Most triathletes are always trying to increase their FTP. What is FTP? FTP is Functional Threshold Power, or the number of the maximum number of Watts that you can hold for 1 hour. Most people don’t really do a full hour long test. Instead it is some form of 20 or 30 minute Max effort and then a percentage of that is used to determine what you could “probably” hold for an hour long effort.
A couple of weeks ago I did the 20 minute test on Trainer Road. After I was done it changed my FTP from 250 to 260. At the time I was thinking great! Now, after having done a couple of workouts with segments sending you to 120% of FTP, not so excited. It’s back to suffering, I was able to complete them, but it was HARD. Hoping it will get easier over the next couple of weeks as my fitness increases.
It’s not too bad on the Tempo or Endurance rides where the change is hardly noticeable. 75% of 250 is 187 and 75% of 260 is 195 so not that big a deal. However when you are going over FTP, 120% of 250 is 300 and 120% of 260 is 312. Now it is a 12 Watt difference and when you are at your Threshold it really start to burn up the legs!!!
So, while an increase in FTP is usually a good thing, sometimes it just means more suffering…