Does 45 minutes at IF>1 means new FTP?

Hi, yesterday in the Tueasday Chaingang/Paceline, I managed to get an IF for 45 minutes of 1.04 (FTP of 280 W, NP for 45 min of 291 W and average power of 270 W).
I am quite happy as this means my FTP is well set and I am able to express it for long periods of time, but does it mean my FTP is probably slightly underestimated - or should I not pay attention to this small difference of 10 watts?
Thanks in advance for your experience!

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Suppose it depends on how hard it felt but an IF of over 1 for an hour would mean your FTP was set too low.

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Hi,

Great news. Sounds like some new PR numbers.

Couple of questions. How long was the ride? was it race intensity?

Garmin cycling computers used to have this feature where if you have a new 20 min power and 0.95 of that number is higher than your FTP then they’ll tell you that you might have a new FTP. what was your best 20 min power in that particular ride? its not the most accurate way to know your FTP buts its an indicator without going on to a ramp test.

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Well done, try it and see and adjust if necessary. You can achieve a higher FTP outdoors with air cooling and momentum so don’t be surprised that for indoors you settle on something in between.

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I’d issue a bit of caution - because IF uses NP (normalized power), which is some sort of rolling 30s average, it is possible to “break” it, depending on the length and power of your pulls.

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Hey, thanks for your reply.
The hard part of the ride is 30km (18 miles) full gas, consisting on continuous rotation at the front of a double paceline (chaingang). The fastest group usually takes about 45 minutes (above 40 km/h or 24/25mph)
For me the perceived exertion builds as the ride progresses feeling really really hard towards the end as there are some kickers where one has to do sometimes over 500 watts for 20 seconds when already riding at threshold.
The best 20 minutes average power for the ride was 280 watts.
The effort is not continuous as when one is at the front is usual to do 350 to 400 watts and when moving backwards about 200 to 250 watts.
My question is basically oriented to know if I should train based on a new FTP.

Two things you could do:

  • a proper FTP test (the same you’d usually do, if you use the TR ramp test, do that)
  • just bump your FTP 5W or 10W manually, and see how you get on with your training sessions. If they get too hard, just drop it down again.
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Congrats on your hard ride and noticeable improvements!

I would say no to shifting your FTP number. Spiky power can lead to a high NP bc more weight is given to higher numbers. This usually doesn’t translate to your ability to sit on that power constantly for x minutes (NP is a smoothing algorithm to estimate training load - translate a workout into the equivalent to ‘as if you rode at x watts for the time allotment’
to then calculate TSS).

Its a good sign that youre fit (in the sense you can do repeated high intensity efforts and recover for the next), but shifting all your training numbers up might lead you into riding harder than you should almost always (since easy endurance, recovery pace, etc are all suggested as a % of FTP).

I personally have huge 1-5min into 10min power (absolute numbers and w/kg). Intervals.icu gives me a pro-level-eFTP based on them. However, I definitely could not average the eFTP for an hour. I could maybe hold ~92% of it if lucky.

Your IF is NP/FTP. You only rode 45 mins (i.e. you would have to sustain the intensity for 33% longer to hit 1hour, which sounds like alot and is). I wouldnt read too much into 10w over either. If you had IF of 1.5 (for 60min), that would be pretty obvious, but otherwise its just some positive feedback that your fitness is close to where you estimate it.

Also, I think theres some merit to keeping your training zones constant for a while. You will have bigger jumps in fitness when you are less fit, and smaller movements with training/consistency (diminishing returns). You might consider upping your wattage on key interval days and see how that feels, while keeping your endurance riding and recover paces constant. Thats what I tend to do so I dont accumulate too much fatigue following a jump in fitness

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We covered some of the limitations of IF in a recent blog post I’ll link below. But to summarize (and essentially echo what others have said) IF is always measured in reference to your FTP, and FTP is, at least in theory, based on the power you can produce for an hour. That means if your FTP is set correctly, you should be able to ride above 1.0 IF for durations below 1h.

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Just to come back to this, just had a look at my last chaingang ride - IF 1.04 for 1 h, but av Power is only at 92% of FTP. Haven’t really tested FTP for a while, but I’m not convinced I should bump it up much based on this.

Don’t bother. If you bump it up you’ll eventually come around (or you’ll burn out if you don’t adjust back down if necessary :stuck_out_tongue: ),
if you leave it → Cycling Memes and Jokes - #121 by stevemz

I think it is quite common to see IF > 1 on certain short rides or short races. The other factor is that a lot of people put out a little more power outdoors than indoors (cooling is much better outdoors, for example). Plus, riding with others, especially in a race can also unleash power you didn’t know you had. Lastly is also the issue of repeatability. When I am very fit, I can repeat hard efforts much more often or sustain them. During some of our team rides we have a sprint point where we will give it the beans after 1+ hours of near FTP. During the last ride I did much better in all respects compared with earlier rides (1,000 W sprint + 5-minute power PR compared with 700 W sprint and exhaustion :wink: ).

So I don’t think it necessarily means you should up your FTP. Think of it this way: imagine you were testing your FTP on a really, really good day, way above average. But you need to revert to the mean, and on average or bad days your FTP is too high.

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Leave your FTP alone. The plans are designed for you to only increase your FTP after completing a block

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The short answer is no. This does not necessarily indicate an increased FTP. I would suspect such a ride had an appreciable variability index. As such, you will often find races with IF above one, even if the duration is in excess of that mystical one-hour mark. I think your intuition that your FTP is well set is probably the right one. It is not worth increasing based on a breakthrough workout without an assessment. There is a difference between repeatability and high level power and FTP. You may have increased your FTP, or, you might just be the type of athlete that is more efficient at clearing lactate. Think repeated VO2 max efforts vs TT effort. Depending on your rider profile, you could achieve both rides at the same duration with the same IF, however, one of them might feel substantially harder than the other.
TLDR, just wait until your assessment. If you are feeling strong, use the alternates menu to select a stretch or breakthrough variant of your next workout and see how things go.

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I guess it depends if you could have kept going for another 15mins.

I had a similar thing last week.
I’d done 2x8min ftp test on Sunday so ‘knew’ my ftp was 293.
Then on Thursdays chaingang, my NP hit 300w for the first 45 mins of the ride (so 1.02 IF) and then I promptly got dropped :rofl:

I TT’d the remainder as hard as I could go and my NP for the 1h03 ride was 292 so vindication that my FTP test was accurate.

Had the ride ended at 45mins, I’d have been kidding myself to think my FTP had gone up.

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This.

I’m one of those who sees a dramatic difference outside compared to the trainer and have seen multiple rides with IF>1 outdoors. Add some hills and even more dramatic. It’s not the PM… checked against the Neo multiple times.

It’s multi factorial but for me the mental game is a huge part of it. Comparing a 500Wx1’ effort indoors where all I have is the pain and the seconds ticking down versus “bridge up to that move and you’re going to be in the money” … there’s no comparison.

The way I look at it, use the ramp test to set your indoor TR workout levels and go outside to play bikes :slight_smile:

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