014 TRAINING ZONES AND FTP

The functional threshold power (FTP) is the highest power you can sustain, in a reasonable steady state, for one hour. If you deliver more power than you cannot sustain that for one hour because of increasing fatigue. An  intensity  under the FTP level  can easily be  maintained much longer than one hour. It is the art to dose the test well.  That is a learning process that takes time. You can determine your FTP in a laboratory test but it is also possible to determine the FTP test for yourself by a field test.

FIELD TEST TO DETERMINE   THE FUNCTIONAL THRESHOLD POWER

The functional threshold power (FTP)

Cycling for one hour as fast as possible and as constantly as possible. The power that you providing is the FTP. Cycling for one hour as fast as possible at FTP level is a heavy effort, which is difficult to fit into the training.

That is why we opted for a shorter 20 minute test. This test is also fully driven, as in a time trial, so at the highest possible intensity. The average output power is subsequently corrected, allowing the FTP can be calculated. Allen and Coggan take a percentage of 95% of the average power for 20 minutes.

From own experience it shows 93 percent is a better percentage. During a maximum effort of 20 minutes is the intensity level above the anaerobic threshold. Hence the correction with 95 or 93%. CP20 = average power for 20 minutes.

FTP = 0.93/0.95 x CP20

The field test of 20 minutes can be carried out easily and more frequently so that the performance can be objectively monitored, and it can be determined whether the progression of the rider takes place as desired.

EXAMPLE

Cyclist 20-minute time trial 320 Watt
Calculated FTP = 0.93 x 322 = 300 watts
CLASSIFICATION TRAINING AREAS
7 different zones (1-7) for the training of the different energy systems:
ZONE 1: ACTIVE RECOVERY
Power < 55% of the FTP.
Active recovery duration between 30 and 90 minutes.
ZONE 2: ENDURANCE TRAINING
Power between 55-75% of the FTP.
Quiet duration training ranging from one to eight hours.
ZONE 3: TEMPO - ENDURANCE TRAINING
Power between 75-90% of the FTP.
In this zone speed-endurance training and intensive endurance blocks.
Duration of these trainings between 15 minutes and 2 hours.
ZONE 4: FTP TRAINING
Power between 90-105% of the FTP.
In this zone, the longer interval workouts are done with the aim to improve the FTP.
The interval blocks in well-trained cyclists have duration of 3 to 30 minutes.
The total duration of training in this zone amounts to 10 and 60 minutes.
ZONE 5: VO2max TRAINING
Power between 105-120% of the FTP.
In this zone shorter interval blocks for improving the anaerobic capacity.
Interval blocks of 1-6 minutes to improve the VO2 max.
Total duration of training in this zone is 5 to 30 minutes.
ZONE 6: ANAEROBIC CAPACITY TRAINING
Power between 120-150% of the FTP.
This training consists of very short intensive intervals that last 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Total duration of this training between 3 and 15 minutes.
ZONE 7: NEUROMUSCULAR POWER
POWER well above 150% of the FTP.
You can only see afterwards how high it was. It comes to maximum, very short and intense sprints.
From standing or running start. This training gives stress on the musculoskeletal system and less on the metabolic system.

EXAMPLE cyclist with FTP of 300 WATT

WORKOUT ZONES %FTP LOWER LIMIT UPPER LIMIT
Zone 1: Active recovery <55% -- 165
Zone 2: Endurance 55 - 75% 165 225
Zone 3: Tempo endurance 75 - 90% 225 270
Zone 4: FTP 90 - 105% 270 315
Zone 5: VO2max 105 - 120% 315 360
Zone 6: Anaerobic capacity 120 - 150% 360 450
Zone 7: Neuromusculair power Maximal >> 150%
TRAINING GOAL TRAINING FORM
Zone 1 Improving circulation in the muscles Warming up, cooling down, recovery after race or hard training
Zone 2 Improving aerobic capacity and aerobic efficiency Endurance workouts
Zone 3 Improving transition from aerobic to anaerobic system Tempo endurance workouts with longer interval blocks
Zone 4 Improving FTP and anaerobic efficiency Interval workouts with longer intervals with relative short rest (3 to 30 minutes)
Zone 5 Improving lactate tolerance and VO2 max Interval workouts with short i at high speed and intensity (1 to 6 minutes)
Zone 6 Improving anaerobic capacity Accelerations and controlled sprints, short intensive intervals (30 sec tot 3 minutes)
Zone 7 Improving explosiv power All out sprints (5 to 30 seconds)