Over the past few years my level of fitness has improved on a fluctuating upward trend. There have been occasions where gains have been followed by losses. This has been down to two main factors:
- Overtraining – I have increased the total training (TSS) too quickly over a given time period. This has meant that my body has not had sufficient time to adapt to the training stresses and I have been left fatigued both physically and mentally and therefore unable to continue training at previous levels.
- I have been away on holiday and not trained whilst I have been away
Last year I reached an FTP of 275w but this fell away rapidly through the winter and to date I am still some way off this peak having only reached 251w so far this year. The key is to consolidate fitness gains without overstretching. The ideal trend for fitness improvement is linear. In order to achieve this linear improvement I need to do the following:
- Take a longer-term view of my cycling goals and related improvement gains
- Gradually build my TSS towards and beyond 100 Tss per day (700/week, 3000/month) – no more than 7 points per day, 50 points per week or 200 points per month
On my current programme I am training at around 600 TSS per week or 85 TSS per day so I’m not that far off my goal of 100 TSS per day. I train for two weeks and then take a recovery week and total TSS is about 500. Therefore, my average TSS needs to be adjusted to factor in recovery weeks so for a 4-week period it is approx. 533 TSS or 76 TSS per day. I need to increase from this towards my goal of 100 TSS per day. To avoid overtraining I will increase the TSS gradually between now and February as follows:
- Sep: 533 per week
- Oct: 575 per week
- Nov: 625 per week
- Dec: 650 per week
- Jan: 675 per week
- Feb: 700 per week
Based on experience 700 TSS will approximate to between 12-15 hours training per week. My main cycling goal is to increase FTP to 300w which based on my current FTP of 240, which represents an increase of 25%. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to reach this goal although I don’t expect to reach this level until at least Spring next year. As I have previously reached 275w I plan to achieve this by the end of November.