Fitness dropping

Have started using Zwift and have access to Power Meter 1st time. Did FTP test and increased setting on Strava from 110 to 130. I’m in the 10th week of the Zwift Build Me Up plan but my fitness scores on Strava and Garmin Connect have plummeted.

My Strava monthly fitness has dropped from 160 to 106. Why? The Zwift Plan says it is increasing my fitness?

It’s demoralising

Your fitness rating will always drop when you increase your FTP. They will increase based on the effort you put in versus your FTP.

Those fitness ratings are huge!

edit: nvm see above

Strava fitness tracking can be a bit iffy at the start, it works a lot better once you’ve got a year plus of data to pull from to see how your fitness trends over a long time. It’s difficult to judge off of a very small amount of information, so can be a bit “whacky” at first.

Tbh just use FTP as a true measure of your fitness now that you have a power meter - that will be leagues more accurate than any arbitrary system based on algorithms etc.

Ok - I have about 3 years worth of data. Before starting on Zwift I was doing mainly 3-4 hour (60+ km) rides outdoors 5x a week for about 2 years. The Zwift training plan I’m currently doing is more focused on interval training and short bursts at higher power - maybe this has screwed everything up.

But I wasn’t using power meter outdoors - maybe I need to buy one!

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well there you go then. if u are no longer doing 3-4 hour rides multiple times a week, ur aerobic fitness will (gradually) go down!

interval training is more for threshold/anaerobic (/top-end) power.

it is difficult to train both at once to a high level, as you need to fit in recovery as well.

anaerobic power is hugely important in Zwift racing as most races are decided by a sprint finish or hill climb attack - so a lot of Zwift workout programmes will be geared towards that, shorter/sharper efforts.

Ok I understand thanks. I chose this plan to do indoors to build up power in my muscles for getting some more grunt power to get up hills, because I’ve got pretty skinny legs - my endurance was good but my legs not good at bursts of power to get up steep bits quickly - so I hope this helps when I start the long rides again. Thank you