300 Watt FTP
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Thread: 300 Watt FTP

  1. #1
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    Post 300 Watt FTP

    Well, tonight I did it. I rode my stationary bike (Keiser M3+) for an hour and was smack dab on 300 watts at the 65 minute mark (I used a 5 minute warmup).

    So, now I'd like to improve this... I'm of the belief that the internet can serve as my coach. I've seen some good ideas on intervals at 335 for 5 minutes and then a cool down of 2 minutes and doing this for an hour. I'm also wondering if I just kept hitting the hour long session at FTP or better if I can push it. I'm kinda looking for a schedule for the week. Something for Monday's, Tuesdays, etc...

    I'm currently a Cat 4 and am looking to upgrade before June. I just need 7 points. Have some races coming up and I think I can capitalize if I play my cards right in the sprint (which seems to be a crap shoot for me at the moment).

    Ideas and advice is much appreciated.

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    Honestly I'd scrap the internet advice idea, you are just going to get confused with a bunch of conflicting info and too many ideas. I'd buy two books: Racing and Training with a Powermeter and the Cyclists Training Bible. Read those and simply follow some of the well thought out plans.

    One of the proven ways to increase your FTP is to do lots of riding below that level, I believe in the 85% of FTP range. It is commonly referred to as "sweet spot" training.

    As for intervals, there are many types: shorter VO2 max types (6 minutes or less) where you are in the red zone. The main goal of those intervals is to increase your VO2 max. And then there are longer "threshold intervals" where your intensity is lower than VO2 max but you spend more time, such as 2 x 20 minutes with just 2 minutes rest. The primary goal there is to raise your lactate threshold--probably the single most important predictor of performance in endurance athletics.

    Of course base riding, the easy miles, brings benefits as well: increased aerobic capacity, cell adaptions (larger mitochondria), increased capillaries, and faster recovery from the hard efforts.

    But don't listen to me. Read the books. The authors have sold hundreds of thousands for a reason.

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    FWIW, There's a very interesting and somewhat related article in Apr Road magazine talking about this with respect to the "spring classics" written by Hunter Allen, one of the authors of "Training and Racing with a Power Meter."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSkillz View Post

    I'm currently a Cat 4 and am looking to upgrade before June. I just need 7 points.
    There are things in training that really helped me get the upgrade, IMO:

    -Prioritize races. I picked races that suited my strengths for upgrade opportunities. For me, those were punchy hill races, longer flat road races, final stage of SRs; those are where are I got points.
    -Having the proper time structure. 13 hour base, 10-11 hour builds, 7 hour peak weeks (and rest weeks). I did notice a big difference in performance pulling back load. Just wanted to time them for races I can do good at.
    -I didn't alter Build period structure and trained through races. I trained on Thursday (long intervals, whatever) and raced with bad legs on Saturday. That's probably the hardest thing to do; paying for a race and deliberately going in without fresh legs. But that's how the build periods should go. The Peak period is when you finally go into races with fresh legs.
    -I did a 2 peak season (late April and late July), so during a few of those races, is where I got points. That seemed like a good structure because other racers were either getting into shape (April), or getting burnt out (late July).
    -And RACE LOTS. It's a probability thing, and the only way to develop true race skills. There's a lot of guys with high FTPs who can't race worth a sh$t, IMO. It's pretty unreal.

    That seem to be the difference for me. I got the 4-3 upgrade despite a low FTP (270ish was prob my best that year), and being a pretty piss poor time trialist.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 02-26-2012 at 02:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info guys. Some great ideas. I got Friel's cycling bible and I'm going to check it out. Sounds like it's a staple among the competitive cycling community.

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    As a newly minted cat-2 , I'd love to have a 300 watt FTP @ 170 lbs. Impressive number indeed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexp247365 View Post
    As a newly minted cat-2 , I'd love to have a 300 watt FTP @ 170 lbs. Impressive number indeed!
    Wow! But I'm 160 (well, 161 last time I weighed a few days ago).

