5s, 1min, 5min, FTP vs. Training Plan choice

At the moment in TR there is only one indication of our power - FTP. It doesn’t tell us lots about what type of cyclist we are.
There are tables to find out what we could be good at by comparing 5 second, 1 minute, 5 minute, 60minute max power. Flat, Down sloping, Up sloping, Inverted V types of cyclists.
How do I decide about Training Plan?
I think of myself as an average club rider, not good but also not bad at everything. If I learn that I’m e.g. good at sprinting should I opt for some type of Training Plan over another? Should I try to work more on my strengths or weaknesses? Is it completely my own choice what I do?

If you look under career > personal records you can see your power curve. This doesn’t answer the ‘what am I good at relative to everyone else’ question but it can give you a sense of your capabilities and where you could improve.

Since they don’t currently track historical weight they can’t associate a particular effort with a W/kg to give a reasonable comparison to the general population.

@Nate_Pearson are we going to get weight tracking and W/kg normalization on workouts at some point in the future? #feature-request

W/kg normalization and weight tracking would be a waste of time to develop as they have no impact into setting training zones.

For example say you have a FTP of 200 watts and weight 100 kg. This would give you a

W/kg = 200 watts/ 100 kg = 2

Now say you lose 5 kg but maintain the same FTP. Now your W/kg would be
200/95 = 2.11

Now because you lost 5 kg would you increase your workout intensity by 5.5% = (2.11-2)/2?

It doesn’t make sense does it but maybe I’m missing something so let me know.

Same with tracking your weight over time. How would you change a training plan or intensity knowing that you are losing 1kg/month on average. I can’t think of a reason but if I’m missing something let me know.

Also, If you are looking for an app to help with weight loss I highly recommend https://www.myfitnesspal.com/

Yes :slight_smile:. Few other things to do first.


I’d want to know if I’m getting watt/kg personal records as I train. Sometimes power stays the same but weight goes down; that’s still progress.


@EricVH , the power curve can tell you exactly what you’re good at. You just need to compare your records with tables. And those are available…
But then what do I do with this knowledge.? Are there plans for specific types of cyclist?

I probably didn’t explain my issue correctly because most of you answered didn’t answer it.

It’s more common to choose a training plan based on what you want to be good at, not necessarily what you are good at.

Think of the old saying; race your strengths, train your weaknesses.

That said, there is nothing wrong with identifying what you are best at and perfect that even more. But in that case I would still identify what the needs are for the races that are the A priority races. You might find that your best power compared to others are 1 minute, but that your race requires a good 2-3 minute power. In that case I would focus on increasing the duration I could hold 1 minute power.

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Thanks @Torneng
Good point with. I’ll reconsider my priority events and train accordingly. :+1:


This link is pretty interesting, particularly the table at the bottom with all the percentile lines. I think someone said it already, but race to your strengths, train your limiters. Choose events that you want to do well accordingly. For example, no point targetting a hilly race because you have an FTP of 320W if you weigh 84kg. I think the point I’m trying to make is there is more to understanding your strengths and weaknesses than a power curve. In Joe Friel’s Cyclists Training Bible there is a chapter on self assessment that’s really interesting to take.

At the end of the 2017 season, I looked back at what I’d done well, what I wanted to achieve and where I needed to improve. I could always climb OK for a bigger racer (84kg at the end of 2017), TT reasonably well, and had a half decent sprint. I wanted to target two specific races as A priority and realised that no amount of increasing power would do it. A lot of work on weight loss and race simulation efforts (5min and 10 min efforts) did the trick. At 73kg with a broadly similar FTP figure, I wasn’t dropped on a single climb this year. What was different though was my power curve looked very different. Much bigger 5 and 10 min avg power, 20 min and 1 hr power almost the same, and very little drop between 1 hr and 2.5hr power.


What type of workouts did you use to increase your 5-10 minute power? I’m in the same situation 83kg, 355ftp, I’m a long distance triathlete and excel at TT’s but struggle to hold onto surges in Crits and road races.

5min: VO2max
10min: Threshold

Same, 5-7’ vo2s but outside not on trainer

Let’s face it. For 99% of us we have plenty of room to grow in most/all areas. Rather than what are good at (which will probably be linked to whatever type of training you’ve done recently - short hard stuff, longer sweetspot stuff etc)… think about what you want to be good at…or more importantly what you NEED to be good at for your target event and choose the applicable training plan for that.

I know on podcast they’ve spoke about this several times about tracking 1 min and 5 min power etc (and you can still do this) but generally just shows what type of training you’ve done recently rather than some deep down meaningful info.

It was all done outside in the summer. There were four sessions that I would do…

  1. Sprints. Slow to about 15kph and then sprint hard in 53/17 for 15 sec. 10 reps, 5 min rest between.
  2. Short hill reps. Climb of 2 mins and ride up around 150% FTP. Roll down and repeat 5 times.
  3. Long hill reps. Climb of around 7 min ridden at around 120% FTP. Roll down and repeat 5 times.
  4. Chaingang. 1hr race effort paceline ride.
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As nate pointed out… you might be thinking about this the wrong way. How about if you went through a big training block and had fairly good compliance, but FTP didn’t improve very much, but weight did go down. So far my biggest ftp/kg increase was in a block where I was busting my butt, had a few failures and gained 5 watts, but also lost 5 lbs. So it’s not to be prescriptive, but more descriptive as it shows the whole picture of what was going on in the past 4-6 weeks.

and yes I realize I’m responding to a post from October.

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Using your power curve to determine “what you are good at” only makes sense to me if you limit the data to outside rides & races where you are riding at your limits. The power curve generated by TR rides is pre-determined by the prescribed power and interval settings in the workouts. This is especially true if you train in erg mode where your power is more closely controlled. You could calculate a plan’s power curve based on the TR workouts in that plan and your actual power curve should match it closely. You would need to create TR workouts that tested your limits at the various time intervals to create a true “what are my limits” power curve.

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Looking at outdoor rides power curve may not give you the full picture of your capabilities. It depends how much data you have and how hard the efforts were.

I am a long time cyclist but have very little experience with structured training. My choice of training plan is dictated by the type of events I prepare for, what I enjoy most. I may not get good results because what I like and what I’m good at may be two different things.