 8 times as a standard VO2 max workout. I am not sure i could do 2 minutes at 150%.

How many repeats are there in this workout and does it allow a generous recovery in between?

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Is this the workout you are referring to from the TT-tune up (Week 5)? Fist off 89 TSS in 56 minutes doing anerobic work is no joke. I feel pretty spent for doing 75 TSS in an hour or 125 for 90 minutes. It looks killer and wouldn’t feel bad for failing these. That is a lot of intensity packed in a small window with 3 minute recoveries where you will not be fully recovered.

Note the last workout at the end of week 8 looks even more crazy to me as do a couple more in the last 3 weeks.

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This was the workout:
This was the workout
2min @ 380watts
3min @125watts
2min @ 365watts
3min @125watts
2min @345watts
3min @125watts
2min @330watts
3min @125watts
2min @310watts
5min @125watts
10min ramp down @~230 sweet spot
5min cool down.

I didn’t complete all the intervals. I did the first third and the 10min.

The workout was called AC + Sweet Spot #1 on week 5. But the workout you mentioned I also struggled alot with (I felt sick for the rest of the evening).

Also I got a new 2min power during the workout when I completed the first interval. Don’t think that’s right. Shouldn’t be able to repeat the interval 5x.

Did a workout today but with my FTP back at what it was before the workout (241watts). It was Cruse intervals #4. Got all stars. HR still reached 200bpm on the last interval compared to 207bpm on the first interval on yesterdays workout!!

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:muscle: :muscle: strong work @Aaron_Hunt

Dont use generic formulas for max heart rate. I have hit 194 just a couple years ago and low 190s quite often recently (190-192) a bit in Zwift races and I am 40. So by 220 minus age I should max out at 180. There are plenty of well trained athletes that hit over 200 in their mid 30s or later. Use power as your metric it is superior to heart rate. Too many factors can change your hr that dont include good old fashioned hard training. Also seeing your HR at 204 may fool you into thinking “I am done and maxed out” when in reality you may have another 30 second left in the hurt tank. Dont cut yourself short because of a hr number.

Looks killer for the first 2 minute interval. The good news is that they do decline in power so only the first one is at 150%. I will still say that I am not sure I could hold 150% of FTP for 2 minutes even once. I would have no shame in lowering the first one and then trying to hit the targets on all of the following intervals. You will still see the benefits of the workout even if you dont hit the first one just right.

The second item to note is that if I see a hard workout like this coming up on the schedule then I need to be well rested. Preference would be an aerobic day max 90 minutes and then a day off the bike prior. I am getting old and I dont recover as well as I did in high school so you may not need nearly as much rest and be capable of back to back hard days. I will still say whatever time, sleep, nutrition, etc you need to feel good and fresh with high motivation then do that so you are 100% before workouts like this. The motivation cannot be understated either. Intervals like this require you to be mentally tough and to want it pretty badly. Good to have them but you can burnout. I am finding that I can easily do 2 hard sessions a week and 3 max. A 4th will bury me and then I am off resting for like 3-4 days and miss training because I simply cannot perform and am too tired.

Hope this helps. Ride hard and Ride On!

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