when to test ftp

When and How Frequently Should You Test Your Cycling FTP?

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Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • When is a good time to test FTP?
  • When should you NOT test your FTP?
  • How do you know an unscheduled FTP test is warranted?
  • How much of an FTP change (+ or -) is necessary before changing FTP values used for training ranges?
  • What to do with your new FTP number.

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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Adam Pulford  (00:08):

Hey, train Wright fans, coach AP here, your host. I know I promised some guest interviews coming up, but I had some travel this PA the past couple weeks, um, with our national championships and couldn’t align schedules as, as well as I needed to, to get that done. So you’re stuck with only me for this episode once again. Um, but that’s actually not true. It’s it’s me and you on, you know, the listener here on this episode. And really, as I got to think about it today, it’s me and all of you, because I’ll be answering some questions that all of you have asked, uh, centered around FTP when to test, when not to test and some other stuff around data management. So the goal of answering your questions through this podcast is to help simplify your process of how to train, right? And of course, that’s the exact cheesy pun you were hoping to hear today on the train right podcast.

Adam Pulford  (01:09):

So let’s get right into the show. Uh, <laugh> all about testing FTP before I actually answer that question, I was thinking about it and it’s like, do we really, are we testing S FTP or are we estimating FTP? So the quick qualifier here is when people are talking about a typical FTP test, most people are referring to a 20 minute time trial or 20 minute all out effort. We then take 95% of the highest average power. We, we take that number and we plug that in for your FTP and you’ve got training zones. So this is what most people are referring to when they say an FTP test, but it’s important to know here that we’re actually measuring 20 minute peak power. And then we are estimating FTP based on that 20, that 20 minute peak power. So what we get out of this is actually some rich data because 20 minute peak power that’s performance, that’s average power that you are producing the calculation to get that FTP is, is still really good.

Adam Pulford  (02:21):

Okay. Where I use that for my athletes. And I advise most people to use that if they’re not using some more advanced analytics. Um, but overall, I think it’s really important to kind of dissect that in your brain a little bit more and to understand truly what you are measuring <laugh> and what you’re estimating to get at some of these training peaks. Now, keep in mind when I’m testing my athletes, I typically use, um, kind of a week of testing. So it’s essentially three separate days to test the anaerobic and the aerobic energy systems Spann out over four or five days. And this gives me a more accurate model derived FTP, along with TTE or time to exhaustion, as well as an overall, um, performance or where the athlete’s performance is sitting from sprint power, all the way to threshold power. That’s how I do it.

Adam Pulford  (03:17):

But whether we’re testing for a few days or whether you’re testing for one day of that 20 minute power, my advice moving forward on this podcast about the timing of when to test still pertains to both. So essentially it doesn’t matter, you know, what sort of fuel testing you’re using. Um, the timing of it is the most important aspect. Okay. So I’ll walk you through how I would map out the times of year and maybe the, the particular weeks of how to optimally, um, test for performance based on these methods. And really we’re getting at, um, testing peak power durations to estimate that FTP. So you can kind of track your fitness, organize your training zones and oh, oh, wait, we go. So now to the question, when is a good time to test your FTP first, just on a high level targeting times, typically I’m shooting for around two times per year and maybe three, the first time period for this is actually after some time off.

Adam Pulford  (04:25):

So say the off season, and we’re starting to get more organized about training. We’re getting and we’re, we want to do some training. And the goal to do this is to reestablish baseline numbers for, um, anaerobic and aerobic training zones. Okay. To establish those zones, you wanna set the training zones afterwards and you wanna determine if there was any D training, uh, coming off that past season or not, which there probably should be if you did, uh, your transition phase or your off season appropriately. Okay. The anaerobic engine will, will kind of wind down a little bit and that’s fine. Um, you’ll also get some indicator of where strengths and weaknesses are sitting and just see how the engine’s running. It’s a great time of year to test that for the pros. Uh, this may be November or December to kind of depending on what their next season race schedule looks like, and if they even need it, sometimes, you know, if we are kind of rolling off that kind of off seat world championship, typically in September, so they take some time off and then we get back going and, you know, in November we can do that test.

