LTP / TP and TL

I understand that LTP and TP more or less move in lock step with TL. As TL increases, so does LTP and TP and vice versa - with a little lag. Historically my LTP and TP have been 40-50 W apart (currently 203W and 166W @ 42 TL) and peaked at 228W and 179W at the end of last season after an 80 TL peak. Is it possible to achieve a goal of 250W/200W without getting to possibly 100 TL? And then do I need to maintain a 100 TL in order to keep it? My understanding is that LTP (aerobic fitness) is slow to build and slow to lose. I am over 50, so building long term fitness is more important then short term racing speed. Are we genetically pre-determined to have “X” amount of power with “Y” amount of load? Some riders at 3 stars have amazing data. My goal is to be more of a diesel (high LTP) as that’s how my group rides tend to be…steady, not surging in nature. Also, has anybody been able to hit their goal numbers, gradually over time, and then be able to relatively maintain them with a lesser load? Especially the aerobic fitness.


I do not think that you can maintain a certain level of fitness achieved with a certain training load when reducing training load. In the end, all modern modells know to me work under the assumption that performance=fitness + recovery (or - fatigue, whatever way you put it) whereas your fitness is represented by your continuous training load and your recovery is represented by your acute training load. If you reduce your CTL (=reduce training as you intend) your fitness will decrease. As so does your fatigue, you will likely have a window of opportunity for a peak perfomance, but then your perfomance figures will drop. Your perfomance figures will always trail your training load.

That asides, of course there are “supid ways” of building up a high CTL where a reduction will lead to a performance increase. But in your scenario, let us say you reduce the same kind of training (and not replace much stupid training with less smarter training).

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I read a Kindle book a while back written by a guy named Aaron Olson who did what I think is similar to what you are wanting to do. It’s called “Low mileage running.” The book talks about a lot of different things, but the sense I got from it was he did higher intensity stuff to retain much of the fitness he had developed over the years. He did lose some over the off season, but using low-mileage high intensity stuff, he got fit enough to win races.

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I get it, ‘pie in the sky’ musings but I guess the gist of my question is that with a planned long slow build (mod-1), where LTP, TP and TL rise accordingly to a weekly hourly figure zenith (eg 10+ hours for me) during the outdoor riding season where 2-3 hour rides are common and then the expected decline of TL in the offseason to 6-8 hours…will there still be a net gain in LTP/TP that is present as compared to the previous season. Or is one doomed to one’s genetics where a TL of say 50 always yields a consistent historical TP/LTP? And then you have to start all over again…what has been your experience? Cheers.

I think it depends on your experience / background- when starting with structure you can improve your signature for a few years even with similar TL… then it will likely get harder to improve each year… at least that’s my experience.

While there is likely a ceiling to fitness for a given training load, unless you are very highly trained/ pro, it’s unlikely you are that close to it yet. And there are plenty of approaches to generate overload and adaptation if you do ever get stale

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