Back at it after a break - FTP adjustment? | 80/20 Endurance

Back at it after a break – FTP adjustment?

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  • #15081

    Hi there!

    first of all, I want to apologize for my inactivity in the last weeks – I was moving from the Midwest to Central NY and was super busy getting my life organized and dropped the ball here on the forum but also didn’t exercise, etc.
    Anyways, I’m back 🙂
    In the last weeks (basically ever since October 3rd) I did not exercise or only very little. To be more precise, my last swim was 9/13. From 10/4 – 10/20 I did do no exercise at all.
    Since 10/21 I ran 3 times totaling about 15 miles and was on the bike twice, 1x30min and yesterday 60min.
    That brings me to my point. I truly feel how much my fitness has dropped. So the PMC is not lying. So I know for a matter of fact that my zones are not correct anymore, neither for running power nor for cycling power. In addition, I also gained some weight being inactive.
    So I don’t feel like performing a run/bike FTP test before somewhat getting back in the grove either. Any thoughts on how to tackle that? Simply dropping my run/bike FTP by 5% (or more), working out for a few weeks and then taking tests?
    I will start with the triathlon maintenance plan.

    Thanks for your help!

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Welcome back! Just do everything by feel until you’re ready to tackle some time trials. If you’ve just got to have numbers, use this RPE Scale:

    Zone 1: RPE 2-3
    Zone 2: RPE 3-4
    Zone X: RPE 4-5
    Zone 3: RPE 5-6
    Zone Y: RPE 6-7
    Zone 4: RPE 7-8
    Zone 5: RPE 8-10

    Note that RPE climbs over time at any intensity, so treat these as initial RPE’s for efforts in each zone.

    Enjoy your comeback!


    Winoria – No apology needed! That’s life. Sometimes it happens. What I’m suggesting is based on what worked really well for me. I missed 6 weeks this past spring from an injury. What you described about feeling how much your fitness has dropped makes complete sense and I can absolutely relate.

    Personally, I would just start back easy. If you are confident in your ability to gauge perceived effort, then just go by RPE for your easy runs. Initially, this was about 10% lower than my usual easy run effort (power). It’s tempting to try and push it to where you were before, but don’t rush it. For the faster stuff, I would also try to do it by RPE if you feel like you can pull it off. Give it a month or so and you should see some improvements in your easy and faster paces. During the first month, I would rather err on the side of not pushing it quite hard enough.

    After a month or so, then I would do the CP test. Because your fitness tends to improve pretty quickly when you start back, I don’t see how doing the CP now would be very helpful. It wouldn’t be accurate for very long, if that makes sense. At this point, you could jump into your training and then retest every 4-6 weeks.

    Anyway, that’s how I would handle it. Hope it all goes well for you!


    Thanks guys. I will give it a shot.

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