I have a (pretty massive) sustained weakness. To the point that all my other 4DP powers are off the chart.
I have been testing as Sprinter, or as of lately of pursuiter.
The limiting factor to my sustained power, is that my legs hurt and get “blocked” on sustained efforts.
Especially when doing the recommended ~90 rpm cadence.
I did the building block plan for FTP, and the FTP progression workouts were horrible.
I risk to say worse than 9 hammers in RPE.
I would expect efforts at FTP to feel about manageable (tough but not super-tough for 6 minutes), as it is the power you would ideally hold for about 1 hour, but they just kill me.
When doing GOAT or Power Station or Cobbler, all is good, power is good, I can get good numbers.
Heart Rate goes up (I assume from the higher power, even though lower cadences).
If I a doing Defender or HHNF, or worse the FTP progression workouts, BAM legs get blocked, HR does not go as high.
From what is mentioned about cadence, this is not what I would expect. It is said that higher cadences for the same power, would create less muscular stress and more cardio stress, yet I feel the opposite.
From Wahoo’s blog :
"When you pedal faster, you put less strain (i.e. force) on your muscles with each stroke. You ride in a lower gear, and as a result, use your slow-twitch muscles. These muscles burn fat for fuel, are resistant to fatigue, and recover quickly when allowed to rest. Also, studies show a higher cadence means an increase in blood flow to the muscles – which in turn, means more oxygen in the blood and a higher aerobic performance.
On the other hand, a low cadence at a high gear is more taxing on the muscles. It uses fast-twitch muscles, which burn glycogen for fuel, fatigue quickly, and takes a long time to recover before they can be used again. In other words, muscle strength doesn’t last long, so you’ll start to feel the burn faster than at a higher cadence."
Could it be that my slow twitch are so lacking/untrained that they get fatigued faster than the fast-twitch ?
Or that my “FTP” is actually artificially higher on the tests (due to fast twitch contribution) and in fact the slow-twitch muscles are unable to produce those numbers ? ( I know that HM really overestimates my FTP, as I can’t get anywhere near those numbers on FF or complete workouts with it, can FF also overestimate FTP a bit ? ).
(That would mean I really really really suck at sustained power).
I feel that the legs are the limiting factor for my sustained power, not the lungs or heart, which could mean that a higher cadence would help, but it doesn’t.
I tried to include the strength training in order to help with muscular endurance, to see if I would get improvement on sustained power, but when also doing the strength workouts, I struggle even more to complete FTP workouts. I need about 1 week off the strength workouts to get back to the same sustained power.
What are the coaches recommendations for this ?
Do I lower the target a bit and stick with higher cadence ? or do I lower cadence and focus on power ?
Maybe a couple of “tempo” blocks before returnin to FTP blocks ? (same effect as lowering targets a bit I guess).
Do I go back a level or 2 in the strength program ?
I have followed some plans in the past, and saw improvements in MAP and AC, but sustained got stuck.