Adam Pulford  (05:35):

But if all we’re gonna be doing is bunch of zone two work, maybe it’s not needed. Okay. So I’m just giving you some, some general aspects, um, based on some timelines here for amateurs and masters, this may be January or February to do your test. And that’s because I have a lot of people, especially north America who take some time off around the December holidays and everybody’s ripping, ripping and roaring to get back to it in January. So, uh, first, first week or first couple weeks in January is, is a good time period to test reestablish those zones. And wait, you go. So second test, when should that come? Well, after several cycles of base to build is when I typically do that second test for the, for the year, the goal with the second test is you want to test your training. You want to see if what you did in your training actually worked or did it change anything.

Adam Pulford  (06:34):

And from there, you’ll get some insights of maybe what you need to work more on or less on something like that. You’re gonna reset training zones if your FTP changed. And for me, I, I take that time to the way I do it again, uh, with my battery of testing, I dial in what is called the eye levels on w K oh five, which are really kind of the anaerobic portions of what the athlete does. So that it’s a little bit more, um, specific, uh, in the way of targeting or descriptive in what the athlete is is doing. So I take that, that test and it helps me to identify a little bit more of how, how the athlete is going at that time. So for professional athletes, you know, maybe this is before, um, some of their spring classics, or maybe if they come back from that and we have a nice training block or a, a a time period where we can get some training done, um, after a significant amount of training in the first part of the season, from there, you know, it’s just so much kind of racing that I’m not testing that type of athlete, um, very much throughout the rest of the year for amateurs and masters.

Adam Pulford  (07:45):

This could be any time, uh, again, after some of that big block of training and typically for, especially like north American athletes, it’s gonna come in like April or may. Again, that second test I wanted to become. I wanted to come after a few phases of base to build. So again, April may and before some of your higher priority races, and it’s a good time, a good time of year to do that, because if you’ve been doing your training, you will likely see changes, especially in the aerobic glycolytic energy system or what we call kind of threshold power FTP. So it’s, it’s really good to reestablish those zones at that point, so that you can then train more properly and, and know what you need to do moving forward that third test. When does that come? Well, it doesn’t always come and it’s only, I would say like asterisks if, if needed.

Adam Pulford  (08:44):

Okay. So when, when would that happen? So if I’m getting feedback from an athlete, or if you are a self coached athlete and you are taking good notes and kind of monitoring yourself over training periods, if that athlete is giving me an RPE, that’s different from the training zones in that means something’s change changing, and it might be time to retest. So this could happen for, uh, various reasons after months of training or racing things change, right. Or if you haven’t been training and racing, uh, the lack of all of that, you know, could change your, uh, FTP as well. Okay. And using FTP as the hinge point of what I call quant quantitative data or the numbers, and then using RPE rate of perceived effort as the hinge point for the qualitative data, meaning, uh, all the other stuff that happened in the ride.

Adam Pulford  (09:39):

Those are my two things for determining if it’s a good time to test or not recall that the using the RPE scale scale one to 10, 10 being a max effort where we do our field testing and one being a super easy effort, uh, threshold or zone four, as we refer to as say on training peaks or on this podcast, a lot of coaches use that that term threshold should feel like a seven or an eight outta 10 for most people. Okay. Or at least again, that’s the way that I, that I coach. So that is when everything’s synced up properly. That is where the RPE and the FTP should correlate there seven or eight outta 10 for that FTP. Now let’s look at some examples of when this third test may, may be needed. Okay. So the first example, just hypothetical an athlete tested in January.

Adam Pulford  (10:34):

We did a bunch of zone two and three, uh, for six to eight weeks. And then we did a block of threshold training in zone four for four to six weeks. We jumped to some group rides, races and all this kind of stuff we test again and say, uh, you know, nothing, nothing has really changed kind of in that April sort of time period. So we continue on, we do a bunch of racing, everything is going good. And maybe in a few months, I’m, I’m seeing a 20 to 30 wat higher normalized power for maybe like 40 or 60 minutes. And maybe you come back to a cycle of zone four training, and they’re hitting those powers. And they’re saying, coach, that feels more like a six out of 10. And so some days maybe even like a five, if I’m running at the, the low end of threshold.

