IF above FTP during a crit race

I did a 1hr long Crit race last night and my IF was 1.08, avg power was 269w and NP 309w. My FTP is 286w as of 2 weeks ago. Does the high IF of 1.08 mean much?

I can post the rest of the ride dataif helpful.

Any help reading into this data wpuld be appreciated.

No, because normalised power (which goes into IF) doesn’t handle short bursts of 30s or so well. It’s known as “NP-busting”. If you have short accelarations in your ride (as you would in a crit), NP isn’t a good measure, so IF isn’t either.


I would argue the opposite - IF is indicating just how hard those accelerations made that ride. If you looked at average power you wouldn’t think it was tough in any way.

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I think trying to fit a typical crit into terms like FTP is round peg/square hole. ~

FTP is the steady power you can sustain for 30-70mins, if VI+IF is high this is not steady state so you can’t compare it to FTP; there is a high anaerobic contribution (above threshold/sprints) and lots of below threshold (sitting in/recovering) when average power and NP are quite far apart. Also the final sprint in a crit can really push NP up.


You’d typically look at VI for that I think, but yeah, a much higher NP than AP can indicate that. But lots of people confuse the two, and think a high NP means they can up their FTP. That’s generally not right though. The equation for NP is some sort of weighted 30s average, it just gets thrown out of whack when there are lots of accelarations.


This is actually a good use-case for IF. If your IF is starting to push 1.10 for an hours racing/riding then it is a useful flag to check if FTP has increased.


Sorry, but no, it’s not. If your average power is over FTP, I’d agree.

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Normalized Power, Intensity Factor and Training Stress Score | TrainingPeaks


Weird. I’m pretty sure he’s said exactly the opposite in some of the webinars. (Edit: just realised I was thinking of Tim Cuisick’s webinars, maybe he sees it slightly different?)

I don’t understand how that can work, it’s easy to create high NP if you have a good sprint, but that doesn’t mean you can hold higher FTP.

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For sure, over shorter durations NP / IF are much less useful but for rides around an hour IF is a good indicator of how hard the ride was - if your NP is that much higher than your FTP then it’s a decent indicator that you’ve gotten much stronger as there will be a ceiling of how much work over FTP you can complete in an hour.

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Dunno, for me this happens when I do FTP with bursts or so outside. NP goes much higher than it should. Don’t think it says much about my FTP, maybe more about FRC.

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Certainly wouldn’t assume you can just bump your FTP up, but it’s an indicator that it might be worth retesting (or hitting the AIFTP button!).

Think also depends on whether your computer is set to ignore zeros. Mine is, and as a result in a crit where I’m spending quite a bit of time freewheeling through corners or in the draft and getting some recovery while putting no power down, I can see really high NP. Strava seems to include the zeros as Strava “weighted power” in races or group rides is always quite a bit lower than my Garmin NP, whereas in solo rides with minimal coasting they’re pretty close.

Not sure, but you may be thinking about the general caution mentioned to avoid using NP for smaller intervals, while it is quite valid for longer duration like races and workouts.

  • I think they say to largely ignore NP for individual intervals or efforts shorter than 5 minutes, but could even be up to 20 minutes. I am sure one of the others here will know the info and update as needed.

  • Point being that NP is likely quite valid in an instance like this and as others mentioned, raises questions about FTP for one thing. Considering the differences in how and where that FTP was determined, and the circumstances of the event are worthwhile to fully understand this situation.

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I think the part you’re pushing on is “can” vs “does.” Can it mean your FTP is higher, absolutely. DOes it mean it’s higher, not necessarily. As you note, it can be skewed if you’re an anaerobic / sprint monster

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If you set your cycling computer to ignore zeros isn’t that going to give incorrect averages for both average power and normalized power? For example you could do all your non zero power at 110% FTP and then rest doing no power as long as you want between them and the resulting average would be 110% FTP.

I got my FTP from doing a 20 min test on the road with maybe 5 corners in the duration of the 20 mins in which i had to coast for maybe 5 seconds each time.

The race was crit on a wide, smooth motor sport track for the duration of 1 hr. I was in 4 different break aways which got pulled back each time, eventually finishing in the bunch. Avg HR was 167 for the race and outside of the race my max HR is 191.

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I do have a much better anaerobic engine in comparison to my aerobic abilities. But im certainly not a pure sprinter. Anything sub 2 mins is my cup of tea.

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Maybe. Maybe not. If the athlete has high anaerobic repeatability coupled with high anaerobic power output (thus a high FRC/W’), NP relative to FTP can be very high without it meaning anything about his threshold going up. If you somehow ride fairly steady or the race isn’t particularly surge-y, you can get some info from it.

VI is just NP/Avg Power, so you and @splash are talking about the same thing. So if I saw an IF of 1.08 and a VI of 1.3 for this race, I’d go, “Yep, that was a crit!” and move on with my life.

There is little utility in trying to figure FTP improvement by looking at NP relative to FTP (IF) in criterium racing for most people, but… it depends… on the individual rider and the specifics of the race.