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FTP starting point

whoofwhoof Posts: 756
I would like to do some racing next year and I am looking at training over the winter by monitoring my power for intervals (I've got a turbo with a power function) and HR on longer rides. I've done a bit of research and understand I need to determine my FTP by doing a 20 minute test. I know this will take a couple of goes to get a good measure of this but can someone give me an idea (i.e. no of W) as reasonable starting point to try and maintain on the first test.

I'm 50, 173cm, 71 kg and have not raced or trained for 10 years. I have continued to ride regularly (~9000 mile/year) but most of this is relatively low intensity.

I am considering some short to medium time trials, some duathlons and possibly even the odd crit but probably nothing longer than 2 hours.

Thanks

Posts

  • BrandonABrandonA Posts: 553
    If you are unsure of your ability I'm not sure how anyone could comment on it. Having said that...

    I have the Training And Racing With A Power Meter book. Within it gives an indications of w/kg and how it rates.

    World class >= 5.69
    Exceptional >= 5.15
    Excellent >= 4.62
    Very good >= 4.09
    Good >= 3.47
    Moderate >= 2.93
    Fair >= 2.40
    Untrained >= 1.83
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    If you are unsure of your ability I'm not sure how anyone could comment on it.


    Thanks for the reply. I wasn't expecting someone to assess my ability just for them to say I'm this ?? and this ??W is what I can output for 20 mins. I could then reduce this by an bit (or fair bit) depending on their circumstances. It's just at the moment I don't have an idea or a starting value to try.

    Looking at the figures you gave I'll start with 190W midway between fair and moderate {[2.93-2.40]/2 }*71 and see how I get on.

    Cheers
  • BrandonABrandonA Posts: 553
    If you weigh 100kg and your FTP is 300 watts, then your w/kg is 300 / 100 = 3.

    Your FTP is 95% of your average watts over 20 mins.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Before you start thinking about using the power on your turbo, can you be sure that it will be consistent each time?
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Can you use trainerroad ?
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Experiment! Nobody can tell you even roughly what you'll be able to do because your turbo is unlikely to be accurately calibrated, even if it is consistent.

    Surely you've used the turbo for training? If so, what kind of power can you hold comfortably for 5 minutes, for 10mins, for 20mins, for an hour?

    Don't launch into an FTP test with no idea whatsoever about what you can do. Train on the turbo for a few weeks before you do the test. Ride briskly. Ride hard. Ride easily. Pick a power target and just see how long it takes before you can't sustain it any more. Try 1-minute efforts, experiment with what's possible, try different stuff out... Until you have a good feel for what is vaguely realistic for you on your turbo, then I suggest not even attempting a 20-min test.

    Ruth
  • Would it not be sensible to not use a visible power target for your first test but just go as hard as you can based on perceived effort, and then see what number that gives you? Then you can use that again with a visible power output?

    I think the OP is asking what power they should target on the first test, which isn't the point of it?
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    Thanks for all the replies. I will just give the turbo a few runs and see what numbers come out. As to some of the specific comments
    Experiment!
    Surely you've used the turbo for training? If so, what kind of power can you hold comfortably for 5 minutes, for 10mins, for 20mins, for an hour?

    As above I'm going to experiment, I was just looking for a guide as to where to start that experiment.
    I have used the turbo but for the last ten years it's use has been a bike stand, I've had no more inclination to ride it than I have to where a skinsuit.

    Fenix: I've had a quick look at the site and I don't think I can use Traineroad. The turbo I have has a power function, I'll need to 'calibrate' it and as long as it is self consistent it should be OK. I've also got a pulse meter that I can work with.

    Mark: I could use perceived effort but as I've not ridden with any great effort for years it will be difficult to be able to judge what that should be and be able to sustain it.

    It will all give me something to do over the long winter nights. If you see one of these on ebay you will know I've gone back to riding to the tea rooms and I'm now leaning my bike against the wall instead of using the 'stand'.

    http://images.evanscycles.com/product_image/image/408/398/60a/26477/tacx-flow-ergotrainer.jpg
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    just beawre, if you are not already, that something like a Tacx, can be consistant but will give higher or power wats compared to a more accurate PM.
    i ve had a PT but have got a Vortex, it reads consistantly 20 to 30 watts lower than a PT, so the power chart above will be meaningless.

    with the tacx, tire and roller pressure are the biggies that make it inconsistant.
  • ajmitchellajmitchell Posts: 203
    edited August 2015

    I'm 50, 173cm, 71 kg and have not raced or trained for 10 years.

