FTP test vs real-world

I’m confused: if my FTP is meant to equate to the power I should be able to sustain for an hour, why do almost all the programs run at under the FTP (typically 90-ish per cent) and then only in blocks with short ‘easy spin’ gaps. In other words, if my FTP is currently 175, why is it that all my programs hit that for short periods - surely TR should assume that I can maintain 175 for an hour - or am I missing something? Don’t get me wrong: as a newbie, I’m finding TR to be a terrific training aid, but this is really bugging me!

That’s something you will need to build up, and if ever possible it would be very hard and you will need some recovery time.

Read some stuff here


training at 90%-ish of FTP (sweet spot) is giving you almost the same physiological adaptation, but with less fatigue and more repeatability over the workout and the week/block.

You build that duration pretty extensively, depending on your plan, to 2x20 - 3x20/3x30. This would not be pleasant at right at threshold power.

The SSB plan also builds the 90% to 95 and later even 98-99% so it’s pretty close.

Hope this helps, good luck with training!


Do a workout at :100:% for an hour and let us know how it goes!


It comes down to recovery. While you may be able to hold your FTP for an hour, the time it would take to recover from such an effort would make it a less effective training method than breaking the effort into intervals. You want intensity in those efforts, but not so much that you’re wiped out and unable to train effectively for the next week.


Thanks to all for the comments - now, I understand!

Not a stupid question, though!

FYI - there’s no set time component tied to FTP (or any physiological threshold) but it generally falls around 40-70 minutes for FTP depending on your fitness.

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