Adam Pulford  (11:18):

And so what I’ll do is I’ll just say, okay, great. Let’s freshen up. Let’s retest and away we go treat it like a hard workout, but let’s see where that number, where those numbers are at, because maybe some of that racing or those group rides, or maybe we just need a little bit more, um, time to develop that, uh, glycolytic system. Okay. We just missed it by a little bit, or maybe, you know, just had a little bit more recovery. So we need to retest because if the perceived effort’s off, I want to, I wanna know if the quantifiable data is off so that, you know, the numbers that we’re using from the, the power meter, as well as heart rate, um, can be dialed in for more accurate in, in better training. Okay. So example, number two, the athlete’s been, say racing, shorter stuff.

Adam Pulford  (12:02):

So short criteriums, maybe cross country, mountain bike races on the weekends, and the volume has been low. Okay. Cuz they’re, they’re traveling say on the weekends and then there’s really no hard intervals, necessarily midweek something that’s like getting a training effect. Maybe you’re just doing enough to maintain because we’re just saving for the weekend. So we do that over couple months, something like that. And the feedback you’re getting from the athlete is those long threshold efforts. Those are, those are starting to hurt. Those are more like an eight or a nine out of 10. So my advice to that is freshen up. And if you’re going to train, so if you got a block of, you know, training coming up, uh, retest, do a 20 minute field test and estimate that FTP and, and dial it in. What you probably will see there is that you actually just need more volume and you probably need some of that extensive threshold work, but that’s, that’s typically what happens if you’re not doing kind of longer threshold stuff or higher volume is maybe the aerobic side of things is, is really booted up.

Adam Pulford  (13:07):

And you’re, you got a nice little snap, uh, to you, but your FTP can dip when that happens. And that’s a scenario where the RPE may be higher, uh, for the given power at threshold than it needs to. And that’s, that’s another good time to retest. It’s finally a third example. And this happens, uh, to, you know, self coach athletes as well as coach athletes is when was the last time you did a field test? When was the last time you did a 20 minute all out effort? I don’t know. Did we even do the one this year? Let’s let’s test <laugh> so that’s, that’s also a good time. And I would say, uh, when was the last time question mark, but if the RPE, you know, feels high for the given power or low for the given power, again, I keep in mind, we want that perceived effort or some sort of, uh, other data point qualitative or quantitative to indicate that we need, uh, we need more information, so let’s go test.

Adam Pulford  (14:00):

All right. So let’s assume that you, oh, real quick. I just wanna say when I say fresh and up like a good time to come into this, um, uh, testing period, it could only take two or three days easy to shake off some fatigue from the previous training, and then come into that field test effort to say it’s a one, one day, 20 minute, all out effort. You don’t need a full recovery week. I think for most people, unless you have been traveling and racing and training a bunch, or you’re just super stressed out at work or something like that, you know, on the week. I mean, make sure that you’re freshen up. Like I said, three, four days or so. Um, and then do it on the day where you have the most bandwidth, because when you’ve got other life stressors going on or travel or, um, you know, kids events or something like this, it kind, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is.

Adam Pulford  (14:55):

What matters is that the mind and body are fresh and clear going into it. Good, good night’s sleep couple days going on in a row, no hard intervals or anything like that. That the day doesn’t matter. I want you to take it. I want you to take kind of control and do it on the day where you feel most Russian red rock. So that’s, that’s how I do it. For most people. I’ll run through some scenarios, uh, later on here or just in a few minutes in the podcast as well. So let’s assume that you’ve just knocked out a 20 minute, uh, field tests and your, your estimated FTP is higher now. What’s next. Well, you wanna update your FTP on all of your stuff. It’s good. A reminder here that whenever you do a test and you, you see some changes in your physiology, you want to record that FTP on your training peaks, on today’s plan, whatever you use to manage your, organize, your training, you wanna put it on your garment, your wahoo, whatever training device you use, kind of during training.

