HM done so where do I go from here?

Finally did the HM just now and quite honestly it just makes me want to jack it all in! The last test I did was in July (4DP) so I was expecting to see at least a small/moderate increase in my fitness considering I have been really diligent in my training and worked REALLY hard over about the last 5 months, keeping up with the workouts and not whimping out!.
My 3 4DP results (the ones HM dishes out) were MAP250 (4.1 wkg)…FTP 213 (3.49 wkg)… CTHR 136bpm. My HM results today MAP257(+7) (4.21 wkg )FTP 204 (-9) (3.34 wkg) and CTHR is the same. I gave it my all on the test so no slacking there and yes there is a slight increase in MAP but for all of the hard work I have put in just to go backwards when it comes to FTP!, have I just been wasting my time. So where do I go now? Another 6 months of hard work to get nowhere? Beginning to wonder, what’s the point and whether at my age I should consider something less stressful like Couchlandria ? Also, I am confused… we are told that to increase your FTP you need to increase your MAP. I have increased my MAP, albeit by a smidgeon, but my FTP has gone down according the HM results ???

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Couple things.

These are just numbers and literally just a point in time reference. Had you done HM tomorrow, you may have done a bit better. Had you done it last week, perhaps a bit worse.

You may be one of those for whom HM under estimates FTP. You may want to use these numbers as a guide for doing a FF.

I guess the point I am making (and believe me, I can relate to the frustration), is that what IS important is your goals. What are your goals?Was all your training focused on improving MAP or FTP? What was your plan to achieve that? Did you have a plan? Following a training plan is not the same as having a goal (unless the goal is to complete the training plan).

Also, FWIW, I would kill for an FTP of 3.34 w/kg :slight_smile:


Are you sure you are getting enough recovery in your training?
As an older athlete, I found that when I pushed too hard, I got gains, but they were not sustainable.

In addition, as @Glen.Coutts mentions, you should never make judgements based on a single data point.

I see in another thread, you said you are not sleeping properly. That makes a big difference.


Thanks Glen. I really do appreciate all of your replies to my posts. Working backwards, my goals for next year are primarily to get better in my local club TT’s. I know it’s a race against yourself but it would be nice to give some of the younger ones a run for their money. My riding is virtually for training for these TT’s but I do go on a few club rides in the warm weather even though distance riding looking at the countryside is not really my thing. My weakness from my FF back in July was my MAP so I did that plan twice as I didn’t know what to do after doing it once. Having done that and with TT’s in mind I did and am doing the TT plan with a view to upping my FTP a bit. I have substituted a few rides and done a few RGT rides but have stuck to the plans because that’s me, I do as I am told and stick to the rules. So now you see why I am a bit despondent with my new results. MAP up yet FTP down doesn’t make any sense especially as FTP in HM is calculated from the easy 20 minute steady state effort at an easy to keep up heart rate.


Yeh, I can’t explain the results cuz I’m not a botanist :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. But seriously, have you thought about the call with a coach option? It’s not that much money and may help you.

The thing is

Not meaning to sound harsh but, that’s not specific enough. You need specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound goals (smart) like the MTP outlines.

So, eg. I have a 10 mile TT scheduled for March 15.2023. My last 10 mile TT I did in X time with y conditions. My goal for this one is to do it in Z time in similar conditions or to sustain an outdoor power of Q watts for S amount of time. Etc etc

You might need to sign up for some virtual TTs on RGT or Zwift or do some of the TT like vids in SUF (like long scream or the aww uci road race where for 30+ minutes is ramping up, or the Catalunya Girona to Pubol with a similar effort. )

All that said, I have no experience or useful advice for TT folks as my weakness is sustained efforts and I struggle with any interval at or near my FTP if it’s longer than 5 minutes :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


@ozmadman, I second @Glen.Coutts suggestion for a call with a coach. They can give you a plan customised to your age/metrics/goals/available time/preferences/weaknesses/strengths/etc. I’m on my third one now and it’s been a huge improvement over doing the canned programs. Plus it’s really motivating to know that each day I’m progressing on a plan designed for me.


There can be quite a bit of variablity when testing if they aren’t done and prepared for the same way each time. To that end, I do the 7 day test plan with the HM on day three and FF on day 7. The HM sets suggested targets in the FF making it much easier to pace (try to just beat them). This give a consistent lead up to the FF which I believe will yield more consistent/reliable results. Plus, it’s a ‘fun’ week of workouts.


