Ftp (full time power)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by cyclintom, Aug 4, 2021.

  1. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Most people would expect this to be the value of power output that you could maintain over an entire ride but it isn't. It essentially is the amount of power you can output over only about 20 minutes. So if you're out on a Century or the like you most assuredly cannot put out power like that since you will rapidly become fatigued and your speed will drop off sharply.

    I have a pretty good idea of the amount of power I can deliver over the length of a Metric or even a Century and it amazes me to watch groups flying by me (well I am older than dirt now) and then catching them at each rest stop. They overestimate their capacity and run themselves down and then act insulted when I beat them back to the finish while they are falling off of their bikes from exhaustion. Believe me, it isn't because I'm a better rider any more. I just recognize my own limitations.

    One of the tricks I've used is to ride the same distance you intend to do a week ahead of your organized ride. This will make you a lot more wary of riding too fast for the distance. Usually though, these people will be in packs and racing each other as if an organized ride was a race.

    The last organized ride I did was at the end of 2019 and I caught up with a man on an MTB after the last rest stop. Seeing some broken down old fart next to him he was convinced he could ride with me. So on a course, the end of which was continuous rollers, he gradually slowed down on the top of each rise and would give it everything on the following descent to catch up until he finally blew sky high. That was a bit unfortunate since it was only about 2 miles more to the finish line. Out of 2,000 riders, almost all of whom were faster than I am, I finished 187th. And I started a little late. This is because after racing between rest stops the groups would get more and more tired and wait longer and longer to leave for the next leg.

    So, don't believe the false message of FTP and ride within your limits. I would actually feel better finishing in the middle of the pack rather than way near the front which makes me feel that I should have ridden the century rather than the metric (after which I would be tired for 2 weeks.)
     
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  2. banana muffin

    banana muffin New Member

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    ftp is not "full time power", it's "functional threshold power."
     
  3. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Certainly, but effectively they are the same thing. If FTP is only measure in either a 20 mile TT or one hour on a power measuring device it is still trying to say what you can ride distances at properly hydrated and fed.
     
  4. banana muffin

    banana muffin New Member

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    FTP means "functional threshold power." "Full time power" is just something you made up. It has no meaning.
     
  5. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing my power is pretty wimpy compared to the numbers I see in most cycling forums. I have this one section of 25 minutes at 228 watts. Nothing compared to the big 500-600 watts that I see posted often.

    But my average on this section was 20.7 for the 8 mile segment on Strava. Total ride 67 miles at 18.2 average speed. I guess that qualifies for a metric century and this segment was mile 46 to 54, late in the ride. Rather flat section with only 789 feet gain.

    But I bet Strava is a big guesstimate without a power meter. I'm not into power so I only look at power stats when I run into one of these threads so I can see how wimpy I really am. :D

    I did once an organized metric century. Traveled to AZ from CA to do the ride. First 100 riders in got gold medals. I wanted one so I tried hard. Averaging 20.1 over 62 miles riding 4/5 of the ride solo till some guy begged me to work with him after he lost his ride partner. I have no idea of the power, but like the OP, I start steady then work into a pace and do pretty well on rides passing most of the guys who jump our of the gate likes bats out of hell. I have pretty good control of my efforts without using meters and monitors. :p

    000power.JPG
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    My best was 261watts a few years back. Maybe a one time fluke. I have clawed my way back to the 230 range but I use to average 241. I knew a female ex pro and she said her average was 241 watts when she was racing. I think anyone averaging 500 watts should be on the top elites in the world.
     
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  7. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Told you I was a wimp, even my wife beat me! :p

    341 wats for 17+ minutes, 22.6 MPH average speed, flat .2% grade
    Number 3,303 out of 28,000+ Riders on that strava segment.

    000ginapower.JPG
     
  8. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    OK, I'm still the Man! :D Same segment, I have 277 watts. Not bad for a couple of recreational riders.

    # 2,780 out of 28,000+ riders.

    000Beanzpower.JPG
     
  9. banana muffin

    banana muffin New Member

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    Estimated power numbers on Strava are notoriously inaccurate.
     
