Adjusting your FTP for your Winter training


It seems that I really need to lower my FTP when I switch from outdoors to indoors training seasons.

My question is: if I lower my FTP by, let’s say, 10% to be able to do my workouts indoors at the same RPE I had outdoors, and train for 4-5 months with that FTP, will I be able to regain my old FTP when I’ll restart the new season !? I mean, by the end of the Winter where I did my workouts with 10% less power I had previously outdoors, will I be able to “immediately” ride outdoors with 10% more power !?

So because if the way Garmin works I would not send your summer workouts to Garmin until you adjust your FTP. We send specifc watts to Garmin. If you are not using Garmin for outdoor then I don’t see any problem with changing your FTP later. The plan will self-adjust to FTP changes in our app and most apps.

I do not use Garmin. And my question is not about the “technical” side of changing FTP on apps/devices, but on the effect on the training during the Winter: if I lower my FTP during Winter just to be able to finish the same workouts that I was able to do outdoors (because, for me, training indoors is much harder than outdoors), can I hope that, after the Winter, I’ll be able to ride outdoors with the FTP I had before ?

To be clear:

  • during my last rides outdoors, my FTP was in the 290-295W
  • nowadays, as I train indoors, I think that I would need to lower it to (at least ?) 270-275W just to be able to finish the workouts I was doing outdoors a few weeks ago (I didn’t miss any training, I only switched my workouts from outdoors to indoors. Same bike and power-meter BTW)
  • if I train indoors for the next 4-5 months with that FTP, when I’ll ride again outdoors next Spring, can I hope to restart the season with an FTP at around 290-295W ?

I worry because if I train with targets 20W lower for 4-5 months, even though I feel the workouts to be as hard as they were outdoors at a higher power, I wonder if I’ll be able to ride outdoors with a FTP of 290-295W or if I’ll be restarting the season at 270W…

Oh I understand. If you do your spring training correctly lowering your winter/indoor FTP will not negatively affect your summer/outdoor FTP and I think this is a good approach.

Ususally what most people see and what is RECOMMENED is when they get to their seasonal peak (2021 peak), then over the winter that drops a little (exact amount depends on many details) and then as you build up your spring volume to previous levels you get back to the same level (2022 peak) and higher if you do things right.

Some people that train harder in the winter and might see a winter increase in FTP. I would even call this “FTP training” meaning you are training to improve your FTP which does not necessarily meaning training to improve your outdoor group or race performance. Thse same people usually don’t see the same large spring increase. They say I increased my FTP by 20w in the winter, but then they don’t improve in the spring or very little also they loose motivation and feel burned out after a hard long winter and a hard spring.

Try to make sure your early winter training does not push you too hard so that you don’t have the motivation to do a hard spring build up period. Holding your FTP is not that critical as it will come back fairly quickly when you do start training harder and get back to previous levels of training.

All this assumes you want a late spring peak period.

Not sure if that helps. Sorry for the slighly off-topic suggestions/thoughts.

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Thanks, that - somewhat :wink: - helps.

I’m on my second week with Coach Jack (Fitness plan) and, as relatively “easy” are the first 4 days, the last loooooong weekly ride is killing me (can’t finish).
I guess that the heat/ventilation/stabilization on the HT have an impact that is proportional to the time I spend doing those workouts: the first 4 days have short workouts (45min-1h15), so I can bear the extra strain caused by indoors training, but workouts longer than 1h30-2h become too hard, even though I was able to do such rides outdoors.

This week, I will try to do the 4 first days based on my normal FTP, and will reduce the intensity for the longer workouts. If that still doesn’t help, I’ll reduce the value of my FTP for the whole Winter.

Our workouts, expecially at the beginning are easier, so your normal FTP should be fine.

Yes our long rides say “outdoor.” We need to improve Jack and ask if you are doing long rides indoors and shorten them. My pro coach friend is one of the top cycling biomechanics experts in the word and suggests people don’t do rides longer than 90-minutes indoors. I would suggest you set a limit on your long ride days. See example below.

This week, the plan tells me to do a 4h ride, I know that I won’t be able to finish it !
I gave up on the first week 3h15 workout (after 2h50), I gave up last week on the 3h30 workout with slightly more watts (after 2h20), this week is planned to be even higher in watts for the 4h workout. Yeah, I will try to limit the time on those rides !

Suggestion maybe ? I’d prefer to have at least 15 min more each day on the shorter wo, and to reduce by as much on the longer ones (though, still keeping them really “longer”, so they have their own purpose).

And I confirm what your friend says, I also read somewhere that a 60 min ride indoors could be equivalent to a 100 min outside, according to some “experts”: I can feel it, for sure.

Yes it’s a bit of a problem. Jack is looking at your recent history to determine current planning but if you are shifting from outdoor to indoor it’s a problem. Also as you point out for some riders it is better to reduce long rides and distribute to other rides. Especially for 100% indoors riders. I will work on improving this but I know that does not help you now. For now best is putting limiter on weekends and increasing start hours a little to increase the week days. We will improve this but it might take a few weeks. Either that or just end long rides early.

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That’s fine, we’re at the beginning of the Winter period, I still need to work on the “base” and have time to reach the “build” phase. So, incremental improvements on the coaching feature are welcome.

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I’m not a pro, but your FTP is your FTP, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Dropping it down doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, especially since it will affect your shorter rides as well as the longer ones. Riding indoors can be more difficult due to a number of factors - ventilation, lack of movement on the bike, etc.

I’ve done a number of 4 - 5 hour rides indoors over the years. I would suggest making sure you have plenty of fluids, nutrition, and one or two fans blowing on you. The other thing that helps me is making sure that I move around on the saddle (like one does when riding outside) as well as getting out of the saddle and standing every so often to give your seat and muscles a bit of a break. Getting off of the bike, pausing the workout, and stretching a bit also helps.