Getting Serious About FTP

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by dadajo81, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. dadajo81

    dadajo81 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm starting this thread to track my progress as I increase my FTP as much as possible while training for the 2014 Triple Bypass. I may not be able to do the ride due to some scheduled events outside of my control (such as the birth of my first child). Either way, I'd love to get my FTP up to 250 or 300 by then.

    I'm very open to constructive criticism, so bring it on. All my data will be based on testing and training done on a CycleOps Fluid2. I don't see the need right now to spend the money on a PM, especially if I can get by using my trainer to provide consistent numbers. To get from speed to watt's I'm using the power curve provided by Trainer Road on their blog/website.

    From now until 2-3 months before the ride my plan is to spend nearly all my time on L4 intervals, eventually building up to around 30% of my time on L5 & L6 intervals. I really only have up to 7 hrs a week to train. I get quite busy in the evenings, so if I'm going to be successful I'm going to need to be getting up early to train during the week. Once I get within 2-3 months of my target ride (mid July) I'll start doing long rides working my way up to 120 miles on the weekends and L4/L5/L6 during the week. I use Andrew Coggan's zones.

    I've been riding 3 or 4 years with no real structured training. I've done a century and 2 years of TOMRV.

    My stats:

    • 162 lbs (73.5 kgs), 2.14 w/kg. I'd like to get my weight down to 140-145 lbs for the Triple Bypass. I'm around 25% body fat now so this seems doable. Especially if I go slowly to retain muscle mass - what little there is.
    • FTP of 158, measured using Friel's protocol on 6/2813. I'll be retesting later this week

    I’m doing 2x20’s and 4x10’s twice a week. I’d like to get a lot more consistent and do them 4 times a week (Sat/Sun/Tues/Wed). This is a relatively low weekly TSS, but I am pretty sore doing them twice a week, so I’m working up to it. Maybe a lot of it's mental soreness.

    My first question is, how worthwhile are L5/L6 intervals to me right now, being so far away from my goal FTP? Should I stick to L4 for a couple months and then start adding them in?
     
    Tags:


  2. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2
    Goodluck on your quest As a tip, your intervals are WAY too long. Start with 2-4min intervals and teach your body to raise your short range power first. Then when that happens extend your intervals out to the 10-20min. Don't rush the process, otherwise you'll plateau and burn out pretty quickly Paul
     
  3. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,432
    Likes Received:
    92
    Quote: Originally Posted by dadajo81 .

    My first question is, how worthwhile are L5/L6 intervals to me right now, being so far away from my goal FTP? Should I stick to L4 for a couple months and then start adding them in?


    Starting L6 work too soon could be detrimental to your goal, at least psychologically speaking. If burn out happens, that's where it's likely to occur imo.

    I know many folks who do 20min+ intervals all year round, but I don't know anyone who does them 4x/week. Personally i'd drop the 10 min duration if you are already doing 20's. Btw, you may also want to read the "it's killing me thread". It's a veritable ode to the value of the 20min interval as an FTP builder and contains some useful information.
     
  4. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    I don't agree with building from the top down like this, maybe it worked for you, but for most the bottom up approach is best. As far as trying to use your power curve for watts, don't expect any significant level of accuracy, it is not a Powermeter and there are WAY too many variables. Using average speed as a guide is good in the sense that it is as good as you will get without a PM, but be sure to tension the wheel the same each time and get the trainer to the same temp each time. Again it is just average speed not average watts, use a HR monitor as a guide for consistency as well. With regards to how too, I would do a steady diet of 2x20 during the week and longer aerobic rides on the weekend. Pay attention to the quality of your 2x20s and use it as a guide to structure recovery throughout your week as well as recovery throughout your training block. As you get close to the event start working in the shorter VO2 type intervals.
     
  5. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    BTW if your FTP were 158, 250-300 is a very lofty goal, as that range of power is likely a anaerobic effort at the current time. Also the difference of even 50watts is huge, but I think the fact that you are determining power through very rudimentary methods has skewed your perspective a bit.
     
