Beginners 12 week progress (and things I learned)

So I did my first 12 week plan. I used to cycle (MTB) as my main mode of transportation, but, marriage, kids and career meant I got really out of shape. This was my first go at a 12 week structured plan, and it was all purpose Intermediate.

I busted my butt for 12 weeks, nutrition was good, sleep/recovery was good. But…

I loved the tour of sufferlandria. I swapped a heavy week of the plan for the tour, and felt great, I even doubled up one day and repeated a day twice. I then tried to recover, but clearly didn’t recover properly and the last 6 weeks were tough. I never quite felt right again. When I stuck to the plan, I felt strong when I was supposed to, could dig deep when I was told, and felt comfortable when I was supposed to. Doing the Tour mid plan was not good for me. From now on, I’ll not be deviating from the plan, I’ll still do the tour as it was so much fun but I’ll organize 12 week programs around the tour better so I stick to whatever plan is provided.

I lost a reasonable amount of weight, and I hit my initial goal of 200w at the end of 12 weeks. 2nd time around on full frontal was very different to first time. I gave it everything first time, but this time was different. First time around I was so unfit I didn’t recover much between the different efforts. This time around I recovered much more and could go harder. First time I spent 30 minutes looking onto the bucket after I finished, this time I just felt a little light headed for an hour and my windpipe feels like it’s bleeding. It did take longer to recover this time around though.

My next plan is locked in (gran fondo), and my target is to hit 250w in 12 weeks time for my FTP and lose another 20lb or so in the process. My Mt Sufferlandria for the year is to hit 308w FTP by Christmas which would double my FTP in a year, but be at over 3w/kg at the same time.

Consistency of training, and sticking to the plan is the key I think. I’m not smart enough to deviate from them.

So all in all, pretty pleased with the result. The last week was pretty rough as I adjusted my cleats and wrecked myself for 5 days. (never adjust your cleats if you don’t know what you are doing like me. I’m going back to my bike fit guy this week to see if anything needs to be adjusted again now I’ve lost 50lbs.

Looking forward to the next 12 weeks as much as anyone can look forward to suffering. I’m sure the next few weeks are going to kill me with the new numbers.



That‘s absolutely awesome, mate! Congratulations.

Nice work.

Awesome effort! You’ve got some big targets ahead of you. Remember the gains at the start are the biggest and then it gets progressively harder and harder as you get fitter. It’s taken me the last year to improve my FTP by about 30W, weight neutral, but I was starting from a strong baseline with several years solid training. This year I’ll be very happy if I can find another 10-15W. It doesn’t sound much, but it takes a lot of effort and patience.


Yes, I absolutely agree with that. Easy gains at first. So my first gains are the best I will ever see. If I can get another 40w in the next 12 weeks that just leaves me 45w in the following 24 weeks. If I am consistent I have a chance.

Lots to work on. I’m slowly figuring out how my body responds and what I can push. The mid plan half monty is critical to getting the most out of a 12 week plan when you are making early gains. By half way through the sessions are easier.

I just wish there was a 12 week plan that ignored my strengths and just focused on my weaknesses. Once I start lifting weights my nm and ac will sky rocket and I really dont care about it (genetics). I just want to be able to ride all day at a solid pace and not care if I get lost, I know I can keep riding till I find my way home again.

I’ll stick with the off the shelf plans for now but might go for a custom plan for the final 12 weeks of the year to push me up to my mt sufferlandria goal if I think I wont get there with whatever plan I am on.

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@Fezzek Great results - congrats!

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