Approach to improving FTP

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by steelwheels4, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. steelwheels4

    steelwheels4 New Member

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    Just wondering if there are different approaches to take to improve FTP depending on if a rider in interested in short term or long term gains. Lets say short term is between end of one season and beginning of the next season, whereas long term could be a period such as 3 years.
     
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  2. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    FTP is one measure of fitness. A different measure is how fast your power drops off as duration increases.

    How you increase your FTP will affect how your power falls off as duration increases.

    But you can force your FTP up in the short term and then use the long term to inprove your power drop off.
     
  3. steelwheels4

    steelwheels4 New Member

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    Do you mean how 20 min power relates to maybe 5 min and 60 min power ? If so my 20 is 250, 5 is 290, and while not tested my 60 estimate is about 230.
     
  4. JibberJim

    JibberJim Member

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    For me, no, there's no real difference in those situations, I will always try and raise it as fast as possible - although that does mean type of training will change - but the sort of slow to gain adaptations I'd rather do with a high FTP, rather than a low one.

    So while the type and mix of training may change, I would start off my doing those things that for me brought me up to a good level.
     
  5. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    It's more about the phase of a training cycle than about long-term versus short-term. For example, early in an annual training cycle, I do aerobic work (i.e., FTP work) almost exclusively with long duration efforts (e.g., 30-60mins) with intensities at the bottom end of L4. Late in the cycle, I shorten the durations and increase intensity, eventually doing most of my L4 efforts at durations of ~10mins and intensities > FTP. But, this is after building a solid base with months of long duration L4s. The short-duration L4s are inefficient in that the ratio of time at level to recovery time drops. That's the tradeoff for increasing intensity of the efforts.
     
  6. steelwheels4

    steelwheels4 New Member

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    JibberJim - maybe I should understand exactly what you are spelling out, but not sure I would second guess how you go about it

    RapDaddyo - I do understand exactly what you are saying. Now. hypothetically, lets say that you were not seriously targeting any races until 2017. Would you still break up the year into cycles, or would you do something different ?
     
  7. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    If I didn't have any target events for a year or more out, I wouldn't do any short-duration aerobic efforts until I got within about 3 months of my first target event. I would do long L4s almost exclusively if my training routes were conducive to such efforts. However, some riders just don't enjoy the boredom of long L4 efforts and prefer shorter, harder efforts. While the aerobic capacity benefits are probably less than with concentrated L4 efforts, one can still make substantial improvements in aerobic capacity with lots of anaerobic efforts (e.g., L5 and L6). So, to net it out, the biggest bang for the buck is lots of long duration L4s, but if that's not to your liking, you can do a lot of good with lots of anaerobic efforts.
     
  8. steelwheels4

    steelwheels4 New Member

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    So, I should keep doing L4 of up to 60 mins at about 225w to 230w based on 20min best at 250ish. As I improve, test and reset zones, and the wattage I will do these will gradually ( hopefully ) increase.
    Couple more quick questions if you don't mind. If I have somewhere between 8 and 12 hours most weeks spread over 5 or 6 days, would you incorporate some L4 into every day.
    And lastly, with this type of regime, can the gains be continuous until I reach my full potential regards FTP, or at some stage do increases cease unless things are mixed up a bit.
     
  9. JibberJim

    JibberJim Member

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    So unlike RadDaddyo, I know that for me, the biggest return on investment will be lots of short duration work around ~5 minutes, that will rapidly bring my FTP up and only after that's already brought it up do I find longer ones particularly helpful.

    E.g. to go from 280 to 320, just doing 5 minute stuff, but to go to 330 then I need the longer duration stuff. But that's me of course, other people are likely different, and that's what you really need to do with your time, find out what you respond to. It will not be the same as everyone, different components of fitness will be individual so how you respond etc.

    The other thing is I'd drop the prescribed power intervals entirely, and develop a way to do them at an intensity, your numbers are pretty low, so unless you're sub 55kg it's likely you have big gains possible, so with long durations that are sub maximal you can easily end up with too low an intensity.
     
  10. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

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    I tend to break the year up according to where an athletes weaknesses are in the Power Profile Chart.

    [​IMG]

    Here is an example of a sprinter, about to start the offseason. We'll be working on the their CP5 for a while, getting that one peaking and then spread their wings with a 20min focus block and also another block with a 1min focus.

    This will help them going into the next season by building their sustainable power and therefore improving their freshness at the end of a race so they can show off that sprint power.

    Very rarely do we focus on FTP, unless they are doing a 40km TT. The demands of most races, focus on the repeatability of efforts <5min.

    Like someone else mentioned, training around an athletes CP5 seems to have the best roll on effect for a person entire power profile chart.

    Thats what we do with our QTRS and NRS riders here in Australia.

    Paul
     
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