Increase intensity. Should you if you can?

If I can perform all 5x10min threshold intervals at, say, 103%, should I? At what point is the ability to perform at 103% an indication that the set ftp is lower than actual ftp?

It depends - if you can do it without getting into the red zone then retest FTP - but training isn’t about burying yourself every ride unless it is a race, you need to consider your future rides. Will completing at 103% compromise the ride the next day or a few days hence? If the answer is no and you are below 90% max HR in these intervals then bump your FTP a few points but be aware that just because you can smash it out the park one day doesn’t mean the day after will be the same!

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10m Threshold intervals shouldn’t kill you (assuming you’ve built up to being able to do that). It shouldn’t be easy, but also not soul crushing. If you can do 5x10 at 103%, maybe bump up the duration and do them at 100%. So start at 5x10, then 4x15, then 7x10, etc. Depends on your goals and where you are in your training.

The other thing to bear in mind here is that it’s more precise to keep intensity steady and alter duration than the other way around. If you’re bumping up by, say 3%, then you may or may not actually be doing the work you think you are because of the margin for error in your power meter.

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What is the workout calling for? Was it Kaweah? If so, I did that one in SSBMV2 a few weeks ago and I could feel my fitness going up prior to this. What I did when I felt like It as a bit too easy was do the first one just a bit over the target, and keep bringing each of them up where the 3rd is at FTP or a bit more and the last is around 104%or so, or whatever feels quite challenging and barely able to finish.

I found doing the above wasn’t too taxing, because it was only the last 5 minutes of the last set that was super hard. I’d say if you can do them all at 103% then you likely need an FTP bump.

My thought is that if I can do 5x10min at 103% then my ftp is set low and I should raise the intensity for the workout. If I raise ftp manually 3% I wouldn’t be able to complete some of the harder (for me) VO2 max workouts (like Bashful +2). So I am asking if I should tweak different workout types to accommodate my personal power curve? Or go with a ftp that allows me to complete all workouts (where only the VO2 max ones would be challenging)

I don’t think this means your FTP is low. You should be able to do this as is.

To me this indicates they you are probably at the correct FTP setting. Threshold (especially in shorter durations) should be hard, but not excessively hard. VO2 should be hard. You should want to quit, but still be able to finish according to the workout plan.

I think there’s a misconception about how hard threshold workouts should be. They shouldn’t necessarily leave you drained. 5x10, for instance, is 50 minutes total and that seems like a lot because it’s just below an hour and we define FTP as maximum one-hour power. But you’re resting between those intervals. You can do a lot of threshold in a workout. 6x15 is a thing, for instance (it is also not a fun thing). The trick about threshold is that once you exceed it the maximum interval duration decreases rapidly. Take the classic 20m FTP test as an example. That’s 20m at ~105%, and that’s a maximal effort. But dial it down 5% and you can stretch to an hour.

Base your judgement of where your FTP is off of the whole spectrum of workouts, not just one type.

Why do you think that if you can do 5x10 @103% your ftp is too low? You’re in the threshold zone, you’re having rest between intervals. Seems like something that someone should be able to do.

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The other thing you can do, is skip or shorten the rest periods. This is what I was doing for some of my SS workouts in SSB1 - sometimes I’d do 70-80 min. Straight omitting all the rest periods.