Does Short Power Work Impact FTP?

I’m asking because…I’ve never actually gotten through a build phase with trainerroad. I’ve always burnt out late summer when attempting build in preparation for cross season.

But anyway…due to taking some real steps to avoid that fate this year, I seem to be managing the increased load of group rides plus short power build effectively this year.

So the question…which probably didnt need all the backstory, sorry about that. Will shorter efforts such as 30/30s significantly impact ability to work at threshold, or is the main/only goal of the workouts to be able to repeat efforts at those power levels?

Side side note - I’m very surprised at how quickly these workouts seem to be paying off. 2 weeks ago it took serious willpower to gut out 20 minutes of 120% ftp 30/30s…now I just banged out the same workout structure at 125% with less rpe and lower heartrate.


I find 30/30’s Billat style to be very beneficial. I also find them easier mentally compared to longer intervals. As you adapt you could do additional intervals extending time in zone instead of raising intensity.

There is a thread on this topic in the forum that may be worth a read:

You can also Google “Veronique Billat 30 30” for more info.


What makes you think a coach is necessary to pair a workout with its performance benefit? I’m sire there’s a book with this somewhere…

Well, find the book and tell us about it! The books I have talk about the expected benefits of short-short work, but not if it will impact endurance or FTP or tempo or 5-min intervals or whatever.

I may :joy:.

This seems like the most basic of training questions. People get caught up bickering about 62% vs 64% ftp and how to test it…but what does any of it matter if you dont know what workout makes what part of your cycling faster?

maybe I misunderstood your question.

FWIW this is an article:

that I liked enough to bookmark.

And another one:

Your homework assignment is to read those and report back with your understanding.


It depends. If you already have a good duration that you can hold your FTP, then VO2Max work can push FTP up. If you have poor TTE, then this is less likely to happen.

And if your ftp is a high % of vo2max, then regardless of TTE you should focus on raising vo2max.

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Agreed. However, the definition of “high” for that is a personal thing. It is a range

Yes however I’m an outlier at the top end of the bell curve. So even when I get into the ‘normal’ range it’s still high relative to a lot of peeps.

Working my way through those haha.

Also…this question is actually more theoretical/curiosity. I’m not actually focused on ftp or even threshold power right now…I’m practicing short efforts for cross season regardless. I’m just curious what the benefit in performance would be of the workouts I’m already doing.

I am absolutely not a coach/ expert on the matter but the ideologically I’ve have got in my head is that VO2max/ Short Power Work raises the roof but its got to be supported by other workouts to stop it caving in again. So it does have the potential to Impact on FTP but if you want it to be a positive impact you have to support it with other workouts. The debate I think is whether you should support it with purely Z2 (Polarised ?) or a mixture of Z2,3,4 and SS.

You’re in your late 50s, correct?

As we age, cardiovascular fitness tends to decrease more rapidly than muscular metabolic fitness. As a result, “threshold” moves closer to VO2max, even in untrained individuals.

(Ever notice how runners almost always move up, not down, in distance as they get older?)

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Intensity is a potent stimulus for adaptation. However, specificity is a powerful (pun intended) training principle.

IOW, it depends, and the only way to find out is to try.

This is my take as well (again, not really based on anything)

VO2 pushed the ceiling up, Threshold/Sweet Spot/Endurance fills in behind it.

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Thanks, and yes I was aware. At times the WKO model has fractional utilization at 88% :scream: and this year it’s been down around 83% :clap: Definitely feel better on hard group rides :+1:

so, what did you learn?

I would say the big takeaway, for me anyway…is that it creates a lot more questions than answers :joy:.

On its surface, the study would seem to suggest that short shorts absolutely do impact power at threshold, as that group increased its time trial performance by ~5%. But as the follow up paper noted…that could be a result of the training experiment functioning as a taper leading up to that time trial test.

So…who knows. I think what I am realizing is that a lot of training is still based on guesswork and anecdotes. At least as far as training specific power zones go, anyway. I get the distinct impression this is sort of an open question…with as many opinions as there are training possibilities, and no concrete answer.


That is a great answer :+1: IMHO this is why I usually try and tell people to conduct their own experiments, or hire someone to help you do that.

This is why I’ve sort of taken the approach this year of just not worrying about it…and doing what workouts I feel like doing lol. They’ll all benefit something…

I will say though that given the fact I’ve seen a very noticeable change in my ability to perform 30/30s in a short period of time…I’m going to stick with them. A free extra 15-20 watts at the power I typically try to come out of CX corners at would seem to be a definite benefit.