Rule of Thumb about FTP Increases?

I just finished my second trip through the FTP Builder training pack and would love to hear what you all think. The first time through I used the FTP that Zwift had set for me without an FTP test. I took the test, but choked and ended up with an even lower number than I had gotten just riding around. After the 6- week plan was finished, I took the FTP test and was able to do a whole lot better… mostly because I knew what was coming. So my FTP increased by several points and I took that as my new setting for the second 6 weeks. This time through though most of the zone 3 and 4 combinations were too hard, and instead of being excited about the workout and going in with the feeling that I would be able to do it, I dreaded the yellow zone work. The final two Threshold workouts in week 6 I turned of ERG mode a couple of times in the yellow zone figuring that it was better to slog through badly and not get the star than to try for the star and have to stop altogether.

So my questions:
Do I stay at this FTP and do the 6 week plan again hoping it will be easier?
Do I pick a number halfway between the FTP that I had last time and the one this time and try again with the lower number?
Do I go back to the original FTP with which I made it through the program before?

I found it so motivating the first time around to really believe that I would be able to make it through the workout and that nothing would be thrown at me that I wasn’t ready for. The second time I was surprised and disappointed, assuming that the training would magically get me where I needed to be, and now I’m not sure whether it was just a couple of bad weeks (5 and 6) or whether I set myself up for failure by raising my FTP too much in one swoop. Maybe it’s helpful if I tell you that I went from 118 to 131… And my gut feeling in hindsight is that going to 125 would have been plenty. Which takes me back to the title of this post: might there be a rule of thumb about not increasing your FTP by more than xyz% at a time - assuming I test every 6 weeks?

Thanks for any thoughts/ideas/feedback/experience you all might have!

“It never gets easier, you just go faster” Greg Lemomd

I would switch it up, doing the same plan over and over isn’t going to be as helpful. Now you know your weakness, sweet spot. Its not my favorite either, but I know it’s an important part of training so I keep doing them.

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As a side note I think FTP tests should be used in the same manner as drunks use lamppost - for support and not for illumination :wink:

It is tempting to stare at a number and feel that it tells you everything about your progress but there are a lot of moving parts. You can have an especially good or bad day when you do the pre/post tests and it might take the joy out of riding if you only focus on that number (and it goes down or stays the same).

If you do different type of rides (long, low intensity, intervals, hang around a pace partner, KOMs) you will see progress anyway even if you never heard of FTP :wink:

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Dont use ftp as a fetish but if you want to know it, just use erg mode at say 125 W and see if you can hold for 1 hour. If you feel good you could increase your power for the last 5 or 10 minutes. My ftp is 125 w and my age 78

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