  6. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    And Paul, not to stir debate, but just to point out one of the many reasons I don't agree with your approach is basically you suggest doing a VO2 effort until you can stretch it into a threshold effort. You want to talk about burnout, this method alone is a receipt for it, you are basically stretching maximal efforts. Two, the amount of recovery needed inter and intra workout is huge, to the point where either the volume has to be super lower and/or quality has to be sacrificed.
     
  7. renderman5000

    renderman5000 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Overall, I like the approach.

    A few thoughts:

    I think you should be able to reach 250w if every thing goes well and you're consistent with training. This is based primarily on the fact that you're a 'semi' untrained athlete. You should see a consistent improvement in FTP/20min wattage within the first few months, but this will level off. The difference between 250w and 300w given your weight is a HUGE difference.

    Spend the money to buy an ANT speed/HR sensor and subscribe to Trainerroad using virtual power. Do the FTP test. After that, all workouts will be based on that FTP number...which is easily modified as you get more fit. I have a powertap hub but still subscribe. Your efforts will be tracked automatically and should help motivate you over the winter etc. It is also really good with sufferfest videos. Seeing realtime virtual power and power tracking over the long haul is an invaluable tool.

    I really like the idea of a second FTP test. Just make sure it's an all out effort.

    2x20 in the morning may be difficult since your body will be semi devoid of carbs/glucose. If you can't complete 20min intervals at the prescribed wattage, you may have to rethink scheduling of workouts, or get up even earlier and take in some carbs etc.

    Personally, 2x20 near a true FTP back to back is tough for me. You might want to look at giving yourself a 48hr break between workouts.

    I'm a bit confused about Paul's recommendations as well. 2-4min at FTP has very little influence on fitness. I'm not sure this is what he was proposing. FTP style training (2x20 etc) relies heavily on consistent, even power output for the entire 20min. This has been documented in Friel's book and numerous other publications.

    That said, I'm a fan of Carmichael's TCTP. I would recommend reading the book...and there are century plans within it. 3min, VO2max intervals WILL improve FTP...but there are caveats included with respect to overall event distance/time. I have ridden over 200 miles in a day using TCTP with very good results.

    Whatever FTP you end up with at the event, the most important advice I can give you is to stay within your abilities. Just try to have fun and pace yourself. Blowing up at 90 miles is no fun...and I know from experience.

    Chuck
     
  8. dadajo81

    dadajo81 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really appreciate all the comments and encouragement. Thanks!


    I did another FTP test on Thursday. I started out with a 15 minute warm up at ~L2, then did my 30 minute TT, then a 10 minute cool down.. My average speed for the last 20 minutes of the TT was 15.8 mph. This converts to 168 watts. 95% of 168 is 160 watts, giving me an FTP is 160 watts. 160 watts converts to 15.4 mph on the trainer, which is right where I've been doing my intervals (no wonder 20 minutes has been so tough!). I've been pretty sporadic for the last couple months, so I'm not surprised there's no real change for my test before.

    Based on, in no particular order, Coggan's book, Friel's book, the "it's killing be me, but" thread, and comments on this tread my goal is to get as many minutes as possible in L4 a week for the next few months. I'll consider myself totally failing if I don't get in 120 minutes a week, and killing it if I'm getting in 160+ minutes a week. It seems like a lot of people value volume over intensity, maybe I'll try to get even more time in at the lower range of L4 if I can be disciplined. I plan on giving myself a rest week every 4 weeks, and retest/reset zones that week.

    According to Coggan my L4 range would be 146-170 watts. This works out to 14.7-15.9 mph on my trainer. I've been holding 15.4+ mph so I'll try to keep my speed in the upper half of this mph range. I set up my speed zones on my Garmin Edge 500 so it tells me if I'm in the zone or not.

    [​IMG]

    This graph shows the time I've put in at L4 for the recent past. This is just time I've been on the trainer. When it's nice I've been out on the road. I'll be using this to see if I'm really putting the work in. Consistent work = results.

