- April 28, 2020 at 7:17 pm #20780
Hi Lynda — I’m a bit perplexed — I rode the Zwift “Active Offseason” training program over the winter (I took the FTP test at the start which was 215, I have a Wahoo Kickr) which went well, and then transitioned into your 40+ Masters 50 Mile MTB Personal Record plan after completing the “Active Offseason” 12 weeks (and took the FTP test when I started your plan which was 221, entering that as the FTP for the Coggan’s test in Training Peaks). I made it about 3 weeks into your 50 Mile Race plan, which was hard intensity wise (not endurance wise), but I was able to hang on for the most part (on occasion I might have to rest during an interval but could eventually complete it at the prescribed power zone).
Once Covid hit, I read your article about pulling back from intensive training back to base training, then switched from the 50 Mile Race plan to your Weight Loss and Mountain Bike Base Training Plan. I started the plan from the beginning and could do the full 30 minutes of Tempo, but sometimes had to bump the FTP percentage down a notch to the lower end of power Zone 3 to hold it for 30 minutes, or take a brief rest or 2 during the 30 minutes to complete the interval.
Because it was hard to make the full 40 minutes in week 2, I decided to take a week of active recovery with yoga and easy riding to see if rest would help. It ended up being 2 weeks.
Today I restarted the Weight Loss and Mountain Bike Base Plan at Week 1. Today, I couldn’t even get to power Zone 3 to ride Tempo. I was able to get to the mid-range of power Zone 2 but could only hold it for just a few minutes before being completely exhausted. Last week for the first time I actually did the “power down” for my Wahoo Kickr, so maybe something adjusted that changed the way my zones are set. I did the “power down” again today and have the same results.
Today, within the first 10 minutes of warmup (of the first Tempo workout of the Weight Loss and Mountain Bike Base Plan) my heart rate shot up to HR Zone 5C. That seemed odd for just being in the warmup part of the workout. Per the perceived exertion scale, I was definitely at a Zone 4 during the warmup because I wouldn’t have been able to hold a conversation. In short, I was absolutely exhausted within the first 15 minutes of the workout and just could not work my way up to a power Zone 3 Tempo pace.
Something seems wrong to me and I just can’t figure out what it is. I wonder if I’m just not fit? (Although, I did fairly well performance wise in a few fat bike races this winter.) I wonder if I’ve detrained in the past 2 weeks of my chosen active recovery? I wonder if there’s something about the Wahoo Kickr and the fact that I did the “power down” for the first time last week that suddenly made the power a lot harder?
I can’t figure this out. What I do know is that between November-March I was able to progressively gain strength and fitness albeit having some challenging days. Today, I was unable to ride in power Zone 2 for more than 10 minutes and unable to get into power Zone 3. Something feels wrong and I just don’t know how to troubleshoot anymore?
Do you have any thoughts about what I should try?
- April 29, 2020 at 10:07 am #20781
Sorry to hear you are struggling. Something is definitely not right. It takes a lot longer than 2 weeks to lose the level of power you are describing unless you are ill. The 2 sources to troubleshoot are your body and your equipment.
1. Have you been feeling tired or ill outside of training time?
2. Have your sleep, diet and stress patterns changed drastically?
3. Use this Training Intensity Guidelines chart and ride on your Wahoo Kickr for 10 minutes at Moderate intensity PE 3-4. What was your average power for this 10 mins? What was your average heart rate for this 10 minutes?
4. Ride on your Wahoo Kickr for another 10 mins holding your HR steady in low-mid zone 2. What was your average power for this 10 mins? What was your PE (scale 1-10) for this 10 mins?
- April 30, 2020 at 1:55 pm #20785
Hi Lynda, thanks for your response with detailed steps to help troubleshoot. I was also concerned if it was a sign of illness or stress. Today I heard back from Wahoo support and they suggested a hard factory reset, and it appears that may have worked. I will try today’s Tempo and let you know if it still appears to be off. Thanks!
- April 30, 2020 at 3:24 pm #20786
Well, looks like I was wrong. At the lower level it seemed easier then it started to get really hard as I climbed up into Zone 2 again.
For #3 above, I was at PE 3-4 which was power 99 and heart rate 112.
For #4 above, I was holding low-mid HR Zone 2 and power was an average of 112. PE was 4.
In the Day #4 training once I moved up to power 132 for interval 3 (low-mid Zone 2) my heart rate increased to 133 which is mid Zone 3 Tempo, PE 5-6. Then for interval 4 at power 154 my heart rate is 147 which is PE 6-7 and by that time I am exhausted by the time I get to interval 5, which is 165 and don’t even get to Tempo which is 183.
Before last week I was able to complete a 40 minute Tempo per this range. And yesterday I rode 3:15 on dirt roads and held Heart Rate Zone 3 easily for a long duration.
Do you still thonk this is off? Do you think I should do the FTP and HR tests again?
- April 30, 2020 at 5:50 pm #20787
Yes, this is off by about 50 watts. These results indicate that your current threshold power on your kickr is 170 watts. This implies you are over-estimating your power targets by 50w. Your kickr is giving you inconsistent power numbers.
- May 2, 2020 at 8:43 am #20794
OK, thank you for verifying, this is helpful!!
- May 2, 2020 at 5:38 pm #20796
Well, now I’m really confused. I did the factory reset and redid my FTP test today. Now my FTP is 154w, but heart rate is the same. It seems more plausible that the power trainer had some kind of reset, but now I don’t know if my correct power is 221 (February reading, prior November reading was 217), and now today it is 154w. Bizarre. Any thoughts which one might be the correct reading, or too impossible to tell?
- May 3, 2020 at 3:15 pm #20800
Do not use either 221w or 154w for your FTP. Here are your 2 possible scenarios:
1. You have developed a serious medical condition reducing your cardiovascular abilities and should immediately seek medical attention.
2. You need to warranty your Kickr.
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