Ok, I have an arbitrary goal of getting to a 300w FTP before 2023 rolls around.
(it’s somewhat arbitrary - I have a Full and half Ironman on the calendar in 2023)
Here’s the facts:
-Currently sitting at 285 with about 8 weeks to go.
-285 is my ‘career high’ and I’ve never had an FTP with 300 or higher
-Current volume is about 4-5 hours a week on the sustained power build low volume plan (it ends this week)
-I am an experienced rider (7+ years of structured training on and off) with 2 Full Ironmans and 7 Half Ironmans under my belt in the past 7 years
-All training will be done on my Cervelo P2 TT bike on a Saris H3
-My final 8 week block of training will start on November 14 (which gives me 7 weeks) and I think I can squeeze in 4 rides a week (3 @ intensity and 1 endurance ride) I will starting training at the first of the year for Ironman Chattanooga in September and Ohio 70.3 in July and the Cap City Half marathon in April (if all that info is relevant)
My questions for the masses:
Do you think its possible to hit my 300w FTP goal by years end?
What plan would you go with for the next 7 weeks to get the biggest jump?
Would you do a 6 week hard plan with a week of recovery and then do AIFTP at he end of the recovery week?
Or would you do 7 weeks of hard training and then do AI at the end of that week?
Do you think my 4 ride/week split is enough to push me up to that 300 with only 3 rides a week previously?
If i’ve left any information out, please let me know.
Would to love to hear the collective thoughts of the TrainerRoad hive mind, and would love it if one of the ‘pros’ from TR would chime in! Thank you! @Jonathan @Nate_Pearson @chad
Not likely…sorry. You have a fair amount of training history at this point…the low hanging fruit / big jumps are gone at this point. Going from 285 to 300 in 7 weeks is going to be a tough ask.
I’ll defer to coaches on the best approach, but my guess would be a lot of threshold and VO2 Max work is what you will need.
Till end of the year, especially if you sit on the highest ftp ever, on 5h wk…rather doubtful. Only thing you can do is pushing volume 7-8h (in terms of percentage it is a big jump but in terms of riding it’s 1-2 2h z2 rides) and see what happens (just add z2 not intensity). If you can’t it will be pretty hard to push more as the volume is main driver of adaptations. I had 15W jumps of ftp with increased volume, but it takes 1-2 months to manifest.
If you train for the test, you could probably get there on a ramp test. There is no way you could trick ai ftp into it or with a 20min or longer test.
And you’ll want to to do anaerobic capacity work with good recovery. Might want to up the endurance too.
Do some reading on anaerobic capacity work.
Start with 1min all out efforts with FULL recovery. Take like 10-15min between efforts of easy spinning.
another workout is 30/30s. Something like full explosive max effort 6min 30/30s. No erg. Just close your eyes and wait for the lap beep. Then you’d want to start the specificity aspect of it. 2-5min bouts at ramp test power/ etc.
It might not be a “real” ftp but hey you did it at least.
You sound somewhat similar to me in terms of training history and FTP. I’ve broken 300 a handful of times and the key was adding in more volume. Interestingly though when I’ve gone from low to mid volume TR plans I haven’t seen big FTP boosts and am a little skeptical of adding in the extra hard ride a week vs keeping 3 quality rides but getting in appreciably more endurance zone volume.
To answer some of your direct questions
- Don’t think you’ll hit 300 if your 1 additional endurance ride is ~1hr. Either need to add 2 additional endurance zone rides or make the 1 be enough volume to add a novel stimulus
- I don’t think anyone can answer about when exactly to do the AI test without knowing how the algorithm works (so you’d need a TR employee and they probably won’t tell you), but doing your AI detect after your recovery week is more consistent to how the plans would normally work
- I think based on your event types you should actually be doing Sustained Power build or another round of LV SSB, but if your main focus is on arbitrarily increasing your FTP then I’d probably do a Short Power Build block or maybe even the Criterium Specialty plan. Would be VO2 and Anaerobic focused.
Beat me to the punch. I was going to conclude with a disclaimer that I can almost guarantee the Podcast crew would tell you that using AT to progress WO levels is far more meaningful than arbitrarily increasing your FTP. Being at a high progression level for relevant training zones for a long course triathlete probably prepares you for your goal events much better than jacking up your FTP by hammering a block of anaerobic in. Pretty sure I’ve heard Chad describe that strategy as building “brittle fitness” on a number of occasions.
Not that I’m judging. It was important to me to break the 300 barrier in the past but it was a more important mental barrier than a physical one. I’ve since drank the TR kool aid in that FTP alone as a single metric is an outdated mindset and FTP+Progression Levels provides a far more holistic view of fitness.
Given your training history, I don’t think there is much to change there.
How is your diet, alcohol consumption, sleep ? Those 3 can be real game changers too.
There’s some good conversation in this. I see two approaches this could be broken down to:
- How far can I get in 8 weeks?
- I want to hit 300w, how to?
I’ll sign up for #2 with you, and you’ll have heaps of takers on that journey. Not sure what the PL equivalent is of this succinct FTP goal Only TR people will know what PL’s are, and only those ‘in the know’ will understand that the higher PL is where the refinement happens, and if you keep bumping FTP the PLs go down, and you’re back to doing basic workout formats again. It’s a ninja coach move to restrict FTP updates to 30d or more, to set focus on the medium term, not immediate gratification.
Technically no one knows for sure and if you’re willing to experiment in the name of fun then I would do the following:
- Take a rest week
- Try a block of V02 work and endurance. Make sure you recover well and don’t push too hard on any of the easier sessions. 2 V02 workouts a week with the other rides being endurance. Perform this for 2-3 weeks but paying attention to recovery and how you feel.
