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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was brand new at cycling (3 years ago) I could ride HARD every time I went out.

Now, when my fitness is a lot higher (can ride further/faster/less tired at the end), I feel like I can only ride HARD a day or two a week. I'm sure I'm putting out more power even on my "easy" days now than I was on my "hard" days before.

Let's say that previously my FTP was 200 watts and now it's 300 watts, it seems like I could ride at 300 watts as often as I rode at 200 watts previously. I'm having difficulty putting this in words but it seems like now I can only ride at my limit once or twice a week, when previously I could ride at my then lower limit every single time I went out.

I come from a weight lifting background and when I could bench 200 lbs earlier in my training and later got to a 400lb bench, I could put up 400lbs just as often as I put up 200lbs when I was newer.

I ride 8-12 hours a week and when I see people talk about riding 18-20 hours a week I wonder how often they're riding in Z1-Z2 and how often they're getting to ride HARD.
 

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The more you ride, the less intensity you do.

When you start you're generally just riding with no notion of what hard or easy really is. Everything is "hard" because you're so new to it. Once you get some conditioning and you can actually ride a bit faster, there's a more clearly defined line.

There's no way your real ftp was 200 watts and you were riding at that all the time.

I can go out and hit ftp (or significantly higher) every single day of the year, but I can't go out and ride significant amounts of time at ftp every single day, nor would i even want to. There's quite a difference in the amount of time spent at certain levels as your hours increase.

People doing 15 hours plus will have a much greater proportion of time spent in z1/2 than someone who is trying to get a bunch of fitness out of 8 hours a week.

In a 10 hour week with racing, I might do 50-60% z1/2, another 20% z3, and then the remained at higher intensities. In a late build period that might be more like 15-20% z1, 20-25%z2, 30-45%z3/4, and remainder (<8%) higher.

If I go above 15 hours, then that z3/4 stuff becomes z2 stuff and I get much higher percentages in the lower zones with a bit more percentages in the highest zones (training becomes more polarized).

I never do z1 rides, but that stuff is accumulated on group rides and races.

At the end of the day, your training is a stimulus to force the body to adapt to higher workloads and gain fitness. You can either do that through volume, intensity, or a combination of both in which one goes up while the other goes down. You simply can't do both at high amounts for very long or your body will just break down.
 

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I rode hard very often my first year of racing. It took me a while to plateau, but I eventually did and my late summer and early fall riding was pathetic. People here told me not to, but I got greedy.

I basically follow a Friel based plan as much as my work and family schedules allow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Define riding hard in terms of percentage of time in Z1 & Z2.
I used to ride as hard as I could for a given time. So if I was doing a 2 hour ride, I'd ride pretty much as hard as I could for that amount of time. If I rode for 1 hour, it would be higher power output/perceived exertion because it was a shorter ride.
 

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That's a dumb way to train, though many people do it. Maybe in addition to being faster now you're training smarter. Also if you ride more than the percentage of "hard" riding will be lower.

Very few people here do 18-20 hours a week consistently (i.e. for two months or more). That's a LOT of riding. People on line lie about hours and miles they same way they lie about their speed. I doubt anyone here averages that for an entire year.
 

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I ride about 12 hours a week. I would ride really really hard once a month only, but I am 65. I'll ride pretty hard about 2 hours a week.
If you want to get faster, ride intervals, then rest 2-3 days.
 

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I used to ride as hard as I could for a given time. So if I was doing a 2 hour ride, I'd ride pretty much as hard as I could for that amount of time. If I rode for 1 hour, it would be higher power output/perceived exertion because it was a shorter ride.
That's interesting background but it didn't answer my question.
 

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Let's say that previously my FTP was 200 watts and now it's 300 watts, it seems like I could ride at 300 watts as often as I rode at 200 watts previously. I'm having difficulty putting this in words but it seems like now I can only ride at my limit once or twice a week, when previously I could ride at my then lower limit every single time I went out.
How about this... let's say you have trouble determining your FTP.

My FTP is in the high 300 range (~380... last 20min test was 409 if I remember right) and we still have hills steep enough I can't spin above 60rpm on so obviously that drags the average down.
 

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If your FTP is 380, you either don't own a power meter or you're a pro.
 

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400 lb bench press, 400w FTP, let me guess, you weigh.... 400 too?
Your probably faster than me, except up a mountain.
 

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I probably ride 35% of the time at or above FTP on average when out on the road for a 2 hour ride. Less on long rides, more on shorter ones probably. Century rides and longer are Z2 mostly. Trainer rides, very much depend on the objective of the session.
 

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A 380 ftp is still very much doubtful.
Really? There's an amateur I saw yesterday who's only been on a bike a couple years who has an FTP over 400. Young kid. I don't mean amateur racer, just some kid on a bike.

What makes over 380 so hard?

If your FTP is 380, you either don't own a power meter or you're a pro.
LOL you're so full of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfUeB1jjh6s&feature=youtu.be&t=18m21s

Here's the proof before you ask.
 
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