Design of standing starts

What is the “intended” approach for the 20-second intervals in the Standing Starts workouts (aside from inflicting maximum suffering which I take for granted)?

My targets are set at about 180 - 190% of ftp and the text says to give it everything. Usually, if I do give it my all, I can work up to at least 275% of ftp after around 4 seconds, hold it, then flame out with about 5 seconds left in the interval. Thus it becomes more of a peak & fade interval rather than a maximum sustained interval.

Should I 1) keep myself closer to the targets with the aim of holding them for the whole 20 seconds, 2) take more time to ramp up my power so I get to my maximum closer to the end, or 3) should I be approaching these altogether differently?

Interested to hear other people’s thoughts about this. NM is my primary weakness so I would like to try improve it over the winter (I’m in Canada).

Because the short efforts in FF are peak-and-fade, I’d guess that peak and fade is probably okay here too. That said, I’d also guess that you should try and pick a gear where you’re not so much fading as almost spinning out–but maybe you’re already doing that.

Thanks for your response.

I’m definitely using a big gear and fading. My rpm gets up to about 105. To get spun out, I would definitely need to get to a much smaller gear, however, I was of the understanding that I’m supposed to pick a gear where I’ll be challenged to get my pedals up to speed.

I think you’re right that you should be challenged, but maybe you’re overdoing it??? I’m not an expert, but I’d experiment with a gear lower (and maybe two lower!) and see if that increases or decreases 20 second power. I do most of my standing starts outside and found that I got much better accelleration when I started in a somewhat smaller gear. But I don’t have particularly strong spring and might well be wrong.

Certainly worth giving it a shot.

Selecting a gear that is hard to get turning, but maxes out on the effort at around 90-100RPM is pretty much spot on. Peak then hold for these efforts is best as the initial power required to do the standing start and get up to speed will be higher than the level that you would be expected to maintain for the duration