Training Tuesdays: FTP Tests
The holidays are over, the New Year has passed (Auld Lang Syne is still stuck in my head on repeat though), and it's that time of year: FTP Testing!
Functional Threshold Power (FTP) determines the maximum effort you can sustain for an hour, and typically applies just to the bike. Usually the test is about 20 minutes, so you don't have to endure an entire hour's worth of pain, but it's just as painful as you can imagine. There are many different tests available to determine your FTP. There's a few for runners as well (for those of you able to run with power, check out this Training Peaks post about determining your run FTP, or rFTP.
In the past, I've taken advantage of indoor time trials, like the Boston Triathlon Team Indoor ITT or the indoor time trail at Race Mania, which recorded your average power for the event and typically fell under 20 minutes. True, you wouldn't be able to upload the session and analyze every speck of data that you can, but the recorded average power plus my heart rate (HR) data allowed my coach to construct a training plan using the heart rate as the key metric. The power just provided an idea of where my fitness was at and established a new baseline. Plus, it was fun racing besides my teammates.
Being a New Englander, I'm stuck riding inside 99% of the time for at least the next couple of months, and why not use the hours I'm spending on the bike to my advantage. With that, I had my winter FTP test this past weekend. My test consisted of a 25 minute warm up, 3 minute all out effort, 10 min rest period, 20 minutes all out, and 7 minutes cool down before my brick run. I was dead afterwards, but then again, I usually end up struggling for couch space with my dogs anyways.
If you're constructing your own workouts, there are workouts available on indoor riding platforms, like Zwift and TrainerRoad, that help boost your FTP over a period of time. If you don't use an indoor riding platform or you prefer the fresh air of the outdoors, there are workouts provided by different articles and sources, like Training Peaks. (See Links Below)
That's all I've got for today! Happy Training!
If you want learn more about FTP tests on the bike check out these links below:
Global Cycling Network (GCN)'s "How Fit Can Dan Get in 10 Weeks"-FTP testing explained with Sufferfest
If you want FTP Boosting workouts, check out these links below. Be sure to conduct another FTP test in 6-12 weeks to check your progress.
(General Info) "How to Improve your FTP" From GCN-GCN also has indoor cycling videos that you can follow along on your trainer
If you're a mutlisport athlete designing your own training plan, GCN's sister channel, GTN, has a playlist about that!