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

By definition increasing the effort in rest will raise av and norm power, but it won’t likely achieve the goals of the workout. If you want more steady state work, select train now workouts with steady state power or a plan with more steady efforts. Increasing your power during rest intervals isn’t going to move the needle on the expected outcomes of most workouts the way selecting a workout with higher power for work blocks, more reps, more sets or longer reps would. Each of these will have slightly different effects, but it would seem to me that in all but a few specific circumstances raising power on rest intervals is going to buff your power numbers without giving you improved training.

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Maybe… depends on the difference between real FTP and estimated FTP, vo2 kinetics, and a bunch of other factors.

3min @108% isn’t getting me to vo2max. 4min probably isn’t either. Maybe 6, maybe not. Eventually I will but that might not be within the length of interval in the programmed workout. It doesn’t change my position that inaccurate FTP estimate can have people training at the wrong power levels / interval length to elicit the desired changes. Look at my over/under example. They become under/more unders and aren’t generating enough lactate / metabolic byproducts to get what one wants to get out of over/unders. One might be doing shorter vo2max intervals but never hitting physiological vo2max because the effort is way too low due to not wanting to change FTP and chasing PLs.


There are also 115/98% regular o/u and a few with 105/120% (these overs are usually very short though)

I would say that early in training when your FTP might be changing by 5% or more than you need to up your ftp to stay in zone and remain challenged. However for myself my FTP barely fluctuates anymore and time at VO2 max, repeatability, duration at threshold are all the only areas I can realistically gain substantially with training. For myself, I love the progression levels because it allows me to find appropriate workouts to improve in these areas, as big ftp changes are no longer seeming to be in my future.

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Missing the forest for the trees…


My only comment about what levels to use is what I found works for me. I like starting a new training block where sweet spot is at 5, threshold at 4 and Vo2max At 5. Anything less in my opinion isn’t worth changing my ftp for.

Remember there is more workouts than over/unders.

My personal issue is that i think i’m an over tester… my FTP is lower % of my MAP/Ramp… I tested at 258W on a Ramp and couldn’t handle the workouts (but maybe never gave it enough time). At the same time Garmin had me estimated me about 238 or thereabouts, so I set my my TR FTP at 243, and feel i hit where i need to on most workouts, with some being easy(ish), hence upping the recovery power to give me a harder workout (SS and Thr) and hoping to increase TTE at my chosen FTP.

For past month predicted FTP has been 248-250, but i’ve stuck to 243W.

I don’t follow a TR plan per se, but follow the principles. I try do 4 or 5 1.5 - 2hr workouts and as said increase recovery power levels.

Today, I rode outside, and i’m nearly 0.3mph average down on same run this time last year at near maximum effort, and 2mph down on my best Sept last year. (a bit discouraging tbh, Strava average Pwr is just below recent TR levels, and 30 odd below my best)

But!, pretty sure I could ride slower than I was last year for a much much longer time! feed me and i’ll keep going.

I’ve not been well for about 3 weeks and still don’t feel 100%, but i hope to feck i’ve not inadvertently built a diesel engine.

But maybe as you imply I should increase FTP to predicted and do TR workouts as they’re prescribed).

I’ll assess at full health! :grinning:

Why do you have a new FTP every few weeks? Most of the plans put ramp tests every 6 weeks.

My last two tests have been 4 and 5 weeks apart as designed by plan builder

Gotcha. So the long end of “few”. You can always skip the ramp test and proceed. Then add one a few weeks later so you doing one every 6-7 weeks. That’s the beauty of the AIFTP you don’t have to mess up a training to do a test. Just add a ramp test, click it and update if you want!

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It’s a balancing act. Aim for level progression relevant to what your goal is but once you get to a 9 it won’t hurt to update the FTP. Pick your time for the update so it doesn’t clash with an event

Most of the plans have a FTP test every 4 weeks. Every 6 weeks is only in the Base phase.

Right was obviously thinking SSB. Stand corrected

On a recent podcast @Nate_Pearson said they are working toward the default plan is will not include ramp tests. AIFTP will change as needed. That will be amazing!

I agree, but am curious:

under what circumstances is someone doing a Progression level 9 or 10 workout?


  1. Their FTP is set incorrectly
  2. They are heavy biased towards either low or high end of the power curve
  3. They just want to watch the world burn.


That is truly funny

However, my question for the TR team remains, when is a threshold session with a PL of 9 or 10 utilized in training? Is it used as a test? When does it make sense to do them, if ever?

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I was doing 8-9.1 Threshold Workouts leading up to the end of my plan last season. I had skipped testing and was working on TTE. I would have to choose alternate workouts to spend long intervals at 100% instead of going over.

I saw Nate doing Unicorn or another 10 Thresh workout but he was on a rapid ramp back up to his previous level. I suspect that is more likely the situation, where athletes are ramping up their fitness quickly and following the adaptations up to test day.

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This has been my experience. AT had me updating my FTP every 4 weeks or so until the last 7 or so weeks before my “A Event”. It didn’t have me retest, but had me maintain my previous FTP to continue with my progression levels as I got closer to the event (which is in two weeks).

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I remember Chad saying that there’s no ramp test half way through the specialty phase of the plans because the work intended to raise your aerobic fitness and aerobic endurance is basically done by that point.