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Yes, we use 100% of the 20 min result as part of our Full Frontal test. Here is why (from: https://thesufferfest.com/...l-fitness-test-faq):
Q: My FTP from Full Frontal is lower than from other FTP tests. Whatâ€™s going on?
First, letâ€™s get this out of the way: you are not your FTP. Threshold power is only one way you put out power on the bike. It only tells you how well you can generate power for long, steady-state efforts. Once your power goes north of your FTP, all bets are off.
Now, bear with us: here comes the science. After testing hundreds of athletes in his lab at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, Coach Neal Henderson found that for many athletes, their lab-determined FTP did not match up to the traditional 20-minute field test. The assumption had been (and continues to be with conventional FTP tests) that 95% of an athlete's 20-minute power is equal to their FTP. Unfortunately, itâ€™s not that cut-and-dried. Two athletes can have the exact same 20-minute power, but produce that power differently. One may produce 97% of it aerobically, while the other may produce 93% of that power aerobically. Assuming 95% of an athleteâ€™s 20-minute equals their threshold power is the same as assuming everyone who is the same height has the same inseam. Not only does this make the 20-minute power test imprecise, it also misses out on other important aspects of a riderâ€™s physiology.
If you are a rider who is only producing 93% of your power during a 20-minute test aerobically, then that means you are drawing on other energy systemsâ€”either Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) or Anaerobic Capacity (AC)â€” to generate that power. Instead of measuring your threshold power, the 20-minute test is really measuring multiple energy sources. That results in an FTP that is artificially high. By measuring four distinct ways cyclists produce power, Full Frontal will be able to tell us where that additional power is coming from. A rider who is only generating 93% of their power over 20 minutes aerobically will often have 5-minute power (MAP) or 1-minute power (AC) that is well above average . Since the 20-minute test in Full Frontal comes after both the 5-second sprint efforts and the 5-minute test, you will not be able to hold the same 20-minute power in Full Frontal that you would in a conventional 20-minute test like Rubber Glove. Because of this, your FTP from Full Frontal is based on the full average of your 20-minute effort, rather than 95%. But to be accurate, you have to go all-out on the 5-minute effort that precedes it.
While this might tempt some people to go easy in the 5-minute effort to save something for the 20-minute effort, you need to keep in mind that the 4DPâ„˘ power targets for workouts are based on all 4 metrics (and the relationship between them), not just FTP. If you sell yourself short in one area of the test to improve another area, the training you do afterwards wonâ€™t be accurately tailored to your true abilities, and you will miss out on the real fitness improvements you are looking for!
Lastly, itâ€™s important to remember that training is a means to an end. You train and suffer today so you can be faster tomorrow. Fixating on a single number at a single point in time isnâ€™t productive. What point is there in having an artificially-inflated FTP if youâ€™re not getting the right training stimulus out of a session? Since 4DPâ„˘ takes all four metrics into account and personalizes all of your targets, you are ultimately going to get a much more effective workout, even with a â€ślowerâ€ť FTP.
The only thing Iâ€™d add to the OP is that my experience is â€śnewerâ€ť athletes tend to get overestimated results from the 20 minute tests because itâ€™s far easier, mentally, to pound out 20 minutes hard than it is to ride a 40k or 1 hr TT as hard as possible.
Itâ€™s kind of like marathoning....anyone can do a great 18-22 miles at their â€śgoalâ€ť pace....but can they sustain that when the body really starts to rebel and all the senses are telling them to slow down. Same thing in a TT. For me it starts about 45 minutes in. Itâ€™s not â€ścanâ€ť I hold the pace, but WILL I hold the pace for the last kâ€™s?
Thatâ€™s why you see a lot of older athletes still turning out fast efforts. Theyâ€™ve made friends with that discomfort zone.
1st Place, 50-55 2018 USAT Duathlon Sprint Duathlon National Championships, National Champion; 2nd Place Overall, 2018 Virginia Duathlon; 3rd Place, 50-54, 9th overall, USAT Long Course Duathlon (Miamiman); 4th Place Masters, 10th overall, 2018 Kiawah Island 1/2 Marathon
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It depends a lot on what your goals and resources are. Not everybody has the interest, ability and/or time to teach themselves enough to do a better job of setting their training plan than a generic plan. Particularly amongst triathletes who are already juggling 3 sports as well as what's already going on in their lives. And who also, it needs to be remembered, will do all or most of their racing at sub-FTP levels. There's a reason why triathletes focus on FTP a lot more than road cyclists, and it's because when you're racing at solo steady efforts below threshold, it's the single best metric to track. Pure cyclists need to take a more balanced view across metrics at different durations, because they need to be able to sprint, accelerate over short hills, do multiple pulls above threshold in a breakaway, etc.
They're not perfect, but generic SW plans like TR or Sufferfest are both cost-effective (much cheaper than a coach) and time-effective (much less time than putting together your own plan), and do a pretty decent job of getting good results from any given effort.
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That's not particularly helpful.
1. Its a bit of hyperbole to say "you've already lost"---as if to imply that someone will not improve following such a methodology.
2. You provide no definition of "load monitoring", or practical advice on how to use it to "do more with the same effort".
So, perhaps you convince the audience NOT to use "FTP" for designing workouts, but then you don't replace it with anything equally practical---just an esoteric declaration of "use load monitoring, instead."
Additionally, while digging around I found your "winter training program" pdf, which specifically prescribes workouts using % of FTP.
I don't use a generic plan but I do use FTP as a metric to judge intensity of my efforts. I don't know what you mean by "load monitoring", are you referring to training stress score or similar as calculated by say Training Peaks? If so, does it matter what sessions are used to accumulate TSS or anything will do? When you say I should figure out how I can do more with the same effort, what are you referring to? More of what? TSS? What do you mean by the same effort? Do you mean work, intensity, TSS, perceived effort, or something else?
How do I individualise my training? I can make up my own plan (and I do) but how do I know if it's better than a generic plan? Why is individualised necessarily better, without knowing in what way it differs?
Help! I don't know how to follow your advice.
However, I'm glad to hear it's simpler than cycling training and can be done by anyone as long as they're bothered. That's reassuring.
Were you actually trying to be helpful? If so, I suggest you provide some solid, meaningful, followable guidance and rationale. I'm sure that would be appreciated. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.
However, as it stands, the above quoted posts come across as a load of unhelpfully nebulous posturing waffle, that pours scorn on some of the most common training methods without providing any rationale/justifications or explaining any alternatives.
So what you mean to say is you're not good at the 20 minute interval of that particular testing protocol?
Or that my FTP result is out of date, and I need to re-test... But yes, I find it's always much easier for me to push myself in a race setting than it is in a workout type setting... While I suffer like a dog doing 30s intervals at 700+watts with easy recovery, I can produce a number of those types of efforts to avoid getting dropped from a breakaway, with riding at around FTP in between...
Just circling back to this thread and didn't read the rest of the replies.
What I may do if it were me and frankly I enjoy the suffering associated with racing & testing, I may do a 5 or 6 min all out test and then a 60 min TT. Or do the 5-6 min test after about 60-90 min of riding then the next day do a 35-45k TT where I pinned a number on. Get in a 20-30 min warm up, hit the TT, ride 20- 30 min easy after. You'll have more data than someone doing a 20min test & more importantly you'll have better data. (plus it's not too shabby of a workout either)
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