FTP loss in the off-season: My experience

Hey folks. I just finished my first FTP test of base and noticed a 30 watt decline. That got me wondering what kind of decline is common. This is my first off-season since I started structured training.

I fell from 328 to 298 watts based on the ramp test. I had my last race half way through October. I took the rest of the month off the bike and immediately started a weight routine. By mid November, I started doing my regular group rides (~6 hours per week mostly below VT1 with a couple of 1-2 minute sprints for road signs). Through December, I maintained 3 days in the weight room per week and my group rides. During my group rides, people accused me off maintaining my summer fitness because I seemed to be maintaining form.

In the gym, I managed to bring my squat from 115 to 215lbs for 5 reps. My deadlift is up to 245lbs for 5 reps. Not gonna be competing in power lifting events, but it was good progress.

Now, I just completed my first FTP test of the season on Monday and saw a bigger drop than expected. I was hoping and expecting that my test would show very little drop given that I’d gained a bit of weight for the weight room and that I was still maintain volume on the bike.

For what it is worth, I maintained High Volume training last year with traditional base, general build, and sustained effort specialty, so 6 hours is about half of the volume of a normal training week.

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I think a 10% drop is totally normal over the course of the off-season you’ve described - you should gain back to your similar point quick enough

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I took off 1 month and lost 15%…mostly due to zero riding but also having zero aerobic base.

Took about 4 months to get back to pre-break FTP…mostly due to doing LVBase.

I just took a look at your profile. This time last year you were at 285. 298 seems like progress to me.

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i had 2 months completely off and went from 284 to 241.

It’s interesting, my numbers dropped almost exactly that much from 328 to 297, and a little bit further during the strength training plan I followed. Started TrainerRoad base yesterday to get back at it, and lose the lbs gained during the last 10 weeks in the gym :confounded:

Wondering if you took the Ramp Test. If so my guess is that you lost your “top end” only. You said that the other riders in your group rides were saying you were still riding strong. It will be interesting to hear how the Sweet Spot workouts feel at your new FTP and if you think you have to adjust it up to get a good workout in.

I went from 288 to 245, about a 15% loss. I also had the interesting experience of burning out, and I’m really looking forward to building back to a more sustainable long term level this coming season.

Sounds like my losses were common. Thanks to all who chimed in.

@Socia_Distortion, yeah definitely. I’ll report back in 4 weeks when I test again.

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I did similar, first time I felt burnt out mid-summer and had 0 desire to race Aug/Sept. I stayed on the bike doing ez mtb rides but wasn’t following structured training at all.
I bailed out on my FTP test late fall, but it was probably also around 245, down from 275/280. Just finished SSB1 and re-tested at 272, very happy to be mostly back after a block of base. Just need to not set ourselves up for burnout this season lol.

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