    Honestly, I wasn't sure it was that good. Of course, this is just based on my computer on my stationary spin bike... Hopefully, it's somewhat accurate. Congrats on your Cat 2 accomplishment. Takes persistence and dedication for sure!

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    MaddSkillz....
    congrats on the FTP number. I recognize your avatar from Strava.....I'm a relatively new rider in Oklahoma and I think we share a mutual friend who lives in Duncan. (I live in Duncan also)

    He knows several of the Team Tom's riders, so I may run into you guys soon. Only 2 cat5 races for me so far, but hope to make many more this year. Good luck with your training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitro View Post
    MaddSkillz....
    congrats on the FTP number. I recognize your avatar from Strava.....I'm a relatively new rider in Oklahoma and I think we share a mutual friend who lives in Duncan. (I live in Duncan also)

    He knows several of the Team Tom's riders, so I may run into you guys soon. Only 2 cat5 races for me so far, but hope to make many more this year. Good luck with your training.
    Thanks! Yes, I LOVE Strava! Such a great thing to happen to GPS riding.

    Congrats on racing! Come race Salt Creek!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexp247365 View Post
    As a newly minted cat-2 , I'd love to have a 300 watt FTP @ 170 lbs. Impressive number indeed!
    A great example that these forums, in my opinion, emphasize FTP a little to much.

    Road races in my area are influenced a lot by cross winds and i often find that people with high AWC make it in to breakaways leaving people with a flat power profile behind in the peloton. Not once in this season have i seen ones of the TT machines on top of the podium in a road race.

    Also, when in a break ones FTP just have to be high enough to hold on. Then a high AWC/Sprint will make sure that you end up on the podium and not the guy with maybe a 30-40 watt higher FTP. Considered that you have been smart enough not to take turns in the break which have blown your legs completely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSkillz View Post
    Thanks! Yes, I LOVE Strava! Such a great thing to happen to GPS riding.

    Congrats on racing! Come race Salt Creek!!!
    is this on March 10/11?

    gotta see if Nathan is racing, and what my work/family committments are; but yes I'd love to make it if I can

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    This thread confirms that my Cycleops spin bike reads really low.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSkillz View Post
    300 watts
    Very nice! Assuming it's accurate, at your weight you are fitter than most of the 3's that I know.


    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSkillz View Post
    So, now I'd like to improve this... .
    Ok, if that's your goal. But, don't confuse higher FTP with race results.


    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSkillz View Post
    I'm of the belief that the internet can serve as my coach.
    Ummm... no. The internet can certainly be a great source of info, ideas, inspiration, even feedback... but it will never be a complete substitute for a person who knows you, can ride with you, talk with you, review your numbers and workouts, plan race strategy, dissect post-race...


    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSkillz View Post
    Have some races coming up and I think I can capitalize if I play my cards right in the sprint (which seems to be a crap shoot for me at the moment).
    A great example of where an in-person coach could help you. BTW, a "coach" can be a buddy, a more experienced teammate... does not have to be a paid relationship.

    Anyway, odds are that you will be among the fittest riders in most cat 4 fields. Hence, it's not in your interest to let things come down to a sprint. Learn how / when / where to attack and get a gap, practice your TT'ing on road bars, gain confidence and understanding that you can attack, TT hard, and maintain a given pace for X minutes.

    Use pre-race course knowledge to expect where the hard parts are, where an attack is more likely to succeed. Follow the attacks of others. And, consider sprint training.
    * not actually a Rock Star

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitro View Post
    is this on March 10/11?

    gotta see if Nathan is racing, and what my work/family committments are; but yes I'd love to make it if I can
    Yup! That's it! Do it!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by biobanker View Post
    This thread confirms that my Cycleops spin bike reads really low.

    Don't steel my thunder, bro!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    Very nice! Assuming it's accurate, at your weight you are fitter than most of the 3's that I know.




