Analyzing this season

I took a screencap of Nov. through Nov. It may be a bit hard to read, but my TP in Nov 21 was close enough to my TP in Aug; basically the same throughout. It looks like it was highest, based on BTs anyway, in February. To be fair, my 6 minute power was highest in May, and TP only slightlly lower than in Feb, so that’s good and what I was hoping for.

What I’m struggling with is why as TL continues to increase in May and beyond, TP doesn’t keep going up. Is that because I plateued on TP or more likely that Recovery Load got too high and I was never really fresh?

Interesting question…

Just to get it out of the way, I’m assuming you use the same powermeter throughout the year indoors and outdoors, so it’s all like with like?

The interesting period to me is the May-June period where there was a good build of TL but apparently no TP improvement. So a few other questions:

  • Are you a Rouleur athlete type? And was that your focus during that period?
  • What happened to HIE in the same period? You can use a different view of the progression chart to check. If HIE increased you got fitter even with constant TP
  • Were those June BTs all- out and were you really fresh e.g. had you had an easier week or few days before. If you want to ‘fully’ express fitness you need to feel fresh and motivated too, not just ‘blue’ fresh. It’s a good idea to make notes in your BT activities re how you felt and how hard you went
  • how did you feel in general in June - July relative to February? Strong? Depending on the focus of your training that can vary eg you could have felt strong below threshold if you have a long focus, or strong above threshold with a short focus… or weak if you actually needed a break…

You also have some long periods without a BT after that - if you are going that long, you should really consider using ‘no decay’. With too much decay, not only do workouts get easier (if you follow them, that is), but TL gets a bit overstated (it’s also a relative measure - not material for a few watts for short periods, but at 10% it could be over time)

Thanks for chiming in Wesley. I was on Roleur throughout.

Looking back 3 or 4 years, TP has always generally trended with TL, except in summer of 2020 and this summer, when after 80 TL, TP didn’t keep going up. This has led me to consider that maybe more load after a point isn’t helping.

High training load tracks better to TP than total load, so I think one possibility is that the low training load gets me in the “ballpark” and the high really pushes up TP to higher peaks.

Having said all the above, you pointed out a good one when it comes to BTs. I don’t think they’ve probably been consistent enough, and a lot of those were in race, which I think can be a bit lower because they might come after a lot of KJs already accrued. Also, the reason my gut still tells me that the higher load helps comes from my feeling in races. I had a few this summer, that I’d specifically peaked for, where I was flying.

Makes sense. Wouldn’t worry if it’s 5 to 10w as it probably doesn’t impact your training massively. If you race, it’s more about performance than signature

I think that’s important, and actually most important - fitness is about more than the signature… repeatability is a factor… so more load is helping fitness, just maybe not TP

Re frequency of BT, I’m not actually suggesting making them more frequent (they are really hard if all-out, and may not fit with the focus of your training); rather use ‘no decay’ wisely… you just want your signature ‘accurate enough’ at all times.

I’m curious what your Strain chart looks like for the same period with all elements enabled.

If you take out the low strain (which is one I’d looked at earlier) you can see a pretty steady increase of high strain from late Dec 21 through late May 22, where it seems to at least level off, in spite of overall TL continuing up. That leads to me to believe that even though TL could go from 80 to 90 and higher, it might take further novelty in stimulus (ie more intensity) to see TP and 6m power keep going up.


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Ok. Thanks all for the feedback. I’ll have to really dig into that earlier season training. I was targeting polarized-ish the whole year, but I’m guessing in the heard of the summer I was probably doing much work that wasn’t easy, but wasn’t really hard either.

Your BT event frequency looks good to me.
You might try varying TL density/volume for next year. I.e., a more roller coaster profile with a peak in the most important month(s).
If you can schedule the time and handle the load, try pushing a progression into 4-star territory (110-150).
Or consider blocks that include recovery weeks that drop down low. I.e., go green before resuming another block. :wink:
Consistency is a good thing but expanding your TL range and varying focus intensity may help boost you to new levels. Only way to find out is by experimenting.
For example, I’m no power sprinter but occasionally tackling a short burst workout like this one in slope mode or riding a similar effort outdoors induces a noticeable adaptation. I may not complete all intervals, but this type of stimulus jolts my system. I can feel a difference on subsequent rides. YMMV

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One of the things I’m suspicious about is where TP takes a bit of a dive and then trends down through the summer, in spite of the fact that I was going well. Earlier in the year, TP was higher, and HIE was lower. After the “dip”, TP stays lower, but HIE was as high as it’s ever been for me. My concern is that somehow Xert flip flopped those two elements of my signature, meaning you might be able to do a certain power for 10 minutes with 250w TP and 30 HIE, or the same power with 300w TP and 25 HIE. Either signature would allow for the same BTs, but the former would mean lower TP.