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Power above FTP
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The mantra is, " when power exceeds FTP, fatigue will occur much sooner, whereas power just below FTP can be maintained considerably longer".
However, if you look at power duration curves using maximal data, people can maintain a power above FTP for up to approximately 60 minutes, some for over 60 minutes, almost 70 minutes and others only approximately 30 to 40 minutes, but on average just under 60 minutes. But after approximately 60 minutes, when power has dropped below FTP, wattage continues to fall at approximately the same rate as it did from approximately 20 minutes to approximately 60 minutes. It does not plateau or become steady state but continues to fall.

According to the dogma, we are unable to maintain power above FTP for very long - if this is the case why are we able to maintain a power above FTP for so long?

If FTP is what it is claimed to be, we should be able to maintain power just below FTP for longer. But this is not seen on the power duration curve. Power continues to fall beyond approximately 60 minutes at approximately the same rate as it did before between approximately 20 and 60 minutes.

There isn't a threshold on the power duration curve, there isn't an area on the curve at around the 60 minute mark where power falls off at a substantially slower rate, there isn't a threshold like part of the curve and it is not true that we can't maintain power above FTP for very long, because we can produce power slightly above FTP for almost as long as we can maintain FTP.

I don't dispute that power at FTP correlates closely with MLSS, or other markers just that the threshold does not seem to be visible on the power duration curve.
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Re: Power above FTP [Trev] [ In reply to ]
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You don't seem to actually make a point (or a conclusion) to your ramblings.

But if you step back and think of FTP supposed to be representing anaerobic threshold then it makes far more sense.
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Re: Power above FTP [Trev] [ In reply to ]
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Since you or someone can maintain power above FTP over such a long time (60min and more), isn't it a case that this FTP's value is not a true representation of indywidual's power threshold, it is simply understated?
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Re: Power above FTP [Trev] [ In reply to ]
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I thought the usual definition of FTP was the power that you can sustain for 1 hour? In which case by definition you can't maintain power above FTP for 60 minutes. You can of course maintain power above what you thought your FTP was when you started the ride, but that simply means that either the test you used to estimate FTP isn't accurate for you, and/or that you've improved your FTP since you last tested. And whatever power you rode for 60 minutes is now your new FTP.

I think you're overthinking FTP. FTP is simply an estimate used to both measure cycling fitness and also to set training zones. For the majority of us who want to spend most of our time training and not reading sports science books, it's a simple and useful single measure we can use to track progress and build training plans around. And as it happens, for steady state triathlon cycling it's a particularly good predictor of performance. Given that almost nobody actually tests FTP by going out and riding for an hour, you could probably replace it with a 20 minute number and it would be just as useful, but FTP is what's out there, what everybody has got used to, and what lots of training plans are built around, so may as well stick with that.
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Re: Power above FTP [Trev] [ In reply to ]
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Why doesn't your post include data to back up your claims?
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Re: Power above FTP [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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That's not the actual definition of FTP which is I think, as tuckandgo said, anerobic threshold. However it was suggested at some point that most can sustain anerobic threshold for approx 1 hour and since a 1 hour test is easier to test and communicate, that incorrect "definition" stuck.

The 20 minute test is now the standard way to check FTP for most of us I suspect. I've certainly never done a proper anerobic threshold test or a full hour test and I think most people haven't. However, from the figures I see in my training and racing, I suspect the FTP figure I get from 95% of 20min power is very generous. I reckon my actual FTP is probably a fair bit lower. Maybe in the range 88-90% of 20min power.

The 95% rule seems to apply best to really, really well trained elite athletes with LOTS of endurance. I'm in pretty decent shape but I'm not what most would consider elite.


Aside from that, I pretty much agree with the rest of your post.
Last edited by: Ai_1: May 16, 18 2:47
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Re: Power above FTP [mtbr] [ In reply to ]
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mtbr wrote:
Why doesn't your post include data to back up your claims?

Because (as you recognize) Trev is just a Troll (and not a very original one at that).

As for data, here are mean maximal power curves for n close to 200:



Not necessarily obvious from the figure, but going just ~5% over FTP means that fatigue will occur after only 20 min (hence Hunter's way of *estimating* FTP).

