Functional Threshold Power & Heart Rate

A standard abbreviated 20 minute FTP is performed under stringent conditions for the convenient and frequent testing of a cyclist in active training. The dedicated FTP test is a consistent, less costly alternative to Lactate Threshold Power profiling. The FTP serves as a single estimate of functional power, albeit without the valuable insights of the lactate turning points and multiple measurements.

The timing of the test differs when compared to Lactate Threshold Profiling, this is due to the greater impact the effort may have on the phase of training. FTP should be done during the general or specific conditioning phase of periodisation and hence also serves as a training tool without negative impact on competitive performance during these periods.

After an initial specific warm-up period of 25 minutes the rider enters the test period designed to represent the same effort of a 1hr Time Trial. The requirement is to produce the highest possible average power output for the duration of the test, without fatiguing or riding too hard initially. Feedback from HR and time to completion is given to the rider at random points throughout the blinded test.

Four 5 minute periods record average power, cadence and heart rate throughout the assessment to reflect pacing ability and used to calculate overall values. FTP or FTHR can then be calculated to compare at frequent test points in a training plan or used as a predictive tool for modelling an optimised training strategy, based on previous performances.

The FTP parameter frequently serves as a good input into performance prediction software such as Training Peaks WKO+. This value is set as the basis for calculation of Training Stress Score (TSS) from training loads measured in Normalised Power.

Please feel free to get in contact for further interpretation and explanation of this training tool.

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