FAQ ~ iLevels & The "New" FTP?
With the introduction of the "redefined FTP" and the new iLevels,
what does this mean for our training programs? Do you create new
programs or should I adjust the old?
Quite a few people after the factsheet was published!
It's another great question and luckily, a simple one to answer!
The Long Answer
This question arose from our latest FTP factsheet, that, through the launch of WKO4, brought the introduction of mFTP and iLevels.
FTP (Functional Threshold Power) has had a re-clarification of it's definition, and the physiological levels we use also got a makeover...
Regarding FTP, the change is more in regard of the "analytical duration of the effort" required to determine the FTP number. Previously, the timeframe was regarded as being the sustainable steady state power held for "around an hour".
Now it's deemed to be the quasi-steady-state power until exhaustion. Which can be a bit misleading (who determines exhaustion?), but that's the new metric. Which needs others to validate it, but that's another factsheet for another time.
As the number itself hasn't changed, the way the programmes relate to it don't have to change. The only addition to the sub-FTP levels is the Sweet Spot level.
We always referenced Sweet Spot as being between Tempo and FTP, but now it has it's very own, clearly defined level. In effect, there is no material change to the numbers or the programmes.
Everything above FTP is now "time related", with VO2max, Anaerobic Capacity and Neuromuscular Power being subdivided in to power ranges over time, rather than as a percentage of FTP.
These ranges are individual to each rider from a numbers perspective, but the time ranges are pretty close across the board.
Our programmes have always been time based, at best rider efforts. The completion of the efforts is still exactly the same, it's only the reporting of them, if you have the specialist, analytical software, that changes.
The Short Answer!
So the short answer is no! There is no need to adjust your programmes, or the reporting of the data. You still go from slow crawl to full gas, and have to move through the levels as you go.
A best effort 60 second Killer interval will always be a best effort 60 second Killer interval. Nothing changes there.
The only difference is, in the "Classic System" it would have been reported as an Anaerobic Capacity effort. With the new iLevels (if you look at the list above at the 60 second mark) you can see it will straddle the FRC/FTP level and the FRC level! But the effort expended is exactly the same.
Think of it as buying a race jersey in Euros, Dollars or Pounds; at the end of the transaction you've purchased a jersey. The jersey hasn't changed, the price hasn't changed, and the value hasn't changed; only the name of the notes used to purchase it is different.
The change is only material if you are using the latest analytical software to track a rider's physiology. If you're not? All is good.
Just ride hard and suffer well. The rest will look after itself!