In contrast, a power output that is just ~5% under FTP can be maintained for a couple of hours.
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Re: Power above FTP [Ai_1] [ In reply to ]
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FTP is not, and never has been defined as, "anaerobic threshold". In large part, that is because nobody in exercise physiology really still uses that term, since Wasserman's theory was debunked shortly after it was proposed ~40 y ago. The clinical world, though, still hasn't woken up, and in fact the American Heart Association stupidly still includes the explanation in their position stand on exercise testing (moral of the story: never trust a physician - even a cardiologist - to do an exercise physiologist's job).

FTP also is not, and never has been defined as, either 1 h power or 95% of 20 min power. Both, however, are perfectly valid ways of *estimating* FTP. In particular, Hunter's correction factor seems to be spot-on *on average*, although of course everyone's individual power-duration relationship is a bit different.
Last edited by: Andrew Coggan: May 16, 18 3:23
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Re: Power above FTP [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Andrew Coggan wrote:
FTP is not, and never has been defined as, "anaerobic threshold".

It is in my book ;-).
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Re: Power above FTP [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Andrew Coggan wrote:
FTP is not, and never has been defined as, "anaerobic threshold". In large part, that is because nobody in exercise physiology really still uses that term, since Wasserman's theory was debunked shortly after it was proposed ~40 y ago. The clinical world, though, still hasn't woken up, and in fact the American Heart Association stupidly still includes the explanation in their position stand on exercise testing (moral of the story: never trust a physician - even a cardiologist - to do an exercise physiologist's job).

FTP also is not, and never has been defined as, either 1 h power or 95% of 20 min power. Both, however, are perfectly valid ways of *estimating* FTP. In particular, Hunter's correction factor seems to be spot-on *on average*, although of course everyone's individual power-duration relationship is a bit different.
I'm going to say I got 2 out of 3 ;)
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Re: Power above FTP [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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tuckandgo wrote:
Andrew Coggan wrote:
FTP is not, and never has been defined as, "anaerobic threshold".

It is in my book ;-).

I know that you are just joking, but in fact you have identified the source of all the confusion: too many people writing books (and online articles, websites, computer programs, etc.) and trying to put their own spin on my ideas. Throw in a few trolls like Trev and haters like Mark Liversedge, and you arrive at the Tower of Babble that exists today.
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Re: Power above FTP [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Andrew Coggan wrote:
FTP also is not, and never has been defined as, either 1 h power or 95% of 20 min power.
I've seen you explain many times on this forum what FTP isn't, but never what it is. What is FTP?
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Re: Power above FTP [nchristi] [ In reply to ]
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Principally a pedagogical concept.

As Liversedge pointed out the other day with respect to model constructs, however, that doesn't mean it isn't real.

ETA: It is what exercise physiologists mean when they talk about "lactate threshold" (or just "threshold") in a general/conceptual sense, something that has been the case since I started in the field. The notion of FTP differs only in that it overtly dissociates the idea from lactate and overtly associates it with power. As with LT, however, it is important not to confuse the concept with ways of estimating it.
Last edited by: Andrew Coggan: May 16, 18 4:42
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Re: Power above FTP [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Andrew Coggan wrote:
tuckandgo wrote:
Andrew Coggan wrote:
FTP is not, and never has been defined as, "anaerobic threshold".


It is in my book ;-).


I know that you are just joking, but in fact you have identified the source of all the confusion: too many people writing books (and online articles, websites, computer programs, etc.) and trying to put their own spin on my ideas. Throw in a few trolls like Trev and haters like Mark Liversedge, and you arrive at the Tower of Babble that exists today.

Yes, in large part, and I know you know far more about it that I ever will.
However, I do think that a lot of confusion arrises though from that FTP is an exercise physiology 'construct' rather than an physiological 'reality' if you see what I mean.
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Re: Power above FTP [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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tuckandgo wrote:
Andrew Coggan wrote:
tuckandgo wrote:
Andrew Coggan wrote:
FTP is not, and never has been defined as, "anaerobic threshold".


It is in my book ;-).


I know that you are just joking, but in fact you have identified the source of all the confusion: too many people writing books (and online articles, websites, computer programs, etc.) and trying to put their own spin on my ideas. Throw in a few trolls like Trev and haters like Mark Liversedge, and you arrive at the Tower of Babble that exists today.

