I am finishing week 7 of build me up. I’m a 56 YO woman with years of recreational cycling experience but no structured training ever. My question is about FTP and the workouts. When I ride outside for 90 minutes or so, my average power is between 170 and 180. When I started and did an FTP test, it came out at 156. I had some issues with the test and felt it tired me out before I started. I did Build me up 3 pre-workouts including Novanta which all seemed very easy so I bumped my FTP to 170. I completed all the workouts through week 5 with no adjustments other than I had to lower the vo2max ones by 3% starting with The workout called 15.9. I am able to complete workouts but have issue with the longer 115% FTP intervals that are 3 minutes long or the over FTP surges more than 1 minute long at the end of a long FTP interval at 100 cadence. Seems like my legs are stronger than my cardiovascular system. I also seem to tire more in the longer weeks with more saddle time and less rest. I’m wondering if I have my FTP too high and am not really working at sweet spot but above, or need more rest between hard especially VO2 max workouts or need to lower workout difficulty on longer VO2 max intervals . My resting pulse is with 2 beats of where it normally is but it seems like I’m getting to my max heart rate more quickly than before. I want to get the most out of the program and am feeling like I’m not getting stronger but weaker. I really struggled the other day on Kirizuma and had to drop to 95% After the first 15 min sweet spot block and even then take some breaks which really surprised me. As I look ahead to week 9, I worry that I can’t do this. I welcome your suggestions. I did an outdoor 90 minute ride and my average power was 182.
Does your outdoor cycling computer pause when you slow or stop, and does its average power include the zero figures accumulated when you’re moving but not pushing the pedals?
A trainer workout of a given time length is typically a harder effort than an outdoor workout of the same time length. On the trainer there is no traffic, no stop signs, no other impediments to your forward motion. You’re constantly pedaling and getting none of the breaks that allow brief but meaningful recovery periods outside.
Unless you are pedaling and pushing outdoors as constantly as you are indoors, and unless your outdoor record includes every second from the moment you started to the moment you finished, and excludes no zero power readings, you should expect your outdoor power average to be higher.
Another factor is heat. The indoor FTP may be different than outdoor FTP because indoors more of your body’s work may be affected by increasing body temperature due to insufficient cooling indoors. YMMV.
That makes perfect sense, thank you! Yes my computer stops and does not average when not moving. What you mentioned about mini breaks makes sense and can see how those will help me ride stronger outside. So maybe I will set my FTP back to 156 from my test and see how I do with that. I hope I haven’t wasted 7 weeks training at too high a level to get meaningful improvement.