Increasing time at FTP

I recently started listening to the @empiricalcycling podcast and realized that I likely cannot maintain my FTP for close to an hour. Something I want to change.

My FTP is currently set to 290 watts which places me right at 4.5 watts per kilo. The value is based on self-assessment. Something I do successfully since about a year.

Looking at my personal records my best hour power is right at 240 watts. Mostly due to the nature of the TrainerRoad workouts which make up a hundred percent of my training. Two hour sweetspot workouts I did in the past few weeks like Galena, Tallac, or Wright Peak showed me, that I feel comfortable in the 250 to 270 watts range. Ditto for threshold workouts like Fang Mountain or Avalanche Spire. Perhaps minus the comfortable part. Though I get them done without being too trashed.

So much for context - back to my question. I want to extent my time at FTP to an hour or perhaps even longer. So ideally 290 watts for 60+ minutes.

How would you guys go about it?

I figured I would do a combination of sweetspot interval workouts, sweetspot steady state workouts (Pioneer, Cumberland, Phoenix, Polar Bear), and threshold workouts.

I figured I would gradually ramp up (%) the steady state sweetspot workouts until I eventually am able to hold my FTP for an hour or more. The intervals and threshold sessions I would use to add additional stress.

So again my dudes and dudettes, what do you think, how would you go about it. :v:t2::grin:

I take it outside and do a few 40-70 minute trial runs. You might be surprised what you can do on a diet of 3x15 or 3x20 sweet spot workouts…

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I just completed SSBHV (again). I basically lived of that stuff in the past one and a half years. I doubt I can hold threshold for that long. Though perhaps you are right and I could surprise myself. :man_shrugging:

Ok, my favourite type of training :wink: (yes, m a noob to training so take this with a grain of salt).

  1. I have posted some basic information about my experinece with threshold training:
    Threshold riding for beginners

  2. Since then with this type of training I have seen 50W FTP gain (March- till know). My TTE have increased from 40 minutes to 1h.

  3. I do not like TR workouts for this, so I am using cusotm workouts. Every workout is 97% (beginning of the training block) and 100% (later stages of the block) of FTP established during Kolie Moore test. I have started 3x15, 3x20,2x30,1x45 and 1x60. Recently I have removed 1x45 and 1x60 and have been focused more in TiZ. My latest favourite is 5x15 with 3min brakes.

  4. Riding just below your threshold is extremely nice for the recovery so I can do this 3x week withouth any problem.

  5. Plus side is that my VO2 max and 5 min power (noob gains) also goes up during this type of training. But Vo2 max training block has given me the most boost.

  6. It helps to implement some threshold riding with short power bursts (so basically O/U but with 15s-30s power into VO2 max) - it builds your character and bumps FTP. With this type of training I started with shorter workouts like 5x10, 5x12 and recently have done 2x30.

  7. Of course long, threshold TR workouts like you have mentioned will be good for you.

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You don’t know because you haven’t tried. Inside or outside, doesn’t matter. Just do it.

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Cheers mate! Good feedback and interesting post you linked to. Your training looks exactly like what the guys from the empirical cycling podcast recommended. Ditto for the FTP interpretation.

Under the assumption that my FTP is set about 15 watts too high my plan would pretty much equal what you did and do. Only difference would be that I call it sweetspot while you would rather call it threshold, right?

I guess I really don’t want to introduce a new testing protocol. Hell I don’t even want to test. I hate it with a passion. :sweat_smile:

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I guess I will try Pioneer+3 this week and see how that goes. :grimacing:

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Here I completely agree. Honestly - 15 min of threshold feels exactly the same like 30 minutes (or even harder ad with 30 minutes I get into the pain zone and it is like meditation). Basically if you have good cooling and you are able to do 3x20 you will be able to go for 60 min of threshold. But cooling is everything in this case (in my opinion). With recent temperatures I can hold 2x30 with ease or die at 15 min interval when the temperature goes up.

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Thank you.
I am big fan of Kolie and I have implementing what I can from his podcasts and webinars:)

If your FTP is 15w too high like you said - your top of SS is just threshold. So if you can do 3x20 go for 2x30 (no difference in terms of RPE but much better feel of accomplisment) and go for 1x60, you will be surprised how much you can do.

And about testing, Kolie Moore test protocol is basically 1x60 so workout like any other, no testing - just another day in the office. And I am a lot fresher after this than after doing Ramp Test that leaves me flat for at least one day.

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Wright Peak was 3x30 min at sweetspot (aka threshold with assumed too high FTP). I guess I will do as I mentioned above, lots of sweetspot and threshold work with an emphasis on gradually ramping time and intensity up for the steady state sessions like Phoenix or Polar Bear.

If you could do 3x30 your FTP probably is not too high or your TTE is way above 60 minutes. With TTE of 60 min 2x40 was extremely hard. So your FTP could be more correct than you think.

Perhaps it’s just the numbers getting into my head. Guess I will try Pioneer +2 (90-95% for 45 min) in the next couple of days and see how that goes. If it’s a success I will do the +3 (95-100%) option too. Though I can’t see me succeeding there. :joy:

Perhaps it’s also worth to take a second look at the ECP testing protocols. Though what I remember wasn’t very appealing. :smirk:

For a period of time where I had my powertap and dumb trainer I basically used zwift races as my threshold training and gradually increased my time at ftp to an hour. This was back in 2016. I haven’t really tried this strategy (or a TR workout equivalent) in a while. A few weeks ago I did an IF of 0.91 for nearly an hour so that’s the best I’ve done stringing together a thresholdish effort (this was after SSB1 and 2 HV)

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