What is FTP?
Functional Threshold Power. It represents your ability to sustain the highest possible power output over 60 minutes. We calculate the FTP FTP = average power (measured in Watts) of 20 minutes multiplied by 1.1. In other words, your FTP is 110% of your 20-minute power.
Why should I measure my FTP?
It is really important to undertake the test to train in most efficient and productive way possible. Having your FTP accurate and up to date is really crucial. You need it to train in the correct intensities.
A really thorough warm-up is highly recommended. It is vitally important for the best test you can undertake. So choose rather longer warm up. 15 minutes should do the charm.
What target FTP should I set when I have never done FTP test?
It depends on how good your physical performance is. From 1 (elite performance) to 5 (not trained) divided by sex.
This table can also be of help to compare your results to elite athletes
FTP values are based on survey of Allan Hunter and Andrew Coggan, Training and Racing with a Power Meter (Boulder, CO: VeloPress, 2010)(1 lb = 0,454 kg)
Under what circumstances should I undertake the test?
To make the test as accurate as it can be you should be fresh. For instance, take few days off of your normal training or get some good sleep. Lack of rest might cause that you won't be able to sustain a maximum effort. So you will artificially depress your FTP. Don't take too much time off, because you might have a problem with over-freshness. Also when you are testing your FTP indoors you should get some cooling to reproduce the wind-like effect that cooling you outdoors.
It is not good for you to be nervous about FTP testing, although it should be painful at the end of the test. It should be a good pain, like when you are riding to the hill
It is essential to test every 6 weeks
The test itself
The test consists of 3 main parts. Warm-up, Main test and Cool down.
The details for Warm-up are given above and Cool down speaks for itself. Both Warm-up and Cool-down are adjustable from 0 to 60 minutes. The default value is 10 minutes for both.
This screen shows the setup of the test
1. Select the test from the menu
2. Set your Warm up and Cool down times
3. Switch to 'Your own FTP value', calculate your approximate FTP from the table and set it
4. Start the FTP Test
You can change Target Power to resistance that suits you. The graph will adjust as you change the power
You can also skip the Warm Up and Cool Down on top right-hand corner whenever you feel ready for the test. The main test can not be skipped or paused
If you feel the resistance of your trainer is too hard or too soft you can change it with +/-
Changing the power in the main test will directly affect the final output
Right after you finish the test, the result screen will pop up. There you can see the Summary of the FTP test and finally there is your FTP calculated. You can change your FTP directly from this screen