Strength training maintenance phase

Strength training is a great feature of the Sufferfest program.

When the program was launched last year, I incorporated the strength plan in to my calendar and completed up to sessions 5A and 5B which resulted in a general improvement in power output. As my A race approached I decided to stop doing strength workouts because I was finding extremely hard to complete good quality bike workouts and doing the strength sessions at the same time.

This year I decided to take my time and build my fitness again by initially focusing on the strength work and placing less emphasis on the bike workouts in order to complete the strength workout plan.

I finally arrived at a stage that I can complete the intermediate 6A and 6B workouts without to much sore legs however this time, it feels that the power output on the bike has dropped by approximately 10%. My legs feel strong during squats and lunges but sluggish on the bike. My heart rate is higher than previous years for the same percentage of FTP and it almost feels that the strength is not translating to the bike like it did last year.

Previously, I only experience sluggishness up to the intermediate 2A and 2B, by the time I reached intermediate 3A and 3B, my legs were starting to feel good again.

Has anyone experienced something similar and do you have any advice on how to get fresh/snappy legs feeling again without having to loose strength conditioning.

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How many weeks have you been at Level 6?

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I’m on the second week at level 6

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Hey Carlos,
What kind of training plan are you on? Is it 3/1 or 2/1? You may need more recovery in order to adapt to the longer strength sessions.

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I’m on a 3/1 and 7 day cycle.
Mon Strength, Tue- rest, Wednesday Drills, Thursday Strength, Friday rest, Saturday and Sunday 3 hour ish rides endurance.

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I find it takes me about 6 weeks at a level before I feel really good through the sessions and on the bike again. The adaptation just seems to take me longer than most folks.


It does take some folks longer to adapt. You also may want to try a plan that is geared to improving your 4DP numbers. Maybe going to a 2 on/1 off approach. Response to training is highly individual. It’s often frustrating but you can learn a lot by what doesn’t work. Don’t give up, we’re here to help.


Hi - I’ve been using STR as well, alongside bike. What I’ve found is if I am not working myself VO2 hard at some point in my week, then my legs definitely degrade … I would suggest (i’m no coach etc etc) that in the regime you list further down the thread, it needs to include some more focussed bike work. You may find that the bike work still isn’t quite as strong as it was while you adapt to the STR stuff, but it will stop you dropping as much

My really simplistic view is you may not be taxing your aerobic systems enough and it’s not the STR workouts, it’s the missing VO2/SST one(s) (noting that I’m assuming Drills is form type practice like Elements of Style - that might be a wrong assumption)


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I would agree with @Martin, that if you’re not doing high intensity bike sessions, your power will gradually decline, despite maintaining your aerobic fitness with long rides and drills. Might I suggest a plan that targets a goal or weakness that is has strength training integrated? These plans are designed to marry the two so they work together harmoniously, rather than sacrificing one for the other. We have a lot of plans to offer, so I suggest you take a look and see if there is one that interests you.


Thank you Sir. It totally makes sense and looks like good advice.
I’m hoping that now that I’ve completed the STR plan, I can eliminate one STR session a week in order to add the VO2 workouts and hopefully get my snap back.
I am also hoping that one STR session a week doesn’t cause too much fatigue so the VO2 session is of good quality .

Thanks @Coach.Suzie.S