If you are concerned try a few 10-15 minute threshold intervals at 97-100% FTP. You will know very quickly if that new FTP is accurate or not. (Should be doable but hard - breathing should be labored but consistent, and RPE of 7-8/10 on modified BORG scale).
In principle, it is a good idea to verify your FTP.
But if you are new to the sport, you will likely not know what it feels like. Ditto for RPE, people who don’t haven’t had the experience of really pushing themselves might perceive an effort that is not even threshold as all-out. After several years of structured training I can tell quite well where the tipping point is in my muscles, but it really took a while.
My advice for someone who is new is: can you complete the workouts as prescribed? If the answer is yes, then don’t fiddle with your FTP.
I feel this is really bad advice for someone who is new to the sport. Even experienced riders need to train specifically for an effort like that. It is also based on a misunderstanding what FTP is and how it is used in training.
Except it is not the original definition. The original definition by Coggan is that FTP is the power at Lactate Threshold 2 (= AnT in the text below) measured in a field test. This is a relevant paragraph from Friel’s Training Bible:
I have the Kindle version on my iPad, so I cannot give you sensible page numbers.
The second paragraph quoted above is probably where the consistent misunderstanding FTP = hour power comes from. However, Coggan was clear in the text (feel free to read it in its entirety to make sure I am not leaving out important context) that there is more than one way to determine your FTP. That includes ramp tests, which are probably the most common method these days. Moreover, Coggan’s initial test subjects were highly trained road cyclists, i. e. people who were training for TTs in the first place.
Without specific training, even trained cyclists will likely not be able to hold their FTP for the duration of a 40k TT. The requirements of a TT are super specific and doesn’t translate well to other workloads cyclists may encounter. Training your TTE at a specific power level could but need not be desirable, it all depends on your goals. IMHO it is just a completely different metric than FTP.
Read more closely: he wrote that he rode 10k, but never did structured training. Associating power levels with bodily sensations takes time and you need to spend time in specific zones.
I’m in agreement, with the caveat that if you tested low on the ramp test, you’ll maybe be able to do the workouts as prescribed because they’re too easy and unproductive. Sure, AT will slowly address that with PLs, but it’s suboptimal in the short term.
In that case, I’d maybe then follow up with a 2 × 20 @ 100% (Gray +5, say) which should probably feel Hard or Very Hard if FTP is about right. Probably a case where Erg mode is a good idea for less-experienced riders (like me) to get a nice even pace for both intervals.
Also, everyone should do 2 × 20 every now and again.
I agree completely. 2 x 20 or even 4 x 10 minutes at FTP is a good way to gauge whether your FTP is set correctly. Usually, at least 4 x 8 minutes at threshold should be served up rather quickly in the training plans. I‘m going to do my 4 x 8 minutes in my first week of my polarized block.
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