Sustained Power Build?

Hi all,

Is the “sustained power” build high volume plan supposed to also increase FTP? Or mainly just sustain current power as the name suggests.

Would love to hear any personal experiences with this plan


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Build plans will raise your ftp if that’s where you’re at. For example, older riders might just be looking to maintain they’re ftp, not lose it.

What’s meant by this title specifically is your ability to maintain power close to your ftp for long periods of time. Each build phase tries to build your ability to work in certain ways, like pushing out a sustained power for long periods of time, or to have repeated punchy power spikes


As an example, I did a short power build when I was very new to TR(new rider gains). If you imagine our ability to push out watts for different durations as a curve(high watts for 5 sec power, middle for 3 min power, lower for 1hr power), there seems to be an expected shape to how they relate.

My experience was that doing a short power build as a new rider threw off how those numbers relate. I was able to a ramp test really well, but could not do workouts that sustained near ftp watts for long periods of 10-20min. It left me needing to manual change the ride intensity very frequently.

If I were to do start over again, I’d probably start with a general plan to be more rounded before going specialized. Though if it keeps up your compliance to stick to it and it’s not for an impending event, then just choose the one that interests you.


I don’t think this is what’s meant by the name. The title “sustained power” refers to the kind of power the build plan is targeting, so sustaining a high power output over long distances/durations (long time trials, centuries, gran fondos). “Short power” is the other end of spectrum, and the Short Power Build targets power output over short distances/durations (crits, cyclocross).

For what it’s worth, I did SusPB Low Volume last year (with some life interruptions). My FTP went up 10%, and I got pretty good at 20-minute threshold repeats. Don’t ask me to sprint.


Sweet sounds good for me then. I’m able to finish traditional base high vol III. And am preparing for a Full distance triathlon. So SusPB sounds right for me

Thanks all!

:+1: (Did you see the full-distance tri build? It’s got a very similar focus to SusPB, but the schedule includes swim/run stuff too.)

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That is not what Sustained Power means in the context of TR Plans. Sustained power here refers to maintaining a high percentage of your FTP for long periods of time. For example a 40K time trial where for flat courses the rider will maintain close to 100% FTP for about an hour with very little deviation. These racers will often choose “Sustained Power Build” as part of their training.

By contrast, a criterium, cyclocross or short course Mtn bike oriented racer will face a different challenge. These events require short periods of very high power output followed by relatively easy pedaling. You might have demand for say 150% of FTP for 15 seconds followed by a minute of 50% repeated many, many times for a specified number of laps or a defined period of time. For these racers, “Short Power Build” is often selected.

Finally, “General Power Build” is not reserved for military generals (lol), but rather for riders looking at a well structured build plan suitable for various riding or just being in great shape to pedal a bike. While Sustained and Short are specific, General is the happy place for being an all around solid bike rider.

How to pick? Depends on what type of riding / racing you want to focus on, when your events come in terms of time of year and where you are in your training journey. You can also use Plan Builder tool to help with building a long term training progression.

Very general guidance, riders relatively new to structured training will see gains from any of the build plans. I have done both Sustained Build and Short Power build. But I have decades of structured training and choose those for specific goals. Both plans are solid and with a good FTP estimate a rider can follow the plan well and complete all the rides.

The General Build plan is very solid. I would suggest that to riders new to structured training as it has a bit of everything and the workouts have enough variability to be fun and keep a high level of engagement during the block. Fun is important. You want gains but also want to enjoy the journey.

For a relatively new trainee… I would do SSB 1 + 2 and then a General Build. I would then skip Specialty Phase and repeat that SSB 1 + 2 + Build cycle until I stopped progressing. Progressing means seeing gains not only at FTP but across the entire power curve. When I stop making the “easy” gains from structured training then I’d start to address weaknesses and identify things I want to improve. If racing, this is where I target the areas where I’m having trouble achieving my goals. For example if I’m getting dropped on sprints out of corners I work on that. If it’s 2-3 min hard climbs we focus there. If I need to work on establishing a breakaway that is another area. etc etc etc.

Hope that helps with the nomenclature and gives you some ideas of how to progress. Good luck and have fun!



I’m just starting on Sustained Power Build (Mid Volume) and got a rude shock when I tried Red Lake +8 today. I’m confident in my FTP, and completed Avalanche Spire ok earlier this week - but there’s no way I can go from 6min over/under intervals to doing 6min straight at 108% FTP.

So for the VO2 workouts in the plan, am wondering if I should:

  • just try again next week (Raymond +7) and make sure I’m fully rested
  • dial down the intensity of the long VO2 intervals so I can complete them
  • use the minus versions of the workouts that split the intervals up but keep the intensity high, e.g. Red Lake +2, Raymond +5
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I saw a 3% increase in FTP at the end of SusPB the last time I did it. Starting again next week!