    My wattage numbers aren't accurate, but they should be pretty consistent from day to day and give me something to aim at (I know, I know...same tire pressure, etc). I know Strava isn't exactly dead nuts on either, but considering the numbers I see on Strava and the watt's I calculate from my Fluid 2, I would guess my numbers are +/- 10% of their true values, perhaps even tighter. Maybe a little later on I'll pick up a used Power Tap to use in the spring, but this seems reasonable to me for now.

    I definitely won't be the first or the last, but I plan to keep posting weekly reports to:

    1. Provide motivation and accountability for myself
    2. Learn something from you guys
    3. Provide another example of what to do or what not to do

    Now, time to get a workout in!
     
  9. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    21
    Quote: Originally Posted by dadajo81 .
    I'm starting this thread to track my progress as I increase my FTP as much as possible while training for the 2014 Triple Bypass.

    I've been riding 3 or 4 years with no real structured training. I've done a century and 2 years of TOMRV. Once I get within 2-3 months of my target ride (mid July) I'll start doing long rides working my way up to 120 miles on the weekends

    My first question is, how worthwhile are L5/L6 intervals to me right now, being so far away from my goal FTP? Should I stick to L4 for a couple months and then start adding them in?

    Most people who do long events like the Triple Bypass are comfortable doing 100 miles once or twice each weekend. That should be your goal rather than increasing your FTP.

    I think you should be getting up to 100+ miles as soon as possible. When you can do that, add some intervals to that ride. 90 minutes of L4 or above seems like a reasonable amount.

    Your other riding is necessary but 75-80%FTP seems to be enough.
     
  10. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    Yeah, a.m. Workouts take some getting use to, but IME you adapt. Glycogen stores, should/had better be there in sufficient amounts as I would expect them to be their highest in the a.m. and 2x20 does not have a huge demand. Yeah, 2x20 should not be done @ FTP, but @ 90%. Doing 2x20 @ FTP will lead to sub quality workouts and possibally burnout. As will shooting for HUGE gains like 100 watts. So keep at the 2x20 @ 90% and where you end up is where you end up. As much as it pains me I agree with AOG which was my thought for doing longer aerobic rides on the weekends.
     
  11. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    If you really need a goal shoot for 200
     
  12. Subliminal-SS

    Subliminal-SS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    2
    All in all I would say from limited experience that everything overall is going pretty well. I there is alot of over complication especially for us beginners.

    Personally I've just started doing intervals etc as the weather gets grim and push for 10 hours a week. I've been doing that for about 4-5 weeks and have seen a 20W increase, my goal is 300W by Xmas which I got the impression was unrealistic but I think I can do it so that's me goal.

    My goal is 10 Hours and 5 Hours at L4. Over my recent training period I've had 53 Hours with only 26.3% at Z4 or 16 Hours in total. WAY short of my goal of 50% but still a good 20W increase in 4-5 weeks.

    I keep my intervals well appart. Monday Threshold - Wednesday V02 Max - Friday Threshold. Wednesday doing about 15 Mins in V02 Max is like a rest day and I do 30-40 Milers on Tuesday and 50+ Milers on Thursday.

    If you Commit to a plan and stick with it. Maybe Increase time after Xmas I think you could hit 250W but ensure to evaluate your goal at xmas. If you have only improved a little re-asses re-plan and don't let the hours get away in between.
     
  13. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2
    You are overloading weigh too much. 5hours at L4 is just not sustainable long term, that would be like doing 5x1hr intervals @FTP each week or 5 sets of (3x20). That is a huge workload?? Even for the OP, aiming for 2-3 per week is tough. To OP it sound like consistency is your main issue. Dial back you training, until you can start knocking off consistent weeks and then build from there. There are lots of good tips in this thread and the forum, pick some, try them out and stick with it......consistency is the key
     
  14. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gday B we definitely don't burnout, none of us have yet ;-). Doing interval between Ftp and vo2 give you good and quick adaptations in the mucles. You don't need large blocks of training there to get results, but the results are good and handy to have in most cycling events. Even coggans tables support this, once you have raised your short range redline, we then move towards the sub threshold long efforts, applying the 90% rule, which essentially means leaving 10% in the tank. There are lots of way to skin a cat though and this way just happens work for myself and the people I coach Weren't you doing masters champs in goulburn? Paul
     
  15. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    21
    Quote: Originally Posted by fluro2au .

