• kevinadams428

Increasing FTP: An Efficient Approach


By this time of year, most of us have finished our racing seasons and are beginning to think about next year's big events. It's also starting to get colder and darker, meaning more indoor training for most of us. One of the best things to focus on right now is cycling training - specifically FTP training. FTP is the most important metric to focus on if you're looking for that PR - at any distance.

I've tried a number of different training strategies to increase my FTP over the years. When I first got my power meter I did a lot of 4-8 minute intervals and never saw much improvement. Over the course of 6 months my FTP rose from 247 to 255 doing these types of intervals. Now, that's not necessarily bad, but I didn't feel like I was truly reaching my potential. I've also always been a time-crunched athlete. I trained for my first two Ironman triathlons when I was in college, and I now spend 40 hours a week at a desk. A time-efficient training regimen is essential for me, and a lot of other athletes out there. I now follow a very simple, efficient (yet difficult) plan to increase my FTP. After three months of this training plan my FTP rose from 255 to 280. YMMV...

Step 1. Do an FTP test

Before you can do any threshold intervals, you need to know what your threshold is. I do the 20 minute test.

Step 2. 10 Minute Intervals

It's okay to do just 2 sets for the first couple workouts, but try to get to 3 as quickly as you can. Once these are 'easy', move on to step 3.

  • 5min warm-up

  • 10min at FTP

  • 5min rest

  • 10min at FTP

  • 5min rest

  • 10min at FTP

  • 5min cool down

Total time: 50min

Step 3. 15 Minute Intervals

The choice of whether to do 2 or 3 sets is up to you, and feel free to lengthen any of the rest periods up to 10 minutes if needed. Once these are 'easy', move on to step 4.

  • 5min warm-up

  • 15min at FTP

  • 5min rest

  • 15min at FTP

  • 5min rest (optional)

  • 15min at FTP (optional)

  • 5min cool down

Total time: 45-105min

Step 4. 20 Minute Intervals

Once these are 'easy', it's time to do another FTP test.

  • 5min warm-up

  • 20min at FTP

  • 5-10min rest

  • 20min at FTP

  • 5min cool down

Total time: 55-60min

Note that while each interval length will become relatively easier, none of these intervals are going to be truly 'easy'. This is all very difficult training - threshold in any sport is. Your perceived exertion is probably going to be the most telling factor as to when to increase the interval lengths, heart rate can be useful too. Most of these workouts can be completed in an hour or less, allowing them to fit neatly into even the busiest of schedules.

#Training #Triathlon

Hi, I'm Kevin.  I'm a triathlete and mountaineer, among other things.   This is where I get to share my adventures with you.  

 

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