Good Question. I would say yes, but it would be difficult to back up with numbers. I only started racing bikes and participating in group rides this season, so I can’t compare my competitiveness from this year to last. I did shave 2min off a local Strava segment- a 1.6 km climb at 7.5% grade. Aside from that, I think the most noticeable improvement was greater durability- the ability to stay in the saddle longer without breaking down.
I started road cycling this year whilst recovering from a knee injury.
I didn’t really pay attention to what I was eating during my injury and ended up gaining around 10KG before I started cycling.
I started cycling in April and wasn’t really on a plan, just trying to cycle more and more kilometers a week. Once I felt like I was fitter and more in control I started to work more along the line of plans; working on climbs and sprints and changing my diet to drop some weight.
In between I made sure to schedule events that would test my progress, just one-day events with a bit of climbing in it, nothing to spectacular but just so that I have something to work towards to and test myself.
In August I rode the Liege-Bastogne-Liege summer edition (125KM, 2300 elevation meters) and was semi-happy with the results. I was glad I finished it, but was bummed I didn’t complete two climbs without getting off the bike to take a breather.
Because of that I was determined to improve on my climbing skills and especially the ones which stretch out, I am usually better at “walls” (let’s say 700M climbs with 20% parts in them) than ones which stretch out longer with lower max gradients.
Bought a Kickr Core to be able to keep on training in the winter and to work on this during the winter and started Trainerroad SSBLV 1.
October FTP, KG and watt/kg:
279, 84KG and 3.32 w/KG
November; End of SSBLV 1/Start SSBLV2:
294, 82KG and 3.58 w/KG
So that’s an improvement of 5.3% on the FTP and 7.8% improvement on w/KG.
I was actually hoping to hit the 300 FTP mark and it was looking promising in the ramp test as I was hitting the 403 Watt step in the ramp test but I guess I didn’t hang in there long enough to earn the 300 FTP mark.
I signed up for two events in April where I can really test if I improved on my ability to climb.
First one is the Round of Flanders 175 KM (We Ride Flanders/Ronde van Vlaanderen), where cobblestones are the main course with a side of a climbing and two weeks later I am doing the Amstel Gold Race 150KM where there are all kinds of climbs.
I’ve been cycling on and off for a few years and struggled with some injury setbacks when trying to get properly structured (Achilles pain).
I have now, however, made it through SSB 1 - Mid vol. and lost some weight over the course also.
October 1st 206w and 1.95w/kg
November 11 247w and 2.45w/kg
I’m still at 101kg and would like to get down below 90kg over the next few months.
My lofty stretch goal is getting myself to 4.0w/kg - we’ll see how that pans out as i’ve never weighed less than 90kg in my adult life.
The wife is also encouraging me to get out and race rather than spending all my time on the trainer watching Ardennes re-runs. So, I’ll likely be signing up for a local summer crit series and pinning a number on for the first time in the coming weeks.
Take that encouragement and race as many races as you can!
I am 49 and fairly new to cycling with around a year of intermittent casual weekend mountain bike rides before starting TR in June. I was also doing a little casual running and weight training so I started TR with some basic fitness, but very little cycling specific fitness.
June 2018 - Start Sweet Spot Base 1 LV - 136W (2.15W/kg)
Sept 2018 - After Sweet Spot Base 2 LV - 157W (2.49W/kg)
Nov 2018 - After Short Power Build LV - 157W (2.49W/kg)
I’m pleased with the 15% improvement overall, but was hoping for a better result in my ramp test yesterday because I do feel that I’m getting stronger – maybe a bad day.
I don’t have any events planned, so looking at repeating Sweet Spot Base LV and Build LV with the possible addition of a short Wednesday recovery ride and/or Sunday ride outdoors as and when I feel up to it.
OK so just finished SS base 2 - low volume but also been on LCHF diet and lost fair bit of weight (11 lb / 5kg over 6 weeks), and very pleased with this morning ramp test. Felt I’d got stronger as workouts last two weeks or so felt ‘easier’. All FTP come from ramp test
20 August - Start SS base 1 (low volume) - FTP - 275W, weight 187 lb / 84.81 kg giving W/Kg of 3.24
1 October Start SS base 2 (low volume) - FTP - 278W, weight 182lb / 82.54kg giving W/Kg of 3.37
13 Nov - End SS base 2 (low volume), about to start sustained build - FTP - 291W, weight 171lb / 77.55Kg giving a W/Kg of 3.75.
Very pleased with that (given weight loss, I’d have been happy keeping FTP steady!). However do feel I went so so deep in this monring ramp test, more so than in previous tests, and had music on, and did about 4 cups of coffee prior to test…so increase may have just been through just gutting it out more…but then did feel stronger in the workouts in last few weeks of base 2.
Plan now is sustained build for 8 weeks, then back to SS base 2, build (probably general since want to do TT and local summer CX series), then specialty (not sure which yet!) ready for the summer.
Been cycling for about 5 years now and racing a bit last few years so not exactly untrained so very pleased with the results. The diet and weight loss have m,ade big difference - not been this weight since I was 17 (now 36!)
Sept 29: 20 Min FTP Test 135w (That day i felt pretty bad in the test)
Oct 2: Ramp Test 163w-I started SSB Low Volume 1
Nov 13: Ramp Test 185w I couldnt complete my SSB because my kickr 18 was broken so i have to stop training almost for 2 weeks. I think my best numbers are in this level, i hope i can really improve because sometimes i feel very stagnant in this level.
My A race is in March.
Mar 07: 20 FTP – 242W
Oct 3: Ramp Test – 227W (-7%) 68.5kg - 3.31 W/kg – unsurprising drop given I’d been mostly off the bike since July - was probably a bigger drop given I trained to a peak for start of July.
Nov 13: Ramp Test - 242W (+6%) 67.7kg - 3.57 W/kg – Completed SSBLV1. Claimed back all the losses in one training block – very happy with that. Thanks to consistency and the calendar actually working for me. (Why am I suspicious it is exactly the same FTP as March?)
Plan is SSBLV2 - Sustained Power Build - Century
A “Race” - 400km Audax end of April