  10. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's why I mentioned it earlier. :p

    And my style of riding as a recreational out for exercise type rider, I can not justify the cost of a power meter or the effort after to pay attention to the readings more than once or twice per year. Same with heartrate monitors and cadence meters. :D
     
  11. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I wish I could get 300 + watts but my wattage is measured by a power meter not Strava. I think I will go to KPH so I can feel faster
     
  12. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    What in the hell would make you think that average speed on a metric of almost 19 mph is whimpy? I spent an hour yesterday riding into a headwind at 19 mph and died on the way back with a slight tailwind ( meaning I was riding at a mere 17 mph). On this same course I ALWAYS have the same Garmin average - ~11.3 mph On this same course about a week ago I was feeling really good and did 2 miles on it at 27 mph without a tailwind and STILL got that sort of Garmin average. I can't even imagine what a 19 mph average would be.
     
  13. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I was being facetious. As I mentioned, the awesome power outputs posted on many cycling forums make my power look wimpy. Being facetious as I have met plenty of bike forum riders that couldn't keep up with Gina, my wife after posting awesome stuff. . :D

    Facetious to me because I post credible numbers unlike many of the TDF riders that post on many of the forums. :D
     
  14. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I laugh at the forum stories posted by too many. Getting back to my facetious comments here. I have met many online super hero riders. One guy came to visit California from Arizona. He had a ton of advice for me on how to improve my cycling and get fast like him. He asked if he could do a ride with me on the trail when he came down. Sure, wondered if he would be riding his fixie that made him so strong.

    Nope he said he was coming on his roadie. I asked if I should leave Gina at home, didn't want to slow him down.

    No, he said that we would wait for her or regroup. Turns out about 5 miles into the 40 mile ride, he realized Gina was waiting for him! :D
     
  15. banana muffin

    banana muffin New Member

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    Feet per second also works well.
     
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  16. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you can tell us what you know about it?
     
  17. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I am slow. A good ride is an 11.5 mph average. And THAT includes a 1200 foot climb and 5 mile descent at 30+ mph. My fastest was a couple of weeks ago when I did a 27 mph ride for 2 whole miles before I ran out of steam and dropped back down to 14-15 mph. Several years ago I did a 28 mph ride and caught a dozen red lights every mile or so which I had to wait out and then accelerate back up to speed This was for 10 miles. When I got in I was so exhausted I couldn't find the parking lot my car was in. I have had some fast days but they are short and rare. Someone who posts here as "fast" passed me on a climb and when I got to the top he was almost throwing up. When I rode past he jumped on his bike apparently with the idea of passing me. But with a fast downhill followed by 5 miles of flats I dropped him like a rock. That was the last time he did that course when I was on it. Guess he wasn't so fast at all what with me being 76 years old now. I'm not fast and I don't pretend to be fast on TV. In the 2018 Tour de Fuzz I got a late start and there were 1300 people on the ride. When I came across the line I was 82, not because of speed but slow and steady wins the race. I was passed by large packs like I was standing still and then they would spend a half or full hour in the rest stops.
     
  18. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Are you on Strrava? I'd like to see these rides you mention.

    I have some friends who race, really light small guys who are ball busters, have top positions on segments vs those in the groups I have ridden with and they don't do 28 mph averages over 10 miles. Super fast riders, super climbers and there numbers are nowhere near this on city roads with stops etc.

    A group of local racers do 25 mile ride on local roads with stops etc and their average is just below 20. That is a pack of 25.

    Another group of pro riders do a 24 mile course and average 24 in a pack of 50 with all the top local racers including pros.

    You must be a super rider! :D
     
  19. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I just looked up a segment on Strava, 10 mile segment, flat no stops. Here on our bike trail that I frequent.

    21,993 riders and if you can average 28 MPH, you'd be in the top 10. If you can make up time not having to stop for lights, you'd probably be #1 even a few years ago still in your 70's. :cool:
     
  20. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    That was only for 10 miles at the end of a century. When I got in after that I couldn't even find the parking lot. It took me 15 minutes of wandering around before I accidently tripped over it.
     
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