    5hours at L4 is just not sustainable long term, that would be like doing 5x1hr intervals @FTP each week or 5 sets of (3x20). That is a huge workload?? Even for the OP, aiming for 2-3 per week is tough.

    Your model is simply wrong. It is not like doing 5 hours at FTP. I spend an hour a day at L4 or above. 7 days a week. So 7 hours at L4 or above are spread over 28 hours. It is not difficult.

    The difference is that your intervals provide 1 hour continuous effort at L4. My rides provide much shorter intervals - some 10-20 minutes but many 3-5 minutes. (But I am not into doing intervals. They just happen.)
     
  16. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2
    Quote: Originally Posted by An old Guy .

    Your model is simply wrong. It is not like doing 5 hours at FTP. I spend an hour a day at L4 or above. 7 days a week. So 7 hours at L4 or above are spread over 28 hours. It is not difficult.

    The difference is that your intervals provide 1 hour continuous effort at L4. My rides provide much shorter intervals - some 10-20 minutes but many 3-5 minutes. (But I am not into doing intervals. They just happen.)

    I'm coaching guys that do NRS and they don't even get within a bees dick of doing that much L4 work over the course of week.....Impressive if you are genuinely up there, but I doubt it.
    This is a time in zones graph for a guy who recently competed in the Canberra Tour, who did quite well.

    let me know if you want more evidence, which I suspect you'll probably have some sort of excuse for not providing[​IMG]


    Keep it real AOG

    Paul


    [​IMG]
     
    steve likes this.
  17. Subliminal-SS

    Subliminal-SS New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks for the chart Paul interesting reading.

    I wont say that I am smashing out 5 Hours at L4 bang on. It is what I aim for though. On the week before my power meter broke I knocked about 3.5 Hours in L4 and about 1.5 in high L3 SST. I felt I recovered really well from that week and the following I went on and set a whole bunch of new PBs and Rode a 66 Mile 6.5k feet ride which is just not something I can do normally..

    I cant say that I have ridden weeks on end at 5 Hours L4 but its my goal that Im building up to as I get Numbers Dialed in. I've changed me HR Zones alot but settled now and had to send my PM back for repairs. But if I have some interesting reading in 6 weeks ill come back at ya ;)

    I'm 23 so recover well from intense weeks. Sunday provides a full rest day and V02 Max intervals on Wednesday are not leaving my legs like jelly either so I feel the workload I aim for is doable. Sustainability for me personally will tell again in the test of time.

    Most of the demand for L4 comes from the hills I live in but thats just me where I am, Maybe ive adapted.
     
  18. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    21
    Quote: Originally Posted by fluro2au .
    I'm coaching guys that do NRS and they don't even get within a bees dick of doing that much L4 work over the course of week.....Impressive if you are genuinely up there, but I doubt it.
    let me know if you want more evidence, which I suspect you'll probably have some sort of excuse for not providing[​IMG]



    I suspect your client's training schedules are much different than my training schedule.

    ---

    You seem to have lost your train of thought in the middle of the sentence I bolded. That happens.

    I think you might be asking for me to provide some sort of data to you. Since I don't work for you, I see no need to.
     
  19. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2
    That's alright aog I have no intention on trying to get you to share some evidence to support what you believe too many have tried and failed, ;-) Paul
     
  20. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hi SS What about you other zones or are you just focused onFTP mainly? If you look at the dynamics of RR we are most vulnerable when we lose our ability to keep repeating those hard short anaerobic efforts. It where most people get dropped. Developing the ability to continually ride over FTP then settle back down at Or close to FTP is what will make you fit paul
     
Loading...
Loading...