I will try to make this short and concise, because I have lots of doubts about the info I’ve been picking up.
So, I started cycling seriously almost two years ago, my FTP is around 265/275W and my main objectives are around ultra endurance events (12h+ on the bike).
I have been following some generic training plans for the past few months, and now I’m looking to create a customized training plan for the next three months or so. My overarching goal is to enhance my overall fitness and reach a peak performance level by December. Subsequently, I plan to ease off and focus on pre-season workouts in January and February before gradually intensifying my training once more in preparation for a 1000km race in June.
I’m trying to follow a Polarized plan with a weekly schedule of 4 to 5 rides per week, 2 HIIT rides and 2 to 3 endurance rides (one of them is a 3/4h ride). I can consistently put at least 7h on the bike, and if I push it I can do 10/11h but it is not something I can do all the time.
This is where things get complicated because with just 7/8/9h of basically endurance rides and two HIIT sessions during the week, the TSS are quite low, the form line is in grey, and it doesn’t feel like work at the end of the week.
I know I should just trust the process and metrics are just metrics, but I need help from someone that knows better than me to tell me if what I’m doing is correct or not.
Below it’s two prints of my last and next week and my fitness form charts for the last 27 weeks
I am not a coach (just an ex-club racer who likes analysing my riding) but I did train with a coach for several years and followed his plans diligently. My first thoughts on looking at your graphs is that I don’t see the progression in fitness over the last 27 weeks that would be expected. My thoughts are that you should have more days with higher training load over each month, building to a max and then a recovery week with lighter efforts before the next, as described here: Implementing Cycling Block Periodization & Workouts | EVOQ.BIKE
Here is my fitness chart from when I was racing under my coach’s direction: There are ups and downs as I move through my events (red dots) and recovery after but the trend is definitely towards greater fitness over the Australian racing season. A bit of illness, weather and life in general are what causes the variations you can see.
First of all, there’s a limit on how much you can do with your time constraints. You’re not hitting your targeted TSS numbers either.
If you’re going for endurance, just do one HIIT/week, max…and those long breaks don’t help either. If you’re doing the self-coaching thing just take a break for a day or two when you feel like it and get back to it when you feel better, there’s no need for extended time off the bike if you’re not hammering yourself.
Volume, volume, volume, that’s how you build endurance.
Zwift workouts are too easy, btw…a lot of canned workouts are, you’re hitting the power numbers but not inducing the CV stress intended because the rest intervals are too long. You probably get better at doing ramp tests, but not sure of the benefit in real world riding. Plus they’re overly complicated IMO.