How to improve your functional Threshold power?


Some tips for improving your FTP.

For reasons of simplicity I like to use just 3 training zones

Anything below 80% intensity (max heart rate or functional threshold power) is the “Aerobic Training Zone” I often call this the “Guilty” zone because at this effort level many athletes feel guilty that they are not going hard enough

Anything above 90-92% is known as the “Aerobic Capacity”.

The middle zone between 80-92% is known as the “Threshold” zone. Thats because its between the 2 threshold at 80% & 92%. Typical training weeks should be split between all 3 zones see below example.

Aerobic Zone – 80-85%

Threshold Zone – 10-15%

Aerobic Capacity – 5-10%

To boost your functional threshold power I’d suggest that you try to fit in the following sessions on the bike:

1 – High intensity intervals –

Start out with 15 × 60s and build through a 15 week period until you can manage 5 × 5’ @ 110%ftp. Rest period are at very low effort and of equivalent duration to the work period. On alternate weeks hit your upper threshold (90-100%ftp) by doing 6-10 × 3 minute intervals with 2’ easy recovery periods at 50%ftp

(If you ride 4 times per week then include both types of intervals explained above)

2 – Sustained tempo ride – this ride is 90-120 minutes long. Can be done on either an indoor trainer or outdoors. After you have warmed up aim to ride for 60-90 minutes at 78-80%ftp

3- Long ride – This is to build endurance. Effort level should be 70-75% and duration anywhere from 3-6 hours depending upon your race goal. Include between 1 & 3 efforts @ 78-80%ftp.

Keep this up with a 3 or 4 week cycle (2 hard + 1 easy or 3 hard + 1 easy) and aim to make the sessions a bit harder each week by:

adding 1 more rep

keeping the reps the same but increasing the length

Adding 10-15minutes to the long rides.


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