    I am a beginner not far away from your age and weight. First there is no need to do a FTP at 60mins or 20mins if you dont want to. In fact enter any event of 20mins or longer and you will have your FTP from that provided you measure it. But assuming you do want to measure it, with a reputable powermeter (not a turbo traing with power sorry I had Fortius and it was terrible cf powertap), then there is no magic number....your numbers are your numbers and if you cycle or train regularly they will improve. For example, my FTP was 200w a few years ago as a raw beginner having never rode an hour before on a bike! then 220w after some basic turbo work then 240w after riding outside a bit more regularly and commuting by bike. IMO: 200w-250w @ 70+kg is in the beginner category, 250w I would call an "improver" 300w "good club standard" and anything more than this seriously out of my league. However even if you are starting at less than 200w, have fun, enjoy the ride, you will improve!
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 18,633
    The problem is you're tied to the turbo with it, you normally get a feel of roughly where to aim by riding for a few weeks and seeing what your power output is.
    As BeaconRuth says, just go for it, if you blow up its no great hardship, if you find you haven't gone hard enough, so be it. Just have a go!
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Presumably you have a preferred cadence. That's how I do a twenty minute test. I just pick a resistance that feels right at 100rpm and make sure I don't go below 95rpm. I don't look at anything but the cadence number apart from obviously the time elapsed here and there.

    I wouldn't think a relatively experienced rider would have too much trouble pacing themself.
  • IShaggyIShaggy Posts: 301
    You could do a MAP test...

    Start at 150w and add 25w every minute till you can no longer continue.

    Take the average watts over the last minute and multiply by 72-77% to get FTP.

    Some more info here - http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com.au/2006/12/map-testing-where-failure-is-success.html

    Make sure you warm up beforehand, and make sure your heart is strong. If at the end you're not collapsed in a ball and wimpering next to your turbo then you didn't go hard enough!
  • BrandonABrandonA Posts: 553
    just beawre, if you are not already, that something like a Tacx, can be consistant but will give higher or power wats compared to a more accurate PM.
    i ve had a PT but have got a Vortex, it reads consistantly 20 to 30 watts lower than a PT, so the power chart above will be meaningless.

    with the tacx, tire and roller pressure are the biggies that make it inconsistant.

    I Don't see thIs necessarily as an issue. With any power meter you're looking for consistency. I don't have a TAcx but if I know it is consistent in its reporting if power then I can train against that.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246

    I'm 50, 173cm, 71 kg and have not raced or trained for 10 years.

    I am a beginner not far away from your age and weight. First there is no need to do a FTP at 60mins or 20mins if you dont want to. In fact enter any event of 20mins or longer and you will have your FTP from that provided you measure it. But assuming you do want to measure it, with a reputable powermeter (not a turbo traing with power sorry I had Fortius and it was terrible cf powertap), then there is no magic number....your numbers are your numbers and if you cycle or train regularly they will improve. For example, my FTP was 200w a few years ago as a raw beginner having never rode an hour before on a bike! then 220w after some basic turbo work then 240w after riding outside a bit more regularly and commuting by bike. IMO: 200w-250w @ 70+kg is in the beginner category, 250w I would call an "improver" 300w "good club standard" and anything more than this seriously out of my league. However even if you are starting at less than 200w, have fun, enjoy the ride, you will improve!

    Good post, but as not a beginner and just in case someone looks at those figures, I think they're a bit ambitious. Just a quick look at a strava segment from a tt on Sunday where some good testers turned up would suggest that 300+ is a bit more than 'good club standard':- http://www.strava.com/segments/9805887?filter=overall click on 'this month'
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 18,633
    Considering I've just done (on Sunday) a 20.58 10 mile TT off 286w at 85kg I'm disappointed I'm just scraping to be an 'improver'. But in some ways that's good as it suggests a lot of gains to come.
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
    ABCC Cycling Coach
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