A nice problem to have?


#1

So, I have a bit of a dilemma and would love to hear some different thoughts other than my own :slight_smile:
I’m currently in the best form of my life (4.3W/kg) and it feels great but for me this time of year is for maintenance so that’s what I’m doing. I’m in the first week of the HIT Maintenance Mid Volume 1 plan but the workouts feel far too easy (apart from my first workout “Spanish Needle” which admittedly is always hard for me). So normally I’d say great, raise my FTP and keep going but I’ve fallen into this trap far too many times before and ended up sick.
Remember, I am not necessarily looking to improve fitness but rather maintain it.
I am worried that if I raise my FTP, I’ll get even fitter, peak at December and then fall into my same old sickness trap.
I’d much rather keep a higher fitness, carry that into February and then start attacking the workouts.
As far as I see it I have 3 options:

  1. Raise FTP but keep an eye on resting well, high resting heart rate etc etc. to avoid sickness.

  2. Keep FTP the same and maintain fitness without worrying (yeah right ha ha).

  3. Raise the workout intensity 2-5% towards the end of each workout so that the workouts give me a challenge but don’t put me in a hole (I am currently doing this).

Like I said above, would love to hear the thoughts of like minded people.


#2

If it were me I would probably drop down to sweet spot base plan, or build my own using sub threshold sweet spot workouts, and cut out all the high intensity stuff… Keep the fitness up by supporting the base rather than ‘pulling’ at it from the top with the high intensity stuff which is the kind of thing that usually pushes me into risk of sickness.


#3

+1


#4

Hmm, a 4th option that I hadn’t considered. Nice and actually quite funny as I had originally planned to do some traditional base but decided the maintenance plans looked more appetising.
Sweet spot is what I done last October and that also put my fitness very high and then sick :slight_smile: ) (but to be fair I done high volume)… it could be an option but not high volume!!
Thanks for the responses.


#5

Yeah, go mid or even low! Pretty sure I’ve heard coach chad say it’s possible to maintain, or come close to maintaining, on SSB low vol!


#6

When are you trying to reach peak fitness?

Assuming a spring-ish peak I think you’ve got a great opportunity to take a break and ride easy for a week or two (you won’t lose much) before diving into your preferred base plan. The maintenance plans might suit this need for you, but I’d definitely recommend trying to decrease volume for a few weeks to avoid overtraining (which would likely catch up to you later in your 12 week base or 8 week build cycles)


#7

Peak late August would be the target.
To be fair I already took a couple of weeks of before starting this plan…


#8

Oh wow that’s a long way out. You have a ton of time. If you’re looking to clear your head and have already taken some time off (was it actual time off? do you see a tip in your 6 week TSS volume?) - do whatever you want to keep moving.

If you’re ready to dive in you have time for a base->build->base->build->specialize if you want. Totally depends on your head though


#9

Yeah had quite a tip down due to extra rest and time off.
Base/build/base/build/specialty could also work nice.
Glad I wrote in and got some different opinions. Nice, thanks.


#10

I’m going to offer another alternative view and say you could do a lot worse than to allow your CTL and potentially your FTP to drop and look at the longer term picture. Given you say…

and

which leads me to think that if you are already on the form of your life after presumably an already solid block of training another 48 weeks of continuous work such as

is potentially a risky strategy.

If you don’t need to be in peak form until late August I’d be of the opinion that, as hard as it is, allowing your fitness and CTL to fall this time of year isn’t necessarily a bad thing before doing a Base/Build/Speciality cycle in preparation for your main goals next year.

It’s hard to dial back when you are in the form of your life but it’s November and you want to peak in 9 months time. It could be the ideal time to allow the gains you’ve made to be the base you build on in the New Year after a period of lower stress training. By allowing yourself a recharge period you might give yourself a better chance of arriving in August strong, fit and not sick.

Just another opinion to throw into the mix from someone who is finding it difficult watching his own CTL gradually fall in the hope that it’s for the longer term benefit!


#11

Exactly what I was after…I have already made the adjustments :slight_smile: