FTP up by 6, SS fine but will Aerobic capacity be impossible?

Im in a dilemma because I’m due to start short power build ready for racing in the new year.
My FTP is up by 6, but although good for SS it is going to make AC and Sprints impossibly hard. I really need to get better at these, because being weak in this area is the cause of me losing out in MTB and CX races.
I kind of know what my options are, but i am interested to see what others have done to address this imbalance? Or am i forever diesel?

In 2020 I did more z2 / aerobic endurance and was surprised at how much that increased power curve from 2-5 minutes. Even set power PRs under 30 seconds and around 3 minutes, with an FTP about 20 watts lower than 2016-2017 when I had previous PRs.

More z2 and resistance training is what unlocked better results for me.

Three things:

  • You get better at what you train. You’re only forever diesel if you choose to be.
  • Don’t start out by limiting yourself! I listened to your podcast so I know you already know this, but I’ve lost count of the times I’ve surprised myself by finishing workouts I was sure would be too hard. Amber’s ‘curiosity and enthusiasm’ approach has been a real winner for me on that front.
  • Remember that the scaling TR uses for those workouts is just a starting point. If you need to dial it down to match your current ability, you’re not failing the workout, you’re getting the most out of the workout.

I think TR plans are already pretty balanced in terms of training aerobic capacity & sprint…so just staying the course will go a long way! For an experienced rider you are on a pretty steep trajectory for FTP improvement. It wouldn’t surprise me if all your energy systems might not improve at that same rate. This is a GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE! :smiley:

@Lydiagould one thing to consider if you are not already are Coach Chad’s strength training recommendations. My sprint was never good but I always sprinted best on the bike when my lower body was strongest. So a little leg strength training can go a long way to helping your spring (but I don’t think it’s likely to help your VO2max type efforts much)

It’s tough to get to the gym these days, for sure! But I think even just Coach Chad’s one-legged bodyweight squats are enough. Now, I’ve never been able to do a full one-legged squat but if you watch Coach Chad’s TR weightlifting videos you’ll see he recommends a box squat progression for 1 legged squats. The higher the box (or chair…or chair with some books on it) the easier the pistol squat.

So that’s a great exercise that you can do sans gym membership that’s going to help your sprint performance. If you’re not already doing some strength work. If you’re already doing that type of work sorry for making you read this far.


It’s only impossible if you tell yourself its impossible, go for it @Lydiagould and congrats on FTP increase :+1:

Face the music — AC and Sprints are hard!

This year I did 7 months of almost no training over FTP. The following 6 weeks I trained my 1min power. I’m not going to lie — it was severe. At first it was really, really bad, simply because my body hadn’t been exposed to crazy hard efforts. By the end of the 6 weeks I was fried, but I had a few new KOMs and new all-time short power PRs.

There is still a considerable aerobic contribution to short duration power which means this training might not be as “impossibly hard” as you think. Yes your higher FTP means higher power numbers to hit, but it also means your body is better equipped to provide that power.

That said, AC and sprint work are not the same. You’ll probably have an easier time with the VO2 work due to a better aerobic system. Sprints…just do what you can do!
(and do NOT under-estimate the fatigue of these workouts!)

You’re famous now and we’re watching so now you have to smash these workouts! :laughing:


I’m a big fan of the articles by Tom Bell and Dr Emma Wilkins over at HighNorth:


Give those articles a look for ideas, as a compliment to reviewing the TR short power and specialty plans.

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Thanks, these look interesting to me. There are definitely areas I need to improve!

Yes, I do strength work.
It’s crucial at my age, and also mobility work. I do all my gym work at home and the recreation ground my cottage backs onto has lots of useful apparatus I use for pull ups, TRX band work + cyclo x practice :joy: :joy: :biking_man:

Now that I’ve been doing consistent strength work for over 5 months, I’m looking forward to developing anaerobic capacity in a few months. Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you!

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