Your FTP improvements

Well since I was looking on here and this was at the top of the forum, I guess I’ll post here.

My zwift crashed while I was in a zwift race so instead of sitting around thumb up my ass, I decided to do a ramp test while my friends suffered.

Popped out a 329 (I will throw it to 330), which puts me at 4.7w/kg. Not bad considering I have been doing no structure and only mostly enduro rides for like 3 months (well more like 8 months). FWIW I think I was around 315-320 2 months ago, so not bad. That is like 4.8+ when I am in race weight! Woohoo!

It was a goal of mine to hit 330, so this is pretty awesome!

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Thank you for the motivation! My progress has followed you almost identically. I struggled with virtual power on an unapproved trainer and had an FTP around 135. Finally got Assioma pedals and tested at 164. Last test in the middle of GBMV was 185. Hoping to get to 225 before my A event in October.

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Last February I was around 220ftp at 160lbs training for a 70.3. It got cancelled, my motivation tanked, work got super busy, I jacked up my knee running, and basically didn’t do squat for the rest of 2020. I deferred the race until this May, so I started training again in January. Did SSB LV and started at a pathetic 150ftp on my ramp test. And I gained 10lbs. It was embarrassing. After SSB I did plan builder for my race, but I’m doing my own swim/run workouts. But my ftp improved from 150 to 182. Getting closer! I was 24+ min into the test on the 20th step before I tapped out. So now, workouts are going to be pretty challenging!!

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I am keeping the score of my recent FTP improvements in the graph below. The green line shows the weekly % improvement in that period:

image

My FTP 10 years ago reached perhaps 280W, after a year of intense unstructured riding with Cat 5 races. My first ever FTP test after having just gotten my first road bike and power meter, was a 20 min average of 270W, for an FTP of about 250W.

So, May last year, I picked up the bike again, first just for a couple of 1-2 hour rides per week, enjoying the nice weather. My FTP was again relatively high for comming off the couch, I estimate about 240W given that I could average 215W in my first 1+ hr ride outsid including traffic lights and all. I managed to get a Wahoo Kickr Core, although they were sold out in most places and still are, but did not get to use it much until October.

Around October I signed up for Zwift. Very addictive and it is amazing how the other avatars in races/group rides can motivate you to go faster. I know about all the cheating/equipment misalignment that makes it that I might be being dropped by someone how is in worst shape than I am, but I don’t care. Then realized that the racing was just an all out effort for 1 hour every time. And because of the game dynamics it ends up being a 20 minute all out effort followed by a 40 minute all out effort with what energy is left. So I decided to start with the structured training in Zwift, the Build me Up program. All of this gave me a nice boost as FTP went from 245W to 261W

Then I discovered TR and made the switch. SSB1MV did not give me the big gains some talk about, but that was because my noob gains had already come during the Zwift weeks before. FTP went from 260W to 264W in the SSB1 period.

I have now completed SSB2MV and first test again showed a nice bump from 264W to 271W. Ready to start the build phase! Actually the result of the this last FTP test was 255W. But this is using my new indoor bike that has a power meter in the back, drive train losses and calibration make it that my Assioma pedals report a 6% higher value than the new bike. So in the graph I converted all to Assioma power.

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This thread is helpful, because I can see not everyone makes huge gains all the time. I just did a ramp test after 6 weeks of SSBII MV and I had an increase of 6 watts to 227 since early January. I’m fairly happy about it but had hoped for more, also because in October 20 I cruised to a smooth 228 w in m first ever 20’ test, on the back of no structured training. I have lost 5 kgs since October, so my w/kg are better now. I’m still trying to figure out why I was stronger in October than now, apparently. All I can think of is that it’s the residual effect from a tour I did in the summer which was 1300 km and would have given me good baseline endurance. Anyway, time for the next training block!

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Those are two different tests, no guarantee that they give the same result, it varies from person to person how these tests compare.

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I’ve doubled up on a few, and for me they come out pretty much the same

I had ramp test yesterday after GBMW / beginning of speciality. I got 2,5% gain for FTP, so really nice progress again. I think that I didn`t succees perfectly at yesterday test as max HR was a few beats lower than 4 weeks ago. I have also lost weight so W/kg looks now quite good. Thanks TR!

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Date FTP W/kg
September: 2019 first ramp test 201 3.09
October: 2019 started SSB LV I 201 3.09
November: 2019 the beginning of SSB LV II 232 3.51
December: 2019 end of SSB LV II 249 3.83
February 2020 5 weeks of pre-build 254 3.91
March: 2020 custom build 262 4.01
April: 2020 2 weeks of threshold riding 270 4.15
April: 2020 2 weeks of threshold riding 285 4.25
May: 2020 2 weeks of VO2 max block + 2 weeks of threshold 305 4.51
September: 2020 Summer of threshold and Z2 312 4.60
February: 2021 Vo2 max block, threshold and Z2 320 4.68
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What is this sorcery :eyes:

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There is none. Started off the couch with LV. Ditched the TR plans and creating all my workouts. I have been increasing my volume systematically to around 10h wk. Biggest brake off the bike was 2 days. A lot of threshold riding with extensive TiZ (upto 80 min). Blocking Vo2 max workouts. Recently a way more Z2 and working on endurance aspect. So no silver bullet - simple work as many of us:)

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I kinda wish I started off the couch. Seeing gains like this much be a blast. Nice work

Thank you. It was fun when it lasted :slight_smile:

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I’m really curious to hear more about these multi-year FTP gains. I’ve been trapped in the cycle of “250W off the couch to 280W after consistent training followed by demotivation. Rinse. Repeat”

The dynamic reminds me of nothing so much as a yearly crash diet before swimsuit season. Just wondering if there’s a way to incrementally add 10W per season as a long slow process.

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Me the same! Up and down. But I am not sure I could extend the maximum number over the time.

No magic - early gains were through a lot of threshold riding around FTP, then this stopped working and the “silver bullet” is 2 weeks of vo2 max block, then couple weeks of threshold progression to around 4x20@ftp. Currently pushing from below does not work well so I know I have to push my vo2 max.

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Pushing from below vs pushing VO2 max, is that similar to pushing the power curve to the right vs pushing the power curve up?

So pushing to the right by trying to go longer at or slightly below threshold. And pushing up by doing intervals at above threshold level.

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Can be said it is the case. But from below can be also done by SST workouts etc. I always work on extending the curve to the right (that is why at 60 min TTE all my threshold workouts are min 60min TiZ) and it really helps with the overall endurance but doing vo2 max workouts to move the ceiling is instant boost for me every time - according to WKO my FTP is 83% of VO2 max so this should explain this. But I do not see linear relation to 5 min power (in term of watt gained, not gains as a whole) . And I am definitely not anaerobic rider as I am really crap at anything shorter than 3 min.

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Anyone over 50 that could share the FTP gains? I mean, awesome that gains are huge among the younger than us 50 but those with foot in their 50s? Cheers.

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I was 52 last month. Gone from a ramp test FTP of 280 in September to 318 on a test last week - SSBMV 1+2, then repeated SSBMV2. Dropped 13kg in the process, so w/kg from 3.05 to 4.05 as a result.

I’ve done TR base plans two or three times before, but the difference this time has been taking on all the advice regarding nutrition and recovery which I’d previously paid no attention to. It’s made a world of difference.

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