Adam Pulford  (15:59):

And also don’t forget if you are doing, uh, riding with virtual platforms like swift or Roe V. Something like that. The reason why we need to do that is because oftentimes, you know, these devices, they’re getting pretty smart. Everybody wants to grab your data and then push you say notifications or insights on like how to, um, <laugh> how to change your training, right? Everything’s kind of dinging all over the place, uh, trying to give you that feedback in the hinge point. Again, it’s all coming around this, this FTP number. So if you found that you added say 20 Watts to your FTP, and you didn’t update that on a few of your devices, your numbers are gonna be off, I’ll run through some ex some of those examples here later on, but it’s a really good reminder that, Hey, don’t forget. And there may be like a lot more places to update this than you realize.

Adam Pulford  (16:56):

Um, I have athletes a lot, like after a week of testing will, um, update and be like, oh, don’t forget to do on your wahoo and all this kinda stuff. And there’s usually either the swift or something that doesn’t update. It’s kind of a problem. So for me, and the analytical tool that I use WK, oh five, there’s also, you can update your indoor and outdoor power as well. Uh, sometimes that’s, that gets me and some of my athletes be shaking their head, cuz it’s like, say their CTL is off on training peaks online versus, uh, N K oh five when I send ’em screenshots. And that’s that’s because if you’re doing a bunch of training inside and I forget to update it on the indoor, those numbers can be off. So again, you just want to think through your process of how you’re managing your data and make sure that anytime you make a good, significant change that you update your data, as you go quick note is if the athlete does their tests outside, um, and I change that FTP power for their outside, say power meter or whatever.

Adam Pulford  (17:57):

Um, I, I, I do the same. I keep the same number as inside, unless the power meter is different, that they’re using indoors. Um, and then what I’ll do is they’ll simply just say, Hey, use perceived effort when you’re riding inside, or if you really want to, um, update your equipment inside. So <laugh> the, the power data is the same indoor and out, but typically for threshold and below, I don’t see much discrepancy for a well trained athlete. All right. Let’s run through a couple scenarios of when not to test because just as I think it’s just as important to know when not to test as it is to when to test. So first, first and foremost, oh my gosh, do not test too often. Don’t do this. Why? Well, it’s unnecessary because changes in physiology is really what we’re trying to test here. And those changes take longer than you think it should happen.

Adam Pulford  (18:54):

What I mean by that is if we’re trying to make a change in your threshold power, for most people, who’ve been training three years or more, that’s gonna take several cycles to do, unless you’re you got like super detrained or something like that, you know, meaning you took months off. We’re not gonna see huge changes in that threshold, um, in four weeks. Right? So if you’re, if you’re testing every month, that’s too much. That’s what I’m trying to say here. You want to test, I, I said two to three times per year. Some people test four times per year, which is like every quarter. I think that that’s a little on the heavy side personally. However, if you’re not doing a bunch of group rides or races or something like that, to give you some other feedback mechanisms, it might be fine. And also it’s not gonna hurt your physiology necessary.

Adam Pulford  (19:46):

It’s it’s a little bit more between the head. Um, but that brings me to my next point is if you test too, too often, that can create a lot of like mental stress. And I have a lot of athletes that just hate field tests. They just, they don’t, and there’s a lot of excuses that can go on to avoid them, right. Because it just, it definitely costs more mental stress to just get super amped up, to give a max effort, um, on the day, um, especially when you got work and other stuff going on, you’re also, you know, you’re testing, comparing yourself now to, you know, um, last year or something like that. So there’s a lot of perceived stress that can go on with that. So it’s better to be more patient, do your work, train, rest, and test when it’s appropriate test on these time scales that are a little bit longer.

