With only several weeks in between a vacation and my son’s wedding I decided to try out one of the new 4-week FTP blocks in an attempt to improve core power output and endurance. Along the way I have found a very repeatable pattern going on and have been trying to figure out what it means and what I should do about it:
On most of the sustained output sessions done at 100% FTP settings from a recent 4DP I am hitting a very consistent wall just over half way through the session. I am able to hold on to both power and cadence targets up until that point but then I just start pedaling squares. And it is only a couple of minutes before the only way I can make progress is to drop the targets and complete the session at the lower rate.
I would love to know if I am doing something wrong or if this is just a sign of good old fashioned suffering and I should be proud of making it over half way through the session before dying.
There are a couple things I have noticed:
- My HR tends to consistently rise to the point that by the time I am approaching that magical half way point even the little recovery I get rarely drops me below the top end of my zone 4. When I lower the difficulty by 10% I often bring my HR back in line with the targets presented and can finish the session at the lowered rate and within the HR targets (even if my legs are pretty much toast by then).
- There may be some drift in my smart trainer (Saris H2) as my Quarq D-Zero can show 5-10% higher numbers by that phase of the workout. Which of course means that I might really be working harder than I think already .
- Garmin does tend to think that I am working at my FTP and normally suggests +/- 1 or 2 W changes on these sessions so I suppose that I am honestly working near threshold.
Any ideas if this is a systemic issue that points to a training deficiency or other issue or just the result of good old fashioned suffering and I should just keep powering through to the best of my ability?