Keeping FTP Same and Aiming 10/10 Progression vs. Updating FTP and Hovering Around 4-5/10

Hello all,
Do you think keeping FTP same at app for a long time and aiming high level progressions like 9-10/10 is a good approach?
Or should I update my FTP every month and keep my progression level around 4-5/10?

Thanks :slight_smile:

I’m an advocate for higher PL’s but I think you’re leaving some gains on the table going for 10’s across the board.

Have you looked at some of the 10 workouts. They’re brutal. And if you can knock them out across all zones you’re likely training at too low an FTP.

In general I say trust the system and its scheduled tests.


Am I missing something here? Surely it doesn’t matter - they are just two different ways of expressing the same thing?

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As progression increased, interval powers are increasing, interval durations are increasing and rest intervals are shortening. But when you increased FTP, Just interval powers are increasing.


More importantly - by the time you have your weakest at 10 you’ve probably been leaving gains on the table in your strongest portions of the power curve. It seems like PLs are meant to ensure you don’t get overblown with one type of workout (lets say sprints) while being under challenged in another (endurance or SS).

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This type of PL chasing (Fill 'em all up!!!) is exactly what they don’t want people doing. It’s unlikely there is a rider profile or fitness need aligns with matched PL across the board, not to mention aim for 10’s. Bad idea IMO.


Basically what OP is aiming at is the same as a C student repeating the same year at school for five years, hoping for straight A’s in the process. It will happen, but by that time other kids will be in college.


Nate has said on the podcast that there are benefits to staying in the same progression with your intervals getting longer and your PLs higher at some points in training (e.g as your A event approaches). Think they’re hoping to get machine learning to take into account whether you’d be better off increasing your ftp and dropping PLs or sticking with the same progression when a ramp test is due. Given how many people are motivated by having their FTP go up this might be challenging for some users though even if it is more beneficial for their goals!

Last season before AI FTP D I kept my FTP the same for long periods just moving it up or down as I felt. I think it worked for me results wise, although I didn’t really pay attention to PLs. I think keeping the FTP stable resulted in longer and longer times at or near it as in a TT and focusing on training in the TT position.

With AIFTPD my detected FTP has went up slightly more than I would have moved it, which is mostly my fault. As workouts have got harder Ive tended to rise out of the TT position to power through it and target wise AIFTPD is seeing it as a success. It is too early to say though if keeping my FTP more stable or allowing it to fluctuate with AIFTPD is best for results. I have only done one TT so far and got a nearly 3mins course pb but I was caught in traffic the last time I did it.

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For me PL levels drop too much after an FTP update, so that workouts at the new levels become objectively easier than the original planned workout pre ftp update (lower power, less time in zone)
I made a topic about this earlier

Don’t know about how much they drop now (doing my own pol experiment) but I agree that if you’ve be doing structured training for a while, most workouts under a PL of 5 seem to feel a bit to easy.

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To me it seems as though the intention is for most peoples levels to hover around the 4-7 range in order to be the most productive.

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FTP is a close to a functional estimate of your power output at Maximal Lactate Steady State. So if your FTP estimate is off, you might be riding intervals at power outputs that are not going to have the desired training stimulus.

Using an extreme example, say your FTP estimate is 270 but your real FTP is 300. If you are chasing PLs like the OP, a 100% FTP threshold effort at the lower estimate is really a 89% effort (based on real FTP.). So instead of doing a traditional ‘threshold’ interval you’re doing a tempo interval. Or if you are doing over/unders at the lower estimate, you are in reality doing under/more-unders based on your real FTP.

I don’t know about other people but I can knock out workouts with 90+min time in zone at 89% without too much of a problem, doing a similar amount of TiZ at 100% real FTP is not going to happen.


I do find it interesting that prior to PLs so many people were overly focused on FTP and increases in FTP. Now it seem some of those people have shifted to not wanting to raise FTP because they are overly focused on PLs.

I’m not entirely sure what to think of it. FTP is a functional estimate of power at a certain physical state and arguably one of the best predictors of overall performance, PLs are scorings of workout difficulties…

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I’ve been letting the plan do its thing, but I’m definitely irritated lately at having a new FTP every few weeks, which changes by 2-4 watts and then drops my PLs which feels like it’s stalling out my progression, because y’all, I am not a high FTP person (smallish lady, ftp currently around 190) but I cannot tell a difference in that few watts when I’m mostly doing VO2 and anaerobic workouts at the current phase. I’d rather have the progression in interval/rest length.


I’m increasingly of the opinion that PLs have been a little bit of a mis-step by TR. Because if you don’t want people chasing them, but you need to tell people not to chase them, then frankly your product isn’t working right. I would personally have implemented the concept of adaptive training but not put any numbers next to the workouts. Just say it will automatically adjust to your needs and leave it at that.

But I have a friend or two using PLs and I’ve watched in concern as their talk has turned to “going to try an 8.7 today”, and “bumping out my 4.5 for a 6.3” and so on, resulting in a training block where virtually every threshold or over-under workout was all but an FTP test, littered with failed intervals and back-pedals.

With that said, my advice to the OP: follow the PLs and test at the end of each training block. If your FTP increases but you don’t like how low your PLs have dropped, knock a little off your FTP then manually replace your first week of workouts with higher PLs, before starting the process again and seeing how you get on.


That’s what Ive been kind of doing… but instead of trying to hit PL 10’s, I’ve been trying to up the power in rest intervals… I dunno if it’s helping or not, but my average power for sessions seems to be creeping up… which I’m hoping benefits me on my outdoor rides.

There are threshold workouts in Library that go up to 105%, so of your ftp really is more than 10% like in your example you’d still be in the right zone

Yes, but a 100% would be at 90%. And 90% would really be at 80%. And 120% would be more like 108%…

So if you are doing 105/95 over/unders they would be more like 97/85 and you aren’t doing to over hard enough to go sufficiently anaerobic and stress your system in the unders to catch up. If you’re doing your 120% VO2max but its really 108% you probably aren’t going hard enough for the short period of the intervals to achieve vo2max state (you could extend the intervals and eventually get there.)

Are you doing work? yes. Are you working in the right zones to develop the desired adaptions? Maybe yes, maybe no.

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The higher PL VO2 intervals are probably longer, so there’s probably more chance of hitting your actual VO2, and increase Tiz at same time… no?