Best way to raise your FTP?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by sparknote_s, May 7, 2007.

  1. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    1
    First of all I'm a triathlete and training for triathlons...if that makes any difference. Ok here's a little recent history on my bike skills. I'm pretty new to biking, but I do have some experience from road riding during the summer for the past few years. This season is my first attempt at doing real training on the bike. I started in February, and have been doing 3x / week riding on the trainer for 1 hour at a time doing short 2 - 5 minute intervals at a pretty hard pace for about 45 minutes of that hour. This has worked really well so far, I did a 22.25 mile bike in a duathlon yesterday and was able to go hard and feel strong for the whole hour of biking. It is now May and I figured I'd move on to doing some lactate threshold intervals and tempo rides and long rides, and stop doing the short intervals since that isn't really race-specific...I want to raise my FTP as high as possible. I'd like to focus on Olympic and HIM distances so that's a 56 mile bike.

    So...should I cut out my short 2 - 6 min intervals all together and do lactate threshold workouts?

    I was thinking each week I'd do 1 day long ride (L2?), 1 day of lactate threshold (L4?), and 1 day of tempo (L3?). Then mix in easy L1 rides. Any ideas?

    Also, anyone have any specific workouts that have worked for you?

    PS: I don't have a powertap yet, it should arrive this week. I have gone to the book store though and read lots of coggan's book and read absolutely everything I could find on training...so I at least like to think I have a small clue on power training.
     
    Tags:


  2. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    0
    have you considered coaching?
     
  3. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yep, but I decided against it...I'd rather learn from books and online sources how to train effectively.
     
  4. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    1
    Anyone?
     
  5. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    0
    there are quite a few threads in this forum relating to the topic you raised. I'd suggest first using the Search function for "L4", "Threshold", "FTP", "SST", "Sweet Spot" or related topics and you'll find enough to keep you reading for quite a while.

    And there's likely no one "best" way BTW ...
     
  6. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    What's been working for me (and I've been increasing my FTP at least 20 watts/mo. for the last four) is more time in L4. Personally, I think you're wasting your time in L1-L2..unless it's recovery after a tough L4-L5 ride. To me L3 is no mans land..just junk miles.
     
  7. JungleBiker

    JungleBiker New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's an amazing rate of increase. I assume you are fairly new to cycling?
     
  8. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes and No. I was a former triathlete (2-3 yrs)..just average in all 3 disciplines. I herniated a disc in my back last year which put a halt to the running (for now anyway). So, I spent a lot of time on the bike starting in December of '06 spinning at the local gym (including weight training), then bought a Cycleops Pro 300PT in Feb, and recently started local group rides (A and B) in Apr. I started testing my FTP in December with a paltry 200 watts. I'm up to 280 watts now..and hope to get to 300 watts next month. I think the biggest bang for the buck, for me, was a lot more time in L4..both in the gym spinning, on the Pro 300 PT and on group rides w/ lots of hills. Getting good recovery/rest in-between hard rides was equally as important. It's worked for me..thus far. I don't expect to average this much longer as I know I'm going to level out and peak soon. But, right now, I couldn't be happier. :)
     
  9. JungleBiker

    JungleBiker New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's great progress. Hope your back gets well soon.
     
  10. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes, that does sound like some really solid progress. Couple questions:

    1) In the last 4 months, have you changed up your training focus at all or have you been focusing on L4 the whole time?

    2) Can you tell me what specific workouts you've been doing?

    Thanks
     
  11. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, here's what I've done. During the off-season (Dec-Mar) built a good solid endurance base by spinning at the local gym and at home with my Cycleops Trainer. I normally did intervals at L4 (increasing interval time as I got stronger). If I did that on Saturday (in the Winter), I would light spin on Sunday (increasing time throughout the year). Monday- day off. Tuesday, I had Crit races (starting in Apr)- Three 10-mile loops with two sprint sections per loop. 50% of the ride was L4 or above. Thursday night, I have a 2 hr. group ride..either an A-ride or B-ride depending on how hard I rode on Tuesday. If it was an A-ride, >50% of my time was spent in L4 or higher..if it was a B-ride, about 33% was spent in L4 or higher. Friday- day off. Saturday, when the weather got nicer was longer group rides (4-5 hrs)..either an A-ride or B-ride..same as above. I guess the key for me (my progess) is that I built a good endurance base and slowly increased my mileage for the endurance rides, and slowly increased my intensity on the intervals...until I was having some tough workouts/rides. Basically, I hit my muscles hard, and aerobic system, and then gave them a day or two rest to recuperate. That's is what I think is key..adequate rest. I see guys hammer it all the time on group rides (4-5x a week) and they wonder why they never get better/stronger.

    BTW, you can email me for specific workouts if you want..not a problem.
     
  12. morning wood

    morning wood New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I was wondering if you time trial and if so what kind of improvements have you seen on your times with your raised FTP?

    Cheers,

    Paul.

     
  13. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    I haven't TT'd yet, but am setting that up soon..so I'll let you know. But, if group rides are any indication..I used to get dropped on A-rides, now I'm able to hang. The only time I get passed is on the steep hills, but that's because I weigh 185 lbs., and the guys that usually pass me weigh 150-160 lbs. But, I usually end up passing them down hill and on the flats with no problem. But, my goal is to lose another 10-15 lbs by mid-July (without losing any power) so I'm really interested (and looking forward) to see.
     
  14. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ok well my power meter has arrived, and it's all good so far. I did an FTP test. I rode at an endurance pace for about 20 miles, then hit the section of road I wanted to test on because I wouldn't have to stop at a light or stop sign for about 10 miles - although it is rolling terrain which made my power really low on the downhills and really high on the uphills but my NP was only 3 watts higher than AP and the VI was 1.01. Anyhow, I ended up with 248 AP and 251 NP, x 0.95 (from coggans book) makes my FTP ~240 watts. That's about 3.87 w/Kg for me.

    How much could I expect to gain in the next 4 months or so?
     
  15. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    You weigh 137 lbs? Wow, that's light. I think I weighed that in sixth grade. Anyway, your improvement is based on your current fitness level and riding time (yrs.). If you're a relative newbie like me (less than 3 yrs. riding) I'd say you can make some improvements in the next 4 mos..how much is tough to tell. If you're an older/more experienced rider..I wouldn't count on much. Also, as I said..I do all of my FTP tests indoor on a Cycleops Pro PT where the power output is stable. I don't know how accurate/realistic an FTP test is on an uphill/downhill course.
     
  16. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm pretty new...I've been doing triathlons for the past 3 years but only training for a few months during the summer. Starting this year I am planning on training all year long - and I also started earlier this year, in February (compared to May usually).
     
  17. kwood3

    kwood3 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    if you havent cycled year round then you will quickly increase you ftp until you get to the point where it levels off big time and you have to fight to push it up any higher. I got a power meter and have been riding seriously since may and i got my ftp up from 315 to 325. took me 4 months. i see that as a solid improvement . i weigh 75 kg
     
  18. tjwpower

    tjwpower New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what land do you race a long course/70.3 triathlon in?

    L3 may be a no mans land for a road cyclist but it is defiantly not for a long course triathlete. To raise your FTP, it is very simple, train at and around (including below) your FTP as often as YOU can, it's not rocket science. How much you can train above your threshold in L4 is largely dependent on the individuals lactate tolerance and training background in regards to recovery etc, your then next best best is to train sub-threshold. But remember, you can not adapt if you don't have suffice recovery to allow the adaptation to occur.

    Keep it simple, you don't see a sprint distance triathlete ride 5 hours because there is no need. Train to meet the demands of your event.
     
Loading...
Loading...