Adam Pulford  (20:37):

So you can see the true changes in physiology. So why would an athlete do this? Why, why would an athlete more, most, most athletes there hate testing? Why would somebody test too often? Honestly, I think it has to do with some low confidence. Okay. Low confidence in themselves, in their training, in the process that they’re following and it can lead to misinformation. Therefore they want to kind of test themselves too much and they don’t see the big picture. It’s if I would use an analogy as like testing is using binoculars to, to look at more detail, when you’re looking through the binoculars too often, you can’t see the big picture. You can’t see all the things right. When you’re staying in training and exper, um, and reviewing that training, um, going back and forth with the coach or taking good notes and all this kinda stuff.

Adam Pulford  (21:30):

Um, that’s the bigger picture. That’s the non binoculars. Okay. So having, I think, you know, low confidence or lack of education, like if you think that you can train for two weeks and see a change, it’s really not how it works for a lot of people. The exception, there is some juniors that I coach it does seem give ’em some dose of training for a couple weeks and their FTPs up like 50 Watts <laugh>, but there’s a lot more going on there with, uh, how the body’s changing hormones and all this kind of stuff. But, um, so just why, you know, if you’re testing too often, I’d say give yourself a good check of why that is typically in my experience, test less for greater success when else is not a good time to test when you’re sick. So if coach has a field test scheduled for the week or whole week of field testing and you’re sick and you’re like, bye, golly, uh, I recovered last week.

Adam Pulford  (22:22):

I’m I’m gonna do this testing. I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna change anything. I don’t wanna get off target. Nah, that’s not the great way. That’s not a good way of thinking, uh, text, call your coach, tell ’em what’s up. Tell ’em that you’re sick because we’re not gonna get good numbers, which is kind of the point. We’re not gonna see the changes in physiology because you’re not at your best. So don’t test when you’re sick also don’t test when you’re overly fatigued. Okay. I talked about this before, where you wanna freshen up before you roll into, uh, field testing week or, or day one day field test, you treat it like a race, right? Only, except that the, the glorious part is you can kind of choose. You can kind of choose when that day is versus the race where, you know, you know, the race is set, so you gotta be ready to go for that.

Adam Pulford  (23:09):

But if the, if you have some fatigue that you need to shake off, either you went longer on the weekend because your, your friends had the awesome group ride going on and you come in and you’re supposed to field test on Monday. Well, just change it because we wanna be fresh. We wanna be ready to go. We don’t want fatigue rolling in and skewing that data. We wanna see the good changes that we, that we made in the training. So recover first and then test when you’re fresh. You also don’t want to test before big races. Now, as a coach, I’ve made this mistake before, because I mean, I’m SI I was silly and young, you know, you wanna, and you wanna see all the changes that you made in training, right? Um, so typically, you know, the athlete may be feeling good and the perceived effort is lower for the given power.

Adam Pulford  (23:58):

And as a coach, right? My shortcomings was like, oh, let’s field test. And let’s, let’s see what those numbers are at. Well, again, there’s a lot of psychological stress that can go into that. So getting all like revved up can before the big test that can kind of steal some of the mojo before the race itself, also coming into a race, you wanna focus on the specificity of the race, say you already, you know, the perceived efforts low for the given power. Cool. That’s exactly what we want, but there’s a lot of specifics and nuances. And maybe even like mental scenarios that you can focus on rather than field testing, right? That’s a pretty silly thing to do before a big race. So scrap it, save it for afterwards. And it’s gonna be a way better scenario for your athletes or for you the athlete to do so after big races, this actually could be a good time to test, or it could not be a good time to test, depending on the time scale.

Adam Pulford  (24:53):

I, I have no exact recipe for this, but after a big race, uh, what I mean by this is like, you’re definitely not gonna do it the day. You know, the day after a race, it’s typically not a right, obviously, um, a big race, meaning physically, mentally, you’re just spent not a good time to do it after the race. I think that’s pretty common sense, but just for the record, but much of this depends on how big the race was, how stressful it was, both physically and mentally. And if you knew you had some really good changes going on leading up to that big race, obviously I just walked you through why you shouldn’t test it before, but let’s say you did a race, a big gravel race. It was six to seven hours on Sunday. You take a week off, right? Just recovery week, easy rides, rest, get some good sleep.