    Ok, if that's your goal. But, don't confuse higher FTP with race results.




    Ummm... no. The internet can certainly be a great source of info, ideas, inspiration, even feedback... but it will never be a complete substitute for a person who knows you, can ride with you, talk with you, review your numbers and workouts, plan race strategy, dissect post-race...




    A great example of where an in-person coach could help you. BTW, a "coach" can be a buddy, a more experienced teammate... does not have to be a paid relationship.

    Anyway, odds are that you will be among the fittest riders in most cat 4 fields. Hence, it's not in your interest to let things come down to a sprint. Learn how / when / where to attack and get a gap, practice your TT'ing on road bars, gain confidence and understanding that you can attack, TT hard, and maintain a given pace for X minutes.

    Use pre-race course knowledge to expect where the hard parts are, where an attack is more likely to succeed. Follow the attacks of others. And, consider sprint training.

    Yes, I really need to work on making a gap. I believe I can do it, I just lack the confidence and am scared I'm going to risk it all and then have nothing to show for it. But you're right, I need to do it.

  17. #17
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    Funny thing is, I have one of the best coaches around on my team. He won the Strava base mile competition that ended in January. Matt Carnal is his name. I get any advice I can from him for free. But I have yet to commit to his coaching and pay him. Probably should though.

    Here's his Strava profile. Matthew Carnal | Cyclist in Tulsa, OK | Strava

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    I'm curious, for you Cat 3 and above riders out there--what are your FTP's?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback View Post
    I'm curious, for you Cat 3 and above riders out there--what are your FTP's?
    Last year I made it from cat4 to cat2 and got 4 times on the podium in cat2 with a FTP seasonal best of 310. (under assumption that the B grade in Denmark compares to cat 2)
    Last edited by numminummi; 02-28-2012 at 04:00 AM.

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    Congrats! That is a goal of mine. (right now 2x20 min w/ PR of 242 on the second 20).

    (Don't ask about weight).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSkillz View Post
    Yes, I really need to work on making a gap. I believe I can do it, I just lack the confidence and am scared I'm going to risk it all and then have nothing to show for it. But you're right, I need to do it.
    As soon as you realize that 1st is the only place that matters, you will get over this.

    It also helps to develop a bit of contempt for the other racers. They are not as fit as you, they haven't worked as hard as you, they do not deserve to sit on your wheel. Punish them by riding quickly away from them.

    Look at this picture. That expression. He is not playing; he is intent on murder.

    * not actually a Rock Star

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback View Post
    I'm curious, for you Cat 3 and above riders out there--what are your FTP's?
    my 20 min power right now is 341w, my ftp is 325, my 5 min is in the 440w area.

    But i am a cat4 still, hoping and thinking about a 3 upgrade this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    As soon as you realize that 1st is the only place that matters, you will get over this.

    It also helps to develop a bit of contempt for the other racers. They are not as fit as you, they haven't worked as hard as you, they do not deserve to sit on your wheel. Punish them by riding quickly away from them.

    Look at this picture. That expression. He is not playing; he is intent on murder.


    As Ricky Bobby says, if ya aint first you're last!!!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback View Post
    One of the proven ways to increase your FTP is to do lots of riding below that level, I believe in the 85% of FTP range. It is commonly referred to as "sweet spot" training.
    That would put me at 255 watts if my sketchy Oklahoma math is correct. How long would an interval at the sweet spot be? 20 minutes? 40 minutes? An hour?

    I'm interested in doing this tonight.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    As soon as you realize that 1st is the only place that matters, you will get over this.

    It also helps to develop a bit of contempt for the other racers. They are not as fit as you, they haven't worked as hard as you, they do not deserve to sit on your wheel. Punish them by riding quickly away from them.

    Look at this picture. That expression. He is not playing; he is intent on murder.

    Haha, great info!!! Unfortunately, can't see the pic at the office.. Will check it again from my phone in a bit.

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