Can barely make it though a single 20-minute 95% interval

Being serious: you must be a V02max monster.

I wouldn’t worry about the FTP value personally, unless you’re consistently unable to reach targets across the board. Generally speaking, if you’re having trouble with one specific type of interval i’d focus on slowly building those workouts up and improving your capabilities there, rather than bumping FTP down to a level which isn’t enough to elicit adaptations in other areas.
Should also mention that sugar makes a huge difference in SS workouts. I also pay attention to what i’m eating before the workout- SS work burns through sugar like crazy, so if you’re not properly fuelled to start with it’s going to be really hard to catch up.

Maybe, I always thought I was kind of average, but now that I’m really finding out that my FTP was probably just lower than I had it set in TR… Being mainly focused on mountain biking has skewed my power duration curve towards the shorter duration.

But aren’t you guys reducing your FTP by more, and thus your MAP is further away from your FTP? I guess I"m detracting now, but what are messageboards for if everyone stays on topic.

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The FTP from the ramp - MAP test is mainly used to scale workouts. I got an FTP of 298W from my last ramp test - back in Feb when I thought we may race this year…don’t really care one way or the other now but that is a different story! Anyhow for the one and only race I did this year I put out 270W for a 54min tt. Now since that was my first flat out effort of the year I would have expected to maybe add a few watts as the season went on but it doesn’t match my ramp test…no chance of averaging 298W for an hour. However, I found that with my FTP at 298W all grades of workout felt appropriate…eg - Endurance - easy, SS - required focus, Threshold - required more focus VO2 - horrible and close to failure on intervals of 2 mins+. So the ramp test had done it’s job for ME even if I couldn’t match that power for a full hour. If I set my FTP at 270W - then SS would be at about 245W which is to low. (I did a tempo session on the road averaging 248W for 2 hours last week). So I find it useful progress measure - even if I wouldn’t call it my true FTP.

Listen to rock music with a tempo of around 90. It helps me!

“Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” works well.

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Like others have said, I need a week or two of workouts to get used to a FTP bump. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, just need to get used to the higher work load. For me, this is especially true after a recovery week… everything feels hard the first week back and even harder with an increased FTP.

No TV for me on anything over low Z3… can’t pay attention. Maybe a YouTube race video or zwift. Maybe watching the yellow line in TR if it’s really brutal. Always music.

I find 95% manageable on tuesdays coming off a rest day. Thursday’s are a different story. If I’ve gone too hard on Wednesday, didn’t fuel properly, or got a poor night’s sleep, long 95% efforts are usually a fail.

When I look at a 20 minute effort at 95%, I know it should be a sustainable power if I’m not too fatigued. It’s a mental game at that point. I remind myself that they are much easier than 10 minutes at 105%. Those are the ones I really hate because it’s not a sustainable power and the discomfort seems to build exponentially for what seems like eternity.

I’m the same boat, I’ve always struggled with sweet spot. I can now cope with intervals up to 12 mins but over that and it’s a massive task to complete - even one 20 min, let alone three. I think I’m just going to drop the % by -5 until I get more comfortable with the longer intervals for now, V02, threshold etc are more achievable so I don’t think it’s an FTP issue, just a personal weakness that needs improvement

I was supposed to do Galena +1 today but, based on how I felt and what had happened during the week, I swapped it for Galena -2. It worked well and I feel good for completing the workout and not bailing. Sometimes you just have to assess where you are at on the day and look at the alternatives available. Best thing about TR is all the alternate versions they have for every workout.



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well, I downed two bowls of white rice a few hours before my workout today, turned off the Netflix and turned on the iTunes and finished Baird Peak without tooooo much trouble, even though it is probably one of the harder workouts I’ve ever completed (albeit getting off the bike twice to refill drinks, etc.).

there’s a lot in this post! but agree with what the others have mentioned, cut the tv and shift to music. use your mental focus and fortitude for the cycling, not a tv show.

carbs are huge! esp for efforts like this. Shift your diet towards carbs the night before or morning of without gorging yourself and I bet it helps. this article may help.

recover better…depends what you’re already doing!

and yes, give it some time to adjust to new FTP, although try to keep riding at 93% if 95 isn’t feasible. get as much time in that zone as you can.

good luck and let us know when you crush it!!!


I don’t think anyone mentioned this, but allow yourself some brief backpedaling during these 20 min efforts. Doing so will still illicit the same results but introduces some much needed mental and physical recovery.

For 20 min efforts I tell myself I’m allowed a 20 second backpedal every 5 minutes should I need it. Then of course I try to never need it but I’m able to bank that back pedal later in the interval. It allows an out or a safety net when 20 minutes is staring you in the face, because all you need to do is make it 5 minutes. It chunks up the effort and pleases the mind.

I find that the first of three 20 minute efforts I need no backpedaling. Then the second interval maybe a backpedal at the 10 min mark. The last 20 minute interval do whatever is needed to survive.

BTW I hate consistent efforts as I’m an XCO racer and prefer VO2 max intervals.

I think I should mention that baling on a workout is not always even how hard a single interval is, it’s often about how likely I think I will be able to make it through the rest of the workout.

3X20@95% of a bumped FTP basically requires eating before and during the workout, I think.

Absolutely! I put down 90+ grams of carbs an hour for those. Well I actually do 90+ for every workout outside of z2.

(Carbs rule everything around me) … anyone?

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Yes! The main effect for me is that greatly reduced RPE — perceived exertion. So pushing at 95% might only feel like 90%. Of course by the end of the 3rd interval it’s still going to feel like 105% — it’s just sugar, not holy water!

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Sounds like FTP is too high. I was in a similar boat, but reduced ramp-test FTP by 5% and the TR workouts I’ve done since are manageable and don’t destroy me. Allows me to do higher volume of riding because I don’t feel as fatigued.

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