I have done three races this year. All of them have average power of between 200 and 208. All three had NP of 250 to 256. 200/256, 208/255 and 208/250. Distances and my time were 2:39 (100 km), 2:45 (97 km) and 2:25 (91 km). I was tired, but not broken. However the IF for all theses were about 0.94. Something just doesnt add up to me as my ftp is fairly stable, but riding at an IF of 0.94 for 2:30 hours is supposed to be damn hard, isnt it and I should see a bump in my FTP? Or is average power a better indication for in looking at these?

NP is the better, if not necessarily perfect metric. Average power will tell you little in a race.

Possible causes of such a high IF over a long period:

  • Racing outdoors with wind-cooling vs turbo training and doing FTP tests indoors in warmer room
  • Extra motivation of the race scenario
  • You’re better at anaerobic efforts which skew your NP upwards compared to threshold and vo2 sessions
  • You’ve improved and need to re-test your FTP
  • You don’t do FTP tests well
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What was the VI? Pretty high I’m guessing. Were they true anaerobic efforts lasting longer than a few seconds?

What I’m getting at is that those little spikes from standing briefly or closing a small gap add up and artificially inflate your NP.