Sprint Potential

Is there a peak power potential similar to a FTP potential an athlete can achieve? and if so, how do you know when you are close to your sprint potential? I accept that it would be impossible to achieve both, as they are conflicting goals with very different training methods.

I’m keen to increase both FTP and peak power, but not sure how much I should concentrate on peak power. I’ve seen about 100w gain on sprint in a month with 1x sprint workout a week and 2x strength training sessions. But hope there is more to come. Hit 1530w today (at 360 FTP and 73kg). That is an all time peak power PB for me, although my FTP has been 15w higher earlier this year (I had a month off in June).

basically I want to squeeze the most out of both energy systems, but not to a point where one starts taking away from the other. hope this makes sense

Four times your FTP seems about average.

However, aside from basing it off of performance in other sports i don’t know how you would estimate someone’s potential on the bike.

When I started cycling in 2019, my FTP was around 210-ish watts at around 84kg. My max sprint at the time just over 1400W.
Now, my FTP is just over 350 Watts at 71kg, and my max sprint, after dozens of sessions of sprint training, is 1100W.
That is the switch from power lifting to cycling.
So in a way, my potential for sprinting is likely 1450 or beyond. However, I will never ever be able to achieve it through just cycling. And I wouldn’t want to gain back 13kg for a better sprint.

What do you mean by an FTP potential?

I’d imagine that having a magic number to aim for wouldn’t be particularly beneficial because you’d either focus on achieving it whilst neglecting other areas of your riding and/or you’d achieve it and then push on past it if you felt you could anyway…you aren’t just going to stop improving it once you hit it.

Better just to focus on your goals and see how far you can get in my opinion!

I think your question might be based on a false premise! I’m sure there is an “FTP potential” that any particular individual can achieve but as far as I know the only way of determining it is to go out and spend a significant number of years training like a pro and optimising sleep, nutrition and recovery :grinning:


Think sprinting is quite heavly affected by how much muscle you can and are willing to put on. But don’t know really.

Recommend listening to @empiricalcycling’s last 10-minute tips about sprint training.

Exactly. On another thread people were certain that training for 3 years besides a full time job and family, without much focus on nutrition, sleep and recovery.
Reaching the full human potential of lactate threshold is a long and effortful endeavor very few people will even attempt.

I would say there’s no way you can predict peak sprint potential.

Why are you looking to target both? Is it the fact of hitting big power numbers or do you compete where sprint power is of importance? I guess what’s important is your goals, but those are great numbers regardless so fair play!
If you focus a lot on one area, then the other area might suffer.

The difficulty with peak power output, according to the researchers and coaches I spoke to for an article, is that the maximal pedalling style you need for that sort of thing is almost completely different to the sub-maximal aerobic style, so it’s probably impossible to reach your potential in both.

The other difficulty is that there are a lot of easy gains to be had in the early days of doing sprinting in training, but the longer term gains are had through strength training and muscle building, which takes much longer.

This x100