Adam Pulford  (25:42):

And by the next Saturday should be, should be ready to go. You could do a field test by then. You know, if you just want a weekend to kind of regulate and then hit it hard, you know, Monday or Tuesday of that following week. So maybe eight to 10 days. That’s good. You know, so that’s a time period where after a big race, a timescale for recovery freshening up and then testing, that would be a really good thing. However, if it’s something like Cape epic, I’ve had athletes do Cape epic, um, or myself do Cape epic, several athletes. I mean, for the past like five years. And I I’d say so it’s an eight day mountain bike stage race. That’s for a lot of people in the world, especially us in north America. It’s like halfway around the world. So getting there, doing it, recovering from it, traveling back, it’s a huge stress.

Adam Pulford  (26:28):

Hopefully you don’t get sick. Typically you do all this kind of stuff. So the recovery scale for after something like that is at least two to four weeks for physically and mentally and ho. And that’s the best scenario. There’s a lot of like emotion that goes on after doing huge events like that. Um, especially like Ironman athletes where you’re just so blown out at that point might not be a good time to test. So you’re better off just like easing back into training. And then once you have some like good feels and good momentums going on afterwards, then we, then we can retest. Okay. So I wouldn’t be in a rush to test after something that big and everyone’s a little different, but I think, you know, my point here is if you feel like you need to test after a big race, don’t rush it.

Adam Pulford  (27:16):

Any gains that you had going into that big race, there’s still gonna be there for you, especially if you got through the race you’re, you’re healthy. And if you recover well afterwards, taking care of yourself, sleeping, good food, it’s gonna be there. So don’t rush it. It’ll be there when you do fresh up and test. So some of the common questions after or around testing, these are some, um, from online coaching forms that we’ve gotten some submissions to, uh, the, um, the newsletter at, uh, CTS and also, uh, from the podcast itself. So I’m just kind of having a compilation of, uh, common, common questions here. There, it’ll be kind of fun to rip through. So why is my TSS on swift different than training peaks after my FTP test? So again, this, this goes back to updating your FTP on all platforms. So let’s say that you increased your FTP by 15 Watts, right?

Adam Pulford  (28:16):

You updated on training peaks, you updated on your wahoo device and you forgot about it on, on, um, swift. Well, for every ride that you do now, you would have more TSS on swift than you would on that training peak space. So then all of a sudden those, those numbers start to get off. Your CTL gets off and things become inflated on one hand and deflated on the other on different time scales. Okay, you roll that out for a month or two, and you can get some significant, significantly different trends going on. And then it’s, sometimes it can be hard to correct on training peaks online and WK oh five and stuff like that. There’s, there’s ways to go back and change that number to where then you have historical good accurate numbers. Um, but in terms of like using swift and things like this, just make sure to update it on the day or when you do catch it, put it in there should be good.

Adam Pulford  (29:07):

Also just know, even though training peaks in, in your swift account may be linked. It doesn’t and it pulls in workouts for the given day. It’s not gonna pull in your updated FTP. Okay. So both on training peaks and swift, there, there, those are manual things that you need to plug in. Okay. Other question is training peak notification says my FTP went up by three Watts. Should I change this online? No, I would not reason for it is significant changes in your FTP are not to that scale. 3, 2, 3 Watts. It’s very granular. It’s not to that precision. Okay. So additionally, um, so what would be a good scale then? You know, eight to 10 Watts, if you’re starting to get those training piece notifications, that’s like, Ooh, that’s going up cool. But still that’s probably getting it out of a ride file where depending on what happened in the actual ride file, whether it was a sh you know, kind of on the shorter scale or longer scale of things, um, there’s other nuances in there that training peaks uses to push you that notification.

Adam Pulford  (30:15):

I think it’s really good. I definitely look at those. Um, I think it’s good to keep it into all of the kind of data that rolls into your decision making of when you adjust things and how to train. However, as a coach, I’m not, I’m gonna be slower to change that FTP number. And I’m typically not gonna do it until we test okay. In a controllable setting. Cause what happens if you get super stoked in a group ride or a race, you get off the front and you just like smash it for 20 minutes and it was the peak power of your life. And you’re in a, you’re in a rush to change that, that FTP. So you do you up it by, you know, 10 wants or so then you come back and do your training typically. And I’ve done this before too. Again, making mistakes here, learn from my mistakes.

