Have you ever held FTP for 60 minutes?


#1

Just wondering if anyone’s tried it. I often wonder if I could do it “with a gun held to my head”… doubt it.


#2

Enter a 40k time trial. Give it a well paced 100%. Voila, by definition you have just held FTP for 60min.


#3

That would be very rare. Typically, in a 1 hour TT for instance, athletes will hover just under their FTP. It’s not because they don’t have the potential to hold their FTP, but has to do with the inefficiencies of the pedal stroke, etc. Chances are if you can hold your FTP for 1 hour, then if you did a CP20 FTP test after you recovered within a week or so, and felt good, you’d find that your FTP was higher. As an example, when I first started doing TTs, before I was doing a sub-60 min 40K effort, I would complete an FTP in 60 minutes and there would be nothing left in the tank afterwards. Mentally and physically, I don’t think I could have pushed any harder, yet I rode about 3% below my FTP. I"m guessing that 3% lost was due to mechanical inefficiencies that you get when riding on the road vs. in a controlled indoor environment.


#4

This article provides some perspective.

“This kink or defection point is representative of the athlete’s Time to Exhaustion (TTE) and is a measurement of the maximum duration for which a power equal to FTP can be maintained. Although this range can be from 30 to 70 minutes, for many training athletes, it typically falls in the range of 40 to 55 minutes, which is one of the reasons why it is often associated with an hour, and why 40km (really ~40 km, since few courses are measured precisely) time trial power was originally proposed as the best estimate.”

So if you err on the high side, you could maintain your tested FTP (CP20, CP2x8, CP30, Ramp, etc) for roughly 55 minutes. Given all of this, then, it’s no wonder many question the validity of FTP tests relative to actual 1 hour efforts. It’s likely they run high for many athletes.

This is why I don’t do FTP tests anymore. Typically, I will do one CP20 test after my base training period, just as a baseline, and after that I let WKO4 calculate my FTP (called mFTP or modeled FTP), which I believe is a more accurate representation of my fitness because it is based on a constant feed of efforts, training rides, races, etc.


#5

Most people can hold their FTP for 25-40 minutes. To push out your time to exhaustion you need to do a ton of strength endurance efforts, think sweet spot for 30-40 min intervals. For amateur cyclists these efforts will tend to push your FTP up and bring your TTE back down a little.

In the end, for you and me the easiest way to hold 100% of your FTP for an hour is to bump up your FTP 20% so that is is only 85% of your FTP.


#6

Yes, built up to it and did it about two years ago.


#7

Depend on the definition… I 100% cannot hold steady paced at FTP.
My body is pretty good at way over ftp and way under ftp paces (not over under workout) so at some of the crazy paced crit races I can get to a pretty close “normalized” ftp. 7-10watts lower…

Hence I’m trying to up my muscular endurance in this base season…


#8

WTF is FTP

By definition if you can’t hold FTP for about an hour then it’s not your FTP.


#9

Yesterday I held my FTP from exactly 3 months ago for hour. Does that count?


#10

I went on a solo break which lasted ~1.25 hours (or 50k) in September and my max 1 hour power was roughly 94% of my FTP. RPE felt like 9 or 10 for that effort.

So close but thats the closest ive come so far. Ive only attempted it a few times as i do road racing and not very many TTs.

I think if you are getting near that in road racing, you need to think about your race tactics :grin: i am. That solo break ended in glorious failure, caught with 10k to go.


#11

Every time that I’m about to ride one hour close to my FTP, my FTP goes up in the next test


#12

Agreed, I have done that several times and actually exceeded FTP. I could not do it on a trainer though - mentally too much for me to handle


#13

Can of worms but this depends on whose definition of FTP you are using… Those worms have been spread all over this thread here:

Lots in there on the ‘FTP isn’t important’ theory, but from memory, also quite a lot about whether Coggan ever actually defined FTP as ‘1 hour’ power.


#14

I use WKO4 as well and keep an eye on my mftp. However using that instead of CP20 is probably unreliable, especially if you are a steady state endurance or TT type specialist.

The reason being is that you could spend some time improving your 1 and 5 minute power and everything in-between and you would see a significant jump in mftp. However that does not translate into TT type events


#15

That’s the shortest period of time I’ve seen FTP described as yet!

If we wait another couple of years maybe FTP will be something we can manage for 10-15 mins? :smiley::rofl:


#16

I did a 50 minute FTP interval last year out on the road and it was an interesting experience. Mentally I went through a bit of trickery. Told myself I’ll commit to 30 mins, then 10 more if I can hack it, then 10 more. Part of me was hoping to go to 60 but the road started rolling increasingly downhill and the higher cadences required to hold the wattage was starting to mess it up. Instead of trying anyway I used it as an excuse to quit. The watts for the 50 mins was just 3 under what I considered my FTP to be around then acc/ my power curve, though Strava itself on the activity page says I was 1 watt over. Either way it was pretty close.

Basically, my take home from doing it was that if I find any excuse to quit at that discomfort level I’ll take it.

Physically everyone has a max power they can hold for an hour, but you need to find a way to force yourself to do it. My way was okay, but I actually think something like creating a one hour interval in a workout creator, sticking the trainer on ERG mode and entering a time trial event or race on Zwift would be the ultimate way to do it. Don’t have to deal with rolling roads and you have some sort of motivation along with the much needed control of ERG mode. Scanning through the analysis of my 50 min effort makes it look more like a random over/under session.


#17

We agree that FTP is used as a tool for training and not as a predictor of 40k TT performance right? Get someone relatively untrained to do an hour of power and their zones are going to be completely screwed up.

If your program sets an FTP for you and you’re able to complete workouts then that’s a good enough target.


#18

Agreed. It seems that FTP as defined by a ramp test is a good metric to build a training program around (especially one that relies a lot on sweet spot work). Is it actually a power most can hold for 60 minutes? Probably not.


#19

Great article
Thanks for sharing


#20

In October 2016, when I was doing a lot of zwift racing, I did legit hold FTP for over an hour (265w at the time) during races. Unfortunately at around that time I caught a nasty cold that stuck with me for weeks and then I had other stuff that kept me from training. Would love to get up there again, my FTP is 275 and I very much doubt I could approach anything close to 60mins, even though this FTP works well for my training zones (mainly a mental thing, maybe partially physical)