But how many of those sessions do you NOT increase the ride intensity?
If I recall correctly, you regularly increase the power numbers for your workouts.
As has been stated before, you driving up unnecessary fatigue.

If you have followed a plan 100% and getting these numbers, then I too would be despondent. Be critical to yourself and look at how compliant you have been with the training plan.


TBH I have only increased the intensity on about 5 workouts in the last few months and nothing previously. I am completing my workouts some harder than others with my pre HM FTP ok. Lowering my FTP will make them easier which I think won’t benefit me.

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Don’t be so off-put by a number. Your map improved which is what your were targeting. Since you’ve been training with your FTP at 213, I’d leave that at 213.

HM is not as accurate as FF. Lastly what really matters is being consistent in your training. Maybe give Team Scream or Long Scream a go in Level mode to see how you do.


Thanks, already reset my FTP at 213. Onwards and upwards!

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Do you take a decent rest/off season? It really is valuable and while you will have a short term drop in your power, your season peak might be higher.

It’s not really viable to think we’ll just keep getting fitter with each training block. Fitness gains become smaller and we will plateau. If that happens if can help to try something different rather than doing the same again and expecting a different result.

If you’re targeting TTs are you also training on your TT bike? Do you include strength and yoga work? TT is also all about watts/CdA so looking into your position, bike fit, equipment and clothing is also worthwhile. It can get seriously expensive but you can do great on a budget, or even with no cost if you’re smart about it.

I agree with the about about making specific targets. Get a set time that you want to accomplish, or a power you want to set for the duration of the TT.


@ozmadman I like the discussion in this thread but @Sir_Brian_M’s points really resonated with me given my situation. This year my numbers went down quite a bit but ironically I also saw improvement in my race times. I have definitely had a more stressful year with some family and work issues and that likely creeped into my testing and day to day performance.

To move forward I just decided to accept the numbers and continued training and try not to focus on it. I know that I can do better and I just need to keep it together and stay focused on my goals and the improvement will come.


TTDragon Thanks. Don’t really have a season. I joined a bike club last year and started going out on a few of their club rides and progressed pretty quickly to their “fast” rides (18-20mph average) and did a couple of their TT’s and a hill climb on my road bike. I found that I was quite good at them and even though hard I did enjoy the effort, especially afterwards. Previous to that and before joining a club my bike training was just to get a fit as I could as a personal endeavour with the intention of one day joining a club which I have now done. I do add two strength days into my plans and have done almost from the start. I have bought a S/H TT bike but not been out on that as yet to get used to it, positioning etc but will do so once the weather warms up here. Not bothered about that at the moment as all these things are an added extra. Getting as fit as possible on a bike regardless of what bike it is, is my main goal that is why I have been doing the MAP and TT plans. cheers


Thanks, yes after my initial disappointment ( My perfectionist personality i’m afraid where I analyse everything and beat myself up if things don’t go as I think they should have done) I decided to just get on with it, leave my FTP as it was before HM as the training was gong fine using those numbers and maybe do the FF next time instead of the HM…


Loads of good, positive advice here.

Rest and recovery is definitely something to make sure you get enough of (I don’t, so I can say that!).

One thing I’d say is that you’re quite clearly a strong rider. But you’ve also obviously been training hard. I really doubt that you’ve got weaker, but perhaps you’re at a level where fitness gains are hard to come by for a while. We all plateau for a bit, maybe your body is just consolidating. Your test results are relatively flat, i.e. unchanged from last time. MAP up some, FTP down some. But, you must have some fatigue in there somewhere, and fitness comes on different time cycles. Days, weeks, months.

Don’t be disheartened. Be pleased with the work you have done. Keep moving forwards.

And make sure you enjoy it. Goals are good, fun is better.


Amen to that!!! This :100:%!!!

I tend to turn everything I strive for into a chore. Much better to enjoy the journey. And I constantly have to relearn that.


Thanks, that’s probably it! Maybe I am expecting too much at 69 years old. Off we go again! Cadence builds today.


Ha,ha like looking into a mirror, that’s me too


Good on you @ozmadman. Back at it!

Maybe the most important thing at 69 (or any of us) is to not quit.