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FAQ ~ Programme FTP Numbers

Jay Chisnall

Jay Chisnall ~ a man of his word...

Did an FTP test whilst racing on Sunday, average one hour power for the duration was 239 watts. 

When I start my 20 week program in November should I adjust my power figures to suit or still use the ones that are on the drills.  I appreciate that hitting the numbers is not always possible.
Jay Chisnall ~ UK

For me, the "current FTP figures" are just that, an indication of where you currently now are. 

Loads of factors influence it, and it's not as consistent as most people think.  I'd feed it in to your programme as the chances of hitting the previous numbers may cause you to either over-fatigue, or under-perform.

But personally, I never use power to drive my sessions, I use the power meter to record the numbers for analysis and feedback. 

I cover up the power number (with some insulating tape) then ride the session as best I can.  If I've done my best, and the numbers are low, then I couldn't have given any more.

I haven't tried to hit a number that may cause me to fail, and I often "out-perform" the expected numbers by 5 or 10 watts.  So, I've extended myself, where I might have been held back and under-performed if riding to the numbers that were taken from one previous ride.

This is especially important when you get in to the "big FTP/VO2max stuff". As we're all different, as explained here.

As the weeks and intervals unfold, you get a feeling of where your "numbers" are, and these become your guide.  Levels are not set from a one off ride, or test, that you'd undertaken many weeks earlier.

For the intervals in November, it's not the number that's important, it's riding them at the correct percentage of the level of your current fitness.

 Riding in this "controlled" manner will allow you to progress at a sustainable rate, without over-fatiguing or under performing. It's all about surfing the wave for as long as you can.

Job Done..

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