Base + Short Power vs Base + Sustained

For non-racers just lovers of cycling. Best route to STRICTLY increase FTP?

Base + Short Power Build then repeat
Base + Sustained Power Build then repeat

Thanks in advance.

Well if you think about what FTP actually is: the power that you can (in theory) sustain aerobically, I’d say that sustained power build is going to be the one for you. I did it myself this spring/early summer, and I saw a good increase.

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I did this this season. Saw a bump from short power build. Not much from sustained power build after the second base. My theory is I was too long-term fatigued to see the gains.

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Interesting, seems like I read or heard somewhere that Short Power ( vo2 Max ) breaks your ceiling sustained power ( threshold ) allows you to hold it.
Don’t know if it’s true but that would seem to me like. If my FTP was 200 then Short Power would help me get higher but for short periods of time. Then sustained would help me hold it a lot longer. Then repeat and break through your ceiling again and so one.
But this may not really help with racing because there’s a lot more to it than just a high FTP. What are your thoughts

I guess maybe because we are all so different… lol

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Depends what your body enjoys doing, I reckon. I love Short Power and do really well with it. Sustained Power is a weakness for me so it’s hard, but if I can improve it then it would improve my FTP too. Do both but focus on your strengths because you are a non-racer.

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If you strictly want to raise FTP, I would go Sustained Power Build. If you look at the LV version, it has 1 VO2 workout, 1 ‘threshold’ workout and 1 over/under workout per week. Short Power Build has workouts that target short / hard anaerobic efforts and repeatability of anaerobic efforts, which isn’t going to help so much with the FTP / sustained high power output. The VO2 work in Short Power Build would, but I think the time / effort used on the anaerobic workouts could be better directed if you only cared about boosting FTP.

Another option might be to alternate Sustained Power Build and General Build or throw in a custom build that you put together yourself. I have done Sustained Power Build and will do it again, but right now I am doing a VO2 focused custom build inspired by the 1-3min @120% and 5-9min @105% intervals from SusPB. I don’t spend time on short power work because I think the time / energy is better spent on other type of workouts that have better bang for the buck for FTP improvement or raising my max aerobic capacity and hopefully paving the way for future FTP improvement…


Great advise. Thanks

A lot to unpack there . Thank you

Maybe: base+sustained then base+general of whatever my flavor is…lol

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Hmm, I think it would be dependent on your training history and individual physiology (limiters etc.)
I got a really big FTP bump from doing short power build recently- I’m a long course triathlete so those systems were relatively untrained, and there were a lot more ‘easy gains’ to be had- and, while those might not all be explicit improvements in FTP, changing up the stimulus and focusing on my weaknesses made me a stronger athlete across the board and impacted my entire power curve.

It’s also worth considering which plan you think you can execute to the greatest degree of quality- it sounds unimportant, but things like enjoyment and motivation can really affect your performance within a workout and your overall consistency- both of which have a huge bearing on how much any plan will improve your FTP.

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I’m no expert but I think in broad terms you need to check your fractional utilisation. If you are at the upper limit you need to raise the roof (short power). If not then sustained power.

SB will improve your FTP. SPB will improve your ramp test.

Yeah this. Once you can’t raise it using sustained efforts, do a v02 block and then repeat.

both of these will be fine. they will help you improve.

like yeah targeting energy systems is important but people probably overrate the importance of the difference between these plans and approaches (esp because i don’ tthink they are as different from each other as, for example, the plans labeled “specialty” are) and a secret is that despite what you hear, anything that works your aerobic system will build your base.

so, feel free to pick whichever one you think you’d be most interested in or will enjoy most. If you are really, really trying to optimize then sure it might make sense to be more systematic about it, but we don’t have to be optimization bots all the time. we’re in this for fun, so do what you think would be fun. Enjoy yourself, experiment. if you work hard and are consistent you’ll get better regardless.


Great points, I was just trying to attempt to get the most bang for my buck… so to speak. Lol.
I might just go with short power then General then maybe low volume short again while mixing in outdoor riding as well. It’s really hot here and then we will be going into winter. So I e got about maybe 40 weeks of good hard fun training…:grimacing::grimacing::grimacing::grimacing:

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@ChrisCycle, I’m having the exact same debate in my head. I naturally gravitate toward longer sustained efforts and much prefer a fondo / century to a hilly road race or a virtual online race (sorry, never done a crit). As a result, I have next to no ability to generate meaningful short power (bailed on Clark a couple of weeks ago, and those were only 12-second long sprints).

FWIW, I think I’ll do Sustained Power Build next. I have one week left of SSB2 and am going to try to do one or two self-supported centuries before fall. One official event is still on the calendar but three other potential ones cancelled this week. After that I’ll probably do a three-week base block (rather than six) and then Short Power Build. Might even do some virtual online races in the fall / winter.