Extending Ability to Ride at Higher Percentages of FTP

Howdy all,

I’ve used TR to extend myself up to an FTP of 320W and a W/kg of about 4.1. My riding is primarily solo expeditions or long gravel races (where there’s a distinct possibility I’ll still be riding solo) with a heavy focus on riding at a high percentage of FTP for a long time. I’d like to focus on this skill for a block but am having a hard time finding a good way to do it.

I dont have enough time to commit to SSBHV I and II despite the fact that SSBHV has exactly the composition I’m looking for.

SSBMV hits a lot of intensity and not as much Sweet Spot so also doesn’t seem to be the right fit.

If I’m looking to extend my ability to ride between 88-95% of FTP, are there other training progressions that anyone has used to target that on a Mid-Volume hour per week commitment?

Thanks everyone!

I would take the long workout progression from the SSBHV plans and fit it into the MV plans. So effectively swap out 1 or both of the 90 minute weekend workouts in MV and replace with the 120 minute weekend workouts from HV.

Other option would be doing MV and swapping out one of the weekend rides and just doing a Wright Peak progression from the -3 variant all the way through to the +2 variant.

Pick the workouts you like from HV that fit your needs. If you really want to focus on the SS, in my personal opinion, the plans have to be customized. Try this progression or do threshold workouts like 3x15,3x20,2x30 etc. This will improve your muscle endurance and you will be able to hold your SS for longer.

I was doing a lot of sweet spot work beginning of this year with goal of really extending time in zone. Believe my profile is open, you can see the work I was doing end of December and January.

It was all progression of gradually building interval duration and worrying less about driving power up - holding 88-94% for longer periods of time. I would say doing the long FTP test protocol Kolie Moore FTP Protocolsets you up well to establish your end goal time in zone.

Example - FTP of ~300 held for 35 minutes. By the end of a block I was aiming to accumulate 200% of that FTP time (70 minutes or so).

Was a progression of 3x15’ > 3x20’ > 2x30’ > 3x25’. That progression was over the course of about 4-5 weeks. Then moved on to a similar progression at FTP.

I haven’t had nearly as much time to train as in the past and average around 8 hours per week - so slightly higher than mid volume but you could cut the endurance rides down.

Hope that’s helpful

Edit: basically what @jarsson said…perhaps I should read the whole thread first :slight_smile:

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Is it really possible to extend your ability to ride at LT without also increasing your power at LT?

Or are you simply boosting the power you make at a given lactate level, thereby reducing RPE at a lower power? As the supposed quote goes, it never gets easier, you just go faster (which isn’t really true).

Or does training and racing simply have such an effect on mental strength that RPE (which is negatively correlated with the ability to hold a power for a given time) decreases faster than power at LT increases?

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Interesting thread, wanting to do this as well.

That has been exactly my thought as well! If you’re just increasing your power at LT you’re able to keep up longer intervals but it’s effectively at a lower LT % than if you would test for it right now for instance.

I personally think you need to hit your genetic/time constraint ceiling first where your power at LT will not go up (much) more so you’re effectively trying to keep that same power for longer durations.

Last year, I did a LT test at a sports science lab and I asked what percentage of my LT I should maintain during long climbs, in this case the Marmotte. (Glandon, Telegraph, Galibier, Alpe d’huez). Climbs over an hour. He said 90% of LT. Well, I clearly could not hold that for so long. More than 4 hours of climbing is not sustainable at that level, at least not for me.

You should be able to hold 90% of threshold for an hour… at least once… if you stay on top of your nutrition and hydration.

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Both. If you are not maxed out you will probably gain watts and also be able to hold your LT for longer due better muscle endurance and lactate tolerance. 3 months ago I was able to hold my FTP for 40 minutes, recently my FTP was substantially higher and I was able to hold it for 60 minutes with the same RPE. So win-win situation;)

Agree - 90% FTP for an hour should be doable even for a newer cyclist.

This is exactly what I’m trying to do right now. I was looking at my power numbers on Intervals.icu using the comparison chart and noticed my short power was great, but anything 20m and longer was abysmal. So I’m focusing on extending my time at SS/Threshold. I like the progression @bbarrera posted, as right now, 15m intervals at SS are all I can do. I think part of it is mental, but I need to work at my endurance.

On a side note, my biggest FTP jump (11%, 240->268) was after a really solid block of nothing but SS and Threshold work. I took the SSB II MV plan but swapped out the VO2 work for more SS or over/unders.

There is a study about this, though the subjects are Masters runners. Long story short, they test MLSS at T1, start to run at that intensity twice weekly. Progression is attained by making the intervals gradually longer. On average, the subjects improved both tte and mlss pace (ie power) when retested at T2.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8906006_Training_effect_on_performance_substrate_balance_and_blood_lactate_concentration_at_maximal_lactate_steady_state_in_master_endurance-runners

Yeah, I can keep it once for an hour, but I could not do it 4 times in one ride with only a (fast) descent between the climbs.

This is the big factor for me. I get my FTP by assessment so I know I can hit the number. But I dont know how long I could 95% of that power for without extra training in that domain. If working on it causes me to increase my FTP as well, then hot damn that’s a win

Thanks @jarsson and @Weary1 for the those progressions. I’ll have to give them a shot. I think I’m going to do a mesocycle of 3 weeks of SS progression focusing on muscular endurance and then a rest week and then repeat as necessary.

I have written short post about my experience with riding qt threshold. I am a completely noob to cyclingo so maybe not everything will be relevant but maybe you will find something helpful:

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How do we look at your profile and see what kind of work you were doing in December and January?

Good one,think I can do that. But i still think my FTP is seta tad too high

Sorry for the delay!

My account should be public

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