FTP over 50 years


I’m 54, started smart-trainer training a year ago. I’m 5’8", 153lb and have been back cycling for around 6 years after a long layoff but doing other sports.

I was going pretty well and was persuaded to start time trialing at 50, to which I quickly became addicted!

FTP a year ago was 242 (via TR 20 minute test) and went up to 275 by Spring 2018.

My starting FTP is now 275 (via the ramp test,) but in reality it feels more like 265-270 based on the perceived effort and heart rate at this early stage in SSB1, however, even allowing for an over-stating of this, I’d expect to be above maybe 280 by the end of the winter, which would equate to 4W/kg I think.

And I get caned by a local 68 year old time triallist who came into tt-ing in his mid sixties - a regular cyclist and ex-runner of some repute I am told.


It’s worth restating that comparing FTP person to person is a bit tricky as (for example) you can get a higher FTP on a smart trainer in ERG mode by selecting a higher gear and a higher cadence to get advantage from flywheel inertia. Not to mention power meter/trainer variations.

The important take-away from all of these positive anecdotes on this thread, though, I think, is that at mid-50s or mid 60s (or whatever), a structured TR plan can give you good gains, depending, of course, on your stating point, your ambitions/goals and your willingness to suffer!


2nd ramp test today yielded a 6% increase (286 to 304W) mid way through general build (mid vol). Same 75Kg. Honestly, it came up faster than I wanted but, a good problem to have as the trend is showing adaptation. This is going to hurt.


Next month 66…been cycling for the last two years properly with a road bike, current FTP is 213 but hoping to get it to over 220 this year. I don’t race just ride solo or with a local group five times a week. Just started using Trainerroad to improve so am enjoying reading these forums and working out all the abbreviations I see flying around like SSLV which I didn’t have a clue about until I saw the training plans.
I now have the cycling bug and really want to push mu self harder.


Hi Landis .

I am curious to know if you did SSB mid vol before the build ? If so what were your gains there ?



No, however, when I joined TR a few weeks ago my TSS and general miles for 2018 were relatively large (live in Arizona). Anywhere from 700-1100 miles/month since January which corresponds to 1600-2500 TSS/month. September and October were especially large. I say this as I felt my base was sufficient. All unstructured solo/group rides and races, however. Very similar stress/year going back to the early 2000’s. One year I followed a plan and was coached…

Now that I know what I know about TR I should have started with SSBMV. I have some races in February and March that I want to do well at so, I opted to jump in with build followed by a specialty plan.

A lot of words to say TR works. I’ve been such a fool for so many years. Follow the plan and gains will follow.


some impressive numbers here, wow! Kudos all round

Question for the ‘lighter’ guys on here, primarily those that posted sub 75kg weight, are you running very low fat percentages?


Thanks Landis ! I made Some gains already with ssbmvI now on ssbmvII than build and specialty after that .


62 years old, 74 kg and 182 cm tall. Last Ramp Test has me at 274W


64 years old, 5’9" 156 lbs, mid teens body fat percentage per Tanita Scale.


I’m a 60 year old triathlete but hurt my hip back in July and was not able to run for months but could keep up with biking. I did not do structured training, but mostly did long rides outdoors and really boosted my TSS from 200-250/week to 350-550/week. In May I did a ramp test and got an ftp of 251. I did another ramp test, again, without structured training for a while, and got an ftp of 264. I think by cutting back on running and boosting my riding made a big difference. I’m back to a structured plan and it appears that the 264 is reasonable. Thsi is the highest ftp I have had and I have been using TR for 3 years now.


Very nice! I’m dreaming about 250. 226 now and I have 7 months or so to my A event. Wish me luck :grin:


With consistent training 150nshpuld be doable in 7 months. Good luck!


54, transitioning from Base to Build right now: I’ve previously unknowingly played to my [lack of physical] strength - by leaning on my leg speed; big ring, 100-110rpm, giving good, but unrealistic results 3.7W/Kg this week. But my events are gravel grinders, so I’m retesting in the small ring next week … I’ve just got a 6% increase on that big ring test, just so I can compare it to my previous tests, but I will train in the small ring to the ftp of the next test.


I’m 52 currently at 216 watts / 3.3 watts / kg (143 lbs / 64.9 kg) targeting to get to 260 watts / 4.0 watts / kg by my A Event - Haute Route San Francisco - at the end of September.


That’s interesting (by the way, you’re the same age as me). I’ve just made a very similar adjustment to my own TR plan. My FTP has gone down and I’m very happy about it. Why would I say this?

Six weeks ago I did the ramp test in a gear of 50-14 and super-high cadence and scored an FTP of 275. I had a hunch straight away that it was an inflated figure not least because 275 was my end figure after the whole of last winter’s TR plan!

Anyway, immediately following this, I did SSB1LV in a slightly harder gear than this, 50-15 and, latterly in the plan, 50-16. As I’ve gone through it, I’ve realised that the sweet spot workouts have been at my threshold in reality (based on RPE and HR) and when I got to over-unders and other VO2 and threshold workouts I’ve died a death and had to reduce intensity to as low as 92% to get through the whole workout. So the conclusion is that my FTP was overstated, without any doubt.

By reducing my gearing still further (I did the last workout in 39-15) and thus making it feel more like riding up a gradient, I’ve figured that my “true” FTP is not 275 but more like 265. I’ve done the last few workouts based on this reduced FTP and confirmed that based on RPE and HR, it’s now at the correct level. As I go into SSB2LV later this week, I’m not even going to bother to ramp test, as I know 265 is correct.

I know from last year’s winter of doing four months of TR in a high gear and high cadence, when I did the first race of the season, a 20 mile mountain time trial, I did very badly indeed, because all of my training had been replicating riding on the flat, such was the simulated effect of the very high-speed high-inertia of the Kickr Snap flywheel. When I came to ride at race pace up hills, this gap in my training was brutally exposed and I got a big shock and humiliation.

I’m learning that taking a hit on my ego by accepting a lower FTP number, and by riding in a lower gear during workouts, my targeted physiological improvements (at least specifically for time trialing on anything but flat gradients) will be more effective and greater in absolute terms than if I spin a high gear all winter at a higher “indicated” FTP number.

For the record, I’m referring to training with a wheel-on trainer in ERG mode, which, as a combination, I believe, is most profoundly affected by “flywheel inertia cheating”, if we can start calling it that!

Good luck with your plan, I think you’re doing the right thing.


I am 57yrs @ 73kg. Did ramp test today @272 FTP. Some great shares here to an interesting question. Life in the old dog yet!!


56, 310, 70kg
Recovery and injury mitigation is the challenge.


Eyup, Hodgo!


@Darkgerbil thanks for the advice and sharing of experience.

We’ve got a junk bike on the KICKR which I use in ERG mode. It’s a 2x set-up, hence the choice.

Now if I trained on my actual bike there would be no option - it’s 1x, oval 36T chainring with 10-42 on the back. I’ve been on TR for a few years, but only switched to 1x outside about two years ago and then only switched from the stock 42T chainring after stomach issues at The Dirty Reiver [125 miles gravel] left me in a hole and I had to get round The Fred Whitton [115 miles, 13,000ft climbing, some 30% pinches] a couple of weeks later.

Once I decided to leave the drivetrain like that, and the bigger booted 650Bs on for the mostly gravel/offroad riding of this year, I should’ve made the switch in TR. I finally did in wk2 of SSB LVII.

My ego’s happy to let go of the FTP Talk and embrace HTFU Torque. I’ll see how next week’s test goes. Thanks again.