Normalized Power Vs FTP


You complete a work out at a higher FTP but need back pedals to complete it so you end up with a normalized power of say 220. You do the same workout at an FTP 20 watts lower and you need zero back pedals to complete it so you also end up with a normalized power of 220. Was your FTP too high in workout #1? I’m kind of seeing this trend on a few of my workouts after lowering my FTP…….well the last ramp test lowered my FTP! I have yet to perform very well on the new ramp test so I’m looking for some other markers that would indicate I have it right.

Thank you.

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NP isn’t a good indicator of FTP, highly anaerobically inclined people can generate NPs well above what they can generate in steady state conditions (I think my 20min NP best is 320 but I’d never do that steady state). I’d do 2x20 or 4x10 at threshold and see how it feels. Basically you’ll only ever know it’s right if you can feel it is right.

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One of the more common post test, tests is to do Lamarck. This (and some other workouts) can give you a possible confirmation about how close you have your FTP.

Some other options.


Thank you @mastratton3. I agree that normalized power is not an indicator of FTP. But if you have your FTP set at 263 and you complete a vo2 max workout with some back pedals resulting in a normalized power for the workout of 215. And then complete the same workout at an FTP of 246 and needed zero back pedals to complete the workout resulting in a normalized power of 215. If I’m producing the same normalized power at the lower FTP I would be inclined to think my previos FTP was too high no? If my FTP had actually decreased I would think I would see a lower normalized power on identical workouts. Hopefully this makes sense:-)

Bumping this because it’s relevant to me as of this past week end. Frank Overton of Fascat Coaching (Phil Gaimon’s coach) said this at minute 7:50:

"Guys and gals, if your peak 60 min NP is greater than what you have your FTP set at, guess what? That’s your new FTP."

Have a listen to the clip here:


95% of 20 min NP =/= FTP however

My 60 minute NP for the race was 326. Average power was 257. I think 326 is close but, I’m a little hesitant as a 75W spread is well 75W.:wink:

I’ve always used 95% of 20 minute average power or the TR ramp test for TR workouts.

And that’s not correct. 95% of 20 min average power not NP.

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Which is more to my point/question/observation: That is I’ve always used average power for 20 min. Using NP for 60 is just weird and new to me. Would have thought average power for 60…I must have missed this over the years.

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I was referring to the OP, which is essentially what they were asking, in case anyone got ideas to use NP for shorter intervals than 60 mins to estimate FTP

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NP is supposed to be a representation of what avg power you could have held if you effort was done at a steady pace for the same duration. In one of the TR podcasts they discuss this and how it gets better the longer the duration. 60 min NP is probably pretty close to FTP for the majority of athletes unless you know you have a huge anaerobic engine.


I’d be suspect of doing that with such a high VI. That VI is even higher than Jonathan’s from Sea otter last weekend.

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For the race VI was 1.33. IF was 1.14. Clearly FTP was set too low. Not surprising as I finished SSB1 and hadn’t retested yet. But yeah I think the same. Best to test consistently. I was more curious why Frank was going down this path. He clearly said if you can get an FTP this way you won’t waste valuable training time. Perhaps I misunderstood something…

I’m surprised Frank would say that, especially because he coaches high level athletes where an informal, kitchen sink type, brutal workout, is to go normalize your FTP for 2-2.5h…a hard crit will give you a normalized power above your FTP; personally I would steer clear of that recommendation.

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Agreed. Listen to the clip though. I thought it was strange…

60 normalized is where I’m going sideways. Clearly inferring FTP from 20 or even 40 min NP crit is not ideal. But, when he said 60 NP…I’ll listen again for any ref to VI levels.

will queue it up for the drive, thanks for passing along @Landis

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The Seven Deadly Sins

"the seven deadly, ways of determining your functional threshold power (roughly in order of increasing certainty):

1. from inspection of a ride file.
2. from power distribution profile from multiple rides.
3. from blood lactate measurements (better or worse, depending on how it is done).
4. based on normalized power from a hard ~1 h race.
5. using critical power testing and analysis.
6. from the power that you can routinely generate during long intervals done in training.
7. from the average power during a ~1 h TT (the best predictor of performance is performance itself).

Oh man I forgot about this one from Dr. Coggan. This makes it all even more confusing because if I’m not mistaken Frank knows his ****. I’ll think I’ll just ask him and hopefully get an answer/insight to what he meant. Thx for posting the sins.

Not sure what you mean, Frank and Andy agree on that

#4 is pretty handy, particularly as an indicator of when a rider’s FTP may have changed. Frequently riders who do not do time trials, but do other races such as shorter road races or criteriums of approximately 1 hour duration, can use this as a crosscheck of their current FTP. Assuming the race was hard (that is, you were pretty much on the limit for most of the race), and you were not overly fatigued beforehand, then the 60 minute maximal Normalised Power should be at least at your FTP if not a little higher (up to about 5% higher). If your 60 minute Normalised Power is reported as more than 5% above your FTP, then that is a strong sign that your FTP needs re-setting (upwards).


Thanks for that! I messaged Frank just to clarify…hopefully he will respond.