FTP is not your 1hr power

I think we collectively need to once and for all put this often repeated myth to bed.

In most cyclists, FTP is a lot less than an hour.

It’s very individual. You can train to increase it. However, next time someone says it’s your ‘one hour power’ send them a link to this study.


Unless it is. Discuss!


I’d say for you, it probably is :grin:


How about this, looks like that study is based on the assumption that 95% of your 20 minute test is your ftp…

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Nah. I’m just posing.

Good post :+1:

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FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power, which is defined as *the highest average power you can sustain for approximately an hour, measured in watts

.95 of my 20 min power isn’t my 60 min power.



here we go


There are a lot of FTP definition “flavors” floating around. This one (right off the TR website) is what I think of as FTP -

“From a physiological perspective, it’s the cycling power you produce when your lactate production has risen, leveled off, and then closely matches your body’s ability to remove lactate”

It can be used to approximate 1 hour power for some cyclists, but calling it 1 hour power is pretty flawed in my opinion.

The “threshold” in FTP is a good descriptor. You are at the physiological threshold of the power you can produce without going into unsustainable territory (where you start tapping into limited anerobic contributions)


Who had February in the “when will the first argument about what ftp is or is not occur” in the betting pool?


There’s a pool?!? Sign me up!


Bury it.

For some reason its repeated all over the interwebs, including on the TR site.

Yes you can.

This is the no popcorn, no bullshit, speculators go away, just the facts from a dude wearing this shirt today:

Yeah, thats me.

Thought we discussed this study on the forum before. But maybe not a dedicated thread. As far as I’m concerned, you either try it and tell your tale, or keep your theories to yourself :rofl:

In that study I would be in the recreationally trained category… based on my old guy, feeble 46 ml/min/kg vo2max from 2017, and right now. Or on absolute basis, 4.3 L/min. Estimated by both WKO/Intervals/Garmin off a not-100% 20+ minute effort last week, and the long one I’m going to talk about from 2017.

In April 2017 I was able to ride at FTP for “about” an hour - 275W average power for 47+ minutes, and 61 minutes at that normalized power. Second season.

At 61 minutes the average power was 271W so diff between NP and Avg was only 4W at an hour.

Whatever. WKO awarded me a 60 minute TTE, aligned with the NP. May god have mercy on my soul for writing 60 minutes in this thread.

Fun with human performance models:


What it took:

  • about 6 months of really hard work
  • ‘first Saturday of the month’ Jan/Feb/Mar attempts to pace 50-70 minute effort
  • a one week break in early March to let the body adapt
  • 3 weeks later a big fitness bump
  • embracing the mental suck and actually doing it on the April attempt


Overall training:

  • go long
  • then go short and fast
  • then go long and fast

One and done?

I’m thinking of embracing the suck again this year. Felt awesome, back in 2017 I was flying on Feb-April group rides, and on a May double century.

Not that it matters, back then my 60-min power was 94% of 20-min power.

Right now?

Haven’t done any long threshold efforts (>30 minutes). I (finally) have the same 20-min power now as back then, but 60-min power is 84% of 20min. Artifact of training. Timing my longer efforts to begin in March.

Wanna be an outlier because it supports your goal events? Put it on your bucket list. Set your mind to it and chase it down. Its like I used to tell my kids, get in, shut up, and hold on :rofl: They couldn’t talk anyways because driver controls the volume on the stereo… control your volume.

Just do it™


This is the “interpretation” I personally use. Ultimately though for most of us, it’s just another definition to be leveraged. It might be distinction without a difference.

FTP is just a number used to define and facilitate training zones, and to help pacing. No need to think beyond that.


More good info…


Thanks for the resource. While I don’t think it will lay the perennial “What is FTP?” debate to rest, I still think it is good to have data in hand.

What I found interesting is that not even the bulk of the pros (according to the abstract) broke the 60-minute mark. I wonder whether this is because at the pro level 40k TTs take less than that, and extending TTE beyond the duration of a 40k TT doesn’t have any benefit to the athlete.

Edit: I read the article after first posting. The TTE of some riders did exceed 60 minutes. But the averages and the 50 % that fell closest to the averages did not exceed 60 minutes.


And the fact it isn’t goes even further towards illustrating why “FTP” is pointless.

It’s all about DTP now :sunglasses: :rofl::rofl:

“The perfectly paced, fully carbed 20 minute effort just doesn’t exist in cycling” :rofl::rofl:

The amount of time I can stay focused in a discussion about FTP is a lot less than 1 hour these days :slight_smile:


All i know and care about is i can do 105% of my ftp in a 20-30 min effort.

Your indoor or outdoor FTP? Fresh FTP or your FTP fatigued by 500, 1000, 2000, 3000 kj’s of work?
Hot FTP? Or cold FTP?
Overnight fasted FTP or FTP three hours after a huge bowl of pasta?
Ramp test FTP? 8 min derived FTP?
43 minute of power FTP or CP 72 FTP?

If any of those are 5% out then your 30min power might even be your FTP :man_shrugging:t2:

I’m being facetious of course but it does rather prove the point. What IS this mythical number and why should any of us care these days?


That’s how I both see it and use it. FTP is the numeric value I use to plan my training and measure my achievements with.