- Another rest week
- Time to test your FTP and don’t rely on AI, as after all, you won’t to know for sure.
Ultimately, this is the likely the right answer of the goal is to hit a sustainable 300w FTP. But it takes time and is not likely achievable in 7 weeks.
Hence why I recommended threshold and VO2 max work…IOW, training with more specificity towards simply hitting the number in a short period of time. But even then, I don’t think it is likely in such a short timeframe.
A few thoughts…
First you need to define how you are going to be testing. Is this the TR Ramp test? 20 min all out? Zwift ramp test?
As many mentioned above you’ll need to practice for the specific test you’ll be doing. I know people are saying no way, training history, and all that… but I say go for it. It’s for fun and is something to strive for.
Things to consider:
You’re going to need to get your max watts up. (Using arbitrary numbers here…) but if your max for 1 min is 600w it will be easier to sustain higher watts in the ramp test than if your best is at 500w. For this you’ll need anaerobic sprinting.
You are also going to need endurance. Can’t get tired early. A couple of longer rides will be good but to overly necessary, your training history will help here.
If doing the ramp test, it is a grind in the upper steps. You will need a couple workouts that make you really want to quit. You gotta practice this. Maybe something in the“Rendezvous” family, and for a little torture crank up intensity over 100%.
Peak for the test. As mentioned above be sure to get lots of sleep, and go all-in for this. Training, mileage, etc. are out the window.
It’s going to be tough but this is supposed to be fun right? So have fun with it!,
Good luck. Please post back and let us know how it goes!!
This is a fun idea.
I think the comments above around ‘hacking’ your FTP essentially is the way to go. It might not lead to long term power gains. But I think the idea of cramming for a ramp test is kinda cool. I think the only way you’ll get this is if you actually take the ramp test, as it would be hard to ‘trick’ AI FTP detection.
What I would do, based on your time constraints, is a polarized approach. 1 or 2 key VO2 Max sessions each week with every other session a pure Z2 ride. Be rested for those VO2 sessions and crush them. Push your PL as much as you can each time. Try and do two mini blocks (doesn’t quite fit with 7 weeks; 8 would be ideal) and then smash your ramp test as best you can! I have no idea if this would work, but I’ve been able to outperform AI FTP on ramp tests (by 2-10 watts) and that’s likely something that’s unique to each individual.
On top of this, I would be finding the ultimate playlist for the ramp test. It might sound dumb, but I have found if I start Eminems’ ‘Lose Yourself’ around minute 16 on a ramp test, then it helps me get past the 19:30 and into the 20:00+ range. Find something that gets you stoked and have that playlist ready to rock. Might be worth a few watts alone.
If you end up doing this, please post back with what you did and how it went!
Probably your ftp is not 285 to begin with.
Just ace the test. If you fail take 2 days easy and try again until it is done. It is good training too.
I really appreciate the honesty of this thread - I’m at 380(392 aiftp) and would like to see 400 by the end of this year so if anyone figures out 285->300 I’d be interested in the secret.
My advice is you should set your erg to 300 and go 1 minute longer each workout. Alternatively do 285 for an hour and add 1 watt each time
That’s a “race” effort that is all-out and would need time he doesn’t have to recover from. Maybe do this once but gotta cram for the test without killing yourself for the next one.
There is always an anaerobic capacity part to any form of effort, and this is also the quickest fitness gain you can get, usually. However, as a long-distance triathlete, you might not have the body type for it - on the other hand, there might be low-hanging fruit there.
For the test itself, I’d pick the ramp test or the 8-min test. The ramp test, I’d make shorter by setting the FTP to your goal FTP before the test - you want to spend less time at and above FTP, to not waste your anaerobic power beforehand.
With 8 weeks to go, I do wonder if 3 weeks of gym work, and 4 weeks of anaerobic capacity work (plus a week of rest) would be a plan? I have no idea if gym stuff can take effect that quickly, it probably depends on your training history.
I think it’s in theory very easy, you will have to do something different then you have been doing. In most cases that comes down to more volume or more intensity. Since the low volume plans contain quite some intense workouts (vo2 mixed with sweet spot and threshold), I would opt for the safe way: add volume.
If you are time constraint and can’t add a 3-4 hour endurance ride, it’s not likely that you will break the 300. You will probably not be recovered enough to get benefits from more intensity.
Some things to consider…
If you really want to give this the best chance of success, treat it like a race. Make sure you are properly rested for the test, so consider a short peak and taper in the two weeks before it.
Being time crunched, you need to make every single effort of every single session count. You can push it up from the bottom (adding volume) or pull it up from the top (increasing intensity). If you want to increase your FTP from a ramp or 20 min test, being short on time (both only 7 weeks to the test and 4 rides per week), I’d be forgetting the Z2 efforts. I doubt there will be time for those to take effect. I would focus on the high intensity efforts that will accumulate time well above threshold.
You need to be sure you are rested properly, so don’t be tempted to do junk sessions just for the sake of it. Make your hard days hard, and your easy days really easy.
You dont have to keep it strictly to 7 day weeks. You can make a training structure suitable to mini blocks for the amount of days you give yourself, no rigidity for it to be set Monday to Sunday structure.
You have x number of days, allow rest/taper days before the test.
To raise FTP, you need to raise your maximal aerobic power. Do VO2 work with endurance sessions. Allow rest for adaptions.
More muscle → stronger legs → higher FTP.
To be honest, you should do a lot of VO2 work. Not a predetermined number of repetitions, do them till collapse.
Collapse means, hr reached the maximum in the last 2 intervalls, breathing is heavy and/or hyperventilation.
No erg mode, power can decreased a little, focus on the hr and breathing.
Do 25-30 min low z2 on the end, to cool down.