Doubt about improving FTP

I am 45 years old. And followed TR training plans since 4 years ago.
I have improved my FTP, but lately is a little more difficult to make an all out effort.
My question is if keeping FTP more or less same number, can I be a better cyclist? I mean is more difficult to me to make an all out effort on a climb. Could I be better on long rides or finish much better rides with my FTP not improved?

Definitely yes. You can improve your endurance on long distances and resist fatigue, extend your TTE, improve metabolism and fat burning power, your ability to clear lactate, your repetability, ability to do harder efforts and recover - and your ftp can stay the same or very close to the current number. Since last year my ftp moved a little bit but every other aspect on the bike improved dramatically.

9 Likes

FWIW I’m 45 also and have decided to keep my FTP around the same number (writing off good/bad tests) and it seems to have made me a more sustainable rider :thinking:

For sure! but it is important that you work on those different things.
If you no longer want to work on improving your ftp then you will need to measure your progress in some other way. On the high end. That may be extending time at 110% or 120% and so on. On the other end, you can work on extending your time at sweet spot. The sweet spot progression thread is a great read.

As long as your are taking your body somewhere new you will make gains somewhere along that power curve. Be aware that just redoing a plan as is may not get you to where you want to go. Lets say for a min that you went thru base and build. At the end your ftp didn;t move much… it would not make any sense to redo the same base phase as you’ve already proven you can do those intervals for then you probably wont improve further. For example if you can do 4x20 at 90%, and you retest ftp and show that there was no increase you would not be giving yourself any beneficial stimulus by doing the early weeks of SSB.

I have just began a Build polarized plan this week (mid volume). Just to see difference gains comparing with Base and build, that I use to do. Can I extend 110%-120% workouts on a polarized plan or it would disturb the polarized per cents of plan??