Adam Pulford  (31:00):

You put that in. You say, okay, well you did it in training or you did it in the group ride or the race. Now you have to do it in training. And it’s like, coach, I can’t, it’s like the lower end feels like a nine outta 10. It’s like, well, you did it before. Do it again. Eh, see, see what I’m saying? There’s a lot more that goes into that power production. And when you’re really, when your emotions are flying, all this kind of stuff, um, that can go into producing that power. Now it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t chase that power or reproduce it eventually you should. So maybe making a few watch changes or something like that to help the athlete get there. That’s good. But I want to see that performance happen either in a testing scenario or I want to see it happening or multiple times before I make these changes.

Adam Pulford  (31:43):

So it be a little slower to make those changes and I think you’ll have greater success. Okay. Third question. Probably final. So we can kind of wrap up here. Um, my new FTP is 250 Watts up from 230 Watts. Does that mean I can do 250 Watts for one hour? Not necessarily is my answer and likely not. This question assumes that FTP is exactly one hour and we know that that’s not true. If you want to learn more about that. Listen to my episode on TTE and FTP, the quick and dirty answer is that FTP is not always the power that you can hold for one hour. It can be as little as 30 minutes and up to 70 minutes, okay. For your FTP and all, that’s all dependent on how you make your power, what the current training status is. And some muscle fiber type stuff, a newly in my experience, a newly established FTP is likely shorter than one hour.

Adam Pulford  (32:40):

And usually it’s like 30 to 40 minutes. So if you get that new FTP and you’re like gonna go target a 60 minute hill climb or a 40 K time trial or something like that. And you think that you should be able to do that, slow your horses, cuz you’re probably not gonna be able to hit that power duration, new, new, or green FTPs is what I like to call them. You need to take some time to train extensively to develop that you can, you can get out to an hour, maybe 50, 60, 70 minutes, but it takes time to train that. So just don’t be in a rush about that either. Um, if you want a more accurate measurement of your one hour power, go do a one hour tap trial. All right. Well that was pretty cool. I, I like answering your questions. It’s, it’s super fun to me.

Adam Pulford  (33:26):

And also kind of along the same vein of the past, uh, three episodes or so that I did it on metrics trying to keep these a little bit shorter. So, uh, you know, in summary to kind of bring this thing home, many people are familiar with the term of FTP and it’s become a very popular metric. It’s also become a very confusing metric. So it’s important to know some of the nuances of what goes on into measuring it or better yet estimating it as well as how best to manage FTP in order to train properly testing your physiology is the best way to estimate your FTP, but changes from training generally move on slower time scales than most people think or wish to believe that that actually occur. Therefore you don’t need to test very frequently throughout the season. Testing at appropriate time periods will help you stress less and as well as help provide the time needed to see the changes in training that we’re putting all this effort into testing too often is a two kind of narrow window of time to really see any of these changes in your physiology.

Adam Pulford  (34:37):

And it can also lead to some unreal expectations for the athlete testing in the right scenarios with the right timing puts you on the path to train. Right? Finally, you’ve made ch if you’ve made changes in your FTP, remember to change your FTP number on all the devices and software gadgets and widgets that you’re using to analyze in monetary training. Otherwise you’ll have inaccurate data which goes against really everything that we value here on the train right podcast. So that’s a wrap for today. I hope that helps to clear up a bit more about, uh, functional threshold power when to test for it and how to estimate your FTP. Thanks for joining us this week on the train right podcast. We hope you enjoy the show. Make sure to visit our website@trainright.com slash podcast, where you can find social links, bonus content, and more about CTS. Go ahead and subscribe to the podcast. So you’ll never miss a show and leave us a rating on iTunes until next time. Train hard train smart train, right?

 


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