Yes, in large part, and I know you know far more about it that I ever will.
However, I do think that a lot of confusion arrises though from that FTP is an exercise physiology 'construct' rather than an physiological 'reality' if you see what I mean.

Agree.

Ftp for AG triathletes must be defined as something simple and readily testable.

Once you get off into academic mental masturbation, it's lost relevance to AG triathletes even if it's still useful in the lab.
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Re: Power above FTP [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Hi, I have often been interested in whether or not FTP relates to a physiological construct.

Given what you just said, would you be comfortable with the idea that FTP = the power associated with LT?

If so, then how is LT defined inthis sense? First rise in lactate? baseline + 1 mmol/l? LT4? Dmax? Modified Dmax?

I am also interested where you see the idea of "critical power" (taken from trials of :3 - 20min duration) as sitting in all of this.
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Re: Power above FTP [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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I think it would be easier if we just dropped the FTP acronym to not upset the academics, and instead just say that you are pacing your next race at, say, 75% of 95% of the average power of an all-out 20-min effort done 10 weeks ago... what would that acronym be?

Strava
1999 LC Jr Nats 200m Fly Champion
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Re: Power above FTP [sch340] [ In reply to ]
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APAO20-10?
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Re: Power above FTP [sch340] [ In reply to ]
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SFPONFPOTAPOAAOTMEDTWA

Edit:
Reminds me of: 0118 999 881 999 119 7253
Last edited by: jaretj: May 16, 18 8:46
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Re: Power above FTP [Simon Marwood] [ In reply to ]
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As I have been saying for over 15 y, on average FTP corresponds to power at MLSS, VT2, the NIRS breakpoint, IAT, etc. CP as well, provided that you use tests of sufficient duration (as you specified).
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Re: Power above FTP [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Andrew Coggan wrote:
As I have been saying for over 15 y, on average FTP corresponds to power at MLSS, VT2, the NIRS breakpoint, IAT, etc. CP as well, provided that you use tests of sufficient duration (as you specified).

You have SAID this a lot. Evidence, not so much.
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total protonic reversal [ In reply to ]
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please keep this dumb slap fight on the wattage list on Google-- we are not supposed to cross the streams
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Re: Power above FTP [liversedge] [ In reply to ]
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liversedge wrote:
Andrew Coggan wrote:
As I have been saying for over 15 y, on average FTP corresponds to power at MLSS, VT2, the NIRS breakpoint, IAT, etc. CP as well, provided that you use tests of sufficient duration (as you specified).

You have SAID this a lot. Evidence, not so much.

I guess it does help to have not only read, but have even written, some of the literature...

There are numerous studies to support the assertion that, on average, MLSS, VT2, the NIRS breakpoint, Dmax, CP (calculated from tests of sufficient duration) all correspond to the same exercise intensity. Here's just one picked at random:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364376

FTP is of course a concept that subsumes all of these ideas, so from that perspective it can automatically be considered to be supported by such studies as well.

Now if you wish to dispute whether various *estimates* of FTP correspond to this exercise intensity, you just have to look for studies that have used one of those methods, e.g., like this one:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9710868

Alternatively, you could just ask yourself, "how long can CP be maintained?", and realize that the answer to that question (i.e., 30 to 70 min, and longer in trained than in untrained subjects) also matches up with FTP.
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Re: total protonic reversal [elf6c] [ In reply to ]
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Fair point.
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Re: Power above FTP [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Andrew Coggan wrote:
Not necessarily obvious from the figure, but going just ~5% over FTP means that fatigue will occur after only 20 min (hence Hunter's way of *estimating* FTP).

In contrast, a power output that is just ~5% under FTP can be maintained for a couple of hours.
Is there a rigorous definition for FTP that would allow a point on the power duration curve to be tested for whether it meets the definition or not?

For example, what you said above implies a definition something like:

"FTP is the point (T,P) on the power duration curve whereby:
1. The point (T1,1.05*P) has T1 <= T/3
2. The point (T2,0.95*P) has T2 >= 2*T"

If we had a rigorous definition, we could see which section of someone's power duration curve satisfies the definition and which sections don't.
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